After my mini-rant over the Cuckmere Meanders I’m back to the Long House garden, more particularly the paddock. Before we bought the house in 2011 our predecessor Raymond (after whom Raymond’s Retreat is named…see Garden Tour elsewhere on the website) was mower-happy and gave the paddock a short back and sides all year resulting in a lack of anything apart from a few early snowdrops and a crop of wild violets that were low enough to escape the blades. When we arrived we planted a few bulbs we’d brought from Bankton Cottage only to have most of them scraped up during the building works six months later. In the immediate aftermath we were left with what might be termed a blank canvas:
So we decided to give the indigenous wild flowers their head, lend a helping hand by planting a cacophony of daffodils and narcissi over the next few autumns and quit the mowing routine. The springtime result is now rather pleasing and will only get better as they all naturalise.
And as spring turns to summer the grass grows, hides the dying leaves of the bulbs and the paddock turns into a wild flower meadow threaded with mown paths and alive with butterflies and insects and the buzzing of bees. But that you can see and hear that for yourselves if you visit the garden in June or July.
Talking of mini-rants, Rosie was at it again this morning: why is it, she moaned, that us ladies can’t get insulated wellies and fleeces that are warmly lined like gents stuff is? Do the men who run these companies think that women don’t go out in the cold and wet? They should damn well try a bit of gardening instead of sitting at their desks doing bugger all. At which I put the kettle on and kept my mouth shut. But she has got a point.