Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Remembering the pleasures of gardening

The amount of work in the garden that awaited us on our return from Europe seemed overwhelming at times. But with the beautiful summer gardens of France fresh in our memories, we had some extra motivation to get it done.

The final look of the rosarium
On our return, the pea plants were rather small and I was concerned that I should not have planted them as late as I had. The garlic is growing nicely; the onion seedlings were ready to be transplanted into their beds; the last of the carrots and beetroots from the previous season were ready to be harvested and the potato plants looked rather sad after a bad case of snails, prompting us to take them up. I needed to clean as many beds as possible to plant the new summer vegetables.

The new mulch in the rosarium

We decided to mulch the roses with a woodchip and bark mix to help the garden retain more moisture. We have to think differently about gardening in a country where water is scarce. After seeing the rosarium at Parc de Bagatelle and the success they had with a deep mulching, we did not need any further convincing.

The Bougainvillea hedge was cut lower to allow more sun into the orchard. The effect has been that the whole space seems more open and spacious.

The lawn was scarified and a top dressing applied where it was uneven. The entire lawn got a good feeding and watering. It looks a bit scary at the moment and I wondered if that is why the procedure is called “scarifying”. Come summer, the lawn will have a nice texture and will allow for many a relaxing lunch or a wild run about and chase for the boys.

With the garden nearly under control, it is time to shift focus to preserving and enjoying the many pleasant surprises that awaits us through spring and summer.
The vegetable garden ready for planting
The first surprise arriving on Friday was seeing the flowers of the purple peas. In contrast to the white flowers of the green peas, these flowers were in shades of purple and lilac. I cannot wait to see the purple peas.

Green pea flowers
Purple pea flowers
Walking past the herbaceous border behind the cottage, I was struck by the fragrance of the Portwine magnolia. It has a heavy sweet scent to match the burgundy flowers that cover the tree at the moment. My mom would be surprised by the size of the tree that she nurtured for me.

Portwine magnolia flowers
The orchard is a feast of flowers. From blossoms in the air, to nasturtiums on the ground. Exhausted but happy, we were reminded why we enjoy gardening. The joy of gardening definitely is the biggest reward. Whether it be spending time in your garden at work, or in relaxation, it remains a satisfying experience.


  1. The promise and expectation of a well prepared spring garden, is a joy shared by all gardeners. Lovely post, thanks.


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