I recently decided to create an informal hedge of filberts, guelder roses and roses along the eastern boundary of the front garden. My hope is that this will create a better backdrop for the north-east border than the neighbours’ cars.
Don’t get me wrong, our neighbours are lovely. It’s just that my planting doesn’t stand out terribly well against either their cars or the brickwork paving of the drive (I regularly bemoan how intrusive our own drive is).
The filberts and guelder roses are (or will be) grown from cuttings and seedlings but it’s a great opportunity to select some more roses. The colour scheme for this corner of the garden is orange through to yellow, colours I wouldn’t normally choose for roses. Fortunately a nursery I’ve used had a sail so, after an evening studying the options, I’ve placed my order and am eagerly awaiting delivery.
Today would have been my paternal grandmother’s birthday and so is a day I particularly remember her. An avid gardener G’ma Phyl(lis) created a beautiful garden in her last home (the only one I clearly remember) that looked stunning whatever the season.
I would love to plant something to remember G’ma Phyl by and read somewhere of the association between Phyllis and almond trees in Greek mythology. Almond trees however need a sheltered spot, something I’m not sure my garden high in the Kentish downland can offer. The front garden, while south-facing, is often shredded by the prevailing wind and the back garden is a perfect frost pocket with little sun for half the year.
Further research has revealed that filbert, often used in Kent in place of hazelnut, has its origin in Phyllis. Although the fragrant flowers of the almond might seem more appropriate for G’ma Phyl, there is something lovely about linking this local tradition with my memories of a remarkable woman.
As G’ma Phyl used to say, ‘Aren’t we lucky!’