Some of us with an addiction to plants manage to garden without even taking a step through the back door. It might not be as flashy a talent as what you can do with the Iron Man suit or being able to command lightning bolts with a chunky hammer, but I think of it as a superpower nonetheless.
I haven’t been able to spend much time planting and pottering in the past couple of weeks, so I’ve been gardening in my head. In the way that I imagine a parched man in the desert will have fully-fledged flights of fancy where he doesn’t just have bland visions of water, but whole narratives about how he comes across an oasis and how it feels to have a long, cooling drink – my lack of time in the garden has manifested itself in thinking about grand plans like planting my own forest and building my own Eden Project in Scotland, and then filling the landscapes in my mind with particular trees and shrubs and perennials layer by layer.
Of course, working on Plantedd has been a brilliant outlet for all this fizzing plant frustration and the energy has been channelled into building the website. It’s exciting to think that other daydreaming gardeners will soon be able to use Plantedd to make their daydreams come true and buy plants to create their own forest or Eden Project.
Just before I go off to do a bit more armchair gardening, I want to sing the praises of a couple of plants that I saw in a garden last month.
Euphorbia amygdaloides var. robbiae and Arum italicum subsp. italicum ‘Marmoratum’ are both a bit of a mouthful to say, but they’re the worth the effort. They do well even in quite heavy shade so they’re very useful. It’s true that they spread a little, but they do it gently and in any case, it’s that quiet vigour that makes them at home in tough conditions – at the base of a wall or the foot of a hedge, for example.
Euphorbia amygdaloides var. robbiae. Photograph: Lesley Middlemass/Creative Commons
I think of them like the supporting characters in a film. They’re less showy than the stars but they make things more interesting and give your eyes somewhere to rest. Speaking of which, I’m off to rest my eyes now and dream about birch trees, trilliums and lilies.
Arum italicum subsp. italicum ‘Marmoratum’. Photograph: James Gaither/Creative Commons