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Thursday, 29 December 2016

The Do-nothing School of Gardening

I am thinking of enrolling.

Today I read about Helen Dillon's garden. Who is Helen Dillon? She is a world renowned garden writer  and gives her address as 45 Sandford Road, Dublin, Ireland.

It has been years since I've been to Ireland, of which I remember little but bare green hills and lots of castle ruins. Somewhere over the rainbow where the potato fields once were, there is a little island of green where fairies and leprechauns live. Helen Dillon's garden has a canal of which one side is a border of blue, and one side is a border of red. She does not write much about vegetables, nor fruit trees, but seems to be in love with phormiums (flaxes to you and I) and cordylines (cabbage trees) from our native shores. Isn't it funny how the Irish love our plants that we think of as a pesky nuisance. Flaxes grow humungous hummocks and cabbage trees ruin our lawns with their dead leaves.

Other plants that the Irish love are - trilliums, delphiniums, and clematis. Surprisingly, roses do not do well at all in Ireland either (no such thing as an Irish rose) because of the humidity. So I immediately warmed to Helen's descriptions of how roses are over-rated. After reading how Helen grows her tulips in rows of dustbins and how classical garden sculpture is just the aristocratic version of working class garden gnomes, ie. complete kitsch, and how she ends up using the bendy trowel after all the good ones have been lost..I am thinking wouldn't it be nice to invite Ms Dillon over to see our cabbage trees and flaxes in their native habitat, and in exchange I can go over to Ireland and check out the ex- potato fields again. I could enrol in the Do-nothing School Of Gardening while I am at it. It would be an adventure. Then I could write Selina C's Garden Book and rest on my laurels.

I still have some more things to do here before I go though - plant the third ponga fern, mulch the frangipani, and scrape in some more woolly thyme. Kings Plant Barn are having a 25% off all plants sale. (Which means, they are now normal prices). I walked around and around but didn't buy any, as Mitre 10 had the better stock.