edgeworthia bud

I’ve been observing Spring sweep in from the sidelines.

edgeworthia flower opening

I’ve kept a close eye on my Edgeworthia, as it became clear that this year, for the first time, it was going to flower.

edgeworthia flower

It was worth waiting for too, the fragrance is lovely.

I’ve not been entirely housebound, though it feels as if I have spent months behind my desk, hunched over the keyboard.


I’ve been for walks, taken photos ready to blog about my tree, or the wonderful light on the foggy sea, or Bodnant. I watched the snowdrops in the valley give way to the daffodils, all with clean fingernails.

This is WRONG! I’ve had to admit defeat and will be buying tomato plug plants for the first time in 8 years. I’ve even bought some annual plug plants, because I couldn’t bear the thought of not having some colour in the wall border out front, and feared I would spend the entire year welded to my desk. With clean finger nails. And it is all in a good cause, I can’t tell you how wonderful it is to be able to work again, to – hopefully – be earning my way in the world again. After so many years of the economic sidelines some time away from my beloved garden seems an OK price to pay. But not to this degree!

So, today I took some time off to get down and dirty in my front garden. Way back when we first moved here I realised that I wanted to plant plenty of good high shrubs against the wall to give us a little privacy from the house across the road, which is a holiday let. I had inherited an Escallonia macrantha, and as I am a big fan of these lovely fragrant evergreens I decided to plump for a hedge of them. I duly ordered and planted some bare rooted specimens to accompany the inherited plant, cut them all back to encourage bushy growth, and sat back, anticipating a lovely dense hedge of evergreenshrubs with aromatic foliage and pretty flowers. Hah!

escallonia with weedy bottom

Despite regular pruning the wretched things insisted on rewarding me with lanky growth and very few flowers. They were planted with good compost – and RootGrow – and failed to thrive. Plus the vinca, crocosmia and various weeds colonized the base of them. The best looking specimen was this:

escallonia with disappointing habits

I was not impressed. The same thing happened to the Escallonia iveyei I planted in the back garden. Clearly escallonia, despite being famed for their excellent use as a hedging plant in coastal areas, is not for me.

Out with the old

Out with the old, and in with the new. In this case I was fortunate enough to have already rescued enough self-sown common myrtle plants to establish a short hedge. I have a large and wonderful myrtle in the front garden already, it is a beautiful plant, dense from ground up, smothered in white flowers in summer, and then covered in black fruit that the birds adore. Fragrant too. My only concern is that they tend to grow big here, and I will be pruning them for the rest of my life.

New myrtle hedgelet

So, two hours, one hail storm and an aching back later, I have a new hedgelet. Hopefully this one will fare better. It will get a good feed and a thick mulch once my compost arrives, and I will turn my attention to the rest of the weeds, and to generally adding structure and colour to the border. I have made a start, I picked up a beautiful little pulmonaria with silvery leaves from Sue Beesley’s wonderful nursery called Pulmonaria ‘Diana Clare’, it has the most gorgeous deep blue flowers, and I must have more.

Pulmonaria 'Diana Clare'

I also made a start on establishing a sweep of Russian Sage down the spine of the border last year, and I will be auditioning various salvias, adding more Penstemon ‘Blackbird’, and crossing my fingers that the wonderful deep purple poppy that gardening-sil gave me seed for last year returns in abundance. The Californian poppy ‘Ivory Castle’ is popping up new growth already.

emerging Californian poppy foliage

And I appear to be growing purple brains…

crambe maritima looking like a brain

Crambe maritima, an odd looking plant at this time of year.

Anyway, I am hoping that the End of Month View meme run by the Patient Gardener (thank you Helen) will work its usual magic and encourage me to get out and at least make sure that this border progresses this year. Apart from anything else, weeding and planting are wonderful ways to get the creative juices flowing, I have come up with solutions to apparently intractable problems whilst weeding. So I suppose it is a good thing that there is plenty of weeding to do?!

So, my focus for the EOMV is the wall border in my front garden. In need of editing, additions and lots of weeding. And if I manage to progress any of the rest of the front garden, so much the better!

64 thoughts on “End of Month View March 2015

  1. It seems that you have struck a balance already between doing some much welcome work again as well as spending time in the garden (dirty fingernails and all) :) with work ongoing sometimes compromises have to be made. You may have to buy tomato plugs but you’ve done so well getting stuck in tidying up and rep,a ting the front wall. Looking forward to seeing how it shapes up in the coming months!

    1. It felt really good to get out there and put in to action something I had been thinking about for ages. In fact, maybe that is one of the hidden benefits of having to devote the majority of my time to establishing the business. More time to mull things over before acting. Not sure it will work on the weeding though… But there again, isn’t everyone’s life a balancing act?! I just have to learn a new routine. Some plates might get broken in the process. (That’s a reference to plate spinning, I’m getting obscure…)

  2. Looking good, Janet! I know that balancing act of working/contributing and making time for fun (which in my case–and I assume yours–is gardening). I have a consulting business, which is wonderful to help pay the bills. But it’s also great to have time to pursue the avocations. Enjoy your gardening season–it looks like you have a great start!

    1. Hi Beth, sounds as if you know exactly what I mean! Once the business is established we hope to be able to balance work and play better, but in the mean time at least we are lucky enough to live somewhere wonderful and to be doing work we (mostly!) really enjoy. And its spring!

  3. Your Edgeworthia is so beautiful, you certainly have some lovely plants. You have been busy again, it is nice to see everything growing that you planted last year. I’m finding that blogging takes up so much time and takes me away from the garden, I must sort out my priorities!

    1. Thank you Pauline, I do love the Edgeworthia, I’m glad I stuck with it, it went through a sulky phase early last year and nearly got ousted! Prioritising is always a tad tricky, I’m really bad at it, hence the two month gap…

  4. I am pleased that you have proved that HAVE been outside your front/side/back) at least once in the last few months – that’s a relief :) I knew you didn’t like clean fingernails quite as much as that! Shame about your hedge plans – but hopefully your myrtles will do you proud in due course after your stoic efforts to settle them in. Hope you don’t beat yourself up about buying plug plants this year – at least you are ensuring you have produce and colour. Having grown Ivory Castle from seed and recently planted them out I was really pleased to infer from your comment that they will happily seed about (as long as they don’t overdo it!)

    1. Ivory Castle is a winner Cathy, and she doesn’t seem to put herself about too badly. I feel much better now that my fingernails are back to being thoroughly reprehensible. I got a delivery of seeds yesterday, including Cosmos Purity, so hopefully the gals around the baby hedge will soon be filled with plants to provide colour and bee food later in the year.

  5. I’m really surprised by the Escalonia but I think you’ve done the right thing in deciding that if something doesn’t work to replace it. I’m getting harder hearted with plants that just don’t ‘do’! The Perovskia and Teucrium will quickly fill the space. You sound contented and that’s the most important thing.

    1. I am contended Christina, that’s a good word, despite the crazy busyness. I am much happier now that the straggly escallonia have gone. The added bonus if the myrtle is that the dense dark green foliage will be the perfect foil for the silvery blues and whites, and I don’t need to worry about the penstemons being just the wrong shade of pink to go with the escallonia flowers. I’m still perplexed at the failure though.

  6. It can be a difficult balancing act, can’t it? This is the first time for a few years now where a book isn’t distracting my attention from the spring garden, so I’m enjoying the chance to potter rather than feeling like it’s another chore that needs squeezing in. I do understand how great it is to be working though. You sound like you’re buzzing with ideas which is lovely to hear. :) Good to hear you’ve been out and about and not completely chained to the computer though.
    I’ve got the opposite problem in that I can’t get myrtle to last the winter here.
    I just love the edgeworthia. I loved them when I saw them at Wisley a few years ago. The crambe is weirdly magnificent.

    1. Hi Lou, it must be a lovely change to be able to potter and admire, enjoy it! I am lucky to be able to grow myrtle so easily here, its not a plant I was familiar with until we moved here, but it happily survives the worst of the north winds. The Edgeworthia is a delight, it would be worth growing for foliage and bark alone, but the flowers are a real bonus. I collected some crambe seed from Cemlyn, just up the coast, I must give it a go, see if it will germinate. It grows in great clumps along the shingle ridge there, an amazing sight.

  7. “Crambe Maritima”….my gosh I’ve never seen anything like that. It looks like an exotic coral under the sea…or purple brains as you say. It is good to hear you are out and about–sore back notwithstanding. The hedglet will please you later, I’m sure.

    1. Hi Susan, coral is a much nicer description, I wonder why brains kept into my head instead!

  8. Love the Crambe. We used to force it – delicious but I don’t remember a purple one. I probably would’ve put Escallonia on the wheel barrow anyway. Sorry – not keen. Glad every thing’s going well for you, Janet. And golly but what pretty fingernails you have. Dave

    1. I am a little confused by his purple it is to be honest, I’m sure it wasntbthat colour last year! Do you just have a thing against anything ending in ‘onia’?! Mahonia, escallonia, I sense a pattern… As to the fingernails, they are starting to look too clean again, must sort that out tomorrow…

  9. When something isn’t working, even if you really want it too and it’s supposed to work everywhere else, it takes courage to decide it goes so well done on the Escallonia decision. And on the forsight to have those little myrtle shrubs ready to take their place!

    It makes sense to focus on one area, and see how it goes; you don’t want to push yourself too hard and go backwards in your health.

    That Pulmonaria is gorgeous. I’m a sucker for blue flowers in Spring and that is a beauty. I have P. Blue Ensign myself. Pulmonaria is a great Spring plant. The Crambe maritima is very odd, but amazing colour. Can you eat sea kale or is it just for show?

    1. Hi Julieanne, yes, blue really is the perfect spring colour isn’t it, maybe partnered with some acid green and bright yellow! I am doing well health-wise, amazingly so, it is baffling but wonderful. The crambe is emminently edible, though mine are purely ornamental. Though I may grab the occasional nibble of young leaves whilst weeding…

  10. I’ll bet that getting those fingernails dirty made you feel liberated. But needs must and all that!
    Strange that the Escallonia didn’t thrive, I’ve always understood it to be a coastal plant too. The Crambe is fascinating, not a plant that I am familiar with and had no idea on what it was until you named it. If the pulmonaria is happy it won’t be long until you can divide it giving you even more. I have Blue Ensign and it too is gorgeous blue.
    Happy Dirty Fingernails Janet :)

    1. Thank you Angie, I am a manicurists nightmare!! I inherited a pulmonaria that may or may not be Blue Ensign, it has certainly taken to the spot I moved it to and multiplied incredibly, so I have high hopes for Diana Clare.

  11. It is always such a good feeling to get out in the fresh air, and clear the head! You may be tired and weary, but it is a good sort of weary, and always comes with great dollops of contentment!
    I love your new purply Pulmonaria ‘ Diana Clare’ – is it more of a true blue in reality? I know I find that end of the spectrum really difficult to photograph from the point of view of colour.

    1. Hi Jane, yes, that’s it exactly, the kind of tiredness that says you are not yet fit for spring gardening but still puts a smile on your face. I love it. As to the blue, yes, very difficult to capture with any accuracy, but I would say it is a very deep slightly purple navy blue. Gorgeous.I am hoping the silver-splashed leaves will look good against the birches once they start to colour up.

  12. How exciting to have the Edgeworthia blooming, Janet! Here’s hoping that myrtle makes the perfect hedge for you, as I’m sure you must feel the need for something between you and the house across the way! That Crambe must be a bit of a shock if you were thinking of something else when you saw it ;-) though I can imagine it’s delightful a little later in the season. So glad to see you are able to snatch some time for gardening; I’ve missed your posts, though I’ve hoped your absence was a good sign that your new venture is going well…

    1. Hello Amy, I am thrilled with the Edgeworthia, it does have lovely foliage and bark too, but it is the flowers that seduced me when I first saw it on somebody else’s blog three years ago. How lovely that you missed my posts! I am hoping to be a little more regularly irregular again from now on, but who knows, I do know that I have a huge bag of compost arriving tomorrow which means I can get my potatoes in the ground and generally start preparing the kitchen garden for some tasty veg.

  13. Hurrah for the edgeworthia! And for getting outside. My chances have been a bit limited so far this year too! So satisfying to get out though. Good luck with the hedge!
    I can’t find a trace of my seeds from our accidental dark purple poppy – by last year I stopped collecting and sowing them as they did such a good job themselves. So typically last year none appeared at all, so I couldn’t collect and sow for this year, and seem to have no old seed left.
    Hope one surprises me! Xx

    1. Ah, but you have a really good alibi for not getting out in the garden as much yet this year!! And one well worth investing in ;-) I feel quietly confident about this version of the hedge, given how well the plants established in first the kitchen garden and then their pots. Hopefully they will have put down a really good set of roots by the time winter rolls around again, plus they have the shelter of the wall to help them a long a little until they start romping away and I begin to wish I’d planted something less vigorous! Hopefully I won’t be needing a hedge trimmer for a few years yet, though equally I will also have to wait a few more years for that increased privacy. Ho hum, such is gardening.

      Poppies are irksome like that, I was convinced that the soft peachy coloured ones I inherited once I’d started to dig and develop the front garden had disappeared, but it turns out they were just much later in popping up than the Californian variety. So, fingers crossed that the lush purple ones will do likewise. If so I will happily send you seed, though hopefully, having given you a fright, your own will take pity on you and return with a vengeance this year. xxx

  14. I love that blue Pulmonaria Janet. I’ve also got a blue one, but with dark leaves. The hedgelet is looking very promising. Glad you could get outdoors for a while to blow some cobwebs away and do some mental problem-solving while getting those nails nice and dirty!

    1. I love it too Cathy, I am hoping it will be happy in its new home and spread as well as the splodgy leaved one I inherited. I was very disappointed to see that “Sissinghurst White” seems to have disappeared altogether from my back garden though, I would have thought it would have thrived in the slightly richer soil there.

      The weather forecast suggests I will have to rely on taking cuttings, sowing seeds and potting on for dirty fingernails for a few days.

  15. Oh I’ve often longed for not only clean but also unbroken nails Janet :) Promise not to beat yourself up about buying some plug plants this year as you can’t do it all. Although rewarding seed sowing and the consequent watering, pricking out, watering, hardening off, fretting about them etc. is so time consuming. Sometimes it’s easier if somebody else does all that work. Hope that you can spend some more time outside as the spring unfolds. ‘Diana Clare’ is a gem.I started off with one and have just treated myself to a second :)

    1. :-) I promise, it just feels so expensive next to the cost of packets of seed, but there again, I do appreciate the time and skill that goes in to raising good quality plug plants. Isn’t ‘Diana Clare’ a beauty? She wasn’t the one I saw and admired in the garden, but the very helpful woman in the nursery suggested her as an alternative, saying she preferred the deeper blue flowers. I am jealosuly garding my birthday money at the moment, torn this and way and that as to what plants to invest in it, but the temptation to get more of that deep blue, where it will contrast so beautifully with the eventually white bark of the birches… Oh, decisions, decisions…

    1. I know! Baffling. And frustrating. Lets hope hedge mark 2 is more successful…

  16. Dear Janet, it is often such a struggle to balance work and leisure time, especially when you are self employed, isn’t’ it? I am dealing with the same dilemma, but I know if I don’t garden I become unhappy and cranky, so it is really a necessity for my well-being that I make sure there is some time to garden as well and my life is not completely occupied by work (even though I love my job!).
    I think it is great that you started fresh and ripped the old hedging plants that you have been unhappy with out and planted new ones. I am looking forward to seeing this part of your garden develop.
    I love, love, love the blue pulmonaria ‘Diana Clare’. What a beauty! I certainly would like to grow that one in my garden, too :-).
    Warm regards,

    1. Hello Christina, I know exactly what you mean about getting cranky if you don’t get to garden! It’s all looking a little wet and cold here at the moment, so I might have to spend some quality time in the greenhouse, but at least it means the hedgelet is getting well watered in. Good luck to both of us with the juggling of much loved work and much loved and needed gardening…

  17. Lovely to see you back and blogging, as well working at your desk. It’s a hard balance and I thank you for taking time to comment on mine. It is a time consuming process visiting other blogs and one I am poor at, despite my good intention, so a double thank you from me.
    I have Diana Clare too- lovely she Is, but in her second year here she has chunked up into a substantial plant as big as a large cabbage! I have had to remove some dark brown old foliage that spoils the appearance but perhaps it’s her way of telling me to split her up.
    The Edgeworthia is a thing of great beauty- thank you for the beautiful pictures.

    1. Hi Judith, it’s good to be back blogging and commenting, I always miss it when I have time away, and am always so grateful that people tolerate my long silent periods and still come back and comment when I return. You give me high hopes for large clumps of Diana Clare around the feet of my birches. And I always enjoy visiting your blog.

  18. The Edgeworthia blooms are so pretty; I wish I could grow them here. Good for you for pulling out the spindly hedge plants and replacing them with something you love. I have vowed to be more ruthless in my garden this year, too, and finally pull out some things that just haven’t lived up to their reputation. Congratulations on getting back to work! I know it must be hard finding time to garden, but as you say, there’s nothing like weeding to give you some good thinking time:)

    1. Hurrah for gardening ruthlessness! It can be hard, letting go of a plant that you were convinced would work well. I’m getting some surprises here as I adjust to the different growing conditions. Achilles’s, for instance, do not appear to enjoy life in my front garden, which is gutting as I adore them and had intended to make them a key plant!

  19. Janet I fine your comments about the escallonia interesting as it grow very well here ….. but ….. hawthorn which is also said to be a good coastal shrub and grows well for you does not grow well here, I am thinking it is soil as here the soil is peat, acid and holds moisture, I think I remember you saying your soil is sandy and free draining (I may have remembered wrong), the myrtle sounds lovely,
    I like the first photos showing the slowly opening flowers,
    I’m glad you are doing well with your new work and enjoying it, being self supporting is important and does give a good feeling, it always has me anyway,
    I love the weird shape of your crambe maritima, mine has disappeared I await new growth when the weather/if the weather improves,
    take care, nice to catch up, Frances

    1. Hi Frances, lovely to hear from you, I do hope you get decent internet service soon, it must make so many things more tedious so I am all the more glad to hear from you.

      I am still learning my way around the pros and come of my soil conditions, and suspect that the combination of free draining soil and proximity to the wall were the unfavourable factors. This despite having left a good foot between plants and wall. Lots of mulch, and hopefully hedgelet version 2 will flourish.

  20. An enjoyable post and lovely pictures, especially the pink blossom.
    Some of my Californian poppies over-wintered, and like yours are showing signs of new growth.
    Happy gardening. xx

    1. Hello Flighty, the blossom is beautiful, isn’t it. The park cherry trees will starting to bloom soon, and I miss the beautiful mature cherry that our neighbour cut down when he moved in, only to move out again less than a year later! Hope you have a good weekend of plotting.

  21. Love your edgeworthia. I don’t think I’ve ever experienced the scent. Glad the business venture is going well, even if it is keeping you out of the garden. I hope the lighter evenings will give you more time to get out there and relax.

    1. Hi Jessica, yes, I am hoping to have after dinner seed sowing sessions soon, but goodness it has been cold recently! I could see an Edgeworthia doing rather beautifully in your garden, maybe near where that huge pile used to live?!

    1. Hello Les, I think you contributed to my determination to get one, though it was Janet (Queen of Seaford) that really cooked my Edgeworthia goose.

  22. What an optimistic post Janet- evidently the garden has been getting on with things whilst you were ‘away’ – I like the way it transforms itself – out with the escallonia and forcing you to rethink with Myrtle. Your expression ‘auditioning salvias’ makes me look forward to the theatrical production that will ensue in your sun spots

    1. Hello Laura, I am getting a little nervous about my salvias, the two that over wintered in pits are still showing no signs of growth. Despite that, optimism is my natural state, which is lucky, and the sight of burgeoning clumps of primroses from my kitchen window doesn’t hurt!

  23. I fully understand your delight with your Edgeworthia! Like Wellywoman, a spring visit to Wisley brought this plant to my attention – lots of little nodding ballgowns waiting to open, so pretty! When I read in the nursery that it has lovely scent as well, it took a lot of restraint not to pop one straight into my trolley! Who knows why the Escallonia didn’t take off (maybe too dry in the shadow of the wall?) but I think that a bank of Cosmos will look fabulous while the new hedge is establishing. I hope you’ll have some time for the garden when (if) the weather gets better (I’ve been caught in hail twice in the last fortnight!) – it will be hard to resist! (And I’ve bought some tomato plugs as well; they were looking very sad and neglected on the shelves of a garden centre so I had to rescue them!) By the way, re weeding, where are the ‘Bob a Job’ Boy Scouts when you need them! (Do they even still exist?)

    1. Hi Caro, what a lovely description of the Edgeworthia flowers! I suspect the wall contributed, though it is very short and they were planted a good food away. Who knows, I just hope whatever it was doesn’t do the same to the myrtles, but at least I know they naturally bush from the base very well. And in the mean time, annuals, lots of annuals!

  24. Janet, I was never impressed with Escallonia in our Aberdeen garden,, perhaps its one of those plants that objects to our feeding regime, hope you have more luck with the Myrtle. Oh, I like the look of that Pulmonaria. With all the rain recently our back garden is very boggy, seems like all the perennials have come through though, a bit early to tell if the Agapanthus has made it, I have my doubts.

    1. Hello Alistair, I rescued your comment from the spam folder, sorry about that! I don’t think rich feeding can have been the problem with my escallonia, they didn’t get anything last year, but maybe there is rubbish in the soil from the base of the wall? The plants had good roots, just rubbish leaf cover. Glad to hear most of your perennials are reappearing, I am nervously viewing that wall border and wondering at what stage I should worry that there is currently no sign of the phlomis or salvias reappearing. Could be expensive.

  25. I laughed out loud at your “purple brains.” Gardeners should never take themselves too seriously! Your myrtle hedge is a great improvement. I hope you enjoy pruning as much as I do. I find it a lot of fun and a great stress reliever. Best wishes on finding the perfect balance between work and play!

    1. Glad to have made you laugh Deb! And I agree, a sense of humour is as essential as a sharp pair of secateurs for any gardener.

  26. I love your Edgeworthia, it is so pretty. Twice I have tried to grow it and lost it in cold winters so I am very envious. How lovely that you are making time to get back outside and get your nails dirty. I think Myrtle is a great choice for your hedge. I am not keen on Escallonia apart from the lovely white Escallonia Iveyi. I prefer the foliage of Myrtle and the flowers are so pretty. I love your new Pulmonaria, the bright blue ones are lovely.
    Happy gardening Janet.

    1. Hi Chloris, sorry to hear you’ve had such trouble with Edgeworthia, I am fortunate with the maritime climate, I would never have chanced it in my old South Gloucestershire garden. It is a lovely plant when it thrives, I am glad I didn’t give it the boot when it was looking rubbish early last summer!!

      I agree about Escallonia iveyi, a lovely plant, I killed one of those here too, though in that case I think it was the leaking oil tank…

      Looks as if the good weather is with us for a while, enjoy your lovely garden.

  27. Glad to hear from you and know that, although keeping you out of the garden, the home business is thriving. A few purchased veggie starts is a small price to pay. The purple brains had me confused a moment, I thought perhaps they were some interesting fungus. What a funny plant to start out life looking so squished.

    1. Hello Marguerite, I’m bunking off work to go plant hunting in a local(isn) garden centre with a fellow blogger, as all work and no gardening is bad more my mood and productivity! The crambe is indeed a strange looking plant, I’ll have to post photos of its later stages, when it will be no longer squished, or, indeed, purple.

  28. That crambe does look like a pile of brains! I think your new hedge looks much better than the lanky shrub that was there before. Hooray for being back to work. Balance in all things, even gardening. :o)

    1. It’s thankfully less brain-like now that the leaves have developed more!! I may be improving the hedge still further by replacing a couple of the smaller plants with two growing elsewher, it might look almost hedge-like in patches by the end of the year… as for balance, still teetering rather than gracefully poised, but still here!!

  29. I am glad you are back to work but sad about it limiting your gardening…that is what happened to me, but you are still able to get in some gardening time which is great…..I too have Pulmonaria ‘Diana Clare’ and love it. I especially love the foliage of this plant compared to other Pulmonaria.

    1. Hi Donna, sorry, I don’t know how I missed this! I’m a little sad about the gardening too, but I will adjust, after all, most people aren’t as lucky as I was, to have so much time to garden, until they retire. At least now I am limited by work rather than by health!

      I agree about ‘Diana Clare’s foliage, lovely, isn’t it.

  30. Trial and error (and success). It is a constant theme in the garden. I’ve tried planting native plants in my Texas landscape that are supposed to thrive in our conditions, yet I fail miserably at them. Then there are the other varieties that tend to want more water and cool weather than we can normally provide in Texas, yet they thrive in my garden. You just never know how a plant may turn out in your own plot, but that’s part of the fun of gardening I find – the experimentation and journey of it all. Good luck with your new hedge!

    1. Hi Rebecca, yes, I agree, it is a process of continual experimentation, but somehow that is part of the joy too. I’ve learnt that if one plant fails that there are many, many more waiting in the wings for me to discover and experiment with.

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