Saturday, 26 March 2011

Mimosa days are here again

It's been a long while since I my last blog (can't help the Catholic guilt). But over the past few weeks Spring has definitely arrived, bringing with it a glorious embarrasment of riches: cherry blossom (check); first tulips (check); I've even spotted a precocious bluebell. But my favourite right now is this mimosa, all chick-yellow and fluffy; it has defiantly survived the cold, it smells quite unique and it's my mother's favourite too, because it reminds her of Italy.
I can offer up some excuses for my silence. Of course I've been gardening, which in my tiny space involves a lot of digging up and moving plants around. I break all the rules for small gardens with my unlimited planting palette (how can I restrict myself when there are so many gorgeous plants I want to squeeze in?). And my spare bathroom has now been requisitioned as a temporary greenhouse - cosmos, tomatoes and pimientos de padron seeds sown (has anyone tried these before? so far, very slow to germinate).
Meanwhile, I've also been spending quite a lot of time at Chiswick House. I started volunteering back in November, but the winter came early, so I didn't get a lot of digging under my belt. Now it's full steam ahead with school sessions and getting stuck into the Kitchen Garden restoration project. My husband says, 'Acton needs you more than Chiswick does.' This is probably true, but I'll bring back what I learn from the Kitchen Garden to new projects in Acton.
Which is already starting to happen. With the prospect of getting some funding to improve the burial ground at the end of the road, it feels like the right time to get a Friends group up and running. I'm trying to get my head round all the inevitable paperwork and commitment, but 14 neighbours have agreed to have regular gardening sessions and this year's goal is to sow and grow 100 sunflowers. We want to make a big statement of colour this summer. And I have another public project brewing, but more about that when it is fully formed.
The other significant distraction of the last few weeks is that I've negotiated to take redundancy in some of the cutbacks we're all having unleashed upon us and this has consumed rather a lot of my energy. The trade off is that I'm perfectly happy about this situation. In fact I am irrationally excited at the prospect of having no day job (for a while at least) and more time; and hopefully my various freelance sidelines in writing, design and creating public gardening spaces will have room to grow.


  1. i don't believe i've ever seen mimosa flowers before. they're gorgeous. i hope you'll post photos of the sunflowers project, that sounds wonderful.

  2. I have never seen mimosa flowers either and I am so glad you are back. Camilla the internet needs you and your missives - it's a poorer place for it when you don't blog!

  3. Hi Emily - I wish I could do a scratch-and-sniff blog, as the scent of mimosa is even more gorgeous than the flowers themselves. Will defintely do a follow up on the sunflowers...
    Hi Hopper - how nice to hear from you. I blush at your flattery, but am happy to accept the compliment!