Roberto Renzi, Mere’stead, Cross­gates, Leeds

Yorkshire Post - YP Magazine - - Gardens -

What is the first thing you planted in your gar­den?

We planted a Cedar de­o­dara which is now a very grace­ful el­e­gant tree. We had it in a pot for a long time be­fore we de­cided where it should take pride of place. We have since un­der­planted with some very un­usual bulbs and peren­ni­als. What is your favourite plant?

How do you choose? With each sea­son you await that spe­cial one; Glau­cid­ium pal­ma­tum with its beau­ti­ful pale li­lac poppy-like flower, Podophillum ‘Spotty Dotty’, with those won­der­ful leaves, and I can­not leave out the ma­jes­tic wis­te­ria – amaz­ing. What is your pet gar­den­ing hate?

The red lily beetle that dec­i­mate the leaves and flow­ers of lily and fri­t­il­laria and other mem­bers of the lil­i­aceae fam­ily. You have to be very vig­i­lant. Thank­fully, they are bright red and easy to see and pick off be­fore they have time to lay their eggs in their own ex­cre­ment. Dis­gust­ing. What is your best gar­den tip?

We like to com­post as much as we pos­si­bly can from the gar­den and the kitchen waste; it makes a won­der­ful mulch for the gar­den and helps to re­tain mois­ture in the soil and sup­press the weeds. The se­cret is to turn it as of­ten as pos­si­ble to speed up the process and try to com­post leaves sep­a­rately, mak­ing leaf­mould, which is a very good soil con­di­tioner, es­pe­cially for wood­land plants. What or who in­spired you to start gar­den­ing?

My grand­par­ents had a beau­ti­ful large gar­den, and they were also very knowl­edge­able. I re­mem­ber hav­ing my lit­tle plot to tend. We al­ways liked a tidy gar­den but it was not un­til our two daugh­ters mar­ried that we de­cided to re­vamp our own and it be­came a great in­ter­est for both of us.

Mere’stead, 28 Kelm­scott Garth, Manston, Cross­gates, Leeds LS15 8LB is open July 21, 12-5pm.

email david1953ov­[email protected]

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