A Rose by any other Name.

Nothing quite like a splash of colour to brighten up even the smallest of London gardens and nothing quite like a week of all things Chelsea Flower Show to get my inner green fingered goddess twitching at the laptop keys and ordering just one more plant for that non-existent inch of soil that just needs to be filled in my London sized garden. Yes, let the annual Chelsea inspired garden make over commence. Not sure I can quite squeeze in a rope covered wrecking ball but hey, if it’s good enough for Kate, maybe I can convince the neighbours it’s the right thing for the communal garden! In the meantime, my very own 3 metre patch of flower bed, already bursting at the seams from last year’s make-over is surely in need of one or two more additions? Like I need convincing.

My green fingered credentials really haven’t scored particularly highly over the years. I remember a minor obsession with Orchids more years ago than I care to remember but let’s just say it resulted in a bedroom that would have given Kew Gardens Orchid Festival a run for their money. Ok, so that’s maybe a minor exaggeration but you get the picture, let’s just say, after its first season I appeared to have slipped into a scene from a Tim Burton movie rather than the ‘Jamie’s Jungle’ paradise I’d somewhat prematurely envisaged.

Then came the succulents! Could it be any easier? How low maintenance was this? I had just found my kind of gardening and within a matter of weeks our kitchen had been commandeered into my very own gardener’s world complete with propagation centre. I mean this was easy right? Move over cereal bowls, just add a little soil and a few fallen leaves and we have ourselves our very own little succulent farm. Or should I say farms! Sorry honey (aka long-suffering husband), you’ll have to have toast for breakfast this morning, I’m using the bowls to propagate. Yes, this was a serious operation and normal kitchen duties were postponed until further notice. But not so fast! Succulents maybe easy to grow, and propagate, if you live in a green house or at least a house with big picture windows, but maybe not so successful if you live in a little London size cottage which isn’t really known for its panoramic floor to ceiling windows. And so just as my succulents wilted or stretched to find even the tiniest glimmer of day light, so did my enthusiasm and thankfully for my husband, we finally got the kitchen back. And the breakfast bowls. To my credit (why I’m feeling smug about this I have no idea) a lot of the succulents still grace just about every windowsill in the house, but my days of succulent farming are now last year’s Instagram archives.

And then it happened! Having finally found our forever home, well for now at least, in the shape of a rather tiny but oh so cute cottage, albeit a shoe box room size larger than the numerous two bedrooms flats we’d previously called home. And with it came its very own flower bed, a miniature garden wasteland, waiting for a Chelsea style makeover from its very own green fingered goddess… yep, you guessed it, me! Yes, it was time to don my rose-tinted spectacles, role up my crisp white shirt sleeves, a la Kate, and set about creating an awarding winning floral display that would give The Ivy a run for its money! And my theme? I mean who doesn’t have a theme right? ‘A garden for the bees’ of course. Every little helps. And whilst I took a moment to rest the trowel blistered hands (spot the novice gardener just 2 hours in, we are talking Margo from The Good Life here) there we had it, a PowerPoint of blooming loveliness, with a flourish of David Austin Roses for good measure. I mean every English county garden should have one right, even if I do live in the city? And with David Austin Roses, 25th Gold Medal announced at this week’s Chelsea Flower Show, what more inspiration do you need to bring a little bit of Chelsea inspiration and a great British Product to your very own garden. Rose breeders since the 50’s it’s hard to select just one David Austin Rose so go on, spoil yourself and opt for two or three. I did and have finally found my green fingers! We are now on our second summer and I haven’t finished them off. Cause for celebration surely? Have I room for another?

https://www.davidaustinroses.co.uk/ ocked0 Lis

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