Having recently got back into gardening, I’ve been looking back through my collection of gardening books that I’ve not touched for the last few years, and have just uncovered the gem below.
Isn’t the cover beautiful? Written in the 80’s, it’s an account of the author’s garden on a large estate in Scotland that they bought after the days when there was a team of gardeners to run and manage it, and how they adopt a more ‘relaxed’ approach to dealing with the plants there (basically: if it isn’t poisonous, they eat it).
It’s a brilliant read, it just meanders along, beautiful drawings of plants and insects interspersed with really interesting writing and anecdotes (such as their efforts to make rhubarb champagne without it exploding, and finding that a plastic dustbin full of this only lasted them for 3 months). I’m reading it in bed at the moment and am driving my other half nuts by constantly interrupting his reading to tell him new snippets of information I’ve gleaned.
I definitely like the wild garden concept – mine is not one where you will ever see neat spaces of soil between plants, but it does mean it’s less work to keep the weeds down, and the birds and insects seem to like it. And in the spirit of the book above, I’m thinking of making some rose petal jelly in the next week or so – our two Rosa rugosa bushes are in full bloom and the scent is just magical.
This is the deep pink one I’m thinking of using, ‘Roseraie de L’Hay’, as it’ll make the jelly a nicer colour than the other one we have, which is pure white. These are great roses, they flower like mad, smell fantastic, don’t need pruning and never get diseases.