This is not Instagram gardening

What is wrong with this picture? Gorgeous horses. In a field. Munching on clover.

All is not what it seems.

Just a few minutes before this shot was taken I looked up from a potager mooch to find an interloper doing the same thing.

Cybelle. Escaping from her confines. Closely followed by Ulysse making for the road. To escape from their farm they need to pass through ours. And there are juicy delights to sample on the way.

By the time I had worked out I had no apples to entice them back, nor any halters to catch them, they were thundering down towards a departmental road and possible annihilation.

Actually we have so few cars on our roads that I doubt they would have caused a disturbance. But I lumbered to my feet and went hunting.

And it made me think that pictures lie.

And gardening pictures lie more than most.  Want to see the only good feature of a plant? Show it in tight tight close up of its glorious flowering moment. Whilst simultaneously neglecting to mention it flowers for a fortnight and the rest of the year the whole plant is blah.

So too my gardening beds.

This walnut bank is evolving. Some years its a riot of euphorbia robbiae, ¬†(Mrs Robb’s Bonnet), other years the acanthus mollis gets just the perfect amount of moisture, and I have a jungle of green. There are epimediums some years, other times the iris foetidissima (oh, wondrous shade loving iris) elbows everything else out of the way.

I like to think I have some control here.


Short of pulling out the grab grass, the pernicious weeds, the unwanted Queen Anne’s lace, and pruning the cornus, there is not much that I can do.

I weed. I mulch. The least I can do is show you what a glorious mess I make when I get weeding. I’ve planted more iris, and bulbs. And watered the three junipers lurking at the base of the walnut.

And here’s the ‘after’ shot of order and delight. Not quite Insta gardening. But at least it’s not a grubby disgrace.