Welcome to Hound’s-tongue

May shading into June is the best time for long country walks in the East of the country.  The wildflowers are dazzling and bewildering in their massed numbers.  They are waving in the breeze  across water meadows, down remote lanes and garlanding heathland leading to an inlet of the sea.  This past weekend the Borage…

So, David Hockney it is over, but not quite.

Thousands of us  stood and jostled  in the grand rooms up the stair of the Royal Academy to see the rendering of our countryside by David Hockney.  And returned home with eyes on stalks to stare at our surrounding woods and fields.  To look at them anew without the mind overpowering  the senses.  I have…

A feast of spring buds

Forget the daffodils.  The high-point  of spring is the dancing buds and dazzle of early flowers on  trees.   Warm March and the wettest week of April that I can remember has brought out that flush of new leaf colour with pleated leaves unfolding and flowers bursting out in remarkable colour. I visited a garden…

The world’s best nurseries: series 3

Santa’s Grotto or elves?  A very good way to write off a garden centre or nursery,  or so I used to think.  On the east coast of England the land is open and sandy and this makes for good growing ground – free draining and easy to work. Consequently there are quite a few nurseries…

If you go into the woods today, you’re in for a big surprise

Serried timber trees, broad trunked with fly agaric mushrooms poking through dead leaves.  Why is this the popular image  of a wood?  Should we blame Racey Helps or Beatrix Potter?  Apparently not.  According to  Oliver Rackham,  (the historian of the English countryside)  this woodland askew view is to be blamed on the  “scientists and savants…

The garden skeleton is revealed to bitter tears

Take a look at this and this: Dem bones.  I stayed up way too late last night and surfed with saddo zeal amongst the gardening blogs.  Take back saddo.   Read, laughed,  imbibed, learnt and went a little boss eyed.  Got just a little hooked.  Quite a few gardeners are posting fabulous images of their…

The very lonely Christmas tree

A Saturday stroll took us past St Pauls Cathedral and  the tent village.  It is looking permanent and not too uncomfortable.  Free books and beanbags to sit on beckoned.  An upright piano on a pallet and under awning suggested dancing and carousing later.  The plane tree in the middle was celebrating with banners, baby bootees…

This tree is so dead it is alive

The blasted trunk, hit by lightening, stands it’s ground in  the middle of a footpath. As a stately thing, the tree rules over young sweet chestnuts.  Though  dead as a dodo and sloughing away its lignified dead cells bit by by, it provides the ultimate wildlife habitat.  A sculpture too, to be coveted  for a…