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. Peony ‘Barbara’ ‘Barbara’ exudes competence and confidence.  She knows how to be a peony. Peony ‘Barbara’…

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…

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…

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…

Unripe Tulips

These last few days have been like the big climb on a rollercoaster, where it goes really really slowly, slower, slower…almost stops…you can see the whole theme park below you… You know any second now, it’s all going to happen, and your breath is going to be taken away, and you will feel the most…