Taking the air in Maadi
Tuesday: Time for a day out from the Jasmine Garden, and a chance a) to learn about the fascinating art and science of aromatherapy, and b) to wander along the tree-lined streets of Maadi, admiring other people’s gardens – always fun – and checking out the local nurseries.
There’s an odd thing about the raised beds. Every one of the four main beds has a volunteer plant, not necessarily edible but sort-of satisfying in its own way.
First off is raised bed 4 as it’s nearest the study where I write, where a gorgeous deep purple Ipomoea or morning glory has taken off:
Whenever I write about our garden produce, it’s all about what we can eat, how much the produce weighs/how many we’ve harvested, what the taste is like – and so on. Or it might be about how I’ve got things wrong, and the crop has failed, or disappeared.
This week, for a change, I’m putting a neglected plant to good use, with a view to soothing the endless bruises and grazes I get while working in the garden.
So let me introduce you to our comfrey (Symphytum officinale). Grown from seeds brought from the UK, she has quietly persisted in a shady spot under the hedge for years. Each spring she produces new leaves, then maybe the odd head of little pink flowers before dying back in the autumn ready for a new year’s growth. No fuss, no great show and just a few mealy bugs, while the pot has disintegrated around her. Read more