Refresh! How to water well

When most people around the world think of England, they think it rains all the time. In my part of the world, in Kent, (Down South), our average yearly rainfall is 650mm.  Admittedly, in my hometown of Holmfirth, Yorkshire, (Up North*), it is 1,000mm (figures from Met Office).  But compare that to Sydney, which has an…

Roses in the Bright Border

I am sorry to those who are not rose fans, but this is my time.  After June the roses will not be so prominent in the garden, and I will stop bombarding you with rose posts. But for now, indulge me. I thought I would write a post about the three roses I grow in…

A different angle

Summer is really for just enjoying the garden. There are minor chores, if you want to call them that, but really these a pretty pleasurable: deadheading, tying in a tendril here, pulling out a weed there, eating a strawberry, sniffing a rose. I do a lot of basking.  We can call it mindfulness if you…

The View from a Sunlounger

Stevie and I had Saturday evening to ourselves. This is the view from our sunloungers. We’re sitting under the lime tree, which Stevie has cunningly pruned so it has an umbrella-like canopy. In fact, like a living yurt.  If we sit in the shade, we can look through its hanging fronds. We debated going out…

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…

Generous Geraniums (Part One)

I am enjoying a stable and long-term relationship with hardy geraniums.  They are steadfast and true.  They never panic or give in to drought or deluge.  They are not rocked by storms.  They resist the onslaught of predators.  They adapt to a myriad of situations.  They compliment and enhance the natural beauty of those around…

Knitting together nicely

On days when I am not working, I like to get up early and have a little quiet wander around the garden.  The dogs come with me, and we have a good sniff around.  I thought you might like to come with me this morning. I tend to go around clockwise.  I was listening to…

Lighting the Touch-Paper in the Bright Border

The Bright Border has taken a while to ignite this Spring, but today, I think it took off. This border is not for the faint-hearted.  It is fiery and fiesty; invigorating, rather than relaxing. Here are two of the euphorbias, E. amygdaoides var. robbiae, and E. griffithii ‘Fireglow’: ‘Fireglow’ deserves a close-up: And so does Euphorbia palustris: Whilst those…

A Profusion of Pots at Perch Hill

I went for total indulgence in the hot spell last week.  I reasoned that it was too hot for serious gardening, so I may as well visit other gardens and bask in the tulip displays.  So on Friday it was Great Dixter and on Saturday I took the family to Sarah Raven’s Open Garden at Perch Hill….

Six on Saturday: The Bigger Picture

I tend to favour close-ups of flowers, but this week I thought I’d try to do a more practical post, with an overview of different areas of the garden.  Apologies for naming different areas of the garden, but it does help when Stevie and I are explaining to one another which area we are planning…

How does your garden grow? On optimism!

I have my mum and dad to thank for my optimism.  My mum always sees the best in people, and my dad always makes the best of a bad job.  There is always a bright side, even if you have to wait a while to see it. This bank holiday has been fairly wet, until…

Bimbo bites back

Gladioli are the most flamboyantly fantabulous of all the summer flowers.  I love their gay abandon, their razzmatazz, the thrill, their carnivalesque, cirque-du-soleil, loud-and-proud, uncompromising joie-de-vivre. Dahlias are the perfect partners if you want a true spectacular spectacular (see my post, Delectable dahlias).  That way you have great waving flags of flower spikes from the gladioli, and firework explosions…