September in the garden

7 10 2013




August in the garden

7 10 2013





August 1st 2013 Buddleia and Japanese anenomes

1 08 2013



We don’t open the garden this late in the year but it looks good enough this year. We have several varieties of buddleia and they are covered in butterflies today.

July 16th 2013 Fruits of the garden

29 07 2013


Red gooseberries, a huge plate of red cherries and potatoes and courgettes.

July 16th 2013 Lavender and Roses!

29 07 2013



The perfect setting for a wedding!

29 07 2013





The garden was a great backdrop for the wedding party of Gemma and Joshua

July 2nd 2013 Classic combinations!

2 07 2013

July 2nd 2013 Classic combinations!

Roses and lavender, alchemilla mollis and loosestrife with cistus and pink peonies thrown in – what could be more English?

July 1st 2013 Early morning after a lovely hot weekend

1 07 2013

Early this morning we had a professional photographer arrive to take some shots for a magazine article next year. That meant a couple of hours of weeding, grass cutting and general tidying on Sunday evening. It was good to see how little work there is at the moment in this area of the garden especially as the vegetable garden is growing weeds at a rate of knots. I wondered how the garden would look so early but it was bright and the sun came out so I guess it was fine. Before I rushed off to an early meeting, I took these shots from my bedroom window.




June 29th 2013 Flowers in the walled garden

29 06 2013

June 29th 2013 Flowers in the walled garden

Perennials are amazing – I love the way they appear out of the ground and within a few weeks there is lush foliage and flowers. the alchemilla mollis and loosestrife set off the Cornus Kousa tree.

June 27th 2013

29 06 2013

June 27th 2013

The peonies are flowering well with the buddleia alternifolia as a backdrop.

June 25th 2013 Hurrah for summer!

25 06 2013

This morning the weather forecaster talked about high pressure. I’m sure he did and it definitely wasn’t a dream! And today the sun is shining and there is real warmth in the air and the garden has a feeling of summer. There are roses in full bloom, lavender now beyond a blue haze, kolkwitzia and buddleia alternifolia, iris and geraniums, peonies and astrantia. Sprinkled everywhere are nigella from white through pale blue to navy making a carpet of colour in the beds. And best of all I have dug the first potatoes, there are broad beans ready and the first mange tout have set. Hurrah for summer!







June 19th 2013 Bright and clear today and hot!

19 06 2013

Today the pond was covered in mayflies (red, blue and green) and literally writhing with tadpoles. The blackbirds are in a frenzy of tadpole eating as there are so many of them and soon we will be knee deep in mini frogs. Looking at all the bright pink flowers around, you can see what I love. The Bellini dahlias are amazing and the dancing butterfly peony won’t be in flower for long but it’s worth it!







June 18th 2013 No sun today but the fragrance of the garden is lovely

18 06 2013

The montana and wisteria are almost over but the philadelphus, viburnum mariesii, deutzia and roses are in full flower and scent! The geraniums and erodiums are flowering in every part of the garden – dozens of varieties and colours. This is Kashmir white though it is really pale pink.





June 17th 2013 A wet night again and a bedraggled baby blackbird…

17 06 2013





June 16th 2013 Raindrops keep falling on my pond…

17 06 2013


June 15th NGS Opening

17 06 2013

The sun shone occasionally and the rain held off apart from a couple of showers so we were relatively lucky. The umbrella really wasn’t needed at this point! The lavender has a purple haze and the roses are just coming out but everything in the garden (including the gardeners!) desperately needs some sun.





June 8th 2013 Nice to see a bee!

8 06 2013

June 8th 2013 Nice to see a bee!

The allium are looking great and obviously this bee thought the pollen to be tasty.

June 8th 2013 Iris on a sunny day

8 06 2013

The iris are late but tall and stately this year. With the sun shining through them they looked beautiful this evening. The waterlilies are out at last and the tadpoles are growing. There are at least 6 blackbirds chasing each other round the pond with the odd skirmish as they head for a tadpole snack!



June 2nd 2013 A windy warmsih day

2 06 2013

We’ve been bust buying and planting up pots today. Some of our pots had cracked or lost their tops and were sharp and so dangerous. Toddington garden centre has some nice clay ones that are pale rather than orange so we bought a mixture of sizes. Of course then we needed more plants to fill them! Mrs Morris served and us and wondered if the garden centre will survive once our garden opening and wedding are over!
The dahlia is called Bellini and the Osteospernum are Summertime Cardinal. The geranium is Designer Pink Splash and then there is white lobelia and various verbena dotted around. And Richard has been busy making wooden supports for the fruit. He is looking very brown after several days in the garden.







June 1st 2013 It feels like summer!

1 06 2013

Today we have been working on the walled garden where the weather has meant that the vegetables are well behind schedule. We have weeded beds and planted courgettes and beans. The sweetcorn and tomatoes have struggled with the weather but it seems to have suited the clematis montanas. The top one is Marjorie, detail in the second picture, and the next is Broughton Star. The bottom one is Odorata. If only you could smell it – it is exquisite!





June 1st 2013

1 06 2013

June 1st 2013

Fantastic chive flowers in the vegetable garden. Now that the sculpture has gone we are turning our efforts to vegetables so we have been planing courgettes and beans out today. We also ate our first salad from the garden today so summer must be here!

May 30th 2013 Planting Dahlias

30 05 2013


As it is almost June, Richard planted out the dahlias in the walled garden. The report on this spring says it has been one of the coldest on record and the plants certainly seem to have noticed!

May 26th 2013 The End of Arts week

30 05 2013

May 26th 2013 The End of Arts week

The garden has really blossomed this week as the sculpture has settled in and the spring flowering shrubs like viburnum and deutzia have started to open. Now we have to hand it on to the buyers!

May 25th 2013 A brilliantly sunny day today

25 05 2013






A great day in the garden with loads of visitors on the art trail to see sculpture and textiles. Selling well!

May 25th 2013

24 05 2013

May 25th 2013

And then the dark skies came again making huge contrast between the light and the dark.

May 25th 2013 Sun at the end of a dreadful day

24 05 2013

May 25th 2013 Sun at the end of a dreadful day

How cold can it actually be at the end of May in England? Well today it was 6 degrees C some of the day and the howling wind and rain made it seem colder! But then as you can see, the sun came out and all was beautiful again.

May 23rd A little rain today

24 05 2013

May 23rd A little rain today

May 22nd 2013 Enjoying the sun while it shines!

22 05 2013

The sun has shone and everyone has enjoyed the garden much more even though it was cold! I had my boots and winter coat on….









May 20th 2013 Arts Weeks starts

22 05 2013







May 19th 2013 end of the NGS opening weekend

19 05 2013

May 19th 2013 end of the NGS opening weekend

First NGS opening is a great success

19 05 2013

First NGS opening is a great success

Brilliant 2 days opening for the NGS for the first time. Yesterday was good but today the sun has shone, and there have been lots of people enjoying the garden (not to mention tea and cake!) I took this photo at the end of the day when all was tranquil again.

May 17th 2013 Now we need a little sun though we will settle for dull if it means no rain!

17 05 2013




Just a taste of what you will see in the garden.

May 13th 2013 Sun, hail, rain, hail, rain….repeat as appropriate

13 05 2013




I’ve been trying to garden today but it has rained and hailed so much that several times I have had to run for cover! The tulips aren’t quite sure what is happening but these rather elegant dark Paul Scherer seem to be standing tall despite everything the weather can throw at them. The honeysuckle has enjoyed the drink and the good news is that I don’t need to do any watering !

May 11th 2013 Cherry Blossom wherever you look!

12 05 2013






May 5th 2013

5 05 2013



The Adirondack chairs look good – if only we had time to sit down in them! Still it’s been a beautiful weekend so far with the sun really encoraging the trees to open as you can see with the copper beeches. And the clouds look great reflected in the pond as the water lilies start to spread their leaves across the centre. I hadn’t seen any frogspawn but today there are lots of tiny tadpoles swimming around so there must have been some somewhere!

May 3rd 2013 The end of another sunny day

3 05 2013

May 3rd 2013  The end of another sunny day

I love the combination of the acid yellow and the blue flowers under the acer

May 3rd 2013 Forget-me-knot

3 05 2013

May 3rd 2013 Forget-me-knot

The forget me knots are not supposed to be here but it’s hard not to love the look under the acer.

April 29th 2013 view across the pond

29 04 2013

The Mount Fuji is almost in blossom and the pheasant eye narcissi have opened all at once. The cornus controversa (wedding cake tree) is looking amazingly bright and the pond is full of newts but no frogspawn this year.




April 26th 2013 Signs of summer in the garden

29 04 2013




April 16th 2013 Spring has sprung and summer is on the way…

16 04 2013




I have spent a few hours this afternoon in warm sunshine weeding the beds by the woodland path. Now that most of the leylandii are out there is a lot more light getting through and we should be able to plant a wider range of plants. There are a few wood anemones out and the first blossom is out at last (a pissardii cherry). As ever the pond looks great, this time with the wind rippling the surface of the water. There are lots of newts and the iris are growing at last but no frog spawn. And I saw a bumble bee visit a hellebore – the first I’ve seen this year.

April 14th 2013

14 04 2013


First 2 rows of potatoes in at last. These are Vanessa, a first early from Tuckers in Devon.

April 14th 2013 First lawn cut

14 04 2013

April 14th 2013 First lawn cut

It’s very late for the first cut of the grass. It’s more moss and daisies at the moment but we are very relaxed about it when we put sculpture and marquees on it and always happy to party on it!

April 6th 2013 The sun is shining and it is really warm for once!

6 04 2013


There is still snow on the hill in the distance and huge snow drifts on some roads in the Cotswolds but here in the garden it has warmed up today. You can sense that all the buds are swelling, getting ready to burst out but the hard frosts and biting wind has hit some plants and only the daffodils look really good at present. We are open 6 weeks today which is scarily soon but at least we will have sculpture to look at!

April 3rd 2013 Cutting down leylandi

6 04 2013


The last owner of this garden who was somewhat eccentric, planted leylandi to hide every house around the property. Over the years we have removed dozens and today we removed most of the ones that remain. Light is now flooding into this part of the garden and should mean we can grow more here and plant new trees.

March 23rd 2013 More Snow!

24 03 2013

I can’t keep posting “another dull/snowy/wet/miserable” day. Delete as appropriate! But that is how it is and until it improves there is little work being done and little to show. So here is the garden with snow but at least you can see the hundreds of tete a tete daffodils making a brave show through the cold.

March 6th 2013 a dull day in the garden

11 03 2013


March 4th 2013

4 03 2013

These crocus looked brilliant in the sun this morning and the bee was obviously attracted to them.  


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March 2nd 2013

2 03 2013






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February 27th 2013 New fencing around the walled garden

1 03 2013

February 27th 2013 New fencing around the walled garden

We’ve had some new fencing erected and have replaced some old fruit bushes with new blackcurrants. We have planted Ben Sarek and Ben Conan.  Can’t wait for summer!  R raised the edge of the bed and used weed suppressant fabric and more bags of bark chippings than he expected.  Looks good so it’s worth it.

February 24th 2013 Chitting Potatoes

24 02 2013

I like to grow a variety of potatoes and I usually buy them from Tuckers in Devon as they have a great range.  This means that I always buy too many and we don’t usually manage to eat all of our crop!  This year we have BF15, Cherie, Charlotte and Pink Fir Apple.  I have also bought Vanessa which is new to me and a first early new red skinned potato.  The rest are salad potatoes that I boil or roast with olive oil and rosemary.  My mouth is watering already and I guess  what you can see here is potential again though it’s food rather than flowers!  And I love the magic of planting one potato and digging up a dozen…IMG_3367 IMG_3369