Chelsea 2017 Part 3: Every Garden Tells A Story

The best of the smaller show gardens at Chelsea this year each tell a story. Like the cover of a book, at first glance you can tell what genre of literature you are looking at. Then, as you spend a while ‘reading’ the garden, understanding it’s structure and planting, the story unfolds. Fresh Gardens Breast…

Chelsea 2017 Part 2: On the Sunbury side of the street

Peter Seabrook has been The Sun’s gardening correspondent for 40 years. As an aspiring garden writer it was a great pleasure to meet him in the Great Pavilion at Chelsea at 40 Sunbury Road, a 16mx5m plot put together by the Horticultural Trades Association and the Association of Professional Landscapers working with Peter to celebrate…

Chelsea 2017: A Festival for the Bees

Bees were everywhere at Chelsea today, and who could blame them with a strong naturalistic theme running through many of the Large Show Gardens. Best in show Our first stop was James Basson’s Best in Show M&G Garden inspired by a Maltese quarry. Here one plant in particular caught our eye: the so-called giant fennel  (Ferula…

Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day

I have been so busy with work and family lately that I have not managed to fit in much time to blog, or spent anywhere near as long as I would like in our garden. So Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day May 2017 hosted by Carol at maydreamsgardens.com seemed like the perfect chance to get back…

Dinosaur roar – a miniature garden

Littlest Weed is a dinosaur obsessive. At the age of just 3 he knows his Muttaburasaurus from his Allosaurus, has seen every episode of Andy’s Dinosaur Adventures on CBeebies several times over, and has perfected his impression of a T-Rex after hours of practice scaring his older sisters. So what better way to get him…

More veg plotting

Wonders will never cease. Looking out of the window I can see a few drops of rain – the first we have seen in Sussex for about a month! Every evening I have been going out and watering our new veg patch by hand, eagerly awaiting the first signs of the seeds we planted over the Easter…

Easter in Virginia Woolf’s garden

I have lived just down the road from Monk’s House, Virginia Woolf’s country cottage and garden, for nearly seven years, but only visited it for the first time this Easter weekend and was utterly enchanted. What put me off visiting before was the prospect of taking young children around a small National Trust property, but the…

Making a garden our own

It is 10 months since we moved into our new garden (there is a house attached), but I still feel as though I am trespassing on someone else’s territory. Most of the trees, shrubs and plants have been chosen by others. Some I adore such as the gigantic fig tree my children love to climb and have…

Take Comfrey

‘Knitbone’, ‘bruisewort’, ‘boneset’ and ‘knit back’; these are just some of the folk names given to Comfrey, hinting at its long history as a medicinal herb. It was widely used to promote the healing of wounds and fractures, hence its common name, which is a corruption of the Latin ‘con firma’, alluding to the plant’s ability to…

A veg plot in an hour (or two)

Oh how I envy all those allotment bloggers out there who have dug over large symmetrical beds ready to sow this year’s goodies. Although I dream of one day joining their hallowed ranks, this year I have neither the space nor time. My bog roll broad beans have been sitting on the kitchen windowsill growing leggier…

Shed heaven

Now that Spring is here it will soon be time for a job we have been putting off all winter: clearing out the shed. We have a large, but extremely tumbledown shed at the end of our garden. When we moved in, it was already a quarter full with detritus left by previous occupants, old…