Sunday, 20 January 2013

Bringing back the colour

This week it snowed, and as is usual for this county a proper covering of the dreaded white stuff has closed schools & caused chaos across the country. More importantly it's buried my plants, frozen the pond and made any work up the plot impossible for the time-being. So as I looked out on to a snow covered garden over the weekend my thoughts have turned to the importance of flowers. I love flowers - in the garden, around the allotment and of course, in the house. They feed the pollinators, help drive away unwanted pests from our food crops and cheer the soul.

This is why over the last few years we have grown them in increasing numbers - not just the traditional companions of nasturtiums and calendula but also tulips and daffodils, sweet williams and cornflowers, penstemons and sweet peas, sunflowers and cosmos. A seasonal succession of colour and scent which not only brings untold numbers of bees and butterflies to the plot but also means that I don't have to rely on imported hot-house grown blooms to brighten my home or synthetic fragrances to scent it.

Now what to grow this year? This week was also my birthday and the OH has given me the gift of flower seeds for this year's garden, so to add to my saved seeds of Cosmos, Calendula, Blue Cornflowers and Sweet Williams we now have Candytuft, Sunflowers, Knautia, Black Cornflowers, Didiscus, Sweet Peas, Cerinthe and Scabious all chosen from the wonderful Higgledy Garden website. So it may be dark, cold and white outside but like Leo Lionni's little mouse Frederick  I'll dream and tell tales of colours until the light returns and we can begin sowing again.

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