Every year, in early May, a Gardener’s Mart is held in the Village Hall.
This is a lovely, friendly little event. Gardeners from all around the area gather together and each one has a stall where they sell any surplus plants. There are fully grown shrubs in huge pots; tiny little cuttings of perennials; bulbs, corms and seedlings that have been prepared over the winter and early spring months and even house-plants.
I always pop down to take a look and return home with my arms full of greenery …..all bought for very little cost. Its an ideal, sociable and extremely economical way of obtaining a good stock of garden plants. And its nice to know that the plants on offer have all previously flourished in the local soil. I am happy in the knowledge that I am not trying to grow something that is more suited to the tropics ……or needs some specialist care.
I used to enjoy gardening and always had a large garden with gorgeous herbaceous borders and, at one house, an extremely large fish pond, with many aquatic plants and ferns.
Now I have down-sized and have a very small plot which is mostly grass. All my plants and bulbs are grown in pots. I find this so much easier, now that I am ‘getting on a bit’ !
Well, last year I bought delphiniums, mallow and lavatera plants. They were tiny little things, in small plastic plant pots …….I think I paid 75p for each plant.
But I popped the infant cuttings in lovingly prepared tubs; watered and fed them regularly ……..and they went wild !
They shot up like ‘Topsy’ and swiftly outstripped the rather short, spindly supports that I had, optimistically, thought would be adequate. In no time at all they were huge, bushy specimens, branching out all over the tubs and scrambling skyward, faster than a ‘Red Star Parcel’.
But, of course, we get quite a few breezy days, up here on the Yorkshire Wolds ….and there are also summer storms to contend with. Exposed to such elements, my precious plants would soon suffer. So I needed to do something.
However, the growth had been so robust that I was overwhelmed as I struggled to insert some canes of the more sturdy variety. And I really needed a machete to fight back the strong, woody stems and large, succulent green leaves when I attempted to secure them to the support with my trusty, hemp garden twine. I had scratched arms and tangled hair and, probably, even ants in my pants.
So, this year I am prepared.
Pale green shoots are already pushing up through the soil. In a week or two the stalks will be over two feet high. I’m not going to be caught out again and so, today, I have made a start on my supporting structures.
This may be a little premature ……..but, what is it they say about “failing to prepare” …..?