THIS JUNE BRINGS the luxury of two bank holidays, meaning an extra-long weekend to be savoured. This is all the encouragement I need to spruce up my patio in readiness for the much-anticipated company of friends and family.
I’ve already started on the containers by adding some additional compost plus a layer of grit to top them off; making them neat, while conserving moisture. When blessed with a sunny day, the patio is a splendid sun trap, and while the lavender that flanks it may not be in flower yet, its leaves, when brushed against, will bring the scent of summer to the gathering.
To add to the sensory delight, I will add pots of aromatic herbs: thyme, marjoram, sage, and my favourite, lemon verbena. I love to stroke its leaves and cup my hands to my face, breathing in its sharp citrus scent. I also have a curry plant, Helichrysum italicum, which is always a talking point and great for entertaining guests with its pungent aroma.
Seating is next on my list, but the table and four chairs won’t be nearly enough. I don’t want to buy anything new, so the camping chairs will be drafted in. Although comfortable and ideal for my informal plans, they are lower than the other chairs, so I will need a lower table too. A couple of apple crates from the shed, upturned with a cloth over, should do the trick and will add to the vintage theme that’s developing.
To dress it all up, I have saved some jam jars and pretty china, collected over the years from sales and charity shops: the jars for posies from the garden and the crockery for tea and cake. Now all I need to do is start baking…