Rain stopped play (but not the weeds …)

We are here at the French house on a two-week visit, one week either side of Easter weekend, a special and precious time together. I’m still recuperating after a very intensive working period, and R is partly working and partly having a few days of holiday. Our gardener has been here several times during our visit, making a flight of steps down into the new … Continue reading Rain stopped play (but not the weeds …)

The rose garden: progress and planting

This time last year we had our groundworkers on site, constructing a new car park. A considerable amount of soil had to be dug out, to level the area. This was partly tipped down a bank to the side of the drive (and will become a new exotic garden later this spring) and partly spread on the south side of the car park, an area destined … Continue reading The rose garden: progress and planting

A winter walk at Wakehurst Place

For a number of reasons spirits have been sinking lower and lower. A voluntary task was becoming a seriously unsustainable burden. Work was ramping up in pressure (albeit exactly as expected as moving into a busy time). An unforeseeable crisis caused stress and heartache which isn’t going to go away. Capacity was at full stretch, I’d worked all through last weekend and many evenings over … Continue reading A winter walk at Wakehurst Place

The Immortal Yew by Tony Hall

I rarely win prizes, possibly because I rarely enter competitions. Recently I made a comment on Karen Gimson’s Bramble Garden Blog (one of a few I follow) in response to her post reviewing Tony Hall’s book The Immortal Yew, (recently published by Kew). I’d seen the book reviewed elsewhere and had already determined to buy myself a copy and told Karen so in my comment. Karen … Continue reading The Immortal Yew by Tony Hall

The answer lies in the soil? A new rose garden

Jon who helps us in the garden has just sent this photo. I suspect (in the nicest possible way) he sometimes sends photos from the house when we’re not there as a way of confirming that his normal Tuesday visit is proceeding as planned. That’s great. But he also knows (some of) what floats my boat. Manure Manure; fabulous stuff. Its not always easy to … Continue reading The answer lies in the soil? A new rose garden

What does 2019 hold in store?

I’m hoping to write a post which will review 2018, a year when we made some wonderful progress in the garden, a year when special memories were created. I plan to write and publish it soon. Before I do it seems prescient to look ahead, very briefly, to 2019, a year which many of us have been fearing, which we have to not only live … Continue reading What does 2019 hold in store?

A car packed full with random things … including plants

We are driving to the French house tomorrow. We will catch a Eurotunnel train around 8.30am and then drive like the wind for about 12 hours, taking it in turns as we tire. The weather has been dreadful across much of France for some time so we are hoping we don’t encounter any flooding or other problems. When we drive we always have a car … Continue reading A car packed full with random things … including plants

Christmas, a frustrating and sad winter season, but progress in the end …

Doing Christmas differently Our immediate family decided that we would do Christmas differently many years ago. Both my children have lived abroad, either working in an industry where Christmas was a key busy period (skiing) or in out of the way places where travel back home wasn’t necessarily available. As a family we approach each new year afresh, not expecting anything of each other and … Continue reading Christmas, a frustrating and sad winter season, but progress in the end …

A sense of arrival

We hear architects and garden designers talking a lot about “a sense of arrival”, how to make an entrance feel important or welcoming. A range of different devices are offered from matching topiarised bay trees in square faux lead pots, one either side of a glossily painted front door, to sweeping driveways and avenues at the other extreme. Event organisers and holiday tour companies also talk about … Continue reading A sense of arrival

Grinding, harrowing, and musings on blog frequency

Like many bloggers, the gaps between my postings have been varied and often far too long. I have sworn to myself that I’ll never use the words “sorry I haven’t posted for ages”, “wow, I’m back at last”, “It’s been far too long”, or similar. I’ve spent some time considering how to write, when to write, how often to write, illustrations to include. I’ve known … Continue reading Grinding, harrowing, and musings on blog frequency