Quite by chance

I noticed this week how some colour and flower combinations were just meant to be…





This Clematis flower tones in so well with the greys and browns of the brickwork it is scrambling up




This sweet little pink and white Nemesia sings out between the purple Heuchera and dark leaved Lysimachia behind,  with the purple hues of the brick border in front.




This pansy and the Iris share similar colour combinations – maybe I’ll combine them in a pot next year?


And the Clematis montana looks fabulous dripping from the Pittosporum, both plants enhancing each others features and doing no harm.

In the garden this week









Apple trees have been blossoming for a while now, however these trees are the latest, maybe even last to flower. This is a pic of the recently pruned Apple tree.  A little stark – but I know, deep down, it is going to be happier.

Finally this week I am planting all my Dahlias.  I have kept them in pots, outside,  hopefully long enough to toughen up the foliage before offering them up to the wilds and the local slug and snail population





Looking good Dahlias, I hope I have given you the best chance this year.


I have to end on a buttercup ‘high’.  Last month and on going we are loving the daisies in the garden, the park and the verges,  but give it up now for the humble Buttercup.

Another piece of heaven…

I wish I could share my senses with you this week. The scent as I walk from one area to another is just bucolic. The vistas and the detail are both charming and delightful and the new foliage, fresh and soft to the touch.

The plants contributing to that fresh odorous air are:


Hawthorn (Cretagus)


In one garden there are 3 different Wisterias, each with their own charms…


IMG_3418 IMG_3425


This one on the pergola is so gorgeous to walk through.  Long ghostly racemes of white, highly perfumed flowers. Perhaps my favourite?

Then there is this lilac -coloured one,  with the same delicate but slightly shorter racemes,  against the front wall of the house:





And then there is the bruiser with its much larger flowers and blousie appearance where the leaves just won’t let the flowers steal the show



but it makes a fabulous hedge.

Here is the Hawthorn, hiding in another hedge



and the other- out and proud (and pruned this year so looks even better)



both also contributing to the perfumed air.

Sometimes I wish I didn’t have to work – just waft around instead….

Chelsea 2015: These are a few of my favourite things…

The Great Pavilion is where it all happens for me.  To begin with,  I can choose my tulips for next year and these are to add to my list of faves:

Tulipa sapporo
Tulipa sapporo
Tulipa angels wish
Tulipa angels wish
Tulipa sorbet
Tulipa sorbet
Tulipa invader
Tulipa invader
Tulipa recreado
Tulipa recreado

My best Lilies this year:


Lilium nymph

Lilium calvados
Lilium calvados

My best roses:


Rosa ‘The Lark Ascending’

Rosa 'Sir Walter Scott'
Rosa ‘Sir Walter Scott’

My favourite Lupin:

lupinus 'Masterpiece'
lupinus ‘Masterpiece’


Today in the garden… weeding weeding edging weeding

Always be careful when weeding and prodding around in the soil with your fork as you never know what you might find, like this little fella.

The garden is looking lush due to all the lovely rain we have been having, however growth is slower than it might be because of the continuing cool temperatures.

Someone, who wishes to remain anonymous, forgot to bring her waterproof trousers today and had to wear the spare ‘waterproofs of shame’


Nonetheless she took it in good humour and we both had a giggle at her expense..bless her. It is not a glamorous job.



Even the ducks wished they were wearing sunglasses..




However, when the sun came out the garden shone back.




Apart from the weeding, we managed to provide protection for these lovely little grasses that are so much more tasty to rabbits than the whole field of grass next door..IMG_3472






Daisy oh daisy




I love these guys… they always remind me of my childhood and summer playing fields and daisy chains.. I will always love them – welcome home.

This week in the garden, in the container and in the vase

With the sun and rain this week the borders have doubled in volume of plantage (not a real word but should be!).  It is that week of the year when I go from ‘I am in control, I am in control, I am in control’ to ‘oh my word, this is truly beyond me, I need 10 helpers at least to sort this out’ and then to ‘okay, it doesn’t have to be pristine, let’s enjoy the sheer glory of plant growth and wowee!..’

Two jobs made me feel better.

1) Edging…







So I didn’t get right into all the borders, but creating a visible delineation between lawn and flower bed, at least gave an impression of being on top of it..haha!

2) Tying- in climbers





It is imperative to tie – in the new shoots of climbing roses now as they grow.  The stems are fragile yet  flexible at this stage in their growth. They will often get broken off in strong winds, so additional support in the form of attaching them to wires with garden twine will prevent the worst damage. They can also be manipulated easily to increase the framework and shape of the rose to your own design.

It will also prevent them taking your eye out as you pass by or under later on in the year…

Clematis can also become an unruly mass if left to their own devices., twining their leaves around each other to gain support. They very quickly become inseparable and you are left with a big clump that won’t neatly cover the beautiful structure you may have provided it to climb or the ugly one you are trying to disguise…

Sweet peas need stakes to climb and the beautiful golden hop quite often needs some direction rather than straight up, as is its wont. Passion flowers, honeysuckles, vines are all  forging ahead with massive growth right now so try to keep an eye on them…

Most Narcissi are over now and we have to put up with their foliage for a little while longer so they can feed the bulbs for next year.  We must resist the urge to cut them down.  However, these little bulbocodiums are still going strong in their container and are just so cute.




On the edge of the woodland garden, the wild garlic is in flower this month with its ever so pretty star-like  blooms



I treated myself to an armful of Spring to put in a vase this weekend as a reward for a really frantic week in the gardens…


In the vase is Lilac, Peony, Zantedeschia, Tulips, Camassia, Cow parsley and weeping pear.

Time to appreciate ivy


This really is a great time of year to enjoy the fully blown magnificence of ivy.  All year round, through thick and thin, it proudly retains the essence of nature in our urban gardens.  From my window I cannot see any trees and due to coastal winds and salty conditions it is a struggle to find plants that survive.  I have a tiny back yard so I really can do without shrubs that take up room and little else.  However the ivy clothes the walls like a shroud. The beauty lies in the backdrop and the detail of every single leaf that is both individual and charming.


From just one plant there are chunky leaves, beautifully glossy and dazzling in their freshness and


and thin, delicate and spidery leaves.

I love this plant before it gets baked by the sun in summer but it also provides a good habitat for birds spiders and snails.

Far from destroying my wall it clings to, it binds it all together protecting it from the elements.  Thank you ivy.

However, if I ever see it climbing up a tree destroying its silhouette and increasing the burden on the tree I will, without hesitation, cut it off.