August upon us and to be perfectly candid, meetings of this or any other club on a normal basis are a long way off. In fact at present the realistic view is that we as a club will be resuming regular meetings next year and not before. The splendid autumn programme which Wendy had organised has been postponed. We’ve all had sufficient doubt and bewilderment this year. I have felt like the hippopotamus wallowing in the mud who turns to another hippo and says: “Do you know, I keep thinking it’s Tuesday”.
On the other hand, the garden is accustomed to plants and seasons coming and going. That’s the nature of the affair. Some favoured item is given heaps of tender care and rewards you with disappearing overnight. Other bits of vegetation pop up unheralded and often unwanted. Friendly weeds are occasionally tolerated. In this category go Herb Robert and Enchanter’s Nightshade. I consider them pretty and I like their names while war is declared on pet bugbears such as wood avens and soapwort. The National Trust may wash their priceless curtains in soapwort but it holds no place in this garden.
I do have a soft spot for rose seedlings which are scattered around the place by the resident and visiting winter thrushes. These hybrid youngsters all stem from various ramblers such as R moschata and R multiflora The Garland, Blush Rambler and Frances E Lester which all put on a great display this year though very short. I pot up the offspring, then sit back and wait. They are pretty unstoppable once they get going; multiflora ramblers are not on the invasive species list for nothing. They are not welcome in the wild. Most are too thorny for garden purposes, others are too modest in bloom. The odd one is worthwhile showing good white blooms full of a musky fragrance followed by a profusion of hips. They do not resent heavy pruning and seem to thrive on neglect – which is up my gardening street. There is always something of interest in the garden since it never stops growing and changing. Now the local nurseries are open anyone can still, at this time of the year, go and buy a plant and watch it grow. It is a time to remain optimistic and keep grubbing on. Pip