I went to the Chelsea Flower Show this week so, in a way, that was my pleasure but it will have to wait till next week because this week my garden is my principle pleasure. It’s very small, and scruffy and has too many plants and far too many mis-matched pots but there are moments when it looks perfect. In fact there are nearly always parts of it that look perfect, even in the depths of winter, but you sometimes have to hunt for them. At this time of year all of it suddenly looks lovely.
Perhaps most importantly the roses have started. I have an elderly pink rose in the front garden which looks its best in May. I have no idea what it is but it smells lovely and flowers on and off from now until Christmas. One of my regular pleasures when I am working / looking out of the window is to see passers-by stop, smell it and sometimes even take photos. It flowers for over half the year but now is its moment of glory. I also have several David Austen roses, some of which haven’t quite got going yet but I have high hopes for future years. ‘Tess of the d’Urbevilles’ climbs up the side of the front door and is a wonderful rich crimson. ‘Claire Austen’ lives in an unprepossessing shady corner in a shallow bed but copes brilliantly. Her flowers are exactly the same creamy colour as the variegated ivy which forms a hedge behind her. ‘Ferdinand Picard’ is one of my favourites. At the moment it is still small but the plan is that it will soon be the star of the front garden. ‘Tottering by Gently’ is a beautiful pale yellow and has a delicate dog rose quality which I love. Finally, over the summerhouse I have a rose whose name I have long forgotten. It has no scent and the flowers are various mixes of pink and yellow but it is perfect draped over the roof. I would need to be eight ft tall to reach the flowers anyway. It looks spectacular now and then flowers intermittently throughout the summer.