Bath City Council is silent and there’s been no response to my breathlessly enthusiastic emails. It’s more than two months since they let me know I was top of the allotment waiting list but have still sent no news of progress. So I’ve had to keep my green fingers indoors and satisfy my gardening urge by sorting out my window boxes. (I’ve shamefully neglected them this year as I kept holding out for my own patch of earth.)
Finding some affordable box balls – and a friend willing to help me carry them home – has spurred me on the get the window boxes looking good again. A Saturday afternoon of potting up old plants and adding the new has done just that. As you know, all this activity takes place on the bathroom floor, which is just as well as it was raining hard yesterday. Reaching through the windows to bring in pots was my only risk of getting wet.
I have four big window ledges to enjoy. Each belongs to a different room, and without a conscious decision, I’ve formed a very different scheme for each. Let me take you on a tour:
The living room boasts The Formal Garden, a scheme of box balls in two different sizes. They stand like a row of soldiers in their zinc containers. Some deep purple salvias have joined in too but it’s still a pretty regimented arrangement. (Sadly the golden days of my topiary hare are long gone, it proved a little windy for him and he had to be retired to my mum’s garden.)
Things get more casual by the time you reach the bedroom window. This is my Cottage Garden. I have a protective outer ‘hedge’ of lavender which shelters an insane number of tiny specimens arranged in no order whatsoever, each earning its place by its ability to fit into a teeny space. There’s even a little garden sculpture tucked in here, a clay head with house leeks for hair. My baby oak tree lives here too.
And then there’s the bathroom, very possibly my favourite. I laughingly refer to it as ‘The Derek Jarman Tribute Garden’, as I’ve gone for a seaside feel with pink thrift and gravel and shells. Well, it makes me smile to have a little piece of Dungeness in the middle of Bath. (And the urban gulls do decorate it for me every so often to keep up the seaside feeling!)
The fourth window ledge belongs to the kitchen, it’s my nursery bed and retirement area for plants that have seen better days and need a rest. I dream of a luscious herb collection for me to lean out and snip with ease as I cook but I fear the lead content would be too high as I live next to a main road. (No picture of this, I’m sure you’ll understand.)
I won’t be appearing in the Yellow Book any time soon and I’m afraid I don’t have space to serve you a cream tea but thank you for coming on my mini garden tour. I’m off to empty the dust and compost out of my vacuum cleaner – or is that the indoor gardener’s compost heap?