Gardening · In English

Mind your own business

Minding my own business is something I am quite good at, these days. This discretion is probably less born out of virtue than a consequence of my near reclusion. Apart from school runs and equivalent walking to and fro between children’s activities, I am my own company, which usually suits me. I have been spending all my free time in the garden, inspecting dahlia pots and sown bare ground where life is reluctant to show up, and mainly moving things around. (Yes, I did put some slug pellets inside the pots, for which I feel bad)

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I said, didn’t I, that I would be sensible enough not to disturb plants unnecessarily ? Yeah, well. Paeony, astilbes, agapanthus, phlox paniculata, geraniums played musical chairs, not to mention delphiniums, pulmonarias, santolinas, ferns, cowslips, forget-me-nots… and I forget the rest. A few weeks after its relocation, Acer Katsura is still sulking and I don’t expect forgiveness until next year. Viburnum plicatum Kilimandjaro Sunrise is now in the ground and the circular “lawn” lined with alchemilla mollis (yes, that thug, but this one is called Irish Silk, how to resist ?) and nasturtium (the French name, capucine, is so much nicer). Some redeployed plants :

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Where the viburnum pot was sitting, the grass has died. So after having read a few dozen webpages filled with frenzied questions about how to eradicate it, I shoved some mind-your-own-business in the hole.

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Yes, mind-your-own-business, angel’s tears, mother-of-thousands, Soleirolia soleirolii (syn. Helxine soleirolii).

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I garden for words as well as for plants. How would I not welcome something which comes with such a treasure of beautiful names ? Moreover, it is the only member of its genus – a bit of a recluse too, then – and it comes from the Mediterranean, apparently brought back from Corsica and Sardinia. And here I am, with a tightening heart and a rush of oxygen in the blood, on blue shores already.

What I have done might in fact not be as foolish as it seems : Kent is very dry these days, the little damp-loving invader will probably struggle. I am not expecting it to take over the whole garden soon, but we’ll see. Apologies to the next owners of my garden. I do hope they won’t be lawn lovers.

(Sometimes I ask myself if gardening is becoming a kind of addiction.)

By the way, the wisteria is now in flower. I am enraged at the impossibility to share decent pictures with this second-hand phone of mine, on behalf of which I foolishly got rid of a proper camera. Still, here is a simple narcissus poeticus, which I had completely forgotten and came up from under a mess of foxgloves and iris. A hint I should go back to writing ? Perfection anyway.

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6 thoughts on “Mind your own business

  1. So your poor plants all duck when you walk past! 😁 Being alone in the garden is the best thing in the world apart from a good book. Yes, of course gardening is an addiction but at least it’s good for the health. Bad for the purse though.

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    1. 😂 I can well picture them ducking and freezing at the sight of my fork ! As for the addiction – bad for the purse but also when it starts to consume time and mental space that should probably be allocated to other things…

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  2. “I garden for words as well as plants” – this is so beautiful! I love it. And here it another name then – in Dutch, soleirolia s. is called slaapkamer geluk, bedroom happiness. Well… 😉 On a serious note, I have a problem with my lawn too and have been considering alternatives. Soleirolia did get on the list. I just don’t know if it can take any foot traffic. How do you protect that patch from the kids?
    My plants have also played musical chairs this year, especially in the “Japanese garden”. I know all about the sulking.
    My wisteria, planted a year ago, didn’t flower and I am mortified at the thought that it may not be a flowering one at all. I absolutely love wisterias. They are called blue rain in Dutch, another irresistible name.
    On your picture with the pots, what’s that light green feathery stuff growing behind the two furthest pots? I have tons of it on the allotment and my husband is set on pulling all of it out.

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    1. Oh, bedroom happiness, huh ? 😁 In French it is only helxine. French plants’ names are often just adaptations of their scientific names. For the moment my kids haven’t walked on it yet but you are right, I have seen it growing as a substitute for lawn in places where there was no foot traffic, so 8 am not sure how much it can take.
      I hear wisteria can take many years to flower – the gardening groups I follow are full of stories of « I have waited 8 years for this to happen ». Some were flowering in the garden centre but didn’t do so after being planted in the garden for a while. Fingers crossed, yours will flower next year !
      The light feathery stuff is love in the mist, nigella damascena. I absolutely love it even though some dislike its enthusiastic self-sowing habits. I grow the white and the blue ones, not so keen on pink ones. I think it is an absolutely beautiful plant at all its stages, from seedling to seedhead ! 🙂

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