The hollyhocks are coming out. One flower quietly unfurls, then it creates a domino effect up the stem. I like to imagine how it would look on one of those sped-up film sequences that were so popular in natural history documentaries in the 80s.
I’m beginning to realise that the garden is full of noiseless drama. Like when the giant poppies’ hairy pods suddenly popped to reveal a flash of rumpled satiny scarlet. And when the tight, fat peony buds unpeeled their blousy blooms one petal at a time.
We can see it in Bobbie James, the rambling rose who is flinging himself up the pear tree. And of course in the squash plants that are almost frightening in their quest for garden-domination.
Our gardening has mostly taken a ‘stick it in and see what happens’ approach so far. We are talking about being a bit more planned next year. But I don’t think rigid colour schemes or structured planting are ever going to be our thing.
Instead, I wonder if we can plan our planting for dramatic effect, so that we are drawn to different corners and heights of the garden through the seasons. Could we let rambling roses loose up more of the trees – so when they flower it will be like switching on the Christmas lights. Could we fill the far, neglected corners with masses of bulbs so we get a carpet of colour calling us into the icy early spring air. Could we make better use of light at different times of the day and year to spotlight certain plants and trees.
The possibilities are endless. But there’s another thing I’m beginning to realise. As we get more ambitious in the garden, our stick it in and see what happens approach is only going to become more pronounced.
What are your favourite garden dramas? Please share…