When Dan posts about the garden it tends to provide a snapshot of those flowers and plants which are most photogenic on that particular day, neglecting a number of little superstars that have been giving interest in the garden for months and months. This post is about those little guys, but also about the two heroes who gave them to us.
We’re really fortunate to have two awesome garden mentors in the form of my mum and aunt who started their own plant nursery on retirement after decades of gardening, plant sales at weekends and open gardens. I didn’t get it at first, a childhood of garden centre visits will do that to you, but they’ve been very forgiving of my former lack of enthusiasm and I’m now never empty handed on my way back from a visit to Evesham. I also get the opportunity to regularly wander the paths of their garden at Harrell’s Hardy Plants and gaze at their beautiful planting wondering why my own doesn’t look half so beautiful.
I suspect the answer is in the plants they’ve championed that I wouldn’t have picked on my own. I probably would not have picked up my salvias at a garden centre. They are the sort of plant I find it hard to appreciate in miniature, in a little pot jammed into an aisle alongside a million other things, but they’re probably my favourite thing in the garden right now.
Another favourite is the glossy purple-leaved Heuchera. Like so many from Harrell’s I have no idea of its name, but I know that it has survived my inexpert care and several moves to keep on going. It’s a great, robust little plant. And when others haven’t done so well and I’ve confessed the occasional accidental planticide to the Hardy Planters the response tends to be “never mind, try again”, which is exactly the ‘shit happens’ attitude to failure that feels essential in the first few years of gardening.
So I’ll persevere, try to remember to look out for the little guys, take expert advice and maybe in another 40 years have a garden as lovely as theirs.