There are so many things a garden can offer our senses. From the visually perfect form of a rose to the scent of the compost. We may get as much enjoyment giving someone a bunch of flowers grown in our own garden as we did finding and picking them and what could ever equal the feeling of eating a home grown apple with half a worm inside?
Recently I was given some food for thought by an experienced gardener who strives for self sufficiency. Whenever gardening, he said I should ask myself “How many wins can I get out of this project” for example if I were to plant strawberries, I would justify my effort by knowing that I can eat them, that they make an attractive ground cover, that I could give some runners to my family and friends the following year and also save money by not having to buy the fruit. Actually to be honest, I think I could rationalise any gardening activity I have ever done. Just ask my husband Peter.
The saying that one person’s junk is another person’s treasure certainly holds true when it applies to the arrangement of a garden. Railway sleepers, old wheelbarrows, rusty milk cans, washing tubs, half wine barrels, rocks and even driftwood are all treasures when appropriately placed in and around a garden. However, I find that the real treasures of any garden are the flowers. Nothing can rival the beauty, form, colour and perfume of a flower.
If you’ve been following my articles fortnightly since July 2020 or spoken to me at Markets or Garden Festivals I may have spilled the fact that French Lavender (Lavendula dentata) is my favourite flower. Fragrant and softly textured, I have both French and Italian varieties planted among herbs, shrubs and trees where I can appreciate their lovely rounded forms. Not only do the plants look and smell beautiful with their dented grey foliage and purple flowers but they are wonderful at attracting and bringing the bees, particularly the Blue Banded Bees. These compact hardy shrubs produce plenty of nectar while flowering over a long period. Other herbs in this Lamiaceae family, such as basil, thyme, lemon balm and mint are also very popular with native bees.
I wonder what your treasures are in your garden? There really are so many things a garden can offer our senses. “Happy Gardening” kind regards, Romaine Undery, Ramesa Nursery.
Image 1 French Lavender flowers at Ramesa Farm are so fragrant
Image 2 The naturally rounded form of French Lavender growing in our shrubbery