Category Archives: Flowers in May

The Journey from Garden to Vase…

Today, on our weekly visit to Newtimber Place garden, we were discussing how fast the scenery changes in the garden, particularly at this time of year. The cherry blossom was stunningly beautiful but gone after just a couple of weeks. We saw it twice.  Luckily this was followed by the apple blossom and shortly the Philadelphus will be flowering. All these wonderful flowering trees and shrubs in our gardens and yet we tend to stick with bought flowers for our homes.  Many of which have been flown in from faraway lands.

Let’s rejoice in our Spring Summer Autumn and Winter and bring our gardens into the home! Let these seasons pervade our houses in vases to try and eek out every moment of their beauty and scent whilst wandering from room to room.

The very lovely and creative Floral Artist, Beata Burke, and I have decided to bring you some ideas for a seasonal arrangement, picked directly from the garden.  Many of you won’t have access to all the choice we have here at Newtimber, but you may be surprised to have some of the plants and at least find some inspiration from our choices…


Here is Bea gathering the goodies.  All you need is a sharp pair of secateurs and half a bucket of water.


Weeping Pear - Pyrus salicifolia 'Pendula'
Weeping Pear – Pyrus salicifolia ‘Pendula’
Copper Beech
Copper Beech
Cow parsley
Cow parsley

She also picked some Honey suckle,  blossoming Crab apple and cow parsley


Crab Apple
Crab Apple



The Grand Finale



Bea’s business ethos is to use  British  grown seasonal plants in her designs.  To see more of Beata’s work you can visit her website…

To stay in one of the holiday cottages at Newtimber Place, please visit the website…

Spring Showstoppers

Oh wow, higher temperatures and a sprinkling of rain and the gardens have gone native. I literally walked round with an open mouth, in shock, at the incredible amount of growth in a week.

When Mother Nature puts her mind to it, she can really overwhelm us.

However there’s no time to stand and gawp when there’s work  to be done…

We’ve waged war on the Spanish Bluebell  over the last couple of weeks and  created a mountain of the invaders.  It’s an impossible task to get rid of them all in one year but we have made a start and set the bar for the future.


The top pile are the Spanish, bottom are the dainty English ‘bells.


Now is the time to buy seed of Biennials ready to sow (in the next few weeks) and grow for flowers next year.  Along with Foxgloves and Hollyhocks, a must have plant is this stunning variegated white Honesty..




If you have your hand in your purse and space for more plants another great purchase would be 20-30 bulbs (more if you can afford it) of beautiful blue Camassia. Good positioned in dappled shade and moist soil.


The first Peonies are nearly over with the promise of more to come.

No garden should be without..



We’ve provided them with these ‘living willow’ supports as the flower heads get too heavy when it rains.

That’s the fun bit over, now back to the weeding 🙁

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.

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.