I always think gardening is rather a romantic pursuit.I associate it with the heady days of a new relationship when a beautiful bunch of red roses is given as an affectionate gesture. Both men and women appreciate this. It said in the paper the other day that Judy Dench’s husband gave her a red rose every week (or was it every day though either would be wonderful) of their marriage. It sounds as if he went out to choose it rather than have it land on the mat via mail order which removes some of the passion behind the thoughtfulness – though not to be sniffed at either.
Sharing a love of plants and gardening will surely make a new romance blossom. There’s so much to talk about and one could jet off to see plants in exotic locations. Digging in new bulbs, shrubs and trees with some one special at your side will always remind you of the day you spent doing it – even if the temperature was cold. Over 40′s are often very keen on growing things. By the time summer arrives the evidence of your endeavours will blossom and if you’ve been romantic over the months, so will your relationship. Keep your green fingers crossed for a summer of bliss. If things fade instead of blossom, take some cuttings with you and have a fresh start .
It’s always tempting to try something new – a new holiday destination, the new beaujolais. And in recent years the number of new plants appearing at mail-order nurseries seems to have become a flood; it can be hard to distinguish between what is just a “me too” version of an old favourite and what is both new and actually worth growing.
This is usually the time of year when we order annuals and other plants for containers and summer colour, and there are plenty of newcomers to choose from this year. But there are also some exceptional shrubs and perennials to look out for.
It’s a heady time for buddleias. New varieties developed on both sides of the Atlantic are taking this popular shrub and transforming it in unexpected ways. From America, ‘Miss Ruby’ (from Gardening Express) swept all before it in the recent RHS trial, winning plaudits from the assessment panel and topping the visitors poll. Developed by Dr Denis Werner in North Carolina, it’s one of the closest to a true red we’ve seen, and although the flower spikes are short it never produces inferior self-sown seedlings – in fact it doesn’t produce any – and at about 6ft/1.8m it’s shorter than many.