Floral Finds at Hampton Court

I thought I would share with you my favourite flowers in The Floral Marquee at RHS Hampton Court on Monday. Before this, I made sure to pop in to the ‘Festival of Roses’ exhibit.  I did try to like the other rose growers’ stands, and the Peter Beales stand was quite nice.  But rather like…

Pata Pata

To accompany this post about my cutting patch, I suggest you have a little soundtrack of  Pata Pata by Miriam Mikeba.  This song expresses perfectly how it feels to be waking up to warm temperatures, blue skies and new flowers! I extended my cutting patch this year.  Well, Stevie extended it.  I already had one…

Getting to know you…

A rose is a long-term investment. There is a substantial layout initially. A good hole should be dug (I love digging holes), and timed so that they are just ready for your bare-root rose to arrive in November.  When you see that magical brown-paper bag waiting by the door when you get home from work,…

The Oldies

The David Austin English roses have been getting a lot of my attention, but I shouldn’t forget where it all began.  Many of the Plush, crimson English roses have Gallicas in their heritage. I grow three Gallica roses, ‘Charles de Mills’, ‘Tuscany Superb’ and ‘Sissinghurst Castle’. I grew ‘Charles de Mills’ at my old house.  Here…

Plush

As I have confessed before, I have a thing for crimson roses. For plush, plump roses. For those that you want to bury your face into, and get a headrush from their scent. This is my quest to find the perfect crimson rose. These roses are all David Austin English roses.  There is an overwhelming…

A Rainbow of Roses

Yes, I did get carried away. No, I am not sorry! OMG, it was fun! It was Stevie’s fault really. I had collected five or six blooms and was getting him to sniff too, so we could compare ‘tasting notes’. And Stevie said, “we should get the super-taster in.” Super-taster/Super-sniffer daughter helps Stevie identify wine…

Portrait of a rose

If I had to choose one rose above all the rest, it would probably be ‘Munstead Wood’. It is a rose that looks beautiful from bursting bud to blown bloom. I have a thing for crimson roses that are just touched with plum. ‘Munstead Wood’ has the velvety texture of a Gallica rose.  In some…

Full of Charm

Earlier this week I posted What a Whopper! which featured the gargantuan Peony ‘Red Charm’.  Now it is the turn of her more demure cousin, ‘Coral Charm’. The flower bud has been tantalising me for weeks.  It is part of the peony’s allure that they start tickling your fancy in about March. Their crimson shoots are…

What a Whopper!

The first peony I ever grew was ‘Red Charm’. When I moved house I had to replace it because I couldn’t live without it. You can see why: It is the first peony to flower in my garden, so always gets a lot of attention. Here it is, cocking it’s head, showing off its jagged…

Learning to play again

Can you remember when you were last really absorbed in a task? When you lost yourself in the pleasure of carrying out one step, and then another?  Worries floated away as you just focused on the job in hand. This is flow. Children generally achieve flow very easily. They will arrange buttons or stones just…

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…

Bridging the Gap with Biennials

I have extended my cutting patch this year, adding two new raised beds.  I got a little bit overexcited by my new space and went on a spending spree with the marvellous Chiltern Seeds (whose catalogue of pure flower porn inspired a whole post of its own, Flowergasm!) You might have thought that two varieties each of…