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…

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…

Camellias, mostly – a beautifully colourful tour through the woodland landscapes at RHS Wisley

Such a beautifully sunny, warm and fragrant afternoon at RHS Wisley. Crowds upon crowds filling the car parks but amongst the meandering paths of Battleston Hill, just a few folk pottering through the woodland paths, admiring the camellias. An amazingly colourful display pretty much at their peak, or just a little over, filling the wooded…

A Kew Gardens Miscellany – the Roses (some flower, lots of hips), a glide through the Davies Alpine House and of course, some autumn leafery (see the Ginkgos) …

An unexpected bit of free time today and lo! A parking space by the Victoria Gate which meant I had to stop - and (first things first) smell the roses. Gertrude Jekyll, Stanwell Perpetual and Madame Isaac Pereire brought High Summer right back on a mostly overcast mid-November day. Soul food. From the Rose Garden,…

A rainy day at Wisley – but read on – there’s Cherry, Camellia, Rhododendron, Magnolia & more…

An exceptionally damp day, last Friday, at RHS Wisley in Surrey but undeterred was I, with my Driza-bone coat, wide-brimmed hat, umbrella and camera - it was business as usual ... Much opportunity for photography with ornamental cherries and Magnolias in blossom and looking fine; Camellias dotted throughout Battleston Hill and Seven-acre Wood; likewise some…

Walk with me through the woodland landscapes at RHS Wisley – a fragrant, colourful tour for these unexpectedly mild days …

I had the time to visit the gardens at RHS Wisley on Wednesday this week, the sunniest of days and quiet too (everybody else was at the work, or the supermarket, or on the M25... ) The colour and fragrance on offer was unexpectedly generous, with Camellias and Rhododendrons, Witch Hazel, Chimonathus and Edgworthia, Hellebores…

The Savill Garden, fragrant, fizzing with colour and all set for Spring

Rhododendrons like this amazing Choremia Tower Court, blazing in the sunshine this afternoon in The Savill Garden within the greater Windsor Great Park - made this a fine choice for a walk, through these extensive gardens before exploring further into The Royal Landscape to search out the Jubilee Horse and the Copper Horse, with views…

February made me shiver….

I am dreaming of Spring, mostly. There is a great deal to admire in February so I worry that we might wish the month away without appreciating what is looking - or giving - its best right now, or the quiet simplicity of our gardens stripped bare of all of the spring and summer fireworks…