The Portable Garden

I’m in for a bit of a busy week. I’m going abroad, briefly, and then on home to the Midlands for a bit. It’s a lot to pack in to a couple of days. Before that, however, I’ve got to move quite a bit of my garden, for exciting reasons. A TV programme’s being filmed right outside my house, and the channel’s location manager has asked me if I’d be willing to have my plants moved just for a couple of days, because the look they are going for is gritty and grimy, not flowery and pretty. The production team will be moving a lot of the plants themselves, but there’s quite a few bits and bobs that I’d prefer to do – the cucumbers, melon and honeysuckle were all attached to the railings, for example, so I’d rather be the one to untangle them.

It’s resulted in my house looking a bit like a jungle.

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And outside feels a bit bare.


I don’t mind doing it though – in fairness, they offered to do everything themselves, but I thought it was a good time to have a bit of a clearout. I got rid entirely of the bolted radishes and the sweet peas. I felt a bit sad about the latter, even though part of them remains:


I saved some seeds too. But it’s good to have the space, especially as I have an ambitious project in mind for over the winter, which will require the troughs and the support that the washing line could provide (I admittedly lose out on space to hang my clothes out to dry, but I’m thinking that realistically, in winter in Northumberland, there aren’t going to be many suitable days anyway).

Anyway, I hope I’ve moved enough and I don’t get panicked calls from the production people while I’m at work. I have paranoid visions of them shouting at me for having too many plants. There are a lot, but hopefully they’re all relatively portable now, so it’ll just be a case of people carefully moving them off my balcony. I went and complicated things by buying a really tall, really beautiful plant from the Alnwick garden shop:


It’s a Black Knight larkspur, and nearly as tall as me. I’m worried the stalk will snap in the wind, but it seems pretty sturdy.

Finally, I harvested a few more cucumbers before I moved the cucumber plants indoors (an extremely delicate operation, which I hope they’ll survive). One of them’s curly, look!

I think curly cucumbers should be more widely accepted in society, to be fair. They’re twice as quick to cut.