I'm planning to sow the seed as soon as it's ripe - like the Crambe, I've never had any success with bought-in seed. Next year, I'll put Angelica gigas, with purple flowers, in the same position and try for a kind of angelica rotation, year in, year out. I also have young plants of wild angelica (Angelica sylvestris). I found it very easy to germinate - I realise now that it's actually growing down by the river 200 feet away, but the less said about that the better.
If only, if only, Anne Wareham had not pinched the 'bad-tempered gardener' epithet. It so perfectly fits me that I almost feel that Prince Charming should just appear and slip it on my blog anyway! At the moment my garden looks like the work of a (blind) idiot ... no taste, little colour, nothing. And it is so dry that it would probably look more at home in a potter's kiln.
My worries about taste? Recently I found myself craving two pots for the Mirror Garden. I want to fill them (eventually) with Melianthus major, but this year I settled for two artichokes (edible type, 'Violette de Provence'). They are grey-blue, glazed, quite nice (the pots, I mean, although the artichoke is also grey-blue in foliage colour). But Nick confirmed my worst fears when he arrived home two weekends ago - they do, as my subconscious was sneakily suggesting, look just like two blue buckets sitting on a perfectly nice lawn. Is it just me that gets it wrong (expensively)?
At the moment, whenever I actually manage to steal a few moments out there in spite of the heat and various 'breaks' arranged on my behalf, I pull helplessly at groundsel and sow thistles that tower above my head (and my potatoes - I lost the hornbeam a long time ago).
When I gardened professionally, we always used to say you needed 2 men per acre. (Perhaps the sex was more significant than I imagined? We never thought a lot of the men because they got bored so quickly when sent to weed.) I have half an acre so I should be 'grand', as they say. Sadly, no one pays me to do the garden full-time any more, but someone does pay me (occasionally) to do other things. Add to that 15 days of intense (circa 30-35 degree) heat on the terraces, no rain, and little pockets where even some of the weeds are dying. (Have you seen that? It's not pleasant).
I can definitely say that the garden looks worse in its second year than it did in the first. And I have literally never seen so many weeds in my life (some, the worst, are thriving - typical). Dare to say that the 'one year seeding, seven years weeding' proverb is nonsense at your peril! Better still, come and have a look at me trying to scale a ten-foot wall to behead a sow thistle in full flower. I am running scared.
As if to add insult to injury, I have just been out in the (nearly) dark, leaping about from rock to rock on my terraced slopes (well, I wasn't born a Capricorn for nothing!) and waving my hosepipe at my floundering yew hedge. And then what did it do for the first time in 15 days ... you guessed it. But at least I caught the corners the rain is unlikely to reach.
Have I bitten off more than I can chew? ... watch this space.
But, oh my, that rain is welcome.