Some often say I was born a middle-aged woman. I agree. I enjoyed knitting, baking and exploring more than going out getting drunk - and this was when I was 18. Now, my idea of a brilliant weekend is chilling watching something on Netflix with Lilly on my lap, writing a blog post, and going out and about with my camera. Definitely not your traditional student!
I love gardening. Last year I decided to take up ownership of an allotment just down the road from my house. It was fun, but the fun didn't last long. The plot hadn't been used in years, so the grass and weeds were an absolute nightmare to get rid of. Not to mention how hard it was to make the time to jump in the car with all my tools each week and get down weeding and making sure everything was growing well. I got to a stage where I was so happy, my potatoes were growing and had got some sort of allotment structure going. Without a shadow of a doubt, I had bitten off far more than I could chew. The plot was HUGE, and I was in second year at university, which in hindsight was my busiest year of the degree. I had handfuls of exams and assignments to complete at the same time and as much as I enjoy juggling multiple things, owning an allotment took its toll. A spot of sunny weather, and a downpour was a recipe for disaster for my poor allotment. One week I left it perfectly weeded, and the next week I came back to weeds up to my knees. I actually stood and cried. Legit tears rolling down my cheeks, over some blooming weeds! Potentially a low point in my life, ha! I came to the conclusion that I should just stick to the front garden and the pots out the back of my house for the time being (very reluctantly, I do not enjoy failure!).
When I have a house with a lovely garden, WITH ACTUAL GRASS, then I will really have a good crack at growing my own fruit and vegetables and kitting out the garden with the prettiest plants. So until then, I will continue to plan and dream of my future garden and head down to Harrogate Flower Shows for some good inspo.
I went last year with my boyfriend's parents to the Autumn show, where I got two clematises - one of which is doing VERY well. I remember feeling very overwhelmed with the RIDICULOUS amount of plants there. You don't realise how many species of plants there are until you go to a flower show, trust me. Also, you don't realise how mad people are for buying plants. You'll get people with their walking sticks pushing and shoving to the get the last parsley plant, like it's the last one in the entire world. It's bonkers, absolutely bonkers. Also quite funny to people watch, and see the amount of miserable husbands that have been dragged out by their wives.
If you like plants, then you'll love the flower shows. I could imagine it being very easy to get carried away buying 4 different ferns, and 7 different types of mint, only to get home and realise you have no space. So yeah, have a list and be prepared before you go - otherwise you'll become a victim to the impulse buying syndrome!
This time round, I knew what I wanted to buy before I stepped foot in the show. I needed new herbs, because they had ended either woody and old, or just eaten. Growing herbs in pots is sometimes very restrictive of how much yield you get in comparison to a rosemary plant in the ground that's able to grow the same height as you. So I find that every now and then I need to replace them. I bagged myself a chocolate flavoured mint, sage, rosemary, curly parsley, and thyme. I also was desperate for a bit of colour in my front garden. It's all well and good having daffodils planted out there, but they only last for a couple of weeks and then the garden looks a bit 'mehhh' for the rest of the year. Google came up trumps when I searched for plants that love the shade. My front garden only gets a spot of sunshine in the mornings and the rest of the day plunged into shade, so I needed hardy plants that love moist soil. That's when I found my fluffy plants (as I like to call them), Tiarella and Astilbe. They give great shades of bright colour, height and a bit of texture in a garden that's just full of lavender, a 'flamingo' tree, and grasses.
Let's hope for a bright filled summer of plants in my front garden!
- MM x