I’m as Happy as Heidi when I’m up a Mountain29th June 2012 • Pretty as a picture • Stephanie Donaldson
I don’t know whether it’s because I’m high on the altitude, invigorated by the exercise, or because I love to spend time in a landscape where Nature is in charge, but for me summer mountains beat a beach any day. As a gardener, the opportunity to see flowers in their natural habitat is invaluable. I can see where plants choose to grow and increasingly take the view that unless I can give them something very similar, I’ll just enjoy looking at them, rather than trying to grow them in my own garden. Given that I have what the local estate agents call ‘a sea glimpse’ from my desk, most mountain plants are non-starters. But, to contradict what I’ve just said, there is now one plant in the garden, Arenaria montana, that I first saw growing on a shady bank in the Picos. I spotted pots of the self same plant while slurping through the mud at the (wet and windy but otherwise delightful) Cottesbrooke Plant Fair and now have two potted up on my doorstep. When they finish flowering I will give them a hair cut and stand them somewhere cool and shady until next spring.