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Vita Sackville-West

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In my ignorance, I thought Vita Sackville-West was a gardener of grandiose design and would have nothing to say to a gardener of today with a modest garden and not a lot of time. By chance I came across a copy of "In your Garden" first published in 1951. I found it in a charity shop in Guernsey ( a further Blog on this, what a wonderful island full of plants and amazing flowers) and was hooked once I started reading. Its appropriate to Blog this today  23.06. as it is 50years since her death.

The book comprises of her series of articles which appeared in the Observer and her  writing is easy to read and with great imagination. Vita Sackville-West can describe a plant to inspire your gardening interest just by her prose, a real talent among the instant images of today with photos and TV. There are some plants in the book I have never heard of and just by her description I am on a trail to find them. Her ideas are practical and make sense today. I was taken by her idea of growing Clematis laterally by pegging it down as I am short of walls for them to grow up. I liked also her descriptions of thymes being willing to grow in poor thin soil as a awkward spot immediately came to  my mind which has so far defied my efforts to plant into it.

I don't buy many old gardening books as they can be dry and hard to related to, not Vita Sackville West I will look out for more and I recommend her as a good gardening read.

Aruncus 310nepeta-in-planting-scheme-310-x-240









This week, passing through Birmingham, I thought to take a look at the Botanical gardens. Unfortunatelydue to the torrential monsoon weather it wasn't at its best. The plus side was I had the garden all to  myself. I suppose it is comforting, in a strange way, to know that even experts at Botanical gardens can't fight the weather and there were less flowers than would be usual for the time of year which all gardeners are complaining about. The Aruncus (left) looked very spectacular, a bold statement which on first glance can be mistaken for Astilbe but closer inspection shows it to be Aruncus which is a moisture loving plant so no surprise it looked good in the weather. There was also a nice patch of Nepeta planted on mass (right) which looked good and is a great alternative to Lavender which needs good drainage and no winter wet.

Despite the awful weather the sight of the rain on leaves is lovely.....



hosta leaf in rain by the sunday gardener

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