Border patrol: What looks good in the dog days

Once upon a time in the  garden in winter,  borders were put to bed, plants neatly clipped back to ground level and there was loads of bare shiney turned-over earth.  A shrub or two, carefully chosen for seasonal merit, would break up the lovely monotony of the tilled soil.  Nothing wrong with this at all…

Plantaholic Post

Geranium psiliostemon is shocking magenta with a black eye.  The colour looks particularly good in a little bit of dappled shade.  It is tall – over a metre and arching, curving around in a wirey way with no need for staking.  I cut mine back in mid summer and it has come back and will…

Pattern of the DAY

We did end up buying a carpet on the recent Syrian trip.  Or it might be a rug or a kelim.  I know that quantity of knots per square inch are the acid test.  Any way here it is, a  lovely object from Tabriz in Iran. The man on the right is the carpet seller….

Sculpture gazing in Sussex

Flicking through a magazine, I came across pictures of a fish on a bicycle and a rubber palm tree  and knew that I had to drive down towards the Sussex Downs to take a better look.  These and other provoking works of contemporary British sculpture, are set in the wooded grounds of the Cass Foundation…

Celebrity pin up

WHO?    Martha Schwartz WHY?    Transforming urban spaces and attitudes to them. Look out for  Massar Children’s Discovery Centre, Damascus opening 2012. Please do follow us!

The Tired Old Border and how to revamp

What most garden owners really need is the nerve to grapple with an unruly flower-bed and decide what to keep or throw out – how to deal with thug tendencies, what to plant in a bare patch and how to extend the flowering season.  Tired old borders turn up with regular monotony.  Perfect time now…

Pattern of the DAY

Hebe rakaiensis is sturdy and a stalwart evergreen small shrub that can behave in the box ball manner.  Standing in  for a less harsh form of topiary, the fresh green leaves grabbed my attention yesterday.  It’s a good shrub for the small garden but needs to be kept pruned so that it doesn’t go leggy….

Oh lovely Damascus.

Damascene rose, damask fabric and as the guidebook would have it, Dimashq.  The old town is an ellipse – bounded more or less by walls and divided up into different districts – the original pattern is christian, jewish, muslim.  The oldest inhabited city in the world, perhaps.  The Romans came and went, Tamerlane shot through,…