Monster on the Bench

As far as water features are concerned, I have always been inspired by lakes, rivers and ponds that have included the generous planting of Gunnera Manicata. Therefore it was important, to me, that this giant of the plant kingdom would play a big part in my plans for the pond. A small bed would follow the contour of the now thriving pond, then sweep away to form a bed fit for the beast.

To create a ‘loch’ side atmosphere all the other planting had to be appropriate, which proved to be tougher than I thought. The main reason for this is that because the pond is located outside the Living Room window, surrounded by lush green hedging it is crying out for a splash of colour. The temptation to relocate a pretty lace cap Hydrangea, hidden away at the side of the house, to a more prominent position was very strong.

I finally made a start on the bed, doing a bit each day, By the end of the week I was ready to venture to the Garden Centre for a bit of shopping. At the top of my list was the aforementioned head of the Gunnera family, which I have spent several years sensibly resisting knowing that the right sized space was not yet available. Now I could buy it because that time was very nearly approaching. I headed straight for the aisle where I had seen it many times before, but nothing. I searched every other aisle (at least twice) but it was out of stock. As I loaded the car with my purchases (an Astrantia, Iris and several grasses) I just couldn’t hide my disappointment. Perhaps it was just not meant to be.

Along with various Primulas from other parts of the garden, the newly created bed was planted up and everything was starting to take shape. In a couple of weeks the great Gunnera would be back in stock and its new home completed. A “happy ever after” ending was never going to happen and in this case it was my recently acquired Physiotherapist that put a spanner in the works. She advised me, that the long-tem cure for my frozen right shoulder would not include, initially anyway, much gardening. I had to put myself on light duties only, I was on the bench!

Being the type of gardener who normally just doesn’t know when to stop, I have forced myself to look but not touch. The frustration of ignoring faded flowers, rampant brambles and endless weeds is beginning to takes its toll. Even glancing through seed catalogues is becoming a bit painful, so if and when my monster finally arrives I might just be one too.


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