Reach out and touch me

I have been talking recently about sensory aspects of gardening, with colour and form.  Today it is the turn of texture.  Specifically, flower texture. When I was a child, I liked fluff.  I remember staying in a hotel one night and having an incredibly fluffy blanket.  I kept pulling off bits of wool all night and in…

Another dimension: making use of form

The tagline to my website is ‘the sensory pleasures and earthy delights of gardening’.  What I mean by that is making the most of all the sensory qualities of plants in the garden, in order to really enjoy all it has to offer. Our enjoyment of the garden includes taking in information from all our…

Burning Bright

I posted on Sunday about my visit to Sissinghurst, where I concentrated on form and texture in the rose garden. The Cottage Garden has a very different feel at the height of summer.  Yes, there is form and texture, but mainly it is about the shimmering, simmering colour. I adore Crocosmia, and this orange form sets…

Sissinghurst in fine form

I think it has been four or five weeks since I visited Sissinghurst.  This is unprecedented.  It has just been too hot to do anything other than languish in the shade of my own garden. But the temperature temporarily dipped, so I could move again. The castle is being engulfed by planting. That’s the built…

Prehistoric

Many of my favourite plants come from South Africa.  They are incredibly useful in my bright border, where they like the full sun, tolerate drought, and, most importantly, provide late summer colour. Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ is probably the most dramatic.  It may not flower for as long as Helenium, or Rudbeckia, or Echinacea, but its sculptural form…

The Morning Mist

It has been a scorching couple of weeks.  It has been five weeks since our last rainfall.  Then yesterday the heavens opened.  I was driving home under the raincloud, hoping it would come with me all the way home.  It did, and the garden got a much-needed drenching for twenty minutes.  The temperature didn’t drop,…

The Rose Garden at the end of June

I wrote a post called The Rose Garden at the start of June, so I thought I should write one about it at the end of June. I’ll go around anti-clockwise, the same way I walked last time.  Rosa ‘Emma Hamilton’ first. She is lush, isn’t she? You can see how in the bottom right of…

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…

Good morning, my fine feathered friends!

The title is an homage to one of my favourite children’s books, Quentin Blake’s Cockatoos. Each morning Professor Dupont, a dapper chap, jumps out of bed, takes a shower, cleans his teeth, gets dressed, ties his tie, adjusts his spectacles and goes downstairs.  He goes into his conservatory and there are all his cockatoos.  He throws wide…

The Ugly Duckling Becomes a Beautiful Swan

For the last couple of weeks I have been bud-watching.  You can see these posts here: first Early Birds, and then The Dawn Chorus and Bursting Buds. On Friday evening, this is how Stevie and I inspected the trees, accompanied by evening sun, a glass of wine each, and the smell of the barbecue.  It was the…

Unripe Tulips

These last few days have been like the big climb on a rollercoaster, where it goes really really slowly, slower, slower…almost stops…you can see the whole theme park below you… You know any second now, it’s all going to happen, and your breath is going to be taken away, and you will feel the most…

Euphorbia euphoria

Sorry for that title.  But it does reflect the way I feel about euphorbia in the sun.  No other plant has such luminscence, such effervescence in its inflorescence, such zingety zang, such pizazz! There is a Euphorbia (or spurge) to suit any location in the garden.  My favourite for dry shade (under trees) is this one, Euphorbia…