If you suffer from mid-winter blues, I would encourage you to plant bulbs next autumn. One January or February morning, you will see tiny green shoots, and within a week or two, a little paintbrush smudge of flower. A few days later, as if the flower were spring-loaded, petals will have burst out in all directions, and this gorgeous little warrior will be standing proud.
Yoga, meditation, gardening. They fulfil the same function. Flow, connection with myself, connection with the universe. A free flow of giving and receiving. Being alive; feeling alive in every cell of my being, being alive to nature.
The light in September streams in from an angle, rather than beating down from above. It kisses the cheek and the shoulder. I could sit in the September sun all day long.
We rarely reach the point in life where we can say ‘I have achieved my perfect balance.’ But there are moments. I had one this morning, in the middle of a very unromantic task: taking the kitchen waste out to the compost heap. The light was catching the veg patch just so. I could smell…
The difference between a climber and a rambler, meeting a rose for the first time, reuniting with old friends, and the secret to growing roses in pots…
If I could only grow one cut flower, it would have to be the sweet pea. Here’s why…
Imagine the finest, most delicate French apple tart. With the thinnest, crispiest base, and apples sliced translucent and thin, just caramelised on top, and with a hint of apricot glaze. Can you smell it?
The bright border is at its midsummer zenith!
It is one of my favourite sensory pleasures to hold the impossibly soft and tender rose in one hand and snip its bristly stem with the other. The petals are softer than anything I know: peach fuzz, babies’ bottoms, duck down: they are nothing to this rose. The spent flower fits perfectly into my hand. Its petals may suddenly let out a silent ‘oh!‘, let go of their calyx all at once. They drop into my waiting bucket, with a flurry of petal confetti. and glorious rose perfume.
I don’t think of myself as a particularly girly girl, and throughout my life I have almost avoided pink. Yet when I look around my rose garden, I see pink everywhere. And yes, I am tickled pink.
We haven’t had as much sun as I would like this summer, but this doesn’t seem to have held back the bright border. In the softer light it has taken on a slightly different character. The coral and warm orange tones are more prominent. The textures and shapes resemble plump cushions and fabrics being draped over one another.
I generally plant roses and herbaceous perennials in groups of three. This gives each variety a presence in the border: their flowers are in sufficient number to make an impact. I like the way they form clear hummocks, like hills, through the border. Their outlines remind me of a child’s drawing of overlapping hills.