When it comes to the flowerbeds, most of the time my gardening teeters between barely keeping up with the weeds (let alone the Joneses) and absolutely not keeping up with anything (put it this way, the weekend’s gardening activity hasn’t so much been ‘weeding’ as ‘bringing in the sticky willie harvest’ – by the barrowload).
But occasionally something I’ve been plugging away at in the background just comes together in a rather satisfying way. My habit of uprooting any stray primroses I come across and using them as ground cover in a particularly weed infested corner, for instance, results in a nice carpet of sunshine yellow every spring, something that I mostly forget about and then get pleasantly surprised by every year. Or the ox-eye daisy tsunami that erupts out of the flowerbed towards the end of the summer after I spent a little time splitting and spreading a small clump.
So for the last couple of years, I’ve been keeping a sharp eye out while cycling around, looking for the one or two foxgloves out of the millions that surround us that come up something other than rather lurid pink. These have been duly noted, and their seed gathered once the pods mature and scattered in another corner which was full of self-seeded foxgloves anyway. After a little bit of selective seed head removal and then some benign neglect, this year I was rewarded by this
Which I rather like. And all for the very pleasing sum of £0 and 0p. Which is the best bit, really.
Up close, of course, any foxglove is a splendid thing.