It’s all a bit local round here.
Richard and I were at the very good Askham Hall Kitchen Garden Café on Friday (I recommend the pizza cooked in the wood-fired oven). In the gardens they sell plants and have a fine selection of interesting and unusual herbs, not at the usual garden centre prices either. I bought some little mint plants, Moroccan mint, Pineapple mint, Ginger mint and Chocolate mint. I will take cuttings and sell the plants at the gate later in the summer but meantime the mother plants are in old terracotta pots outside the French doors from our sitting room. Brushing the plants as we walk past releases the wonderful scent. Handy position too, we often nip off a sprig for new potatoes, a dish of peas, a bowl of strawberries and cream, a jug of iced water or a gin and tonic.
Anyway, back to the scene at Askham Hall. I was paying for my plant purchases when a voice behind me said ‘Hello, Jeannie, you’re not supposed to be buying plants, you’re supposed to be selling them!’. I hastily trotted out my propagation story. This person who’d caught me in the act of buying was Mary from Helton, just along the road from Bampton. I’d met her before. She’d bought some tiny Cosmos plants at the Bampton Plants and Produce Fair in aid of Hospice at Home earlier in the year, I run the plants stall there each year and had grown a lot of young plants for sale at the Fair. The Cosmos plants sold very well, none left at the end of the day.
I love Cosmos, the flowers seem to float on their ferny stems and as they bloom later in the summer and go on and on, they are great value in the border when other herbaceous things have long since faded. Slugs and snails don’t seem interested, which is a bonus.
Mary bought Cosmos Bipinnatus ‘Purity’ White at the Fair in May. The photo shows it in her garden at home in Helton. She wanted some more. I had some deep orange and red varieties at the little stall at the gate, so later on Friday, Mary popped round and bought them. She went home and took a picture of the established white ones in her garden and sent it to me. Here they are, don’t they look lovely.
Mary also bought a wild fennel plant at the gate and two pots of my jam.
I did say it’s all a bit local round here.