Hardy heaven: Marchants Hardy Plants, East Sussex

I could be forgiven for thinking I had slipped into heaven this morning when I visited Marchants Hardy Plants in East Sussex, on the first day of their autumn sale. With only two weeks to go until they close for the winter, there is 25% off all plants and I did not come home empty…

Six on Saturday: Mists and Mellow Fruitfulness

Many years ago my first full time job was working for satirical magazine Private Eye. At this time of year, it was a favourite gambit to do a round up of all the lazy journalists who had written a piece referring to ‘the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness’. So in true lazy journalistic style…

Six on Saturday: Last fling

By this time of year I’m afraid I have nothing new to share with The Propagator and my fellow SOS-ers. Well, nothing new per se that is. What is different about the late September garden is the tone, feel and look. I have just stepped out into our chilly back garden to take these new…

Gravetye: in an English country garden

“How many kinds of sweet flowers grow/ In an English country garden?” asks the song. It is an irony that perhaps the most classic example of an English country garden was created by an Irishman, William Robinson, editor of The Garden and pioneer of a new style of gardening which saw Victorian bedding replaced with…

Our front garden allotment

Last winter, I cut down some of the overgrown shrubs in our front garden and replaced them with an experiment: a front garden allotment in the shape of four raised beds, each a metre square. This is not the first time I have turned part of our front garden over to growing produce. In our…

Six on Saturday: Second Coming

In last week’s six I featured our Choisya ternata which has surprised me by flowering more beautifully than ever in September. The climactic conditions are clearly just right for a second inflorescence at the moment as this week’s six shows. As ever thanks to our very own horticultural messiah The Propagator for hosting SOS. 1….

Six on Saturday: Back to school

The Little Weeds were back to school this week, although Littlest Weed doesn’t start until next week, but settling back into the routine has not left much time for gardening. So this week’s six really have very little to do with me – just plants getting on and doing their thing. As ever I doff…

Six on Saturday: Summer’s lease…

…hath all too short a date. Thus quoth the Bard and it is true. Suddenly September is upon us, but at least it is easing us in gently with a beautiful Indian summer of a day. Every week The Propagator invites us to share six things that are happening in our gardens. At the moment…

Six on Saturday: Welcome to the jungle

There is that inevitable moment when you get back from holiday, step into your garden and think ‘Wow – it’s a jungle out here.’ It’s not just the length of the lawn – yes it has grown back after the drought as Granny’s Garden promised. It’s as if all of the plants, liberated by the…

Six on Saturday: After the rain

I never thought I would be so glad to hear the sound of rain drumming down as I was yesterday afternoon, followed by the almost forgotten smell of damp earth. The garden is still looking parched but now I know it has had a good drink and some replenishment. I have been suffering from garden…