Next week – April 13-19 – is National Gardening Week, with National Open Gardens Day on Friday, April 17, when gardens that usually charge will be open for free. Harlow Carr on the outskirts of Harrogate will be taking part, and that is a treasure of a garden and a simply wonderful place. With a Betty’s – could it get any better?
Run by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), it’s a great idea and I think people can stage their own events too, maybe a garden party, but check on that – the website is given below. I hope to make some garden visits, if only to pick up tips. I’m the first to admit that I have never been much of a gardener, but this Easter break, the strangest thing has happened. I think I might be developing green fingers.
I blame Poldark – it’s all so lush and outdoorsy, it makes me want to burst open the front door, inhale deeply and fling my arms wide towards the sun, preferably wearing a light woollen cloak. (Actually, I’m blaming Poldark for lots of strange feelings at the moment.)
Anyway, yesterday involved a trip to the garden centre, in this case, Daleside Nurseries at Killinghall, near Harrogate. It’s very much worth a visit, as one of those entrancing garden centres with everything beautifully arranged, with colours and scents that make you instantly feel on holiday, plus great pots and planters and garden objets.
On the way in, you pass a little Gothic folly, see above. Now … who wouldn’t want one of these at the bottom of their garden? It’s by a Somerset based company called Redwood Stone, and they’ve got a few designs of ruined castles and facades to add atmosphere to a little corner, and maybe provide somewhere to plonk your wine glasses if you decide to stage a Lynda Snell style gardening event on National Open Gardens Day. Check out www.dalesidenurseries.co.uk
Back to my own garden, where there is much work to be done. This is the back yard, above, and I’m feeling a bit sorry for my classical bust, meaning a large terracotta Greek or Roman head, which I bought many years ago at Caine Florists in Harrogate. He’s being strangled by ivy, which I need to do something about. What is it with ivy this year? It’s taken over in the front garden too. Anyway, Caine is the most amazing florist, behind Hotel du Vin on John Street in the town centre, and does stunning and unusual arrangements in simple decorative pots, plus gifts including glassware. Caine of Harrogate also sells Neom products (more below). Check out Caine on www.caineofharrogate.co.uk
Neom Organics is a lovely company, Harrogate based, that makes wonderful organic candles and also hand cream and hand wash and bath and body products, all of which instantly transport you to a better place – my current favourite is my Real Luxury hand and body lotion, see above, which I keep on my dressing table, especially to apply before bedtime. It’s a lovely way to drop off, but I see that Neom also makes pillow mist, so I might invest in some. It would make a thoughtful and much appreciated gift for some having to stay in hospital, either by themselves or with a child, so they could find a few moments of peace at bedtime. Also the body & hand lotions are perfect for post gardening repair work, hands, and all over. Check out Neom Organics on www.neomorganics.com
Find more details about National Gardening Week and National Open Gardens Day on www.nationalgardeningweek.org.uk