The beauty of it all
The same diary told me that she was a collector of fuchsias, a devotee of rock gardening and an expert grafter and lover of roses including the fragrant yellow-flowering climbing noisette rose known as ‘Marechal Niel’, first introduced in 1864.
Afterwards I searched for it in the lists of various specialist rose nurseries, locating it amongst the pages of Peter Beales’s extensive catalogue – an act lent extra poignancy by the announcement, days later, of this great English nurseryman’s death. Some day soon I will grow this rose too, cementing the link that binds me to a woman I never knew.
Then there are the ties that bind me to all gardeners past and present, the plants (so many) that bear the fingerprints of great horticulturists and breeders. One such is the sweet-scented, crimson-flowered broad bean, seeds of which are sold by Brown Envelope Seeds. This heritage variety was saved from near extinction in 1978 when an elderly lady by the name of Miss Cutbush donated her last four seeds to the Heritage Seed Library in the UK. I like to think of Miss Cutbush (such a great name for a gardener) when I catch the glorious perfume of those scarlet flowers on a warm spring day.
Putting aside the gardeners of the past and the present, there are the gardeners of the future. Passing on a knowledge of gardening to my three young sons is something that brings me joy, even if it does result in the occasional trampled seedling.
Watching them learn about plants from their grandparents is another special pleasure. Together we sow, grow and harvest the family fruit and vegetable plot, three generations bound together by a shared love. And then there are those quiet moments, all alone in the garden, that I enjoy most. Those moments when the sun shines, the birds sing, the flowers glow, the weeds seem not so out-of-control, and I wonder to myself at the beauty of it all.
DATES FOR YOUR DIARY:
Saturday, March 3rd (11am-4.30pm), ISNA Plant Fair, (€5)
Bellefield House, Shinrone, Co. Offaly. See angela.jupe.ie
Saturday, March 3rd (10am-4pm), “How to Build Your Design” with Tim Austen MGLDA and Colm Doyle MGLDA, €50-€80, see glda.ie
Saturday March 9th (10am-4pm), RHSI Seminar “Collecting Plants for a Better Garden” with speakers Jimi Blake, Carl Wright and John Massey at the National Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin, (€50-€60), see rhsi.ieor tel 01-2353912