They Say It’s Summer!
According to the calendar, we are now in the middle of summer. (We had the obligatory family discussion about the 21st June – is it Midsummer or the first day of summer? I go for Midsummer every time.) That being the case, I have to say that summer, up until now, has been a washout on all but a handful of days. The skies have largely remained grey and while we do not need to turn on the heating, quite often it has been necessary to put on a sweater and socks.
So, what is happening in the garden? Well, in mine, not a lot. We are waiting to have our deck ripped out and replaced. At this time we are waiting for quotes, but they are only an excuse for putting off the decision making, I fear. Do we build another deck, or do we go for some sort of stone paving. I like the idea of a deck, because it will be on the same level as the floor of the house and I always feel that it makes the outdoor and indoor spaces flow together more comfortably. On the other hand, a deck requires more maintenance and also can get very slippery in winter which could pose a problem when accessing bins and worm farms etc.
Please take a moment and let us know what you think. Should we go the traditional route and have a paved area? Or should we up-date a bit and go for timber decking?
In the meantime the pots and the small garden out the front which I loaded with bedding plants are coming on OK. A bit slow to flower, I think, but maybe that is because of the lack of sun. I do find the plants look healthy and lush, though – no doubt the more frequent showers of soft rain are the cause of that. Everything is far more ‘gentle’ than in NZ and I hardly need to water at all. (Having said that, I should apologise to all those people in other parts of England that have been ravaged by floods this year!)
I have bought a couple of Acers that I am keeping in pots at the moment. At least one will, I think, end up in the garden proper. I do love them. One has dark red, lobed leaves with jewel-bright red on the new growth (Atropurpureum) and the other is a dwarf variety (Seiyru) which is a fresh green with red and yellow growing tips in summer that turn a glorious yellow in autumn. Or so the label says, anyway. It remains to be seen… The leaves are almost feathery and I think that that one will remain in a pot. I am really looking forward to seeing them develop and enjoying the wonderful kaleidoscope of colour that they will provide through-out the seasons. It is so hard to choose with Acers, there are so many and all are wonderful. Best to go somewhere where there is only a limited selection!
Finally, another apology. I was a bit off-hand when I first arrived here about the growing of the good old Cabbage Tree (a NZ native) and I suggested that the climate here was not the best for them. Well, I have come across some specimens recently that have the best flowers on them that I have ever seen. So – hats off to the English gardeners. You are just so clever!