Using the Colour Wheel to Plan your Garden

I have a complete fascination with colour.  Gardening seems to have intensified that fascination because there are endless variations in colour in nature.  Add changing light and shadow, the interaction of one colour against another, or the texture of a particular petal, a little bit of iridescence, and you have infinite variety. We are all…

Cook little pot, cook!

My cutting patch is reminding me of ‘The Magic Porridge Pot’ and I have forgotten the magic words to make it stop!
I review my top-performing annuals and cut flowers this year, including Dahlias, Zinnias, Scabious, Nicotiana, Nigella and Cosmos.

Into the Jungle

My mum and I went on an expedition to the jungle. We didn’t fly there.  We drove there in a little red mini. We went unprepared, without a mosquito net or insect repellent.  But we were wearing plenty of sun-cream. We’d set out for Great Dixter.  The expedition leader (me) failed to check whether it…

Starfire

I am having a glorious summer with Phlox.  I discovered Phlox through reading Christopher Lloyd’s Colour for Adventurous Gardeners, one of the gardening books I return to time and time again. I have written about my other Phlox varieties in Phloxy Lady? and Boring…  Now it is the turn of the loudest and proudest, Phlox paniculata ‘Starfire’. This has wonderful…

Time Travel

Warning: there is a certain amount of ‘twee’ in this post. I am not one who harks back to a perfect past, but I do have a fondness for pretty little towns.  Tenterden is a pretty little town.  This is the Town Hall, with the twelfth century St Mildred’s Church tower behind. Tenterden was once…

Basking in the glow of a beautiful friendship

On Saturday I had a visit from a special friend.  It had been hastily arranged a few days ago.  She now lives overseas, so this was very exciting. We met twenty years ago when we were both training to become Speech and Language Therapists.  I remember coming out of one of our first lectures and…

Oasis

I got home at about 8pm last night.  The low sun was illuminating the peach tree and the cutting patch. It struck me how the raised beds are like an oasis in the middle of the parched lawn.  You can see how the moisture from the beds has kept the grass immediately near them green,…

Raindrops

On Friday we had some rain!  It was a steady drip for a couple of hours during the day, and then a bit more as I was going to bed.  It was badly needed: it felt like a rescue breath for the hedges and fruit trees. I have accidentally caught a couple of lovely water…

Butterflies and Buddleia in the Bright Border

It has been scorching for weeks.  Yes, weeks, not days.  We are having a proper summer.  Where you wake up every day and know you can eat breakfast outside, but have to get stuff done before 9am because then it will be too hot to move. Phlox is loving it.  As I was standing here,…

Meadow Update: Survival of the Fittest

Back in February I had the bright idea to plant a mini meadow around the four apple trees I ambitiously refer to as an ‘orchard’.  It was of course the wrong time to do this.  Autumn is the best time, as you can sow Yellow Rattle to weaken the grass and so give wildflowers a…

Dead Moth

I found a dead moth in the window.  I couldn’t help myself. The burgeoning lepidopterist in me had to take photos. Look at his furry head. His body reminds me of a lobster or a langoustine. I looked it up in my book, and I think it is a ‘White Ermine’, Spilosoma lubricipeda.  Ermine moths have…

Bounty

It’s that time of year when we can’t keep up with what we’ve grown. I am taking courgettes to work with me.  If you knock at our door, you have to be prepared to take a bag full of runner beans. We send our youngest to the fruit cage every evening to pick raspberries for…