Category Archives: Well being

My top tip for summer gardening…

 

 

I was recently asked to write a few words about summer gardening and so I thought I would share that with you:

The Summer can be the hardest season of all for gardening. After the rush of growth in late spring, keeping up with all the jobs to do to keep the garden looking just ‘right’ can seem like an uphill battle. There’s the weeding, the watering, the dead heading, the pruning, mowing, edging, hedge trimming, tying-in and more and more watering. The ground is often too hard to work and there’s always something you forgot to stake, by which time it is too late.

Then you have to contend with the ants, bees and horseflies, slugs, snails, rabbits, chickens and in some gardens even deer.

Children playing games and diving into the borders after lost balls and dogs digging holes and the neighbours cats – well I won’t even go there…

The sweltering heat and relentless sun can burn you up and slow you right down.

Then family and friends are outside enjoying being in the garden. Eating drinking and admiring your handiwork and all you can see are the jobs that still need to be done.

My top tip for summer gardening is stop look and listen. Sense the lingering perfumes on the air and the breeze wafting through the leaves and petals. See the light shining through all the different greens and coloured petals. Just enjoy the remarkable detail and structure nature has created from the tallest tree to the tiniest weed.

This is the most important thing to do in a gardeners year, as all too soon it is gone.

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We have been enjoying the roses and the little Erigeron this week,

whilst spending plenty of time weeding.

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Bea and Pauline are still happy even after a very hot day, I love these girls!

Pauline was in the greenhouse today staking tomatoes, here are her tips

 

 

Off to visit some amazing gardens, I’ll be back in a week

The Garden says thank you for the rain

And I say thank you to the Tree of Shelter:

Of course all gardeners need to put their feet up from time to time…

Featured image: Emma enjoying lunch by the pool

Gardening colleague Rosi, enjoying a glass of Ridgeview Estate bubbly at GROW show in London

Gardening colleague Rosi, enjoying a glass of Ridgeview Estate bubbly at GROW show in London

Home made cakes and fresh coffee as a mid-morning break with our clients and 'Vollies' (volunteers) in a Sussex garden

Home made cakes and fresh coffee as a mid-morning break with our clients and ‘Vollies’ (volunteers) in a Sussex garden

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On the train home from GROW show with my gorgeous perennial violas and a new galvanised metal trough for collecting cut flowers - the perfect summer gardening accessory..

On the train home from GROW show with my gorgeous perennial violas and a new galvanised metal trough for collecting cut flowers – the perfect summer gardening accessory..

A quick head count…

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2 x Geese and 9 x goslings
1 x hen and 3 x chicks
1 x hen and 1 x chick
No ducklings left 🙁
1 x tortoise – check
1 out of 2 snakes
3 x dogs
Most of the sheep

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The cock and his mrs
The 2 x Indian Runner ducks or as I call them, the 2 old boys

Le Bois des Moutiers

Living in Brighton we are very lucky to be just a few sailing hours (4 to be precise, on the ferry from Newhaven) from the coast of Normandy and the port of Dieppe. In itself, Dieppe is a sweet place to visit, with its delicious chocolate shops, a visit to the surprisingly cheap sportswear superstore ‘Decathalon’ and also to stock up on tasty Normandy Cider and even stop for the traditional Moules Frites in one of the many harbour restaurants. But as a gardener I would say the hinterland is an even greater excuse to indulge in a weekend escape. With it’s quiet roads and wonderful Chateaus and gardens all within a 15 – 20 minute drive from the port, you can hardly believe it is all so close to home.

Our main focus destination was the tranquil gardens of Le Bois de Moutiers. The house, designed by Edwin Lutyens, is closed to the public but nevertheless fascinating to look at from the outside. The gardens, designed by Gertrude Jekyll are worthy of a gentle stroll around with many different areas to enjoy. We were virtually the only visitors there at the time we went too, which made it feel even more special.

It was also great to see the garden bench designed originally by Lutyens but copied many time since with staggeringly poor proportions compared to the original design.

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Another discovery along the coast westwards, is a small village called Veules-les-Roses. I won’t go into any more detail but to say this is definitely worth a visit too.

Here are a few more local snapshots to inspire you…
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A Day on the Downs

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Creative Wednesdays

A good friend of mine reached quite a low point in life about 6 months ago. She called me up and said she was going on a course called ‘The Artist’s Way’, that could potentially help her through this difficult time. Part of the course was to undertake something creative every week which was different from the previous week and would I join her? I said I usually had Wednesday afternoon off and would be happy to share that time with her and our “Creative Wednesdays’ were born.
We have come a long way since then. We have seen quite a few films, taken long walks, gone to museums and visited gardens and climbed high hills. We have sat and chatted and sat and drawn together and the experience has been totally worthwhile. It has been an opportunity for us both to take time out for ourselves.
She finished the course ages ago. We probably spend every other Wednesday together now but we still focus on the creative. She has come a long way in that time and actually so have I.
This week we made flowers from willow that look good inside and out…a bit like us.
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