In a Vase on Monday #IAVOM Sussex

I’m off to the French house today for three nights. It’s a flying visit partly because I haven’t been there since the end of August, a longer gap than usual because my husband had an operation, and partly to meet with various builders to finally sign off on the major works earlier in the year. Oh, and there’s the small matter of a hair appointment … Continue reading In a Vase on Monday #IAVOM Sussex

Books: recently bought and on my wishlist – yes, mostly about plants and gardens – October 2019

I’m an inveterate buyer of books, most often about gardening. And whilst I do admit to having a large “to read” pile I always get round to using and enjoying each one. I thought you might like to know what I’ve recently read and what I’m looking forward to reading in future. I’ve provided links direct to their Amazon page should you wish to buy. … Continue reading Books: recently bought and on my wishlist – yes, mostly about plants and gardens – October 2019

Six on Saturday 3rd August 2019

I’ve long enjoyed “Six on Saturday” posts from my oh-so-better fellow bloggers. And I’ve resolved to join them on several occasions, but have always been thwarted by it not being Saturday or not having appropriate photos to include. I must be in a blogging kind of mood today as I remembered to dash outside a couple of hours ago and take a few photos. And … Continue reading Six on Saturday 3rd August 2019

Market day in Sainte-Foy-la-Grande

We’ve heard many people describe the Saturday market in Ste Foy as the biggest and best in the region. Today was the day when we decided to go and see for ourselves. We’ve driven around the town a few times en route for other places but never stopped. Parking, in true French (small town at least) fashion, was easy. We were late arrivals (characteristic of … Continue reading Market day in Sainte-Foy-la-Grande

The Garden Museum Literary Festival – a long weekend in Norfolk Part 1

A blissful midsummer’s weekend celebrating the best in garden writing I can’t remember when I first heard about the Garden Museum.  I’ve been to a few of their wonderful events over the years, have supported Christopher Woodward’s sterling fund-raising efforts for development, and have become rather fond of the organisation and everything it stands for. One day, when I was clearly in the mood to treat … Continue reading The Garden Museum Literary Festival – a long weekend in Norfolk Part 1

Advice for friends: planting in a difficult situation under trees

Two lovely friends in our French life, P & F, recently asked me for advice on what to plant in a very difficult position under trees which apparently suck all moisture and light from the soil. They’ve tried various plants none of which have thrived or even survived (so they tell me). I’ve always adopted the “have a go” approach to gardening. Someone I knew … Continue reading Advice for friends: planting in a difficult situation under trees

In a vase on Monday – from the French garden

The garden is in a phase where there aren’t many flowers. At least that’s what I thought until I decided to walk around with a flower bucket in one hand and a pair of secateurs in the other. And I was pleasantly surprised. Here is this week’s #IAVOM, all picked from the garden. Keep reading for some identification and explanation. Here’s another couple of views … Continue reading In a vase on Monday – from the French garden

The Exotic Garden: inspiration, planning and planting

Inspiration from Christopher Lloyd at Great Dixter The first time I visited Great Dixter was the first occasion I was introduced to the concept of exotic/tropical style planting. It must have been not many years after the late Christopher Lloyd and his head-gardener Fergus Garrett (recently awarded the RHS’s prestigious Victoria Medal of Honour) replaced the long-standing rose garden with this new, challenging, and very exciting … Continue reading The Exotic Garden: inspiration, planning and planting

The rose garden: planted in January, flowering by May

Many people have been asking me how the rose garden is developing, after the big plant out in January. On arrival at the house last Thursday for a cheeky last-minute weekend I was thrilled to see that some of the roses already had flowers. Across a sunny weekend more opened. I was even able to enjoy one of my favourite gardening activities, a spot of … Continue reading The rose garden: planted in January, flowering by May