the bug


I am a collector. It’s a failing, but there you have it. Always collected things, but not always the same things and periodically I purge, travel light for a time, enjoy not collecting. But gradually the collecting bug sneaks up again.

pink-hellebore spotted-hellebore-2As a child it was Britain’s farm animals, Observer’s Books and stamps, all enabled by my dad who regularly added to all of my collections. I still have most of them.  I’m keeping the animals for the next generation and the books are too precious to part with. Several were childhood birthday presents, inscribed to me in dad’s roundhand writing.

When I started earning there were records, and old plates. I was fond of old Spode and Worcester  plates picked up for a song in junk shops in Devon.

And when there were gardens, plant collections began. Fuchsias, campanulas, violas, mostly now left in gardens around England where I have stayed for a time. That was Dad’s influence again. He liked Chrysanthemums, although I have never been bitten by that particular bug.

A few years passed when I worked long hours and all I collected were school books and stationery and I still have more pens and pencils from that time than I will use in a lifetime, but now I think I can feel the plant collecting bug again. After all, if one is good then more is probably better. Right?

Remember the lovely hellebore that appeared? It has been joined in flower by three others and last week, whilst shopping for bread flour, bdouble-hellebore-2y this glorious double from Credale nurseries that just happened to be on sale at the shop where we buy the flour. Food for the stomach and food for the soul too. I could hear its siren song calling as we paid for the flour. Such a sweet song. I couldn’t leave it behind……

Walking around the garden I recorded 7 varieties of named David Austin roses and may be more, as not all the plants are labelled. That’s a collection. There are several different heucheras and for the first time in my gardening life I have been looking at them in garden catalogues, thinking about adding to them, because they seem to do well, and if one is good….

So, tell me. What is your guilty collecting passion? Or what would it be if you had the time/space/money?