Enjoy your sunset

* This item was gifted.
When I brought this gerbera home at the end of February, I didn’t have high hopes for it or my green fingered skills if I’m honest. The blurb promised me that it would be in flower by the time of Gardeners’ World Live, which takes place in mid-June. And I was, as it turned out, unnecessarily skeptical.

IN FEBRUARY

IN FEBRUARY

The new variety is called “Sweet Sunset” and it’s planned to be introduced at Gardeners World Live in June on the spectacular pyramid display. I’m not planning to go to this show this year - we went last year for the first time, and it was great, but I figured that I have plenty of content to share here already, and as the show is straight on the back of our holiday, I could use the leave more efficiently this year.

the sweet sunset gerbera in flower

I’ll be sorry to have missed this plant there though, as despite my misgivings it’s a bright and cheery plant. And I am rather partial to orange it seems, this year even more than before it’s creeping more into my wardrobe.

I’m supposed to have repotted it, but given my general lack of gardening enthusiasm in the early part of this year, that hasn’t happened yet, but even so it’s flowering. And I quite like the clash with the red background of plates on the dresser in the photo above.

IN JUNE

IN JUNE

It’s since moved from there though, and found a new home on our drinks trolley as you’ll have seen earlier this week. And while we’ve been away I’ve needed to find it yet another home, as leaving it to try and survive in the conservatory without help, wasn’t going to be my best plan.

* Although this item was gifted during my visit to the Garden Press Event in February, I was under no obligation to share it here on my blog.

Gin and a gerbera

Because what every well dressed drinks trolley needs, is a selection of gin and a gerbera. Don’t believe me, then by now surely you’ll know I’m not always conventional, and even MOH is being won round. But that could be to do with the amount of gin, which we’ve seriously neglected to drink.

an eclectic and colourful collection on our drinks trolley

The drinks trolley was an addition - and a treat to ourselves - following the conservatory refurb work we undertook last summer. I don’t think I’ve shared it here before, and I’m not sure why, because it’s one of the items that’s helped transform our space. And it comes in handy with my new cocktails every day on a Bank Holiday weekend rule, which surely should be adopted without any questions asked.

looking down on some gin

The gerbera is a new variety, and I’ll share more about it later this week, so if sunny, bright and orange gerberas are your thing you can find out more on Friday.

Aperol and a gerbera to match

And yes, I know Aperol isn’t gin, but Aperol Spritz and Negronis are the best drinks ever, along with gin and fizz (separately not together) so it has an almost permanent home on the drinks trolley. MOH is being educated on the art of arranging, and less is more. He was all for filling it full of booze, and while that’s admirable, my preference is to keep some of that in its cupboard space.

He hated the fact there was a cake tin on the trolley. I loved it as it brings some colour at a lower level. And yes, I know it’s not a normal addition, but what’s normal, and why is that something to aim for? Exactly.

Curved edges and glass of our drinks trolley
bar accessories

The shape of the trolley was what really attracted us to it, and one of its best features is the bars around the bottle spaces, as when MOH takes his trolley on manoeuvres, it’s invaluable. We spent a fair bit of time deciding whether to take the drinks trolley plunge, or not, but it was so worth it. it’s not the most functional piece of furniture, but when was functional fun?

bombay sapphire gin and a decanter, and curves of the drinks trolley

And in case you’re wondering, it’s from Atkin and Thyme who have plenty of contemporary furniture, which as you’ll discover if you browse their site can add a bit of quirkiness to your home.

Are you in the drinks trolley gang, or in the no-way ever camp?

Fill your garden with fragrance this June

Gardening is good for you, and so is smelling the roses. But it’s not just the roses, there’s plenty in our gardens that provide scent, and scent and plants sensory appeal should also be something when we consider plants for our garden, whether they’re flowers or herbs.

Plants evolved fragrant flowers to attract pollinating insects, rewarding them with nectar and pollen, and the scent is something we enjoy too. Research on floral scents highlights their benefit to both mental and physical health by relieving stress and depression.

Scent can also improve memory focus and wellbeing. particularly alongside other sensory engagement with plants and gardening activities. There’s a reason why lavender is used for relaxation - it’s been shown to lower blood pressure and heart rates to promote better sleep.

Aromatic rosemary though, keeps us alert, improving focus and memory. But scent can also unlock memories, transporting you back to a time or place in the past. So while we have scented candles, we should perhaps grow our own aromatherapy plants instead and enjoy the simple pleasure of filling our gardens with fragrance.

This is my new monthly linkup, where you can share your gardens and/or gardening posts (old or new) that complement the month’s theme. For June, that’s fragrance. The linkup will stay open all month, so pop back if your post isn’t published yet, and remember you can link up an old post too.

Did you know?

The Fragrance Wheel was developed by the perfume industry to categorise different scents, giving them a descriptive language they could use. Fragrance directly changes our mood too. Fruit and spice perfumes are uplifting and reinvigorating, while floral and rosy perfumes reduce stress and anxiety and promote mental balance. Fresh, green, herbal and citrus perfumes keep us mentally active and creative, while earthy scents can be comforting and nurturing.

Plants of the moment for scent

There’s scented plants for every season, including pot plants and cut flowers like sweet peas to bring indoors. Summer scents are particularly enjoyable while sitting outside and relaxing in our own gardens. Shrubs with highly fragrant flowers, such as the mock orange (Philadelphus) and lilac, or climbers like roses, jasmine or honeysuckle. Where we position our fragrant plants is important too, lavender and herbs are often close to paths, doorways and seating areas so we can maximise their fragrance as we pass.

Plant suggestions include:

  • Lavender

  • Fragrant roses

  • Mock Orange

  • Lilacs

  • Aromatic herbs such as rosemary, sage, thyme, lemon verbena and oregano.

My garden has many of these plants, and the jasmine especially provides a heady and welcome scent on those balmy summer evenings, and the scent alone transports me back to a holiday, many years ago in Seville. Where do your scent memories take you?

“TheGardenYear

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