When we first moved to this house, the front garden was bare: a paved over parking place for up to three cars. Since then, I’ve dug most of it up and planted bulbs, roses, herbs and a couple of small trees. But in those early days when all was bleak, we needed something to grow up the bike shed (much more useful than a car park for a no-car, cycling family) and provide a little height. Taking advice from the family collective, I bought a rose – Benjamin Britten to keep the musicians happy:
It has done rather well and grown into a lovely mature bush but it is mainly a summer and autumn pleasure. To cheer us in the winter, I also bought a chimonanthus praecox. Its common name is wintersweet which is much easier to remember. This would grow up the side of the shed, providing greenery in summer and would be covered in sweet scented yellow flowers in winter. Eight years on it has produced its first flower:
It does have a rather nice scent but it is not quite fulfilling its promise. Maybe next year it will manage two flowers.
In the meantime, the other winter scented plant, winter box, is beginning to come into its own. There is whole bush of it hiding behind the wintersweet in the photo above. This little cutting (dug up from my mother’s garden while we were making lemon curd) smells gorgeous, so I’ve put it up beside the herbs at the kitchen door so it can greet us as we come in and out:
The onion sets, which I planted a couple of weeks ago, have nearly all sprouted. I moved them out to the seed house so that they would get enough light but the temperature is set to plummet again tonight, so I’ve given them, and some sweet peas which I sowed at the same time, a little extra covering with a propagator lid:
More sweet scents to look forward to in the summer.