Friday, 22 May 2020

Ilkley is the new Italy

Since we bought our house in Lazio almost 20 years ago we have never missed at least one annual visit and after Mr FF joined me in retirement in 2011 we’ve spent the majority of our summers there.  This year the pandemic has put paid to that which is very sad.  I am really missing the cats and our lovely garden however I’m not complaining, if we have to be in lock down our comfy penthouse with communal gardens and our own outside space is the perfect place to be.

Once we accepted we’d definitely be in Yorkshire for summer I decided I needed pots on the balcony, which obviously wasn’t going to be easy to achieve in these strange times.  I know the garden centres are opening up but if I must queue and dodge other shoppers that will only be when I buy food.  So instead of being my usual Vita Sackville West about bedding plants, I’ve been grabbing what I can during my weekly supermarket shops.  I have collected Pansies, Busy Lizzie. Lobelia, Begonias,  all quite garish and blowsy but do I care.
Fortunately I’d bought the galvanised tubs to take to Italy and received at Christmas some lovely solar spirals,  they were all unpacked and put into use. 
Mr FF kindly walked down to Tesco and carried a 40 litre bag of compost plus a plastic trough back up the hill, with a few stops for breath.  If we were here permanently and there was no pandemic I’d have made a better effort, as it is I enjoyed creating what I could.  Its a crazy mis match of plants and pots, too many plastic ones, but I am very grateful to have achieved this display whilst staying alert as Boris asks. Now we need lots of sunshine for sitting out days, we are ready.


  1. Isn't Mr FF a darling to do that for you, now if you can get them to flower all at the same time it'll be quite a sight out there. Don't break your back carrying the watering can out there though!
    I'm having to accept I won't be going north for the winter - so there's going to be a lot of knitting going on, just not in the warm sunshine unfortunately.

  2. I think we shall find many strange combinations of plants in tubs this year as people dodge the virus and give garden centres a miss - there may well be some pleasant surprises methinks.

  3. I had the foresight to buy all my vegetable seeds at the end of February but didn’t give flowers a second thought at the time. However, we’ve been fortunate both to have a local hardware/agricultural supplier deliver potting compost and have leftover bedding plant seeds from last year that have actually germinated and grown rapidly. Now without sustained rainfall, the constant watering Is becoming tiresome - you could say I’m never satisfied! Your pansy pots do look pretty by the way.

  4. They are going to give you a lot of pleasure soon, they look very healthy already.
    Your lockdown spot looks lovely, not too hard to take just a different temperature range !

  5. I'm looking forward to seeing your pots bloom and flourish over the summer. Have you had any news of the cats recently?