Six on Saturday: winter flowers

We often think that winter is a time without flowers, but a quick walk around my garden this morning in a blessed interval of sunlight amid the rain, proves otherwise. Never mind Santa Claus, I am joining in with Old Father Propagator – who is busy in his toyshop propagating shed – and his happy helpers, the…

GMG Awards Finalist!

I was thoroughly chuffed last week to be named as a finalist at the Garden Media Guild Awards 2018 in the Blog/ Vlog of the Year Category. It was a huge honour to be in the company of some wonderful bloggers several of whom I got to meet in person at the swanky awards lunch…

Six on Saturday: Real Life

Early winter in the garden is the biggest reality check there is. I have big plans and high hopes for my garden next year, but for now I have to accept that it is a mushy mess. Earlier this year, Annabel from Life@no27 challenged her followers to post realistic shots of their gardens under the…

Nymans: a theatrical garden for all seasons

Overlooking the beautiful South Downs in the West Sussex village of Handcross, Nymans, now a National Trust garden, was once home to the Messel family, whose descendants included the famous theatre designer Oliver Messel and photographer Lord Snowdon. The garden is perhaps best known for its herbaceous border, which blazes with colour in the height…

Six on Saturday: Of roses and builders

As I write, the sun is pouring through the sitting room window. I have just been out in the garden planting bare root roses and noticed new nasturtium and potato plants which have come up, not too mention my namesake calendula still flowering their little socks off. If it were not for the leaves falling…

In A Vase on Monday: The Last Poppy

The day after Remembrance Day and my Littlest Weed found a poppy by the roadside on our way home from school. He picked it – despite my entreaties to leave it for others to enjoy – then when we got home without prompting put it in this little jug with a leaf he had picked….

Lakeland, wolves and Peter Rabbit

The first time I visited the Chelsea Flower Show was in 2005, when my favourite garden was designed by the former pop singer Kim Wilde on a Lakeland theme. I thought about this when we visited the Lake District in May and I was blown away by the lushness of the vegetation. I grew up…

Six on Saturday: Nature’s Fireworks

Here in Sussex, Bonfire is serious business and we are still recovering from the Fifth when we marched in torchlit processions as land girls, a soldier and a little evacuee. The fireworks displays round here are spectacular, but looking around the garden, some of the effects of nature are just as beautiful. Exploding rose hips…

Six on Saturday: November Promise

The garden may be dying back for the year, but I actually feel quite hopeful. I have ordered three new bare root roses, I have lots of bulbs to plant and I can spend a happy winter by the fireside planning next year’s garden. So while this week’s six might not be the heights of…

Pumpkin patch kids

There is something quite magical about pumpkins. Whether it is Halloween Jack O’Lanterns or Cinderella’s carriage, they hold a special place in our imagination, which is why they are perfect to grow with kids. My children hate any enforced activity in the garden, but their interest in the pumpkins I grew this year was entirely…