Origins

As this week has been our children’s half-term holiday, we travelled Up North to spend time with family in Yorkshire. On the way, we stopped off in The Peak District. I have been exposed to hiking since I was little, but never particularly valued it until I was a student at University in Leeds. Every…

The smell of the sweet shop

I mentioned my hedge of rugosa roses in After the Storm… I’m just going to have a totally self-indulgent moment now with these roses. The rugosa roses are tough little nuts. They will grow in sand-dunes, are disease-free, and always look lush and floriferous. There is a continuous display of blooms, each one being replaced…

Brushing past at Great Dixter

It’s a while since I posted A Perfect Day at Great Dixter, and therefore I felt completely justified in returning again today.  And I took along a willing victim, my younger daughter. I may have said before that cake is important when taking young people garden visiting.  So on our arrival, we briefly brushed past the…

After the Storm…

“There is peace even in the storm.” Vincent van Gogh Last night we had the most brilliant electrical storm.  I woke up to torrents of rain cascading down the gutters and thundering on the roof.  The windows were open and so the curtains were billowing.  Then came the thunder and lightning. I love a good…

Intersectional Peonies: A New Direction

Having teenaged daughters has helped me rediscover my feminism.  Writers like Caitlin Moran and Laura Bates have guided me.  A BBC documentary series called No More Boys and Girls was game-changing.  I realised all the myriad ways we hold boys and girls back and stop them reaching their own true potential.  We believe that girls…

Full of Charm

Earlier this week I posted What a Whopper! which featured the gargantuan Peony ‘Red Charm’.  Now it is the turn of her more demure cousin, ‘Coral Charm’. The flower bud has been tantalising me for weeks.  It is part of the peony’s allure that they start tickling your fancy in about March. Their crimson shoots are…

Boing, boing, boing!

I just thought I would share a moment with Zig.  This video expresses the essence of Ziggy. It also expresses how I feel at this time of year.  The hedgerows are effervescing with hawthorn and cow parsley.  The birds are burbling and chittering and pulling up great juicy worms.  There are beetles, bugs and butterflies…

GDPR

If you are receiving this post by email, I would like to thank you for your support of my blog. If this is appearing in your WordPress reader, you can ignore it! Though you may be interested in GDPR… In accordance with the European Union (EU) General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR), as of 25th May…

The Evening Light

This evening it was just me and my youngest daughter for dinner, as my eldest is living it up in Paris, and Stevie was not home from work.  We have been able to eat outside each evening: summer has begun. Younger daughter has been indulging me this Chelsea week, by watching the footage of show…

What a Whopper!

The first peony I ever grew was ‘Red Charm’. When I moved house I had to replace it because I couldn’t live without it. You can see why: It is the first peony to flower in my garden, so always gets a lot of attention. Here it is, cocking it’s head, showing off its jagged…

Learning to play again

Can you remember when you were last really absorbed in a task? When you lost yourself in the pleasure of carrying out one step, and then another?  Worries floated away as you just focused on the job in hand. This is flow. Children generally achieve flow very easily. They will arrange buttons or stones just…

In a vase on Monday: Celebration

These are the flowers picked from the garden for our Royal Wedding Party on Saturday. I had a lot of fun arranging them. My daughters made this bunting: And my lovely friend Clare leant me hers: My equally scrumptious friend Shelley made this: My eldest made these sweet little flags for the food: Our friends…