It’s that time of year again, every street, path and lane is paved with leaves; yellow, orange and red. Also it is the time of year when Monty Don teaches how to make leafmould in black bin bags. It’s not very romantic. But it was exactly one year ago, when I watched the first ever episode of Gardeners’ World, where Monty Don was teaching exactly the same thing, I became interested in gardening, ever since.
Soon after that, I remember myself walking to the metro station through a back lane full of fallen leaves everyday and thinking, “I should come with bin bags tomorrow! (Notice the plural form! How greedy!)” but never did. I remember buying my first gardening magazine at the beginning of the New Year in a WHSmith in Cardiff. I also got one whole year’s Gardeners’ World magazine subscription as my Christmas gift from my Welsh mum. (Of course if my Chinese mum knew, she’d say we didn’t pay you to go to the UK pulling weeds and fighting with slugs. But it’s OK, she doesn’t have to know.)
Since this spring, our garden turned from completely paved with paving slabs to something a neighbour commented as “coming along”. I grew from not knowing what is “perennial” “compost” and “nursery” to growing seeds, harvesting green salad and making quince paste. We’ve got evergreen hedges, one crab apple tree, one cherry tree, two Japanese maple trees, five rose bushes, one Japanese quince, one virginia creeper, two clematis, masses of sweet peas (they brought so much beautiful colour and scent inside), ferns, hellebores, a mini meadow and much more, all in just one year. Of course the plants that grew fastest and best all belonged to the “weed” category. My roses, sweet peas, cornflower and wild carrots are still flowering.
It all started with one episode of Monty Don’s leafmould making lesson. I still haven’t tried to make any leaf mould, but did you see the photos of my brilliant sweet peas? Be ready to receive sweet pea seeds for Christmas gifts!