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…

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…

The Corner of Complete Neglect

We all have one, don’t we? This is mine. It is at the corner of the rose garden, next to the wall of the house.  It is tricky because it is bone-dry and has poor, stony soil that bakes hard to concrete in the summer. We inherited this rather lovely shrub rose, ‘Marjory Fair’.  The…

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…

Murder in the flower-bed

Please note: this post contains descriptions of graphic violence against bamboo and hybrid tea roses. I am capable of a certain level of violence. There are crimes of passion when I have been pushed too far. Bamboo, for instance.  I hate bamboo.  We inherited a thicket of it growing along a short stretch of fence….

Every garden needs a dog (or two)

So Monty has Nigel and Nellie.  Carol Klein has Fleur and Fifi.  I have Ziggy (left) and Ruby (right). Ruby entered the garden three and a half years ago as a wriggly little sausage.  She is, as her name suggests a ruby Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.  I have a long history of unimaginative pet names. …

The Big Bang: the making of a bright border

When we moved to our new garden, I had a vision.  We had a long stretch of post-and-rail fence which I decided would become my bright border. Here is what I saw in my mind: Firework explosions of colour, of plush textures that added sparkle and drama. Orange and gold tulips and bright green euphorbia…