|Agapanthus candles prepare to ignite|
I've mentioned before that I'm not great with colour in the garden, I tend to be wa-a-a-y too subtle for my own good, and then I wonder why my garden looks dull. The crazy thing is, I love to see what others do with colour in their gardens, it's just that I lose faith when I try to, you know, do something wonderful with massed colour in my own little patch. It's partly a lack of courage, partly a lack of space: if you start to mess about with colour with more enthusiasm than skill, your garden could end up looking like someone overturned a bin in it, scraps of unrelated colour littering the place and hurting the eyes...
So, since one of the nicest way to learn in gardening is by seeing what other people do, where better to go than June Blake's garden: it's a place that makes sense of the idea that gardens were originally considered as reminders of Eden. Last Sunday we went along, bringing two friends who hadn't been there yet, but who now intend to return. What a treat; as ever. June is a woman of many talents (jewellery-making and sheep-farming among them), but surely gardening is her vocation. She's a plantswoman but also a gardener who has a flawless sense of design and colour. It's a pleasure, always, to visit her garden. She does the hot beds/cool beds thing, but the structure and the combinations of the plants mean that you scarcely notice that this is what's going on, you just realise that it all works...
|A hot corner - lupins and poppies in June Blake's garden|
Just go... even if you're not a gardener, you'll be enchanted. Oh, and the coffee and homebaked cakes, served up by a friend of June's, will delight your taste buds too.
Speaking of taste buds, the soft fruit in my own garden is on the go now. And in spite of the rain, the raspberries and loganberries are ripening. But there are problems with mould, so I've been picking the fruit in between showers and other rainy patches and then turning most of the raspberries into jam. The loganberries will meet the same fate, but the early strawberries (that I cosseted in the glasshouse) we eat one by one, savouring every delicious red, sweet bite.
|Raspberries, ready for jam|
|Loganberries, not quite there yet|
|Strawberries, slowly savoured|
|Dierama, near the tiny pond|
|Dierama, near the pool|
|Poppy in the rain|
And a sort of a PS, for those of you who enjoy looking for the embedded schnauzer.
|Phygelius to accompany the red Dierama|