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24 May 2017

Green Fingers

Springer spaniel in the garden

I've inadvertently turned into my parents. 

It happens to us all eventually, I suppose? 

I first realised that I was becoming more and more like Mama and Papa Maggie May when I got excited about my clematis. 

You see, over the last few weeks, I have started to really enjoy gardening.

I'm slightly shocked, bemused, and concerned that I am ageing far too rapidly; acting in a very non-typical fashion for a twenty-something year old. 

But I know I'm not the only one who has a not-so-secret passion for all things horticultural. 

We have had our own garden since moving to our rural abode last summer, and it's not like I've only just started pottering around out there; one of our first priorities when we moved was planting a selection of everyday herbs - rosemary, oregano, sage and mint - and we enthusiastically picked apples from our tree with glee {I froze lots last year to use in my autumn crumble, whilst my sister-in-law made the Christmas chutney with the ones she picked.} 

But admittedly, I was a lazy gardener, relying on both sets of parents to cast a knowing eye when they visited and just tell me what needed fixing {and maybe occasionally doing what they suggested if I had time}. 

I'm not quite sure why the situation has changed recently - maybe it's because the sun has started shining, or perhaps because it's an excellent distraction from my recent mind wanderings - but I'm now keen to learn about these things myself, and to create a garden filled with beautiful blooms and produce which I'm proud of.   

Maggie May in the garden

^ Disclaimer - this isn't what I usually wear when gardening.

We've got our aforementioned herbs, but now also broad beans, and a little greenhouse filled with tomatoes and chillis, with strawberries too. Each day I excitedly peek at the little fruits starting to appear, and cross my fingers that we'll be gifted with a successful crop, no matter how small. There is such pleasure gained from planting something yourself, watching it grow and flourish, and seeing the results of your hard work literally blossom in front of you, so beautiful in its simplicity.

Nasturtiums, sunflowers, lavender, hebe, and my beloved clematis are dotted around as well. We've inherited a bench which we hope will create another peaceful area of the garden to sit in. We've put up fairy lights along the old brick wall so we can while away dimly lit summer evenings with a gin in hand {sounds perfect, yes?} 

We've gained endless nuggets of wisdom not only from our parents, but also from the utterly brilliant new book by Hollie Newton, How To Grow.

How to Grow by Hollie Newton


I flippin' love the way Hollie writes {the chapters are littered with wicked expletives and anecdotes which had me snorting into my compost} and any gardening book which includes a recipe for strawberry daiquiris is a winner with me. A must-have for anyone keen to learn more!

So here it is - I'm a gardening convert. These days I spend my phone conversations with Mum talking about how to best prune my tomato plant. There's an upcoming plant sale near us that I've unashamedly told Mr MM I'm really excited about going to. We bought the May issue of Gardener's World, primarily so that we could benefit from the 2-for-1 entry card to local gardens and houses {more proof that we are becoming old and boring - as if we needed any} and then found ourselves intently reading their feature about looking after one's clematis.

There's no going back now. 

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