Chaumont International Garden Festival v. RHS flower shows

“Have issue.  You were so adamant that you wouldn’t go to Chelsea again.  Discuss, please”. This text came through the day I was at this year’s Flower Show and looked like a   an essay question. The best way to answer it  is probably to   compare  Chelsea Flower Show  with the Chaumont sur Loire…

We are lectured by Tom Stuart Smith

Early in the month Tom Stuart Smith gave a lecture at Great Braxted in Essex and we gardening types were lured from our potting sheds. There was the usual charitable angle with the National Garden Scheme and Horatio’s Garden vying either for or funds or our attention in the most charming way. I had no…

Q is for Quercus ilex tunnels

Seen here at Villa Cetinale, near Siena.  The evergreen oak can be oppressive in its matt evergreen livery.  In the hot high light of the south the long tunnels make a cool refuge from the sharp sun.  The shadows fissure, spangle and dance.

O is for Piet Oudolf

Piet Oudolf is the maestro of perennial planting.    Aged 71 but he is still working – both designing and teaching.  He continues to innovate and  bring in change – there is nothing static about his plant palette.  The photo below is his garden.  The fantastic white spires are of   Actaea Queen of Sheba.

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…

Peacocks on my walls

I would, for choice, have peacocks on my walls – as they do at Rousham Park, Oxfordshire.