Gardening happiness

Tiffany Daneff / 17 June 2015

Gardens bring out the emotions, it’s a funny thing. So here’s what’s pulling my strings this week, writes Tiffany Daneff.



What’s put a whopping big smile on my face:

The roses

This is the second summer for the six ‘Gentle Hermione’, an English rose from David Austin, and I just can’t believe how happy they are. The leaves are glossy and immaculate. There are barely any greenfly and no signs of stress or blackspot. They have bulked up loads since last year and they’ve also got tons of buds.

Apart from my clearly genius gardening skills I suspect this is because a) they are a bred to be disease resistant and b) I’ve been giving them the odd bit of wood ash over winter and spraying them with Bio Char granules dissolved in water and mulching with lots of nice rotted sheep muck.

The strawberries

There are just so many fruits fattening up. I cannot wait. (Sadness alert – it’s just inevitable that gangs of mice, crocodiles of woodlice and waves of slugs are going to get more of them that I want.)

The borders

The iris are out and the borders are bulking up. There’s a lovely wifty wafty thing going on with bronze fennel, nepeta and stipa.

Soft rain

By which I mean rain that keeps rain in a gentle to medium style that properly soaks the ground without bashing up the foliage. (This rain, I have noticed, also brings great joy to teenagers who can, without a smidgeon of guilt, sit in doors with the shutters closed, watching back to back boxed sets.

What turns me into a snarling brute

The dog…

……immediately spotting some newly tilled earth in the flower bed and deciding to dig a hole. I love my dog but NO! GET OFF NOW!

The rabbit…

….That bit off the about to unfurl bud of an iris then casually tossing it aside because – presumably – it didn’t like the taste. GRRRRRRR!!!!!!!!!

The blasted wind

Actually wind is an irritant at the best of times blowing newspapers across the lawn and hair into my mouth when I am weeding and my hands are covered in earth so I can’t flick it out again. Gentle breeze good. Wind bad. More specifically, the wind has broken lots of my lovely flowering stipa stems.

What’s plain depressing

How much I have to get out and do NOW. Final planting of sweet peas and tomatoes. I should be doing it NOW. Not writing a blog.

Hose pipes that are supposed to be of professional quality leaking…..Hmm like my so called Xhose Pro. No. Not pro. Just profusely annoying as every time I set off to water the seeds in the veg plot I end up with soaking wet feet and dripping wet arms and have to change.

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