this is july

this is


AUGUST - How does your garden grow?

Mine is doing surprisingly well! Do you remember the middle of February when we experienced what living in Cornwall was preferably not about? A once-in-twenty-years, raging east wind roared across the Channel with the viciousness of a vexed Valkyrie rampaging and ravaging tender plants; delicate orleander, echium, aeoniums, aloes, hibiscus and protea were decimated in the aftermath to blackened, frost-scorched slime.

Amazingly, the early summer warmth was kind

 agapanthus/ montbretia/ monkey puzzle tree feijoa selowiana  -guava fruit flower garden pond  ligularia soft tree fern

...and apart from echium which have disappeared from the village, although I'm pretty sure will have self-seeded in places where I don't want a six foot plant blocking my view. We are surrounded by the manifestation of nature having been challenged, consequently producing even more lovely displays than usual; from the elegant, Madonna's-robe blue agapathus to the overblown, Barbara Cartland-pink hydrangea, I can't recall having seen blooms so prolific; all of the photographs of the plants are in my near neighbours' gardens, click to enlarge.

We, and our gardens, thrive on Gulf Stream warmth and we grow, with indifferent arrogance, plants native to Madeira, Spain and Portugal; just bung 'em in, wish them well and off they shoot without a second thought of the English climate. The village faces towards the sea in a south-easterly direction and sheltered from the harsh winds, creates a micro-climate in which tender plants delight and flourish in the moist, warm air that skims the ocean without having touched land since the Azores. I am surrounded by gardens which are different but with individually beguiling features, but equally, all of which have the common thread of 'Cornishness' which has to be sensed to be recognised.


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