It is a huge luxury to have a cutting garden and it’s something I’ve managed to organise for myself over the last 3-4 years. Before that the gaps between the pillars in the Pergola were filled with permanent weeds surrounding roses and clematis which my husband had planter many years ago.
OK, so when I say it’s a huge luxury I have to admit that BD and I do most of the weeding ourselves except in May and June when we have the French garden intern. The rest of the year it is me and ‘im, as the saying goes.
I love the prolific growth and riot of colours that comes in May and June with roses, sweet William and gladioli as you can see in this photo. One of the other joys is that both roses and gladioli continue really till the frost. The roses that have been planted along the Pergola are a mixture of old scented roses and modern roses. The other gaps between the pillars have different plants and the idea of the cutting garden is of course that I have something to cut for the house as many months of the year as possible.
We recently had a house full of friends from Denmark who came over for a wedding in Greyabbey and our florist – Anita’s Fabulous Flowers – came over and helped me cut and arrange flowers for all the bedrooms and all the reception room. It filled the house with lovly scents and it looked glorious.
By now in November and I have to admit that it is beginning to be difficult to find flowers for all the bedrooms and the house. However, I still managed the bedrooms for our last residential conference, 10 in all. The Dahlias are the main stay now. It’ll be quite a shock to the system when I have to buy flowers for events, but I soon get over it because of the fantastic choice you get when you go to the florist. A choice I can’t create here even at the height of the season.