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…

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…

A long-overdue visit to the gardens of RHS Wisley – a riot of colour and scent this early May Day

Hawthorn, Bluebells, Azaleas and Rhododendrons, flowering Viburnums, a craft fair, tree-trunk sculpture, sunshine and fragrance. A fine start to a long-overdue visit to these gardens. Sunshine and a few scattered squalls, sometimes a bit over-bright for good photography, but glad to have made the effort to get out here today. The Craft Fair - huge -…

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…

The Great Pagoda at Kew Gardens – there be fearsome Dragons

The newly restored Great Pagoda at Kew Gardens, replete with fearsome dragons. Built in 1762, it was one of a series of oriental-inspired buildings smattered through these new gardens, though the only one to have stood the test of time. The dragons are beautiful, colourful, gilded and sparkling, and quite fearsome. On the lowest tier…

Exbury Gardens, Hampshire

A trip down to Southampton this morning, to drop family off at the airport and then a convenient drive into the New Forest, ponies galore, and the gardens at Exbury. I've never been though know of their reputation for Rhododendrons, Camellias and Azaleas, and for a fine autumn showing of mature Acers. Obviously we are…

Petersham Open Garden 2018 – all the pictures!

Ten gardens, ten private passions, ten stories - all on show for Petersham Open Gardens, an event every two years where private gardens showcase their beauty and skills (and skulls in some gardens), for charitable purposes. And given the footfall today, the charity-benefitting coffers will be full to overflowing. Congratulations folk, one and all. I…

RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2018 – the show gardens, the great pavillion, the roses and … well, pretty much everything

From my walk through Chelsea, to the very last moment - a few hours in the company of the world's greatest flower show....