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…

After four days away

We returned home this evening after four days away.  We were aware that there has been lots of rain, with localised flooding, though this has largely receded. We stopped to pick up the dogs from their local B&B accommodation.  When I asked how they’d been I was expecting a cheery “absolutely fine!”  Instead, their landlady…

The smell of the sweet shop

I mentioned my hedge of rugosa roses in After the Storm… I’m just going to have a totally self-indulgent moment now with these roses. The rugosa roses are tough little nuts. They will grow in sand-dunes, are disease-free, and always look lush and floriferous. There is a continuous display of blooms, each one being replaced…

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…

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…

The Evening Light

This evening it was just me and my youngest daughter for dinner, as my eldest is living it up in Paris, and Stevie was not home from work.  We have been able to eat outside each evening: summer has begun. Younger daughter has been indulging me this Chelsea week, by watching the footage of show…

Generous Geraniums

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…

The Rose and his Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat

This is the story of a mysterious rose.  We were lucky enough to inherit him with the house.  He grows up the wall next to the bay window to our living room, and so is always the first to flower, and often the last.  He is a repeat-flowerer, highly fragrant with huge billowy blooms.  I…

Lupin-otropolis

Before I get carried away with the peonies, I think I should just pause to appreciate the lupins.  I cannot deny that the peonies are keeping me on the edge of my seat.  Look at ‘Red Charm’.  It’s like its peeping out from under the covers deciding whether to put in an appearance today. So…

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…

Opening to the Sun!

Something magical happened on Saturday: the sun came out!  And stayed out! You could hear gardeners around the country stampeding to their back doors to get their wellies on! But once I’d had a little potter around, a bit of weeding here and there, I decided I just had to sit in the sun.  Here,…

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…