Plantaholic Post

Dianthus barbatus or  Sweet Williams look fabulous right now and will continue to do so until the frosts get them.    You will need to keep picking to stimulate flowering.  These biennials limped through to spring with moth-eaten flowers but are now majestic in all shades of pink and red.  Used liberally in the flowerbeds…

Fleetingly at the Garden History Museum

On the south bank of the Thames and right next to Lambeth Palace, the Archbishop of Canterbury’s  London digs,  is a deconsecrated church. It’s graveyard, carved up like a wedge of cheese by busy road is the resting place of the illustrious in trade and horticulture.  There is a prosperous wax chandler,  the man who…

#Terrified Tuesday

Aieeeeeeeeeeee is this another example of global warming? Please do follow us!

Lovely Landriana: another Italian garden to visit

“The Education of a Gardener” by Russell Page is my favourite dipping-into gardening book.  Despite being written fifty years ago and by a gardener with a Hello A list of clients, the book has ideas to inspire and coursing through it the philosophy of genius loci.  This is  strong sense of bringing out the spirit…

A few summer tips and the oppo to win gardening equipment too

Those who blog a bit will be used to strange offers  for host posts on their site:  muscular pain, TV series and  waterproof trousers amongst them.  Most are quite wide of the mark but when www.plantmenow.co.uk sent in a request for top tips for getting the garden ready for this summer and the possibility of…

Wildflowers to be seen near Paris

From the Arc de Triomphe it is less than 40 kilometers to Maule – a leafy village just beyond spitting distance of the capital.  It’s on the west side of Paris and in a wide agricultural plain made up of fields of rape, wheat and barley.  In  between there are  strands of forest and lanes…

Can yew combat box blight?

Box blight is becoming a  scourge.  I read a recent  article in the gardening press that offered alternatives to Buxus sempervirens.  None of the plants on the list did the trick for me. The thing about box is that it tolerates dry shade.  Lavender? catmint?  hyssop? Please – they all want sun. Obedient to the…

La Ninfa – the most romantic garden

“The best garden in Italy?  Undoubtedly Ninfa” whispered  the olive oil taster. Set  out of the way in dusty ravine country about an hour outside Rome, it is not easy to visit.   Preserving  the place from the trample of footfall, it opens only on one Sunday per month. Please do follow us!

10 tips for the direct sowing of flowering annuals

Long  ago we had a cat and an attic in Peckham.  Seed trays were lined up to bask in the light beaming down through the sky lights.  The cat got up there and thought we had left her a litter tray.  It put me off seed sowing for years. But there is no better way…

A mole

This collage effect is a mole in the dull  shade round the Mere below our castle.  The boot (mine) is in there to show scale.   How do moles (so very small)   manage to throw up such large hills?  They dig like crazy and also make perfect loam.  I wish I knew how to…