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…

Burning Bright

I posted on Sunday about my visit to Sissinghurst, where I concentrated on form and texture in the rose garden. The Cottage Garden has a very different feel at the height of summer.  Yes, there is form and texture, but mainly it is about the shimmering, simmering colour. I adore Crocosmia, and this orange form sets…

Frown Lines

I’m in the White Garden at Sissinghurst.  I’ve come over all Bloomsbury.  I’m going to be haughty and let my frown lines show. Actually I love frown lines.  I particularly love Anna Soubry’s frown lines.  I love a woman who embraces her frown lines.  I think frown lines go hand in hand with integrity.  But…

Sissinghurst in fine form

I think it has been four or five weeks since I visited Sissinghurst.  This is unprecedented.  It has just been too hot to do anything other than languish in the shade of my own garden. But the temperature temporarily dipped, so I could move again. The castle is being engulfed by planting. That’s the built…

The garden that keeps on giving

I expected the rose garden to be lovely in June.  I had planned for continuous succession of flowers, but I didn’t realise it would be delighting me quite so much in July.   I am taking a ridiculous number of photos. It’s just that there are so many lovely textures.  Ticklish ones… Soft, bouncy ones……

Phloxy Lady?

Last week I posted about Phlox paniculata ‘Coral Flame’ in Boring…  But then I felt guilty for leaving out the equally fabulous ‘Purple Flame’, so I thought I would give her a post of her own too. Here she is, with ice-cream swirl buds just bursting. There are lovely tones of blue-lilac, but with pink-magenta in on the…

Bridget in her Bravery

I need to share one of my absolute favourite plants, Lychnis coronaria.  Its common names include ‘Dusty Miller’, ‘Rose Campion’ and, the one I only learnt recently, ‘Bridget in her Bravery’. This suits this plucky little character, who enlivens the June and July garden with magenta sprays of flowers. I discovered this plant through my mum. …

Coming in to land…

For a couple of weeks I have been wondering where the butterflies have gone.  But I think I wonder this every year.  It is not until the buddleia comes out that we really see them in great numbers. They are skittish creatures.  Not only do butterflies flutter by, but they also dip up and down…