Things that caught my eye etc., etc., – and a gourmet tour of the East End (didn’t expect that, did you!)

A day at Petersham Nurseries, working I might add, dispensing horticultural advice and bon-mots to a pretty happy crowd - weather warm but not too warm, a good breeze, plenty of plants to pretty the place up, time to talk to the customers - and keep everything watered - and time to make a few…

Am I blue?

Asters and Hydrangeas, Salvia patens and Indigo Spires, and Caryopterix, Clematis viticella, Agapanthus, Viola, Penstemon, Verbena bonariensis, Dianella & Geranium Rozanne, Crocus and Heliotrope... the blues and violets of an Autumn garden. Mix them up with rich purples and pinks (I'm thinking Sedums here) and the golds and oranges of  Heleniums and Helianthus  - and…

A flower or two, a little rain and some verse by Longfellow

A damp day at Petersham but the hardy gardener was undaunted and the plants were looking fine - the Cutting Garden has swelled quite noticeably, just in the week while I was away up North in t'Yorkshire - with more and more dahlias, sunflowers, twining vines, sweet peas, cosmos... A fine time to take some…

Pink and Orange. Together? Oh yes!

Penstemon Pink Riding Hood and fragrant English Rose, Boscobel, from the David Austin stable. In fact, Boscobel has many guises and can be a deeper pink or stronger orange, depending on weather conditions and a mature shrub will have all shades represented, adding to the overall appeal. Fruity fragrance too. Pink and Orange can work.…

Before we get to Hampton Court, a gallop through Luton Hoo, Wrest Park and more from Petersham Nurseries – hurrying to keep up with the virtual mountain of photography…

Taxi?! Luton Hoo, in Bedfordshire, has a fascinating history, the family seat of an über-weathly family who lost almost all their fortunes in the credit-crunch of the 1980's. Fabergé eggs once sat casually on side tables! It is now an Elite Hotel, and lovely too, with formal gardens and parkland and nearby, a Land Rover…

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…

Mottisfont Abbey Rose Gardens

A slide show - the first of many to come - from an afternoon spent in the three Rose Gardens at Mottisfont Abbey, near Romsey in Hampshire. Rose Heaven. The collection of Old Roses, shrub roses, climbers and ramblers must be one of the most extensive and complete in the country - the rose gardens…

Dark Towers

Penstemon Dark Towers A change from the usual Penstemon, not so much on account of the flowers though they are delightful, but for the dark tints to the leaves and the branching habit of the stems. A wholly beautiful combination. Not as dark, perhaps, as the sticky toffee pudding I've just had, but just as…

Rose Munstead Wood (English Rose, David Austin)

One of my favourite English Roses, Munstead Wood (named after Gertrude Jekyll's home and garden in Surrey). A dramatic, rich deep and velvety crimson with good fragrance. Flowers - large in size and cupped at first, the colour deepens as the flower matures and we get a glimpse of the stamens amongst the petals. Practically…