Other Chronicles Chronicle July 2015

June 2015



Greetings to all my gardening friends.

It’s Midsummer Day 2015 and the rain is pouring down. It makes one want to try. What a summer (ha! ha) we’ve had so far this year. The summer that never came. Last Sunday we had the garden open to raise money for the local Botkyrka branch of the Red Cross for the last time this season. We celebrated with music in the garden provided by our dear friends, the quartet Klarinet Con Brio. Unfortunately, the weather was against us – rain and clouds – with relatively few visitors as a consequence. But those brave souls who did turn up in spite of the weather were able to enjoy lovely music and witness an amazing show provided by hundreds of alliums – mainly Purple Sensation, but also the narrow Cauruleum “drumstick” alliums, as well as the higher, thicker Globemaster – at the same time as hundreds of red poppies were at their best. Apart from the lovely old trees, poppies provided the only impressive aspect of the garden when we moved in 20 years ago.

This year we’ve really been unlucky with the weather, and the two previous times we’ve had the garden open have been overshadowed by cloud, wind and rain. Very disappointing, but there’s nothing one can do against the forces of nature. The most positive thing is to focus on the fact that all the rain makes the garden so verdant and lush...

We can only hope for better weather on Sunday, 19 July when we open the garden for the last time this year and, as is now traditional, participate in the Land magazine’s annual “Open Garden” scheme. It’s always fun and everyone is most welcome, between 12 noon and 6 PM (no dogs, please).

I’m running around like a madman with a pair of scissors, cutting Spanish “superslugs”. The situation in the garden is absolutely hopeless. Today, I’ve dealt with approximately 300. I wouldn’t wish these slugs on my worst enemy. But anyway: we’re hoping for summer, summer, summer. When the summer eventually does come, it will bring with it a fantastic season for roses. We’ve lived here just over 20 years and I’ve never seen such enormous buds on the roses. The rhododendrons have also been wonderful and this year (like every year) it’s been an experience to see the amazing colour coordination of the white-yellow rhododendron Belle Heller with the blooming laburnum trees. Now, though, it’s the roses and perennials that are waiting for their turn to shine.

I must mention our new product, namely birch wood serving trays with designs from the garden (as usual, the pictures are taken by our wonderful photographer, Solveig Edlund). We’re extremely pleased with the samples that we received a short while ago from the manufacturer in Småland and so we’ve given the green light to go into production. To begin with, there will be one large round tray featuring a water lily, and a small rectangular tray with roses. They should be ready well in time for the three markets where we usually stand after the summer, namely Sigtuna market on 29 August, the Garden Market in Enköping on 5 September and Harvest Day (the autumn market) in Hågelby Park on 19 September.

A big hug from Tumba, from me. Have a wonderful summer and enjoy every moment nature provides. Life is green (for the most part). Life is a gift.


Stefan, A Gentleman Gardener