Oh I do like a challenge!
Diana from Elephant’s Eye (a fabulous blog based on her garden in South Africa) has set us a challenge to write about a signature plant each month. Her guidelines are to imagine a new empty small garden, an enclosed courtyard, a view from window or a new garden bed. Then choose 12 plants that grow happily in our climate and soil and write once a month about our chosen plant and link it back to her.
For once I really was stumped, do I have a signature plant? I am not sure I do. To me a “signature” is something that you are recognisable by, such as my Grandma who always wore the same perfume, even birthday and christmas cards used to smell of it.
I didn’t think I had any one plant in my garden that could be referred to as a ‘signature’. It had me thinking though and this is where almost a year of blogging about my garden has come to the fore; such a great diary to refer back to.
I try to cultivate a Country Garden theme with plants that tumble into each other and not much space for the earth to peep through. A friend of mine is not too keen on my idea of a gardening, his garden is set out neatly and is very tidy, everything in its place and room around each plant to be able to see each one set off in its glory. I fear he sees my garden as being “untidy”. I see it as exciting and fun.
Plant sales are a really bad place for me to be, I will buy anything that catches my eye, whether I have room for it or not. There are a lot of single plants in the garden, normally because I can’t afford to buy 3 of the same. Gardening programs, when replanting or making new flowers beds, tend to plant in 3’s so I have this dilemma of “do I buy 3 of the same or do I buy a selection of plants?” . I try to stick to a budget so I tend to go for the second option, and shoehorn my new purchases into any space I can find. There is no really planning going on and some of you reading this may throw your hands up in horror but that is what makes it fun.
Although not done with forethought, I will usually select at plant that will self-seed or just spread, such as Hardy Geraniums (Cranesbill).
Now, I am really thinking about this, I do have one plant that is all over my garden. It spreads its seed around the garden and in all sorts of nooks and crannies, I have even found it growing behind the dustbins! Although it doesn’t flower throughout the whole of the Summer, it is one plant that I wouldn’t do without. Even if I lived in a tiny flat with only a balcony for a garden, I would find someway of growing this great flower.
My first signature for my Dozen for Diana is AQUILEGIA or the Columbine.
I wrote a post about these in May 2011 and called it “Granny’s Bonnet is Growing in my Country Garden” . To my surprise, it is one post that has had a lot of hits over the last year. That could, of course, not be anything to do with Aquilegia, but just because people have Googled “Granny’s Bonnet” and my page came up in the search. Nevertheless it introduced the unsuspecting Google searcher to a plant they may never have known about.
The brilliant idea of having a meme is that it introduces you to new blogs from all over the world that you would not have otherwise found. Thank you Diana for coming up with such a great theme for us to write about and one that we can do each month in 2012.