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

  I had been preparing for a workshop covering the possibilities for gardening in a little - or a lot - of shade and put together the gallery last year to illustrate some of the contenders that anyone tackling such a proposition might entertain. A perennial question, this, what to plant, planting combination and health…

Arabella Lennox Boyd – invention and boundless imagination in the gardens at Gresgarth Hall

A garden, though visited in 2015, that has a hold on me still, with vivid memories of superb planting, striking vistas, artistry and sheer passion for the gardens and countryside around. The season 'up north' will be naturally a little later than here, 'down south' so while I visited at the beginning of July, climate…

Waterperry Gardens

    Another unapologetic walk down memory lane, this day in 2018, to the remarkable Waterperry Gardens. A joy on so many levels. I was at the HTA National Plant Show at Stoneleigh Park near Coventry yesterday, a tedious journey up and down the M40, especially back but I did make a grateful stop at…

Postcards from Sussex – the extraordinary Arundel Castle and Gardens

  To prevent a general revolt over a daily onslaught of postcards from June 2017, you'll be glad yo note I've left out at least four more galleries from David Austin Roses in Shropshire, the delightful Chastleton House and a mooch around Woodstock and Blenheim Palace. For the not so feint-hearted, please search for stories…

A few scribblings on creating a White Garden

  Creating a White Garden Straight out of the block, I'm talking about green. And grey, silver, and variegation. We'll get to white but a few thoughts first. ‘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,…

Nymans, pure Romance …

  Lockdown continues and these gardens, as are all, are closed to the public and so it is back to the archives and this collection of photographs from early May last year. I've brought it forward as the Wisteria has really taken to the warm days we have enjoyed this past few weeks and is…

A guide to spring-flowering bulbs in the garden – planting ideas from January to May in kaleidoscopic style

  Bulbs in the spring garden. The text and images are timely in this piece, looking through the late winter and spring months January through to May, though it was originally written for a September story when the bulbs and corms would be available for planting. There are practical tips and hints planting of course,…

A Grand Day Out (it was – this day 2018) – First stop, Pashley Manor Gardens, East Sussex

Such a glorious day to go out exploring and so I headed out to the wilds of East Sussex to take in these gardens at Pashley Manor before heading on to .... King John's Nursery and Gardens, Merriments and Great Dixter, and ending up making a few purchases at The Old Rose Nursery in Northiam.…

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.…