A trip to the garden centre

All I needed was a few seed trays for a client.  I tried to stay focused, heading straight for the aisle they were in last year. Head down and determined not to stray.  Darn they’ve moved them this year and in their place lots of sweet little plug plants.  No, I won’t be side-tracked. I pass all the shiny tools and clean fresh gloves, plant food and weed killer and find the trays. Picking them up and heading for the check-out i pass the seed packets.  Ooh I wonder if they’ve got…one packet of seeds will be ok… I ought to buy now or they’ll be sold out before I come again.

Before I know it I have bought 10 packets of seeds and I’m spending the afternoon sowing them in the seed trays I had bought for my client.  Oh the guilt.

That was last Saturday.  Today i see them germinating and the satisfaction overwhelms me. Luckily my client had bought her own seed trays and everyone is happy



And in case you were wondering, I discovered these gorgeous mini daffodils (featured photo, Narcissus canaliculatus) in the garden I have been working in for the first time this week in 7 years of being there.  When they finish flowering I will have to move them to somewhere more prominent so everyone can enjoy them.

My favourite shrub for Spring

The Corylopsis pauciflora AGM (deciduous shrub) is my choice for a darkish corner of the garden for this time of year.  In Spring it is covered in the daintiest primrose yellow flowers that just light up the garden and make your heart sing.


Leucojum aestivum, also flowering now, is a bulbous perennial rather like a giant snowdrop. It has gorgeous lush green glossy strap-like leaves, looks great in a pot or naturalised in an ‘edge of woodland’ setting


New Shoots

This is the time of year when perennial plants are emerging from their winter slumber at a great rate of knots.  It is important to recognise and identify them by their luscious new leaves so they can be staked, divided, moved, reduced or left alone to flourish.  We do the majority of our divisions in the Autumn, so they have a chance to develop a good new root structure before Spring.

However some plants prefer to be divided in the Spring such as Kniphofias (Red Hot Pokers).  Just dig the whole plant up and carefully tease apart into pieces to replant immediately.

There will also be self sown seedlings coming up randomly.  We’re normally overrun by Forget-me-Not (Myosotis) seedlings, Opium Poppies (Papaver somniferum) and Mulleins (Verbascum bombiciferum).  All of which are wonderful to have, but need to be moved to the right spot.

Can you recognise any of the following plants from their leaves, I photographed today in the rain?


Answers A – Tulip sp. (I took that photo more for the drop of water in the cavity than the leaf structure you might recognise!) B – Papaver somniferum C – Alstromeria D –  Hemerocallis (Day Lilies) E – Aquilegia












Sticks and String



Well, we are still making stakes around the perennials this week..

There are tall varieties of Aconites, Achillea, Echinops and Sanguisorba to stake on the main border and we have run out of Willow and Cornus.  That will not stop us though, as this is such a vital job at this time of year.  Sticks and string (garden twine) will do the job just as well although initially it doesn’t look that great.  Eventually the plants will fill out and none of these will be visible.

Mobile of Flowers

Wandering around a flea market this weekend, I found some gorgeous little glass bottles for sale that I thought might be good for a project.

My friend Elena popped by for a coffee and soon we were bending wire and getting excited about a new way of displaying cut-flowers.

Here is the proto type and I’m sure there will be other designs to follow!photo 4

Sow some seeds and plant some onions.



This week Martin has been planting onion sets in the long border outside the Old Walled Garden, digging over the vegetable patch  and raking it to a fine tilth, ready for seeds.  The soil had become so compacted from all the rain we have had recently.  Today he planted the seeds of Swiss Chard and Perpetual Spinach.

Beautiful Spring bulbs

Ipheion. Theprettiest little flowers to grow at the foot of a tree
Ipheion. The prettiest little flowers to grow at the foot of a tree.


Sophie builds a plant support for Delphiniums

Viva Viola!



A dramatic hanging basket with the gorgeous orange viola taking centre stage.  The two grasses are Hakonechloa macra and Isolepsis.

Sadly it looked so good it was stolen



A black container with a contemporary feel.  Simply picking up the colour of the container in the dark purple viola flowers and Narcissi leaves as the complimentary colour.  Luckily I managed to hold onto these.