It is one of my favourite sensory pleasures to hold the impossibly soft and tender rose in one hand and snip its bristly stem with the other. The petals are softer than anything I know: peach fuzz, babies’ bottoms, duck down: they are nothing to this rose. The spent flower fits perfectly into my hand. Its petals may suddenly let out a silent ‘oh!‘, let go of their calyx all at once. They drop into my waiting bucket, with a flurry of petal confetti. and glorious rose perfume.
I don’t think of myself as a particularly girly girl, and throughout my life I have almost avoided pink. Yet when I look around my rose garden, I see pink everywhere. And yes, I am tickled pink.
We haven’t had as much sun as I would like this summer, but this doesn’t seem to have held back the bright border. In the softer light it has taken on a slightly different character. The coral and warm orange tones are more prominent. The textures and shapes resemble plump cushions and fabrics being draped over one another.
I generally plant roses and herbaceous perennials in groups of three. This gives each variety a presence in the border: their flowers are in sufficient number to make an impact. I like the way they form clear hummocks, like hills, through the border. Their outlines remind me of a child’s drawing of overlapping hills.
This peony is mouth-watering. There is a lightness to intersectional peonies. Where herbaceous peonies are taffeta and tulle, intersectional peonies are a swishy silk skirt on bare legs.
There is a natural continuity between yoga and gardening. I thought I would have a little fun post with my favourite yoga postures in the garden.
Plants, like people, have an inner light. When the sun shines on them, they glow.
All of these plants are incredibly easy if you are new to gardening. They are tolerant of less-than-ideal conditions, and perfect for dry, shallow soil. These plants get only a few hours of sunlight a day, but very obligingly light themselves up when I am leaving the house and coming home in the evening.
The best buds of all are the oriental poppies. They wear thick woollen tights, but silk knickers beneath. This one is about to burst its breeches.
In May, the Kentish country lanes are full of froth and fizz. They are overflowing with hawthorn blossom and the cow parsley. It reminds me of filling a champagne flute and seeing if it overflows.
After five minutes in the garden I have re-charged and re-energised. There is so much to be grateful for. So many little miracles unfolding before me. Energy bursting upwards and outwards, exploding out of buds. Light shining out of stems and leaves. An infinite variety of shapes and textures.
The tulips have delighted me for three, nearly four weeks. This is their final fling!