Roses, what else? Two new arrivals but many obituaries …

  Lady Emma Hamilton Familiar readers of these pages, and anyone who has met me to talk about roses, will know how much I admire the roses from the stable of David Austin in Shropshire, and I am looking forward to seeing Silas Marner and The Country Parson, new introductions to be showcased at Chelsea this…

A break in the weather and time to get to RHS Wisley – woodlanders, rock gardens and alpines, many roses and more …

The weather has been decidedly un-summery these past few days and further North, it is set to be one of the wettest on record. Us softy Southerners, by geography if not by birth, have it a little brighter but still, dank, damp, humid and overcast. Still, I wanted to see the new retail space and…

Pruning, care and maintenance plan for your roses, starring Mottisfont Abbey

The beautiful collection of Old Roses at Mottisfont Abbey in Hampshire - displayed in three separate walled gardens, each with its own distinct character and altogether showcasing several hundred Old Roses varieties with a range of complimentary plants. And the fragrance! Be still my beating heart! Actually, there is a new garden there, that I…

A return to Penshurst Place and Gardens, Kent – and this time we definitely have peonies ….

A return, after a years' absence, to the walled gardens at Penshurst Place in Kent. This time around, the famed 100m long peony border was looking fine, colourful and fragrant, growing lush and up through the wire grid, and with a long way to go before it will run out of steam. With the rain…

Downderry Lavender Nurseries, Kent

A long-awaited visit to this specialist Lavender nursery in Kent, a little to the north of Tonbridge. I'll see their exquisite stand at the RHS Hampton Court Flower Show next month (they won Gold at both Chelsea and Hampton Court last year), deservedly so. Such variety, superbly grown, fragrant, buzzing with bees and other pollinators.…

Kew Gardens – the Woodland Gardens providing welcome shade, dappled and deep and a rich tapestry of leaf, flower & fragrance

A reprisals of a piece from June 2015 at Kew Gardens, as I am hosting a Shade-themed workshop today and have rescheduled several pieces to fill out the subject and which will form the basis of my updated notes. A talk on the beauty and possibilities of gardening in the shade - indeed on a…

The shady garden in summer and into autumn … beginning an A-Z

  I'm preparing for a workshop covering the possibilities for gardening in a little - or a lot - of shade and have begun to put together the gallery (above, but more to come) to illustrate some of the contenders that anyone tackling such a proposition might entertain. Damp shade and dry shade, dappled shade…

Throwing some light on shade

  The Shade Garden in Spring and Early Summer Right Plant / Right Place Here are my cobbled-together notes from a recent workshop on shade gardening, highlighting the planting possibilities for those folk who are lucky enough to have a shady spot in their garden. There is a wide, wide - wide - range of…

Welcome Shade

I've a workshop at Petersham Nurseries for their ongoing program in the School of Garden Inspiration and I am tackling the shadier aspects of the garden - north-facing aspects, tall walls and boundaries, trees - and the dry, inhospitable places as well as the cool and damp. These areas ought to be a welcome distraction…