Pillowy Billowy

Peonies.  I love peonies.  There is no other flower you want to nestle into and actually go to sleep on. These are my favourite peonies for pillowy billowiness. ‘Barbara’ has been the queen of my rose garden this week. ‘Barbara’ exudes competence and confidence.  She knows how to be a peony. And here she is…

A different angle

Summer is really for just enjoying the garden. There are minor chores, if you want to call them that, but really these a pretty pleasurable: deadheading, tying in a tendril here, pulling out a weed there, eating a strawberry, sniffing a rose. I do a lot of basking.  We can call it mindfulness if you…

The View from a Sunlounger

Stevie and I had Saturday evening to ourselves. This is the view from our sunloungers. We’re sitting under the lime tree, which Stevie has cunningly pruned so it has an umbrella-like canopy. In fact, like a living yurt.  If we sit in the shade, we can look through its hanging fronds. We debated going out…

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…

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…

Death-trap Corner

In my post on Sunday, After the Storm…, I christened a slightly wild and unkempt area of the garden ‘Death-trap Corner’.  It earned its name due to several toxic plant species, a few stingers, lots of spikes and spines, and some spring-loaded rose snares. Well reader, such is my dedication to this blog, I braved the…

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…

What a Whopper!

The first peony I ever grew was ‘Red Charm’. When I moved house I had to replace it because I couldn’t live without it. You can see why: It is the first peony to flower in my garden, so always gets a lot of attention. Here it is, cocking it’s head, showing off its jagged…

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. Let’s start with the rose garden.  This is my absolute…

Darling Buds

In the gap between the end of the tulips and the start of the poppies and the peonies, we can bathe in the lush growth of May. In February there was bare earth, just the odd clump of snowdrops.  The growth in March was ankle-high, with crocuses and primroses.  April, knee-high, with the tulips. In…