New to Blogging? The Pitfalls and the Pleasures

Blogging is not what I thought it would be. I thought it would be a one-way process.  I write, readers read. I soon learnt that it is far more interactive.  If you want others to read your blog, you have to be a bit more extrovert, and put yourself out there.  You have to engage…

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…

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…

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…

Gardening is the best drug

Gardening, like love, is a drug. It’s a therapy, a remedy, a cure, a balm, a tingle, an itch that needs scratching, a rush, a thrill, a trip, a joy, an inspiration, a bolt of lightening, a jolt that starts the heart, a cornucopia of sensory delights, a phantasmagoria, a rainbow, a shimmering vision… Here’s…

Cultivating a growth mind-set

I am an optimist.  I was blessed with optimistic parents.  I was brought up with a Northern “you’ll be right” sort of approach to minor disasters.  As long as you can’t see bone, a plaster will fix it. That is the most negative thing I can say about their optimistic outlook.  The positive aspect is this: Anything…

Five inspirational garden writers for International Women’s Day

  I couldn’t let International Women’s Day pass without a shout-out for my favourite garden writers. So here are the five books written by women gardeners that have most influenced me. 1. Sarah Raven ‘The Bold and Brilliant Garden’ This was the first gardening book I bought, 8 years ago. I had no house or garden…

How do you measure up?

Stevie and I have gardened here for four years, and for most of that time I have wondered if we should join our local horticultural society.  My mum is a member of her local group, and gets involved in all sorts of activities; they have head gardeners coming to talk to them, they visit specialist…