Gardening is so much more than being able to identify a tree or know which way a plant goes in the ground. Stating the bleeding obvious? Perhaps.
After lunch today Lady Mantle whisked me off to visit a local garden, ostensively to admire some autumn colour. Which is exactly what we did. The on-cue afternoon sunshine highlighted the burning leaves of Cornus kousa, ivory fruit of Sorbus cashmiriana, and the fragrant Cercidiphyllum japonicum amongst many fine specimens. Late flowers of hesperantha, Hylotelephium spectabile and verbena graced the borders. Brash dahlias, potentillas and caryopteris are a few others that warrant a mention. Except there was so much more. People. Yes, I’m talking about those often dastardly human creatures who seem to mess most things up in the world. Not in this case though. The aim of this group of rural friends is to create a mutually beneficial gardening society. For novices, tinkerers, the encyclopedic, the easily distracted and those who just want to get out of the house. To share and encourage and support and laugh and enjoy their gardens. To gain all the benefits of exercise and learning and good companionship. To grow. To help others to do the same.
So much more than learning Latin names and which way is up.