Mellow

The light in September is soft. Rosa ‘Roald Dahl’ is like melting butter. The greens are sober: sage and jade. They provide the perfect foil for the fewer flowers in the rose garden.

Diversity

Nature has many different solutions to the problem of how to get a flower pollinated. This post explores the diversity of flower forms, with cups, plates, trap-doors, bells, umbels and more!

Absence makes the heart grow fonder

In this post, I’m reflecting on which plants are the real workhorses, keeping the show going into autumn. Which plants have been supping the elixir of eternal youth, and which are a little worse for wear.

My Top 10 Colour Combinations 2018

These are my Top 10 colour combinations of 2018. Chartreuse and magenta? Vermillion and Violet? Fuchsia and tangerine? You saw it first on The Mindful Gardener!

The Elusive Benjamin Britten

‘Benjamin Britten’ is an intriguing rose.  Even David Austin himself says he finds the colour almost impossible to describe. I would call it a warm coral-red, which is quite bright and orangey on opening, but becomes a warm coral pink.  I might call it ‘watermelon’. The outer petals then fade unevenly, like vintage silk, being…

Stained Glass

I just thought I would write a little mini post on the wonderful Erodium manescavii, or Heron’s Bill. At first glance this flower looks very like a hardy geranium. But the petals are not all the same.  Two of them have stained-glass window markings.  They are like spidery ink across white paper.  The other three petals…

Sparkle

As the world turns, the light is changing.  I am an early riser, and if I get up at 5am, I wake up to a gentle dappled light which dances against the curtains and invites me outside. But by 6am, the bread machine beeps, and Ruby knows it is time for breakfast.  She nuzzles me…

Supersonic

I am mixing my senses here, but I do tend to a degree of synaesthesia when describing colour and its intensity.  Whilst supersonic really relates to speed, it is the word that keeps coming to me when I look at these pictures of the bright border and need a word to describe the intensity of…

Beautiful Bokeh

I learnt this term a few months ago, shortly after I purchased my new camera. Bokeh is the Japanese word for ‘blur’.  It describes the blurry, blobby, smeary or smudgy background you get against the foreground image which is in focus. I like the way that the smudgy bokeh radiates outwards from the ink-splash shape…

Starfire

I am having a glorious summer with Phlox.  I discovered Phlox through reading Christopher Lloyd’s Colour for Adventurous Gardeners, one of the gardening books I return to time and time again. I have written about my other Phlox varieties in Phloxy Lady? and Boring…  Now it is the turn of the loudest and proudest, Phlox paniculata ‘Starfire’. This has wonderful…

Raindrops

On Friday we had some rain!  It was a steady drip for a couple of hours during the day, and then a bit more as I was going to bed.  It was badly needed: it felt like a rescue breath for the hedges and fruit trees. I have accidentally caught a couple of lovely water…

Butterflies and Buddleia in the Bright Border

It has been scorching for weeks.  Yes, weeks, not days.  We are having a proper summer.  Where you wake up every day and know you can eat breakfast outside, but have to get stuff done before 9am because then it will be too hot to move. Phlox is loving it.  As I was standing here,…