Friday, April 30, 2010

A Riot in the Potager

That's right, there is a riot going on in my potager because I've had it up to here *points to a place 10 feet above her head or would do if her arm was that long* with colour coordinated borders. Because frankly why bother? Why should you have colour coordinated borders? Who says so and who are they when they are in the garden dancing the polka? Exactly, there is no such thing as the Garden Police so stuff the whole colour coordinated thingy as it's overrated anyway.
Had a good chinwag with Mother Nature about it all and after she had finished laughing her cute and shapely behind off she told me there is no such thing as colours that do not coordinate. You want proof of that? Well gentle gardener, have a good look round and you will find that Mother Nature combines all colours with the most wonderful, not to mention uplifting, effect.

So last year I decided to run riot in my potager and as I had just created a new bed there and was wondering what to do with it so I thought I'd go utterly bonkers (technical term) with plants and bulbs. And here's the result:
That's right, a riot of colour that hits you soundly in the solar plexus and frankly, isn't that just what you need after a long dull, grey and dismal winter?
Another pet peeve of mine is that most of the time when gardeners actually bother to bung in some tulips they (the tulips, not the gardeners) are always huddled together in groups like startled Sunday schoolmarms who find themselves inadvertently in a redlight district. What's up with that grouping thingy, the having a clump of red tulips here and a gaggle of yellow ones over there? Snorefests, the lot of them! But if you are very lucky, you could come across a more adventurous type of gardener who has planted her/his tulips in rivers. Ooh ar, get her/him!
So if you want to be a bit rebellious yourself why not try out this recipe next autumn for a riot in your garden? It's very easy and great fun, just what gardening is all about.
Riot recipe:
- buy tulips in many different colours and in vast quantities
- make sure quite a few of them flower at the same time but also see to it that you have enough early, middle and late flowering tulips to continue rioting in your garden for at least 2 months
- put all the bulbs in a big bag or pot and give it a good shake, mix them well
- go out into your garden and start throwing the bulbs about with gay abandon in the area where you want them to flower next spring
- plant them where they fall, no smuggling!
- after planting your tulips, bung in loads of Forget-me-nots in white, blue and pink, Aubrietas in many colours and some Phloxes subulata too
- stand well back and wait a few months
- come Spring put on helmet and safety goggles and watch your Spring garden explode!

 Colour Is Its Own Reward from Fingers of Love by Neil Finn (Crowded House)

Apart from running amok in the potager I've been writing about gardening on other websites as well. On ThinkinGardens you will find my article : The Gardening Animal, the biology of its behaviour here and today on The Guardian website you will find Tulips, Are They Really That Difficult to Grow? here. On the Guardian site you can leave comments so please do if you feel so inclined.

Copyright 2010 Y.E.W. Heuzen

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Speed Weeding

You have heard of speed dating before, unless you've been living under a rock for ages, but speed weeding is a  different kettle of fish altogether, you will be happy to know. With speed weeding you will not be introduced to a new weed every 3 minutes nor are you expected to chat it up and take it out for a meal. And no hanky-panky either.  Phew, what a relief!
Speed weeding is something to be instantly applied in case of an emergency when, for instance, a bunch of gardeners are about to visit your garden the very next day and that happy event has caught you with your plants down.  Your garden looks a mess, even though it looked pretty good 5 minutes ago before you realised that a visit from gardening friends was imminent. What to do? Panick is an option, it always is, but why not go for a spot of speed weeding instead? So much better for your nerves, I promise you, simply immerse yourself in the Zen that is speed weeding.
 By now, gentle gardener, you are gagging to know how to speed weed to get your garden looking all pretty and shining, not to mention immaculate, for that all important visit from fellow gardeners in less than 24 hours. In short you want me to dish the dirt. Righto!
Speed weeding is the art that wily gardeners like yours truly have developped in case of a garden emergency. What you do is simply remove all the weeds that shamelessly and blatantly are messing up your otherwise gorgeous garden. Weeds hiding away in corners or simply out of sight you leave be, no time to pull those out. Just get rid of those that have a frightfully high profile and can only be missed when you have both eyes firmly shut. That's it!
 And while you have been franctically scrolling down to find out how to speed weed, your search has been wonderfully illustrated by images of how the Bliss garden looks at the mo. Utter Bliss, I know.

Copyright 2010 Y.E.W. Heuzen