Sarah Coles

Garden in the Sky

Jonquil had to choose between her bedroom with its sky view, and her basement with its garden view, and she chose the former. I thought she was mad, but now I understand. I lay in bed, sleepless. The dark sky became dull gold, then bruised yellow and mauve, then it had a band of brilliant rose against blue, which faded, and it became stippled with little clouds. It changed each moment. It was my garden in the sky. An effortless garden. Every day different. Then I fell...
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Hints of Spring

Catkins, yellow and pollen grainy, hang from the hazels.  Cornus buds and new stems are swelling red.  There’s a single yellow crocus, where did it come from?   And in a sunny corner a crowd of blue Iris unguicularis with their tiger skin badges.  In the sitting room the little orange tree has fruit and buds, and longs to go outside but I said, not yet.  In the greenhouse two pots of new alliums show pleated leaves two  millimetres high – their names are Midnight Blue and Back to Black – and I am thrilled. They won’t flower, probably for years, because I bought...
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Scent of Snowdrops

   I picked some snowdrops in full bud, and within an hour they had opened their propellers to release a honey scent – and though I’ve seen thousands in woods and gardens, I never realised snowdrops were fragrant. Snowdrops – I love them en masse in the woods, but also I love them  in the garden where I can pick and examine them like a jeweller, comparing the detail, gloating over differences.  Some are double like ballerinas in their green lined tutus, some – viridipice – are tipped green at the outer petal tips.  All have little green bridges over the notches of...
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Green Walls

Not freezing, but grey.  A grey day.  English weather, says Jane. Then, inside the glasshouse at Wisley I was admiring a green wall of ferns and other plants.  Expensive and time consuming?  Yes indeed, grown in a modular system, says the notice.  Alas, not for me.  I got home, and saw my very own green own wall of variegated ivy, which grew by chance from a few tiny pots of Homebase ivy bought five years ago, to stabilize the earth walls by the greenhouse.  I’d never really looked at it before.  Not so glamorous, my unplanned green wall, but maintenance is nil, ditto cost.  Birds...
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