The joy of blooms on a roof terrace | Gardening advice

Home after three weeks. And it seems the roof terrace plants have done just fine without me. Liam has been watering. Kala has been dead-heading. The sun has been shining. The geraniums are a riot of bubblegum pink. The new roses have filled out and are in bloom. The midsummer cranesbill is a cloud of delicate blue. The Welsh poppy I had given up on – had even made plans to replace – is covered in bud, delicate flowers of a deep lemon-yellow. I feel happy and ashamed. I talk to it – don’t tell anyone – singing its praises and apologising. I hope I have learnt a lesson. My impatience is deeply ingrained it seems.

We spend a happy hour – or more – moving various pots around, so many different combinations. After a while we settle, stop switching each other’s last move and stand back contented. It has been almost a life-saver this space, particularly through this strange spring and summer. We thank our stars to have somewhere quiet to be outside, access to plants, to the sky and birdsong.

Now, though, we are in quarantine again. Isolation. Exile. It is strange to think the allotment can also thrive without me – even with Howard and Rose and Lene’s help. The summer sowing, the corn, the calendula, the salads, the beans, the peas, the (now late) early potatoes. The chicory seed still in packets.

I feast on Howard’s Instagram feed (@idleriver) to live through his pictures. Lene sends me film. She wanders around and we WhatsApp. In all I will be five weeks away, the longest banishment, a sort of summer-seed Siberia.

Just as in the throes of a teenage love affair, saturated in longing, I lie awake wondering how ‘she’ is. It seems that for me at least, the garden roots grow deep.

Allan Jenkins’s Plot 29 (4th Estate, £9.99) is out now. Order it for £8.49 from

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Johny Watshon

Life is like a running cycle right! I am a news editor at TIMES. Collecting <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">News</a> is my passion. Because my visitors have the right to know the truth and perfectly.

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Johny Watshon

Life is like running cycle right! I am a news editor at TIMES. Collecting News is my passion. Because my visitors have right to know the truth and perfectly.

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