Sunday, 21 August 2011

How does your garden grow?

Roald Dahl, whose writing I adored as a child and still love as an adult, wrote a marvellous parody of the nursery rhyme ‘Mary, Mary, quite contrary’ which features in his collection of poems, Rhyme Stew:

‘Mary, Mary, quite contrary
How does your garden grow?
“I live with my brat in a high-rise flat
So how in the world would I know.” ’

Now I don’t live in a high-rise flat, but I am a novice at this gardening lark. I've felt incredibly inspired by Sarah Raven, who is to gardening what Jane Packer is to floristry, and I've been devouring her book, The Cutting Garden, every day. It's a must-read if you want to grow your own flowers for cutting - there are garden plans for each season, ideas for seasonal flower arrangements, and huge section giving detailed information on different plants to grow for cutting, including particular varieties for their colour or scent.

Today we started to prepare a bed for daffodil, muscari and tulip bulbs. I can’t believe I actually used a wheelbarrow without any disasters.

I’ve planted hyacinth, ranunculus, Anemone De Caen, and snowdrop bulbs in pots and left them in the greenhouse (which is in dire need of a tidy up). I’ve already learnt one lesson, which is that labels shouldn’t be written with a water-soluble pen! We’ll see whether I have any success with the flowers in the spring.