The sun has got his hat on, hip-hip-hip-hooray!

and for a little rather welcome cooling off - switch on those sprinklers   The Sun Has Got His Hat On - Joy bells are ringing, The songs birds are singing, And ev'ryone's happy and gay. Dull days are over, We'll soon be in clover, So pack all your troubles away. The sun has got…

Bee Magnet

Echinops bannaticus - Blue Globe Thistle A very useful perennial for the sunny border, preferring well-drained soils, where it will produce a tall, broad, branching plant up to 150cm in height. The flower buds are attractive, perfect spheres, steadily opening to reveal blue flowers - creating a globe of colour. A massed effect as seen…

Quintessentially English

Lavender angustifolia Hidcote. A strong blue-purple to this compact lavender, one of the brightest saturated colours in the lavender range - especially when multiplied through lines and drifts - and a beautiful companion to roses (despite their differing cultural needs). A little benign neglect, nothing too rich in the compost or feeding regime, excellent drainage…

Woodland Drama

Red Hot Poker Primrose/Orchid Primrose/Vial's Primrose Primrose vialii AGM Red-tipped pyramids of pink cover the woodland floor when Primula vialii is in flower. This award-winning plant is excellent for late spring and early summer colour. plant in groups in fertile, moisture-retentive, sheltered sites cool and humid conditions in the open or part shade It emerges late in…

Mottisfont Abbey, Hampshire

A joint visit today, back to Mottisfont Abbey and on to the Sir Harold Hillier Gardens in Hampshire. This Mottisfont photo gallery taken on a rather damp 21st June last year but looking superb. April cold and then lots of rain held back the flowering of the mostly once-blooming rose collection (the main show was…

David Austin roses – introductions 2012/13 and … 2013/14

Tranquility, The Lark Ascending, Boscobel and Heathcliff- four of the five new roses introduced by David Austin last year. Apart from Albrighton Rambler, whose appearance we might better be able to guess (and is likely to repeat flower..?), the other 2013/14 additions, Carolyn Knight, Thomas A Becket and The Lady Gardener will have to remain…

Thoughts turn to summer…

This semi-circular border was planted (on bare soil) in April and May 2012 and photographed at the end of July. Plenty of rain helped it quickly establish - the addition of annual cosmos and verbena bonariensis, creating a fuller, more mature feel this early on. Roses are set to take centre stage in the coming…

The White Garden, Sissinghurst

Spurred on by the BBC4 series starting tonight - and having read Adam Nicolson's book "Sissinghurst - An Unfinished History" last summer, it seems a good time to look through the photographs taken on a rather damp early August day last year. For a few brief minutes I had the garden all to myself. Heaven.