When I was much younger I wasn’t particularly interested in gardening but I realised that the thing that my mother loved was to share her passion and knowledge so whenever I came home from school I would ask her to show me around the garden and tell me what was new as I knew it gave her so much pleasure.
I picked up so much knowledge just by listening. It has stood me in very good stead as I have got older and discovered my own love of horticulture
So today, when I drove back up London for an outdoor lunch, the very first thing we did before I even had a cup of tea, was walk around her cottage garden to see what was new and what was flowering. I particularly love her Acanthus – aka Bear’s Britches – (the glossy green leaves and white flower spikes behind the roses),, and the beautiful Madame Alfred Carriere rose trained over the arch into the vegetable garden.
My first mission on a driving to Northamptonshire day is to head to Parkway Greens to buy fruit for each parent: usually flat peaches for my mama, and a whole papaya and limes for my father. Then I head to Gail’s for two loaves of delicious San Francisco Sourdough, before driving up the M1. I always stop at Tesco at Brent Cross to fill up with cheap petrol. (Currently 103p a litre if fellow bargain hunters are interested – the cheapest in North London.)
Then lunch and garden with my mother, a quick pitstop with my father fifteen minutes away to lob the papaya at him, and I’m home in London by 7pm.