Last week there was an evening when I was kind of bored, sitting in my Copenhagen apartment and not really knowing what to do. But then, there’s always the internet, right?
By the end of the evening I had ordered the following:
- A white currant
- A red currant
- A black currant
- A red gooseberry
- A yellow gooseberry
- A red raspberry
- A yellow raspberry
- A blackberry
- A boysenberry
- A black-leaved elder (“black lace”)
There’s a decent hedge along the West edge of the garden, but the East side only has a wire fence. It’s not that I really need a hedge for privacy reasons, considering that the nearest neighbour is nearly half a mile away, but first of all the wire fence just isn’t all that attractive and second of all I rather like the idea of a garden as an enclosed space, especially since I am surrounded by open fields.
On my recent Tour de Denmark, visiting family and friends across the Great Belt on Funen and in Jutland, my mother offered me an additional berry shrub. I actually wanted jostaberries, but because they are still fairly rare the prices were just too high for what I wanted to pay – but my mother’s shrub had several branches that had arched down to the ground and rooted, so I came away with three cuttings with fully developed root systems.
They look a bit puny right now, but so did my mother’s when we planted it 2 years ago – and now hers is a full shrub 5ft high and 7ft wide, so I feel pretty certain that my three little twigs will be a good start to my hedge.
The jostaberry is not very well-known, perhaps because it only became commercially available in 1977. It’s a hybrid between a gooseberry and a black currant, so it gives very large berries that have a gooseberry flavour when not-quite-ripe and a black currant flavour when fully ripe. And it gives LOTS of berries… In many ways it’s surprising that it hasn’t become more mainstream, considering that it’s a thorn-less berry shrub that gives an ample harvest and can be cut back more or less as much as you want to.
It feels good to have made my first REAL stamp on the garden. The East edge is one of the long sides of the garden (around 230ft), so planting that up with berry shrubs will be a very visible alteration to the garden – but still in keeping with the original scheme, since the vegetable garden is also on that side.
In other news, snowdrops are popping out all over the place, even in the lawn. They are all over the garden; in the borders, under shrubs, in the lawn… There are also a few clumps of aconites, but the snowdrops are really a favourite of mine, so I am very pleased to see so many of them.
Another welcome resident of the garden is this:
I love day lilies, and this one is probably my favourite, considering the history of the garden. It’s very likely to be the common, orange day lily, since it has been a common feature of Danish country gardens for the best part of a century. That’s the one my grandmother has in her present garden – and had when they lived on the farm – and also the one my parents had in my childhood garden. There might be prettier varieties out there, but this is the one I love for sentimental reasons.
Tomorrow I might have a look around the garden to see if there’s an obvious spot to plant some of the day lilies; it looks like the clump could do with being divided, and anyway it’s sort of in a bad position, nestled beneath some fuchsia shrubs. Not only will the colours clash violently, but I also think the day lilies would like to live somewhere where there aren’t overhanging shrubs…
Tomorrow I’ll also have my first ever guest in the house. That’s a “little bit” daunting! I love this place so much, but I am realistic enough to acknowledge that it’s quite a mess at present. And yet I want guests to see what I see; potential! If I get the kitchen looking decent and provide a nice bedroom for my guest, perhaps the rest will seem like “potential”?