How to Survive Winter

Every time I see these Fuchsia and Salvia cuttings, I feel a little warm glow inside, because human beings are generous, and like to share their blessings.

Tuscany Superb: The Most Romantic Rose of All

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.

Soft Border

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.

Fit to Burst

The best buds of all are the oriental poppies. They wear thick woollen tights, but silk knickers beneath. This one is about to burst its breeches.

The Shy Tulips

Nature has a way of correcting herself. If she overreaches, she seems to reflect, and modify her trajectory to get back on track. And so, in the second week of April, as always, I am beside myself with anticipation for the arrival of the tulips.

Spring at Sissinghurst

When I am photographing plants, I often favour my macro lens in order to capture the details of flowers. Today I made a conscious decision to use a different lens in order to capture the bigger picture. I enjoyed playing around with angles so that I could capture detail in the foreground, but give a sense of space and perspective in the background.

Month of Wonders

You can stick almost anything in the ground right now and it will start sprouting leaves. March is the month of wonders.

Ice Queen

You can see the intricacy of the markings. They remind me of a school chromatography experiment when we made an ink spot on blotting paper and then dipped it in water. The pigments in the ink slowly separated and spread out over the blotting paper.

Leeds Castle’s Secret Gardens

I don’t know about you, but when I visit a garden over and over again, I tend to go in exactly the same direction in the same order as every other time I have visited. Somehow, in the nine years I have been visiting Leeds Castle, I have managed never to have noticed Lady Baillie’s Mediterranean Garden.

An Act of Faith

Gardening is an act of faith. Most of what you are doing is going to take a while to come to fruition. Whether it is sowing seeds, planting bulbs, taking a cutting, even pruning…you have to have faith that your actions are going to lead to something good.

Witch Hunt

I find February an excruciating month. We are so close to spring, but it is often getting colder rather than warmer. Bulbs have broken the surface of the soil, but their growth is glacial. I feel like each time I visit the garden I am willing it on, but it is like a painfully shy child. The more pressure it feels to perform, the more it hides its head and keeps schtum.

Fresh Minty Green

There are so many signs of spring, but we can’t quite shake off winter. It’s like we have a fifth season, spr-inter. Its colours are minty-fresh, but with a hint of honey…