In The Garden
Although it is still early in the season there are enough flowers in the garden now to start making hand-picked posies for the house. This is a great way to identify new combinations for the garden as you can easily try together several flowers that may be growing in quite different locations.
The lamium, an exotic deadnettle with moody, brownish-pink flowers, came with us from Peckham and has started to self-seed in the shade of the willow trial. The original clump is now a couple of feet across when in full flower, and hums with bees.
The matthiola, a perennial stock which is highly scented of cloves, is seeding around freely in the most inhospitable rubble at the base of the barns. I have seen matthiola growing in similar conditions in Greece, so it is good to find it a home where the going is tough and it is perfectly happy.
The Valeriana pyrenaica, which came highly recommended from Fergus Garrett at Great Dixter, is early to come into leaf and looks like it might be a little too happy here, as it’s seeded about in just a couple of years. However, this needn’t be a problem if it is found the right place, and I have planted a few in grass to see if it can cope with the competition.