Six Simple Acts of Kindness for your Roses this Autumn

Roses are like people. They can manage with very little. But with a few little acts of kindness, they will richly reward you next summer with more blooms, strong growth and resistance to disease. Here are five simple acts to show that you care.

Dig Deep

This has been a rough old autumn.  Not because of the weather, but because of the political climate.  Never have I been more affected by news stories (see Direct Action). The personal has most definitely been political. So where do I seek refuge?  You guessed it! There is nothing like a spot of digging to…

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.

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…

Refresh! How to water well

When most people around the world think of England, they think it rains all the time. In my part of the world, in Kent, (Down South), our average yearly rainfall is 650mm.  Admittedly, in my hometown of Holmfirth, Yorkshire, (Up North*), it is 1,000mm (figures from Met Office).  But compare that to Sydney, which has an…

Secrets of a Hacker

I have always enjoyed a good chop.  When I had Sindy dolls as a child, I always scalped them.  I can’t remember whether I thought the hair would grow back, or whether I just wanted them to look like me (I had short hair). I get the same thrill from hacking back plants.  Tidying them…

Deadheading delights

My favourite job in the garden is deadheading. Not only do you feel you are having a good tidy up, getting rid of the shrivelling flower heads to make way for fresh new growth, but you also get to examine a plant close up. You get to appreciate a flower in its many stages, from…

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…

Peeling back the layers at Great Dixter

On Saturday it was the Great Dixter plant sale.  I have never visited Dixter so early in the season, generally visiting for the tulips in late spring, and again in the summer, for the dahlias and annuals. Great Dixter (in East Sussex but near the border with Kent) was the home of the late Christopher…

How does your garden grow? On optimism!

I have my mum and dad to thank for my optimism.  My mum always sees the best in people, and my dad always makes the best of a bad job.  There is always a bright side, even if you have to wait a while to see it. This bank holiday has been fairly wet, until…

Bare arms in the sun!

In the last couple of weeks I have felt like some of my seedlings: etiolated, stretching my neck out towards the window, but failing to find the sun.  I have been desperate for some extended time in the garden. Yesterday the sun came out. First I’ll show you the hyacinths.  We inherited a lot of…

My fingers are tingling with magic!

I wasn’t even going to write a post today.  But then I read this blog post from ‘Sharpen your Spades’: Sowing Broad Beans – A great crop for beginners. and the photos of the fingers in the compost made me need my greenhouse, and the compost and the seed-trays right now. So off I dashed, with my…