“To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow”
A very suitable quote from Audrey Hepburn.
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Fancy a “Hug in a mug”? Here is something different to try:
HOT MARMALADE RUM
1 tablespoon fresh ginger grated
1 tablespoon thin cut marmalade
200ml boiling water
20ml dark rum
In a jug, add the ginger, marmalade and boiling water, stirring until the marmalade has dissolved.
Strain into a mug or glass and add the rum. Gently reheat if required.
Like many others, spending time in my garden – whether growing vegetables, tidying up the flower beds, mowing or just sitting – has kept me sane and made me happy during the months in and out of lockdown. One favourite part is relatively new: a courtyard with surrounding terraced beds planted with alpines and other small plants. These beds started to attract found objects on the right scale – rocks, shells, old iron tools etc – but it felt that something more was needed. Gnomes were out of the question, or so I thought……
Enjoying a socially distanced glass of wine with Natalie Bicât and her husband Nick in their garden one evening late last Spring, I first heard of ObjectGraffiti. They mentioned that their daughter Kit Bicât, an artist, and Nick’s sister Tina Bicât, a theatre designer, inventor and maker, were locked down together in Putney. Nick showed me photos of little painted and dressed clay figures of people associated with
Putney, such as George Eliot and Daniel Defoe, which they had made and just left at the relevant locations – illicit in the way that regular graffiti are, unauthorized and usually ephemeral but, like Banksy’s murals, also works of art. The idea set my imagination on fire, and I suddenly had a mental picture of ObjectGraffiti akin to traditional garden gnomes but of gardeners I admired. I asked them if they would consider making me figures of Gertrude Jekyll and Vita Sackville-West, and they agreed. Some weeks later I was amazed and delighted to see the skill, artistry and devotion which Tina and Kit had put into the figures. On fine days, the figures spend happy hours experiencing different areas of the garden: while Miss Jekyll steps with dignity and care through the beds, taking note of the planting, Vita takes a break with a ciggie but looks as if she would jump up in a second if I needed a hand! Although they are able to withstand a little adverse weather, I took pity on them back in the Autumn so they are under cover at the moment, waiting for the day they can get back into the garden.
Once the pandemic is over and we get back to some sort of normal, perhaps I can persuade them to come to a meeting of the Hort. Soc. along with one or two other friends who have joined them – more about these another time. In the meantime, if anyone is interested in finding out more about ObjectGraffiti, or even commissioning their own figure – it doesn’t have to be a gardener or historical figure – have a look at Instagram @objectgraffiti, and either email email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org or contact me.
Shirley Wiggs 01580-850108 or email@example.com
I think it must have been a result of being cooped up for so long that I decided to make a woodland garden at the end of our garden in the area between us and the road. So I cleared the area (see photo), bonfires were made (apologies to the neighbours but the end is in sight!) and planted the area with a fernery and spring plants dividing up existing snowdrops and introducing a number of hellebores. Shrubs are to follow. I hope to extend the plantings throughout the seasons.
Brian, Ros and Margaret handing over a cheque for £250 tor Guy Pullen, Head Gardener at the Hands of Hope Charity in Hawkhurst. November 2021
The Cottage – Rosemary Palmes
Autumn colour and roofs
Mahonia with Berberis in foreground
Shades of Autumn (shrubs are Enkianthus, Euonymus red cascade and hornbeam)
HANDS OF HOPE, Hawkhurst, OPEN DAY 6th September 2020
Barbara S demonstrates how to make delicious Apple Chutney
Masses of lovely veggies and happy children making floral headbands
Photos from Ros Maggs
Photo from Lizzy Sinclair: Bringing home the harvest
Two photos from Ros Maggs: These are the little patio peppers that were on offer at the plant sale. Such great little plants and tiny peppers pack a punch. If you bought one I hope they have performed well. Save a couple later for seeds. My first packet came from Wilco, about 4 years ago, for £1. Not a bad investment.
Photo from Lizzy Sinclair: Fenton with today’s harvest 😁
Photo from Ros Maggs: Meet Blauhilda. They are a climbing French bean that are purple but go green when cooked. Good flavour but quite good at camouflage as the stems are purple too. Thank you Jenny for introducing me to these, and providing my starter beans.
Two photos from Ros Maggs: My Romneya tree poppy is looking the best ever this year
Two photos from Jenny Rummery: Bowl of Pleone & Iochroma ‘bluebell tree’
From Ros Maggs: Spent a wonderful sunny afternoon immersed in the colourful managed randomness that is Great Dixter. Admission by timed entry. Book online and don’t forget to book a timed slot for the nursery too.
No café, so take your own drink, but loos open.
Photo from Maureen Relf: Sweet Peas. Just picked, wish you could smell them!
Photo from Ros Mags: Picked my first cucumber today – variety Telepathy (grown in greenhouse). So sweet and juicy. Has anyone else started picking yet? So that is encouraging but the French beans look rubbish! Ros
Member Lizzie Sinclair has been very busy making a new border, during lockdown, with the help of her boys. She has managed to source quite a few new plants from members but here are some lovely photos of more established plants – lovely iris, roses and honeysuckle.
Photo from Ros Mags:
Here is a sweet wee plant I have not grown before. It’s a Nemesia, called “Masquerade” (02/06/2020)
Photo from Maureen Relf: Tony’s delphiniums grown from seed 2-3yrs ago. He is quite proud of them!!!
(Please save us some seeds Tony! – Ros)
Photo from Rosemary Palmes’ garden: Rosa Parade (27/5/2020)
Photo from Rosemary Palmes’ garden: Clematis Mrs George Jackman (27/5/2020)
Photo from Maureen Relf: Do we need garden flowers when you can pick a bunch of so called “weeds” like this from your garden? (23/5/2020)
Photo from Ros Mags: Fabulous buttercup meadow behind Ashleigh’s farm shop (19/5/2020)
Photo from Ros Mags: More California poppies and behind them a geum I bought last year called Tropical Cocktail (19/5/2020)
Photos from Lizzie Sinclair
Photos from Rosemary Palmes
Photo from Ros Mags: For 8th May, a small red, white and blue posy of garden flowers to remember all those brave men and women who gave their all.
Photo from Ros Mags: Blossom on the Recreation Ground, Sandhurst
Photo from Ros Mags: Hole Park, but not this year! _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Ros reports that Blackbrooks and High Banks Nurseries are delivering locally. Blackbrooks had compost yesterday (1st April).
High Banks request orders sent in by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
They are taking orders for bedding plants and vegetable plants. Get your orders in before Monday as that is the day they send the orders to the supplier, and delivery will be a week later. Include your telephone number. They will then do their best to work out a delivery route and divide delivery costs. Their web site is undergoing revision. They have no grow bags but do have compost as at 3/4/20.