Because I get so little time in the garden, I spend many hours staring out the window at what I’d like to be doing, while I’m deep in the realities of feeding children/washing dishes/writing at the PC. If you’re the same, it’s well worth crafting the tableau you see out the window. It’s a bit of a cheat, since you’re focusing on a single garden snapshot from one perspective, but a really satisfying view is priceless when it’s your only access to the garden for days or weeks at a time.
I’ve been working on my view from the kitchen sink and it’s coming along, but since we reorganised the house, our kitchen table looks right onto the sorry clematis I mentioned in this earlier blog post about my rose hedge. The winter flowering Clematis Cirrhosa “Jingle Bells” has disappointed three years running and I’d given up on it, until I finally acted on what my eyes had been telling me for ages — only slugs could be responsible for its stripped-bare stems. Over summer I opted for the Nemaslug multipack of beneficial nematodes as a biological control for slugs; the nematodes immediately made the slugs lose their appetite before finally finishing them off quietly, without any of the mess or environmental dodginess of slug pellets. Incidentally I’ve been fascinated to see the US gardening media speak mostly of the pernicious nematodes, with very little said about these beneficial nematodes which are so popular in Britain. My UK supplier is Green Gardener, although there are many others.
And wow, do they work. I’ve just received my third of installment of nematodes and will douse the area again now before winter. It’s still clearly showing the effects of slug damage, but the clematis has sprung to life, with dozens of flower heads and regrowing foliage. If I can just get out of the house and release my nematode friends before they pass their expiry date, there’s hope for my dinner table garden view this winter.
If you’re looking for excellent advice about crafting views out the window, the best source I’ve found is the venerable Reader’s Digest Good Ideas for Your Garden — widely available on Amazon.