If you suffer from mid-winter blues, I would encourage you to plant bulbs next autumn. One January or February morning, you will see tiny green shoots, and within a week or two, a little paintbrush smudge of flower. A few days later, as if the flower were spring-loaded, petals will have burst out in all directions, and this gorgeous little warrior will be standing proud.
The light in September streams in from an angle, rather than beating down from above. It kisses the cheek and the shoulder. I could sit in the September sun all day long.
The difference between a climber and a rambler, meeting a rose for the first time, reuniting with old friends, and the secret to growing roses in pots…
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.
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.
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.
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!
There is nothing better for the soul than to grow flowers from seed.
Sissinghurst in October is a gentle place. There is space for quiet contemplation and restoration of the spirits.
We have just returned from a holiday in France. I got into a habit whilst we were there of walking to the Boulangerie for bread and croissants each morning. Before anyone else was awake. I woke up at about seven, pulled on my clothes oh-so-quietly, made a cup of tea oh-so-quietly, and crept across the…
My mum and I went on an expedition to the jungle. We didn’t fly there. We drove there in a little red mini. We went unprepared, without a mosquito net or insect repellent. But we were wearing plenty of sun-cream. We’d set out for Great Dixter. The expedition leader (me) failed to check whether it…
I went for total indulgence in the hot spell last week. I reasoned that it was too hot for serious gardening, so I may as well visit other gardens and bask in the tulip displays. So on Friday it was Great Dixter and on Saturday I took the family to Sarah Raven’s Open Garden at Perch Hill….