On Sunday, before the rain began in earnest, I spent a very happy time pottering about Magic Garden, sprinkling blood and bone like fairy dust and deheading the last of the roses. Miss C helped me plant the first of the broad beans and in the space where most of my echium had been, we made a bed of leeks. During some harsh winds last week, the echium I'd bought at the last Bilpin Rare Plant Fair had had its central stem blown clear away. It had been no bigger than my hand and I'd congratulated myself regularly on how wonderful it was looking. Well over a metre high and a good two wide. Pride goes before a fall, they say...only three lateral branches remain and I'm hoping to encourage them to set root. Who knows if it'll work, I've gone for the layering technique as they were all but on the soil anyway and have heaped some lovely, potent vegie patch mix from Tunks over each. I've a feeling they might be too woody to take, we shall see.
Whilst I was admiring these sasanqua camellias out the front, I was stopped by a gentleman who had known Magic Garden's original owner, Mrs Batty. I often think of her and it tickles me that this happens, people who knew Mrs Batty are so keen to let me know how thrilled she'd be to know her garden was being restored with love and mindfulness. Positive reinforcement makes a world of difference, particularly when it sometimes feels that progress is slow. It's nice to know that others can see the improvement and that the person who had gardened so lavishly and passionately would approve. Well into her nineties, Mrs Batty could be seen working away in the gloaming and I can only hope that I might be just as spry.