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.
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.
I can’t paint or draw. Gardening is my way of splashing around with colour, creating new combinations and having a few happy accidents. My media, right now, is tulips.
The birth of the tulips has been laboured and slow this year, but their emergence is a triumph.
Nature has a way of correcting herself. If she overreaches, she seems to reflect, and modify her trajectory to get back on track. And so, in the second week of April, as always, I am beside myself with anticipation for the arrival of the tulips.
I went for total indulgence in the hot spell last week. I reasoned that it was too hot for serious gardening, so I may as well visit other gardens and bask in the tulip displays. So on Friday it was Great Dixter and on Saturday I took the family to Sarah Raven’s Open Garden at Perch Hill….
The title is an homage to one of my favourite children’s books, Quentin Blake’s Cockatoos. Each morning Professor Dupont, a dapper chap, jumps out of bed, takes a shower, cleans his teeth, gets dressed, ties his tie, adjusts his spectacles and goes downstairs. He goes into his conservatory and there are all his cockatoos. He throws wide…