Chronicle June 2011 | Chronicle August 2011

Juli 2011

Greetings to all my dearest gardening friends here in the incredibly long country of Sweden. And, of course, warmest greetings to my other readers around the world, who are a constant source of inspiration; to think that I, an ordinary gardening enthusiast in the Stockholm area, can reach people in so many different countries. It’s doubtless due a great deal to the fact that these chronicles are translated from Swedish into English (which you are reading now). I am so truly grateful for your encouragement.  So please, wherever you might be, continue to accompany us on our little gardening journey here in Sweden.

We are now in the month of July, actually far into the month. Everyone would so like the summer to be long, long, long, whereas in fact here in Sweden it is, of course, short, short, short. So all one can do is to attempt to make the best of things. With a little planning and forethought, and getting started on time, it’s possible to go quite far even in this cold climate.

The date is 20 July 2011 and I want to express my thanks to all the visitors we have had in the garden so far this season. We've had the garden open three times for the charity Hela Människan, which among other things helps the homeless and children in need, and we’ll be open to help them another two times this year, on August 21 and September 18. A couple of weeks ago, on Sunday, 17 July, we participated yet again in the Open Garden scheme organised by the newspaper Land. We had approximately 100 visitors and it really was great fun.  I love meeting people, and I love sharing with them my garden and whatever little knowledge I possess. It’s not that much, but over the years I’ve learned a thing or two. In this context, I want to say that I'm eternally grateful to my dear friend Inga, who has shared with me so much of her knowledge.

One of the visitors to the garden recently asked me "What's the best thing to learn about the garden?" Personally, I think the best way of learning about the garden and its maintenance is from other people who love gardens, who respect them, and work with gardens. Then you can learn a great deal. So never hesitate to ask!

 So, you might ask, what's happening in the garden right now, in the middle of July? Naturally, I'm watering like crazy because it's high summer, and so the hosepipes are working overtime. Walking through various parts of the garden, the air is filled with wonderful scents; just now it’s the turn of the lilies. Lilies en masse. I LOVE lilies. I plant them both in pots and in the ground. In the autumn, I don't bother taking up the ones that I’ve planted in pots. Instead, I cut them down and put them in the cellar and then they come back the following year – as a rule. One lily that we now have in the garden for the first time is the fantastic, exotic Asian lily Netty’s Pride, with large purple-black flowers fringed with white tips. Absolutely stunning.

And then we come to the clematis Summer Snow, which I’ve talked about many times before. It simply grows and flourishes without my ever needing to water it or give it fertilizer. It’s still amazingly grateful and, year after year, yields a wonderful, display of blooms without parallel; in other words, simply breathtaking.

Fine, manicured lawns are not my style. I like lushness combined with a touch of mystery; I like to wander around the garden and wonder: what's this here, what's happening there? That’s how I am.

One thing for which I'm extremely grateful is that, although we’re now in the middle of July, there is still so much that lies ahead, so many plants that haven’t yet come into bloom. I'm thinking, for example, of the actaea (Cimicifuga  Racemosa), the Joe Pye weed (Eutrochium Purpureum), and masses of perennials, sedum telephium, etc. which are simply waiting to get started. I like to think that our modest garden is truly a living garden, with something always happening, from beginning to end.

I'm now going up to sit awhile now in the gazebo with the thatched roof which we built a couple of years ago. From there I can gaze down on the white, shimmering Annabella hortensia and feel a humble sense of gratitude over everything that nature gives. Life, for the most part, is indeed wonderful.

Continue  to have a great summer
A gentleman garden
p.s. don’t forget our open garden on Sunday, 21 August, 12 noon – 5pm. Entrance 20 kronor, to the benefit of Hela Människan.