Last weekend I was away visiting my mother, to catch up on some gardening, family memories and competitive scrabble. For reasons too boring to explain, I went by bus rather than train, which means enduring three hours of intense shoogling in both directions, but it gets you there and back in the end. Public transport in south west Scotland is really not the best but I’d do anything rather than drive.
We visited a rather nice local independent garden centre. As with most garden centres these days, you have to climb over mountains of useless plastic tat before you find any plants but once you get there they are really rather impressive. I swooned over roses, fruit trees and possible plants to revitalise my back hedge but resisted buying anything, knowing that I would have to bring everything home on the shoogly bus. My mother escaped with only a wallflower, some lavender and a bag of seed potatoes. Back in her garden I tackled some monstrous ground elder and had a go at pruning a bank of roses, honeysuckle and winter jasmine. I gave a little haircut to her stunning clematis armandii
The thing about all this pruning was that it led me to returning on the shoogly bus with a bag full of cuttings
I know that clematis is a bit of monster once it gets going but a self-managing plant which can cover a wall and produce beautiful flowers, scent and attract bees in early April seems just the thing for my back garden. There’s also some cuttings of wild roses, honeysuckle and winter jasmine (but hopefully no ground elder) in that bag. Quite a lot to fill out the spaces along my back hedge – and all free. Oh and I ended up with most of the seed potatoes too but they can go in the allotment.