The Rhs flower shows are always a great day out and this year I actually treated myself to the whole day starting at 8am. Selfishly I have to go on my own, so I am not chatting and wandering around displays missing out on anything, but am completely focused on and dedicated to, the task in hand.
So the morning of ‘Members day’ is actually a joy and you almost feel like you have the Great Pavilion to yourself and a select few others. I have my iPad mini hanging around my neck and taking photos of my favourites becomes a relentless pursuit.
Souvenir du Docteur Jamain (the darker one) – Gorgeous climber will even tolerate a North Facing wall, flowers from July to September and makes excellent cut flowers… with Awakening (the pale pink one). This is another climber which is the double form of the ever popular Rosa New Dawn.
Chevy Chase – A rambler that now I read about it, is not very attractive to bees and wildlife, nor does it have hips or a strong scent. So it just looks good? yes but all mouth and no trousers…
and the featured Rose is the elegant Natasha Belmonte, a perfumed Floribunda
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.
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…
I noticed this week the subtle beauty of the moss in the cracks of the stepping stone path. I can almost feel the sap rising and the excitement returning as the vibrant greens of Spring flood back into our lives again.
The most challenging of gardens we work on is one with no budget for new plants at all. Initially we felt stifled by this constraint. How were we going to make a difference? Eight years later and still no money for new plants, this has defined our gardening style.
Fortunately the garden had many different areas to begin with. The formal, although once overgrown, herbaceous border, the mixed shrub and perennial border, the rose gardens, the wild gardens and the woods.
We had to be imaginative, planting wild flowers in the gaps of the formal areas and ‘naturalising’ divisions of perennial plants in the wild garden because we just couldn’t throw them away. Consequently the garden now has a wild and slightly unruly charm about it that is very satisfying to work in and our propagation skills have come on a treat.
I am Wendy Rose and I am one of the very lucky people in life who has found their dream job. Every morning I wake up, spring out of bed, throw on some old clothes, make myself a delicious, nutritious packed lunch and a flask of coffee and set off to work.
I am a Gardener. On the face of it, not a particularly prestigious job nor a very glamorous one, nevertheless one I love very much, every day. I have indeed tried those more ‘high flying’ careers, having trained and worked initially as an Interior Designer, however, once I started learning about the wonderful world of horticulture and took more notice of the ever changing beauty of nature, right in front of my eyes, I never looked back.
I came to gardening later in life than some. I was a single Mother of two boisterous young boys and, as is common these days, my remaining family lived too far away to help me care for them. I needed a job first and foremost with flexibility. My other criteria for a job was; one that kept me fit, as I had no time for a gym, an enjoyable commute, creativity, sociability, a sense of living for the day and most of all peace, in my heart and in my mind. Every day of the week I work with different gardeners who enrich my life immensely. I imagine that a large percentage of the information that I will share with you on gardening jobs and musings will come out of previous conversations we have had that week at work.
So now you have a flavour of who I am by reading my first ever post on my first ever blog. I hope you will enjoy my future reflections on gardening. I dedicate my blog to my horticultural tutors at Plumpton College, Bridget, Jim and Julie, for instilling in me their pure enjoyment and true passion for all things horticultural and the two inspirational women, Laurie McMillan, now also a Tutor at Plumpton and Rebecca Wells – Nirvana Plantscapes, who took me on in my early days and taught me the Art of Gardening.