Explaining a little about fertilisers; What N:P:K means; the benefits of Organic Matter, mulches & green manure – and making your own compost & manure brews. Some steps towards Organic Gardening

I had quite a few ideas about gardening that I believed wholeheartedly but quite without foundation - that is before I started my formal horticultural training. One of these truths was that there was no such thing as the over-use of fertilisers. A little more would surely provide extra benefit. Well, no, it turned out.…

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…

Planting for Honey Bees and other pollinators ….

Bee Mindful/Planting for honeybees and beneficial pollinators These are some of my notes for a day-long workshop taking place at Petersham Nurseries today, focusing as we have all month on the honeybee, bee-keeping, planting for bees, honey tasting and fermenting and styling with fresh flowers. And lunch, let's not forget that important little bit, and…

Stylish Summer Containers

I'm hosting a workshop at Petersham Nurseries, part of a seasonal series we hold, discussing all things containers, planters, troughs, window boxes, bowls, urns ... for a long-lasting, hopefully interesting, fragrant, colourful, herby, floral, edible and beautiful summer-long display. I shall be looking back at some of the medleys we put together last summer, autumn…

Stylish late – late summer containers

I hosted a workshop a few weeks ago now, at Petersham Nurseries, with the title of 'Stylish late-summer containers. I promised the guests that I would create some notes and have been very tardy I doing so. I hope to remedy this here, jotting down a few of the points we covered, and details of…

Winter Containers

Stylish winter containers with ideas and examples from Petersham Nurseries; colour, texture, fragrance contrast and harmony for outdoor planting combinations

White Gardens, and Grey, and Green …

  Creating a White Garden ‘Green is the backdrop to the garden but in its range of shades and textures, green has much more to offer as any foreground interest. Grey dims, white brightens and greens, greys and white together will outlast the flash from coloured petals.’ Mary Keen These notes form the background to…

Nymans, pure Romance …

  After dropping my Sister- and Mother- in law off at Gatwick Airport, a short drive down the M23 to Nymans, a National Trust Property of great charm. Romantic ruins, beautiful gardens, far reaching views across woodland and downs, formal gardens and naturalistic, some tragedy, some infamy, quite a lot of beauty. Sadly too early…

Winter Border Workshop at Petersham Nurseries

I have a workshop this week where we will delve into turning our gardens, in the chill months ahead, into winter borders filled with interesting plants, colours and textures. Anchor plants with attractive foliage, the tracery and silhouettes of seedheads and dried stems and flower heads, and ornamental fruit, evergreen shrubs with scented flowers for…