I love my life in the garden. The air is so fresh; the scenery spectacular; the weather surprisingly sunny and hot; the company interesting; the walks are surpassed by no other location; there is plenty of space and the locals are friendly – it makes my decision as to whether to wag my tail a whole lot easier.
I do think I will have to teach the 2Legs how to lie back, stretch out and possibly be rewarded with their belly being scratched. They continue to scratch around the place and make the compost even higher. Ann is more than pleased that the callistemon (bottle brush) is thriving – despite her attacking it to the ground. Another Lazarus is the rose crescent (see March Dog Blog) which is recovering well – except for the deer snacking on the juicy new shoots.
Honnington is a place which welcomes everyone to enjoy the outdoors – particularly the birds and bees.
Two large thyme beds, containing several varieties, have been planted for the bees to enjoy and there are countless full bird feeders all around. Visitors are drawn to the adjacent sweet peas giving a magnificent show and scent. However, 2legs were not so happy when the birds found a way through the defences of the fruit cage and stripped the blackcurrants and redcurrants. Defences need to be improved to ensure that in addition to tomatoes and cucumbers the greenhouses and polytunnel will offer up their yield of exotic Aubergines, Melons and Kiwis – before the birds and mice picnic there. I only hope that no felines will be considered as part of the cunning security plan.
There have been two NGS Open Days and I know that those who came were more than happy with their day out. All my 2legged gardening friends were out and about talking to everyone plus there was also my friend Viv providing a huge array of quality plants for sale. The weather was lovely and the garden looked amazing and was photographed from every angle. It was noted that the Banana plant is enjoying the weather – sadly no fruit but very healthy and it looks tremendous surrounded by Delphiniums, Verbascum, Foxgloves and Lupins.
Perhaps it was the Echiums which drew the most attention, but then again …there was that strange Arum Dracunculus (Dragon plant). I’m told that the refreshments provided in the barn and out on the BBQ were delicious – they must have been …as there were no leftovers in my bowl!
I know that a lot of work was done in preparation – not just in the garden but also behind the scenes to support the two full days, so it was disappointing when the attendance numbers were low compared with other years. This does not mean there has been a lack of interest in the garden – far from it! There have been huge sixty-seater coaches arriving. It might have been useful for me to at least learn the basics of Dutch, Finish, Norwegian, Danish, Swedish – as we have had groups visiting from all these countries. However, I find that whatever the nationality a ‘doleful beg’ is understood.
Barking from experience … I can tell you that they have enjoyed typically English afternoon tea, with scones, sandwiches and homemade cake and snacks. When it was very hot, there was even sparkling Elderflower cordial – homemade of course, with blossom gathered from the farm hedgerows. So, visitors have gone home with lots of lovely memories, photographs and ….. recipes! And – there’s more to come!
There is a tiny new lavender hedge adjacent to the wildflower meadow and more plans a-paw!