Although we unloaded a fair number of plants, as well as some trees and shrubs, after each return journey from the Garden Centre, they were soon swallowed up in our large garden. To speed things up, I decided I would need to sow some packets of seed directly in situ onto the soil. There was no time to sow them in trays and pot them up as they got bigger, as I would have done in previous years. That method would have to wait till the following year, when the garden was more established. We had to fill large spaces quickly before a new crop of weeds emerged.
I first became interested in the beauty and simplicity of wild flowers growing in fields and lanes near where I lived as a child. Added to these were the ones which I had seen surrounding the crops of barley, oats and rye on the island where my parents grew up. I had always imagined that, one day, when the time was right, I would create a wildlife garden with a mixture of wild flowers growing among the cultivated ones.
Armed with an assortment of packets of annuals, consisting of several varieties of poppies, cornflower, corn cockle, corn marigold, ox-eye daisy, foxglove, campion, nigella and ragged robin, my sons and I began to choose areas of the garden where we would broadcast them. In spite of all the cultivated plants we bought from catalogues and Garden Centres over the years, and cuttings we were given from friends’ gardens, there is still ample evidence every year of these annuals we sowed sixteen years ago.
Flambouyant! - Today's flambouyant (Royal poinciana) blooms take the show. I grew this tree from seeds I collected in Guyana 5 and a half years ago.
1 year ago