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'The Beautiful and the Bountiful'

Jo Perry

Tuesday, May 1st


At this time of year I find it almost impossible to prioritise my priorities. I am talking particularly about the propagating tunnel. I am so easily distracted. This morning I started by pricking out salad leaves, Mizuna, mustards and Persian cress. Then, as I was moving trays around to make space, I tripped over a module tray of flat leaved parsley. So I potted up a few, and while trying to find a home for them, a lovely Pelargonium Sanguineum caught my eye. This tender plant had been overwintering in the tunnel and really needed repotting into a terracotta pot for the summer. And so it goes on.


I am constantly torn between the need to grow plants for the vegetable garden and wanting to grow flowers and ornamentals for the rest of garden. The ongoing routine of sowing and pricking out salad leaves to make sure there is a seamless supply for the restaurant is sometimes very tedious when more exciting seedlings of flowers are waiting for attention. Nevertheless I try to keep a balance and think of the garden as a whole entity. We have always attempted to mix the beautiful with the bountiful to create a sustainable micro environment. It isn’t easy on a semi commercial scale but when it does work it is very rewarding. At the moment the tomato plants must be a priority as well as the continued sowing of salads.

But this week the tulips are at their glorious best, and what would attract all the pollinating insects if not for the succession of cottage garden flowers that will take us through the summer? A little bit of perspective is what’s needed but I really do need to start planting those tomato plants.


Photos by Sarah Twomey ©