Full Blast

The bright border is at its midsummer zenith!

Tuscany Superb: The Most Romantic Rose of All

It is one of my favourite sensory pleasures to hold the impossibly soft and tender rose in one hand and snip its bristly stem with the other. The petals are softer than anything I know: peach fuzz, babies’ bottoms, duck down: they are nothing to this rose. The spent flower fits perfectly into my hand. Its petals may suddenly let out a silent ‘oh!‘, let go of their calyx all at once. They drop into my waiting bucket, with a flurry of petal confetti. and glorious rose perfume.

Layers of Loveliness

I generally plant roses and herbaceous perennials in groups of three. This gives each variety a presence in the border: their flowers are in sufficient number to make an impact. I like the way they form clear hummocks, like hills, through the border. Their outlines remind me of a child’s drawing of overlapping hills.

Mouth-watering

This peony is mouth-watering. There is a lightness to intersectional peonies. Where herbaceous peonies are taffeta and tulle, intersectional peonies are a swishy silk skirt on bare legs.

Fit to Burst

The best buds of all are the oriental poppies. They wear thick woollen tights, but silk knickers beneath. This one is about to burst its breeches.

How to Survive Winter

Every time I see these Fuchsia and Salvia cuttings, I feel a little warm glow inside, because human beings are generous, and like to share their blessings.

Comfy Pants

My favourite winter job in the garden is MULCHING. Just the word is delightful. Like squelching, but warmer and snugglier.

Pops and Neutrals

I am a ‘colour pop’ kind of a girl. But occasionally, with a light frost, I am forced to focus on the neutrals. With the aid of my new book all about colour, I can now distinguish my buff from my fawn!

Miss Haversham’s Garden

I remember finding the image of Miss Haversham rather thrilling. Her abandon of social convention. Her total neglect of housework. Her cunning.

Clarity

Being outdoors, pottering in the garden, listening to the birds, noticing colours and textures and patterns, enjoying a cup of tea… These are all forms of self-care. They are nurturing for my soul. Self-care brings clarity. I am refreshed, and can see things more clearly.