Everyone's heard of writer's block when the inspiration just doesn't flow and as an amateur artist, I've experienced artist's block when I just can't find the motivation to pick up my brushes. Well here's a new one - gardener's block and I've got it! I've spent a lifetime growing plants and in love with gardens but over the last few months, I find the interest has waned. And no I'm not just a lazy couch potato that can't be bothered to put my boots on, its just that the horticultural muse seems to have deserted me! I had thought that after the stark desert landscapes of California, a return to the lushness and diversity of UK gardens would give me an injection of botanical creativity but sadly that has not happened. My motivation has wilted!
If there really are any readers out there that have been following me for a while, you may have noticed that I didn't report on the Chelsea Flower Show. Well the truth is that I didn't go! I wasn't asked to judge this year and although I get free tickets, I just couldn't find the enthusiasm to spend a long tiring day looking at pseudo gardens filled with preened plants, being swanned over by celebrities and TV cameras. Oh dear - yes I have got a very jaded view and I guess if the RHS read this, I shall never be asked to judge again!
I am getting pleasure from my own little garden and have filled the gaps where I usually grow exotics with some more permanent shrubs and perennials. Being away so much of the year means the garden will have to be simpler. But here we are coming up to mid June and I still haven't filled my pots with anything. I do love summer colour so maybe some bedding and exotic foliage will get me going? Sadly my little greenhouse that was my pride and joy last year is virtually empty. Five small pots of Bowle's golden grass hardly fill it! I guess if I had returned here earlier in the year, I might have used it more but at this stage, I am rather at a loss to know what to do. Last year the tomatoes barely ripened before I left in September so it hardly seems worth the effort.
So does anyone have any ideas? Do I need to get into horticultural rehab and force myself to spend an hour a day doing something with dirty hands? Can I find the enthusiasm to visit an NGS garden and face all those blue rinse ladies with their brimming borders and soggy sponge cakes? Shall I go on a wild spree with my credit card at the local garden centre? ( I hear Philip saying 'Certainly not!') Well having bared my horticultural soul, maybe I am on the road to recovery. I'll try and find something more positive to say next time - keep reading!