If there’s one thing that gets my goat, its, what’s in and what’s out in gardening. Now honestly I don’t want to alienate myself, of course everyone’s entitled to an opinion but don’t you sometimes think there is a bit of inverted snobbery going on. I have always loved gardens and gardening, I like the subtle garden with foliage of different hues and perhaps white flowers giving that relaxed feeling. I am mad about the Summer mixed perennial borders which give that great to be alive feeling. The Rose borders are charming, the Scottish Heather borders can look great. Here’s the crunch, I absolutely also love the in your face loud, brash, garish front gardens which are packed with blindingly bright Summer bedding, makes me smile, makes me laugh. Picture of our front garden, I promise it was once more packed when the flower borders were wider than this. Whats not to like.
I remember a number of years ago, it was decided for us by the powers that be that Dahlias were out of fashion, pom poms, decorative, cactus, possibly too common, anyone who was anyone wouldn’t be seen dead with them in the garden, what’s not to like. Its now been decided there all right, well bully for them. Hydrangeas were for your granny, the country cottage garden, rather quaint, I suppose it was all right in Gertrude Jekyll’s day they would say. The fashion gurus even had a go at the Roses.
I suppose fashion has gone on through the ages, it can become a habit to be a follower. Many gardeners love the more natural look for what it does for the environment, and this has to be applauded, but I draw a line at the entrant of a garden competition who won top prize for the best environmental garden. When asked about his secret for establishing this type of garden, he said, I just leave it to look after itself.
Our back garden, like the front has always had some annual planting although generally these annuals are just at the front of the border, because that’s how we have liked it. However recently we have decided in the back we will just have annuals and Begonias in tubs and baskets. The reason for this is we reckon it is now time for us to ease up on the garden maintenance.
Finally, (I think), grow your own veg, great stuff, I know its all the rage. However when we started gardening in the 1970s supermarkets were making available fruit and veg from all over the world. Certain produce was now with us at any time of the year from around the world when previously it depended on the season. If I were honest I have to admit the decision not to grow veg does grate on my conscience a little. However I console myself with the thought, how could I possibly now after all this time dig up an area of our lovely garden, after all it is food for the soul.
All this from a guy who in 1965 strutted around in the latest gear and wouldn’t be seen dead otherwise with transistor radio blaring out (Dedicated follower of fashion.) Those were the days.