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, Part One (there will be more tomorrow now I’ve actually booked for the Great Pagoda)

A first look at the newly restored and be-dragoned Great Pagoda. Of course I didn't think to book, so shall be returning tomorrow at 10.30am for that pleasure. I have ascended the Pagoda before, pre-restoration about what, five years ago? But the Dragons are new, 1.8m long on the lower level carved in wood, greatly…

Mottisfont Rose Gardens

Overblown, blowsy, beautiful, fragrant, lush, a little ragged, absolutely in need of some serious dead-heading - but equally glamorous and hopelessly romantic, there are no rose gardens quite like Mottisfont. Soulful, they inhabit the walled gardens of this ancient priory, clambering through the many venerable apple and pear tress, hopelessly constrained by box or lavender,…

A snapshot from the RHS Gardens at Wisley

With a friend visiting from Melbourne and cool, cloudy weather, an opportunity to explore RHS Wisley and with 20 Plant Societies - Delphiniums and Cacti, Hostas and Bonsai, Pitcher Plants, Heathers, Vegetables, Dahlias and more - no better excuse to spend three hours in these varied landscapes. We explored the Cottage Garden - gorgeous planting,…