An hour drifts by…

by Ciaran Burke

It has been a long day, and a long drive home, but the sun was shining and the air was warm. After having something to eat we wandered downstairs to have a look at the plants. Our collection of pots and the narrow strip at the base of a wall that we have planted gets us out for a bit of air, and we enjoy the beauty of the blooms and seeing bumble bees buzzing about.

Over the last few years we have been constantly adding new plants and pots to our collection. Where once we had an acre of garden to tend, now its the 180 pots, or there about, and the plants at the base of the wall that is our garden. We rent an apartment, an old converted oat loft on a stud farm. When we first moved in, there was little in the way of botanical interest, but it did not take long for us to make an impact. Potted specimens from our old garden were laid in position around two small wooden decks that we built. Then we tried out some plants in the gravel at the base of the wall.

The wall runs along a driveway that has to be kept clear for the occasional farm machinery, and our deck areas are north west facing. There are rather unsightly portacabin structures and great big ugly concrete water tank. Despite all this, we have our haven of plants. Unusual trees and shrubs thrive, and standard trained shrubs such as Physocarpus opulifolius ‘Diabolo d’Or’ and standard gooseberry add height and detract our eyes from the unsightly structures.

We walk outside and admire individual flowers, noticing the first new blooms of Hemerocallis citrina, a nocturnal flowering daylily, and bend down to sniff its delicious scent. Then some dead-heading is done, a few weeds are plucked, I decide to add some organic fertiliser to some of the trees, and then do some watering. Before we know it, an hour or more has passed. A precious hour spent amongst the plants, the stress from the day has gone, a new energy has replaced the weariness of the working day and a smile has replaced a frown. Such is the power of the garden, or in our case, a collection of pots.

Standard gooseberry

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