As Sheila and I came down the church drive this Sunday morning, we were amazed to see the winter honeysuckle in full bloom and a bumble bee feasting on the nectar in one of the little trumpet-shaped flowers. I know I’m always going on about winter honeysuckle, but I make no apologies as it’s a wonderful plant. All the bushes along the wall in the Garden of Remembrance (as well as on my allotment and in several other gardens), were propagated from an original plant bought at Hodsock Priory one Snowdrop Week a number of years ago. Everybody should have a winter honeysuckle – just take a small branch, stick it in the soil and it will root for you!
I guess I’m a thrifty gardener and love the idea of making more plants from just one purchase. Looking back over this last year in the community garden at St Mark’s, we’ve proved that we have such bounty in the garden here. We’ve used the opportunity of the newly-established Coffee Mornings and the Summer Garden Party, to share medlar, gooseberry and apple mint jellies, blackcurrants and whitecurrants, courgettes and pumpkins, tomatoes and chillies, as well as numerous plants, herbs and seeds. I feel we’ve touched and inspired many people to grow their own food and to make their gardens fragrant with flowers.
At this time of the year there’s nothing more encouraging and hopeful than to see the shoots of bulbs thrusting up through the soil and winter-flowering shrubs melting us with their fragrance. Although it’s unseasonably mild at the moment and I’m sure there is wintry weather still to come, let’s look forward to another year of abundance in the garden. You might even like to come and join us in the Community Garden at St Mark’s now and again.