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…

15 Favourites – Garden Plants

At Petersham Nurseries, we are planning our 15th Anniversary this month of May, celebrating the past decade and a half under the stewardship of the Boglione family and the development of the Nurseries and the expert team behind its horticultural reputation. We are choosing 15 favourites, roses of course, garden plants and houseplants, (for we…

Mottisfont Abbey – a look back at the rose gardens in June 2014 (It’s raining again in 2016)

Set by the banks of the crystal River Test, cutting through the chalk downland, sits Mottisfont Priory, dating to the 13th Century and with a colourful history right up to the 20th Century with Maud and Gilbert Russell bringing life again to the old house and the National Trust subsequently taking the House and Gardens…

A floral & fragrant tour of Petersham Nurseries – Roses of course, plenty of perennials, a Cutting Garden …. a real taste of summer –

A warm bright day and summer feels like it has arrived at Petersham Nurseries - well honestly it is June already. There are roses everywhere, big fat bright buds and blowsy blooms - and the scents! Old Rose and Spice (even a touch of Old Spice), vanilla and clove, fruit (citrus and peach, mango and…

A Petersham Nurseries Gallery – a feast of roses & perennials and a closer look at the Cutting Garden

I arrived at Petersham Nurseries 45 minutes earlier than necessary with a view to taking a few pictures - and I am a speedy photographer - so here is a little gallery of plants that are both conveniently for sale or at home in the Cutting Garden (a practical resource for so much of the…

A return to Mottisfont Abbey; an Old Rose Pilgrimage

A pilgrimage to these gardens, for which, so far as the roses are concerned, we have Graham Stuart Thomas to thank principally and for the last 40+ years, the National Trust for preserving and enhancing his original collection of Old Roses. Mottisfont holds the National Collection of Shrub Roses. I met Jonny Bass, the head…

Only the crumbliest, flakiest chocolate, tastes like chocolate never tasted before…

Creamy, gauzy, hazy combinations of pale foxgloves, astilbe and roses with hydrangea Annabelle - and Ammi majus with muted dahlias and corn marigolds - I'm channeling the spirit of the iconic TV adverts Flake today... go on, you can hum it....! The blue of nepeta below, a misty blue, with the same mellow feeling.

Roses, of course, and other floral delights for Thursday

The rich red of Tess of the D'Urbervilles, against a tapestry of blackberry and plum tones from the Penstemons,  dark leaves of one hydrangea and the  cranberry flowers of Pink Annabelle. These might not all be bedfellows in your border, but the colour associations can still be made. Tess is one of David Austin's Fragrant…