Denton in Bloom had a new category for a yard/patio garden, so I decided to enter for a bit of fun. I had more chance with a yard garden than competing with the larger gardens and another factor was the judging was at the beginning of July and not at the end of August as before.
The judges come from the parks department, I guess. They didn’t know much about herbs. I suppose they are experts in bedding out plants. I told them my garden was a sensory garden. The sound is the gentle splash of the water feature, masses of scent from the many herbs, taste from the wild rocket and culinary herbs and not as much colour maybe as in the Municipal Parks and containers, but there were three bright Salvias smelling of tangerines and peaches, a swathe of Verbena bonariensis and a Geranium. The containers of Pelargoniums had suffered from the monsoon season, but then everyone is in the same boat (literally in some cases, though not round here). I’ve missed out touch, but I did get them to rub some of the plants such as chamomile and lemon verbena to release the essential oils.
It amuses me how “oop North” we have back-to-back gardens and in Lunnon they are courtyard gardens.
It was good therapy for me and I haven’t lost anything by entering.
Having just opened my rather untidy garden this last weekend I noticed similar attitudes here. Mostly herbs and some veg and fruit and old fashioned cottage plants so not a vast amount of colour although being a dull day the Evening Primroses did look great and the lavenders smelled wonderful as usual. My main show of colour which really met with most approval, was the self-sown perennial sweetpea clambering over the front fence and mixing with the Old English Lavender, and a good show from the assorted Santolina just next to them. There are two main reactions, a quick trot round, a rather snify and superior 'Goodbye' and off quickly to the more conventional gardens on the new estate over the road. The other reaction is a gentle wander round, pausing here and there, asking questions, remarking on the vast crop of plums, touching and a generally relaxed air. The kids loved it, especially as I sent them off with a fist full if leaves and flowers to sniff on their way. This year there seemed to be more of the casual type than the park bedding type so perhaps we are winning.
Jane from Dorset
Re: Denton in bloom, also open gardens
July 19 2007, 10:57 AM
You sound like a kindred spirit, but then I suppose all herbie people are kindred spirits.
A friend called round yesterday. We went in the garden and then the phone rang inside (wrong number). When I returned Janet was smelling a Salvia and said it smelled citrussy. I think it is called “Tangerine”. I have another that smells of peaches. It was through The Herb Society that I was introduced to the myriad scents of Salvias and they also flower for ages.
You say your garden is untidy, but that is what cottage gardens look like. It sounds lovely. I have been very ill, but I only needed to cut back a few overhanging plants to make the path passable and have a quick sweep.
My friend spent longer in the garden than the judges and was much more interested.
I bet it happened to you as well. A beautiful, sweet smelling rose has opened which showed no sign last Friday. The Betony has started to flower and the meadow rue has produced a beautiful spray of tiny blue flowers so instead of saying, “You should have seen it last week” I should have said “You should see it next week”.
Enjoy your garden. It sounds wonderful.
Denton in Bloom
August 17 2007, 4:17 PM
Well, folks, I won. I am thrilled. I wish my mum, who was green-fingured, could see me now. I go on to Tameside in Bloom and the judges come next Tuesday. I think I'll be lucky to win the next round. I must confess I haven't put a lot of effort in. Herbs are fairly good-humoured.
Denton in bloom
August 17 2007, 6:17 PM
Congratulations Audrey! Well done, as to not doing a lot to the garden, with this weather few people have. Your garden sounds great. keep up the "non-Chelsea theme". If you have a little time to spare, log-on to www.trismugmug.com and go to the Fippenny News file (our parish mag) for August and you can see our open gardens. We made £377, not bad on a wettish sort of day. Mine's for scruffy one at the end.
Denton in bloom
August 18 2007, 8:51 PM
My other half has pointed out that I have made a typo in the smugmug address it should be www.tri.smugmug.com sorry
Re: Denton in bloom
August 23 2007, 4:24 PM
I tried to send you some pictures of the garden but the transmission failed. David has put two pictures on The Herb Society website. If you go to the Home Page, you will get redirected.
I've cut down the mint today as it was getting a bit rampant.
Jane, I started looking at the pictures of the glorious gardens and didn't get to the end, as I hadn't noticed you said yours was the last one. Glimpses of the rather swish houses gave me a bit of an inferiority complex. I'll go back and have a look.
August 23 2007, 4:42 PM
Was it Garden No 10?
Denton in bloom
August 23 2007, 10:57 PM
Yes No 10, ours is not a swish house, though there are quite a lot in the village. Must say that whatever the house the neighbours are all pretty friendly. Is that because they think we're just a load of superannuated semi hippies? We ride bikes, sell herbal 'stuff' etc. The garden looks a bit more over-grown now as everything grew like mad in the rain. The potatoes are slightly stricken with something or other, probably blight as they cook to mush if I don't watch them carefully. The slugs ate all the courgette plants, the beans are only just about recovering at last. It has been a very good year for fruit, soft fruit like currants, gooseberries and logan berries although the blackbirds I fed all the winter stripped the red currants in a couple of mornings. Thank goodness for the herbs, they seem immune to all the bugs, fungus, birds etc. I must admit that I do grow them tough, don't believe in pampering or mollycoddling 'children'! The thing I'm particularly thrilled with at the moment is the Elecampane. Gorgeous yellow flowers and the bees etc seem to love it. We do seem to be getting more butterflies in the garden now as it has warmed up a little at last. Hope it carries on for a month or two else we shall be lacking in Vit.D. come winter.
Denton in Bloom
August 24 2007, 10:36 AM
I think I'm going senile! My garden is not 10 but the last 10 pictures on the open garden set. I really must start to take some Wood Betony tea for my aged brain. Have just seen the pictures of your garden, they look great.
See below the link to the first picture.
Garden No 7
August 24 2007, 11:34 AM
I think it must be garden no 7 Very confusing of them to put garden no 7 after garden no 10. What we miss on photographs of the herby kind are the scents.
The Tameside judges came on Tuesday and did seem interested and recognised the plants. One even looked at the front garden where I had scattred many different seeds, but only the love-in-a-mist and poached egg plant had thrived. It does look lovely. In the Weekend Telegraph Sarah Raven said it was a good idea to plant annuals now for next summer as they have the warmth of the soil to make good root growth. I've got some cornflowers, and pink and blue Salvia horminum, which are sometimes wrongly called clary sage or painted sage to scatter. I've also got some Calendula, which I've never had any luck with before. Other people can grow them in swathes. I'll have to thin out the foxgloves as they have self-seeded too profusely. I didn't dare to do much weeding as I didn't know which were intentionally planted seeds and which were weeds. No Cosmos flowered and I've had them other years and only one Californian poppy and that has flattened in the rain.
It is a lovely day today, so I'd better get on with it and get mt Vit D from the sun as well.
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