Early Risers

Hyacinths are the easiest of bulbs to grow in the garden. They are reliably hardy and perennial, and bulk up each year. Just remember to wear gloves when planting, and don’t touch your face!

Month of Wonders

You can stick almost anything in the ground right now and it will start sprouting leaves. March is the month of wonders.

A Certain Flair

There are some rather wonderful words for describing the shape of a flower’s stigma. ‘Plumoso’ describes a feathered shape. ‘Lobado’ describes a lobed shape. There is conicoid (conical), discoide (disc-shaped) and con pelos (with hair). I would describe a crocus stigma as plumoso. Lucky crocus.

Spring Form

These are the three flowers that have given me most delight in the garden this week. Each is perfectly itself. Each occupies its space. Each has its own dignity.

Bumbling

I love watching any type of bee, but bumblebees are especially endearing. Especially when they dive nose-first into a flower and tip up their furry bums.

The Pyjama Walk

On a weekend, I like to get up before the rest of the family. I put on my dressing gown and slippers, make myself a cup of tea, slip on my wellies, and take a little walk around the garden.

Spring Cleaning

Edging the lawn is not my favourite garden job. I don’t like anything that involves keeping to a straight line. I am a wobbly sort of gardener.

Ice Queen

You can see the intricacy of the markings. They remind me of a school chromatography experiment when we made an ink spot on blotting paper and then dipped it in water. The pigments in the ink slowly separated and spread out over the blotting paper.

Leeds Castle’s Secret Gardens

I don’t know about you, but when I visit a garden over and over again, I tend to go in exactly the same direction in the same order as every other time I have visited. Somehow, in the nine years I have been visiting Leeds Castle, I have managed never to have noticed Lady Baillie’s Mediterranean Garden.

The Inner Circle

Misunderstood sepals, tempting nectaries, fizzling stamens in various stages of excitement, and patiently waiting carpels at the core. You will find all life in the crazy orbit of a Hellebore!

Could this be the most photogenic flower ever?

Like with so many spring bulbs, you spend hours watching over them, singing to them, telling them little stories, begging them to open. Then just as your back is turned (you have put the kettle on to boil, or just nipped to the loo), TA DA! The most magnificent flower has sprung open!