Hours spent gardening this week: 0. Way too hot in England for gardening anymore.
Hours spent watering: 1 hour daily. Recklessly watering pots in the evening, a sure fire way to attract slugs.
Slugs crisping gently on the terrace in the heat: 5.
July is a pretty good time for the garden, probably at it's best with all this hot weather that came overnight, so I’m expecting Garden’s Illustrated round at any moment. In preparation for this, I’ve decided to help the journalist along by writing the opening paragraph for them. It goes something like this:
“An urban paradise, designed and managed by its owner, Claire, who fled the leafy lanes of London’s Stoke Newington in search of the harder landscaping of Upper Clapton where dub ‘n’ bass throb from every neighbour’s window. Filled with common plants found in most garden centres, splashes of red from poppies and pelargoniums mirror blood spills from the gang warfare outside on London’s notorious ‘murder mile’. From a bare alley favoured by slugs, the eye is lead effortlessly beyond to a patio and then a raised gravelled area and finally a compost heap. Here and there a skilfully placed object catches the eye: some random bottles, an old trowel, a handful of bamboo canes discarded by the owner.
“The place was converted from an old hostel for the homeless,” Claire says, ‘and when we saw it’s potential, we knew we had to have it.” Claire has preserved the spirit of the hostel by keeping the original larch fencing which she has hand tinted her own mix of copper beech and burnt oak wood preserve. The final result is brilliant orange; a colour the camera picks out perfectly in the twilight, a perfect vista for lying back and watching police helicopters overhead.”