Nothing like getting out of your own everyday surroundings to remind yourself of what’s important in the garden. Granted, we were far away from our everyday surroundings – at Beth Chatto’s garden, just outside Colchester, and a brief train journey from Liverpool station in London. Here are a few notes from our July 2011 visit.
Be tolerant of reseeders. Some who have seen my garden might say I’m a bit too tolerant of reseeders, but it’s really all a matter of editing. I’ve railed against this drumstick allium for several years, but seeing it pop up among mounding plants in the Gravel Garden reminded me that it’s nice to have a few plants that can take care of themselves.
Accentuate the positive. What would you do with the compacted soil of a former car park? Most of us would probably go in for improvement – dig in, add compost, make it “better.” But Beth Chatto went with what she had and planted Zauschneria and Verbascum and Tanacetum. I have a Tanacetum named after her; it’s in the parking strip, a place with conditions near to her car park/gravel garden.
Take a stroll. All gardens need a way and a reason to walk. Even small gardens can have a path and a destination.