Saturday, May 12, 2012

Susie Vereker - One Thing I've Learnt

A few things I've learnt about gardening.

It's difficult keeping up a garden in England if you're an expat and I made several mistakes in the beginning when I was young and green. For instance, initially I didn't realise ground elder was a weed and let it rampage.  In the TV gardening programmes the presenter often starts with a bare plot (with amazingly good soil) but in real life it's often a question of trying to get to grips with a wild old garden. Seek early advice from an experienced gardener and if in doubt, rip out.

A few more tips. Spend money on keeping large hedges under control from the beginning (we didn’t).  Crucial: right plant, right place. No point in buying delicate plants that hate chalk if you live in a chalky frost pocket. If you don’t know what will thrive, look at your neighbour’s garden. 

Last vital piece of advice: never, ever plant arum italicum, however pretty its leaves, & even if you see it in the smartest garden centre.  Its tiny bulbs spread like triffids.  You think you’ve burnt it, but next year up it comes, all around the bonfire, all over everywhere.


Liz Harris said...

I should pass your comments on to DH, Susie - he looks after our garden. I appreciate it from the comfort of a chair, though, so I do my bit.

Liz X

liz fenwick said...

Not at all tempted to garden Liz?


Susan Bergen said...

I heard on Gardeners' Question Time that ground elder can be eaten (like spinach). I've been too chicken to try it though! - It tries to rampage everywhere in my garden too. I'm still waging war but it seems to be too happy there.