The Eminent Em and Anne

This post is an homage to my No.1 favourite planting combination in my garden. It is also a celebration of strong women supporting one another, celebrating one another, and giving one another a leg up.

Direct Action

I surveyed the site. There was a stretch of 2 metres of footpath blocked off, with nothing in between. No dangers, no work taking place, just a clear footpath with a temporary fence at either end, and then the lane I needed to walk down.
‘F**K it’. I thought. ‘I’m going in’.

Time for change

It is almost time to let go. To accept that summer is gone. This is a post about taking what is good, and looking ahead. There is so much to do.

I’ve had enough of your behaviour

Some plants, like people, charm you so you invite them in. Soon they are weaving their roots around yours, and before you know it you are having the life sucked out of you. You’re going to need some protective clothing and a very sharp spade…

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…

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…

I’m not beautiful. I’m feisty.

This is a quote from my step-daughter.  To give you some context, we were having a discussion about someone being beautiful. ‘Like you.  You’re beautiful.’ ‘No I’m not.  I’m feisty!‘ I love this.  I love that she chose feistiness over beauty.  She is feisty.  And beautiful.  But she chose to identify as feisty. When I…

Just Peachy

I thought I would devote a post to my peachy roses.  These are all David Austin English roses.  Because they, frankly, are the best. These roses have surprised me.  I did not expect to love them quite so much.  I have always been a crimson-purple kind of a girl.  But it turns out I have…

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…

Ageing Beauties

I am infinitely more at ease with the way I look in my forties compared with my teens, twenties or thirties.  I have heard women complain that they feel invisible as they age, but maybe I felt too visible when I was younger.  Or visible for the wrong reasons.  I was judged on what I…

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…

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. Gladioli are easy-peasy to grow.  Plant the corms in late spring, about 15cm deep and 10cm apart.  They like good drainage, so add a handful of grit to the planting hole,…