Problem planting areas – slopes round ponds

or should I say moats?   In Suffolk, east of England,  moats are ubiquitous .   I have lost count of how many customers I have with the address “Moat House Farm”. The problem is that the banks down to the water are steep.  So what are the options for maintenance and aesthetics?  Lush growth…

This is my mistreated carrot

An extreme example of very poor soil preparation.  The wretched thing is coiled into a scream that stops it taking flight for a Tony Cragg Road Show. We ate it and it was quite tasty. Please do follow us!

Dahlia amazia: why and how to grow dahlias

Dahlias yo-yo in and out of fashion.  Right now the spool is taut and this genus of perennials are spinning high.  Funny to reflect then that the first plants arriving from Mexico 200 years were introduced  as  food  – an alternative to the potato.  James Wong, ethno-botanist and TV presenter,  praises them for a flavour…

Radicchio rage

I am having problems with my radicchio – or are they radicchi when they grow in a small flock like this?  Some monster has blasted through the garden shed and stolen all my seed packets and labels so I am relying on my memory.  Pretty sure that I Please do follow us!

In the glistering light of September

Plants that would appear flat and bleached out in bright sun come forward and shine or have a luminous quality in soft autumn light.  First Sporobolus heterolepsis  – this grass turns up  over and over again in planting plans by Oudolf in Noel Kingsbury’s book  “Planting – a New Perspective”  At last I had it…

Plants by Post – do I rate them?

When I asked  Tim Milward of Plant Me Now how many lines of seeds they had in their catalogue he looked at me politely and I realised I was a bit of an idiot.  Plant me now, geddit?  Plants arrive as plugs or in 7cm pots and the punter plants them and tends them. It’s…

Aspirational corner: mainly things I want but have no room for Mark 4

Perhaps I am getting steadily more greedy.  Time, on the other hand, could be galloping faster and faster like a runaway bull.  The long and short of it is that this time I am posting four things I want in my virtual and infinite Aspirational Corner.    First, tunnels of evergreen oak, Quercus ilex as…

Garden workshops in Suffolk to get your garden looking gorgeous

I am running two workshops soon for any keen gardeners who live in Suffolk: HARMONIOUS PLANTING – on  Monday 6th October 9.30 – 11.30 at Lilac Thyme, The Station, Woodbridge, IP12 4AU This is a two hour workshop to get you enthused about where to begin with replanting, or simply dividing up and moving plants…

The RHS Dahlia Show – what did we think?

My friend Frenchie of Moat Farm Flowers is big into cut flowers.  She lives up here in Suffolk and is growing and selling beautiful blooms for weddings and the like.  A Dahlia Show at Wisley? We gasped with excitement and made the date to go together. She for the learning and I for the gawping….

Close up and personal at Castello di Celsa

Here is a a quick photo-study of Celsa – a castle and grounds near Siena, Italy.  I visited earlier this year.  If you want to do the same,   check their website to make an appointment.  Should  anyone get to the 5th image, I would love to know what that flashy butterfly is called….