Gardening: I WAS reminded this week to
praise God "for dappled things", as Gerard Manley Hopkins put it. I
was working in the Goldsmiths' Company garden, in London, under two
mature plane-trees in a microcosm of flickering light.
Gardening: THERE is a garden I know that is so
magical that I have often made a detour on a dog walk to see it. It
has a public right of way running through it that allows everyone
to engage with the plot, while it somehow conveys the intimate feel
of a loved back garden.
Gardening: STRONG will-power and clement
weather are needed to get me working in the garden in January. I
enjoy gardening in my mind, viewing the stark framework from
indoors and bending it this way and that with new paths, beds, and
Gardening: I WANT to take you back in time
to just after the Second World War, and to the Slieve Donard
Nursery in County Down, Northern Ireland. Imagine a mild winter's
day, the low sun alighting on the golden sprays of Mahonia
japonica, enticing them to release their delicious
Gardening: WE HAVE a former Bishop of London,
Henry Compton, to thank for one of the best garden trees for
Gardening: A TREE laden with yellow quinces is
an uplifting sight on a sunny October day. They went out of fashion
in the mid-20th century, leading Vita Sackville-West to ask, after
seeing them growing wild in France: "Why don't we plant it in our
gardens here, as our grandfathers did?"
Gardening: This year, inspiration has come
from two different sources: a visit to the Grade I listed Plas
Brondanw gardens in Gwynedd, Wales; and the woefully short Channel
4 series Kirstie's Fill Your House for Free.
Gardening: AS I write this, the
temperature in the shade is 28°C. I began the day with a refreshing
cup of tea from the Tregothnan estate, near Truro. My thoughts
turned to grow-your-own tea.
Gardening: THE most striking blue note in my
Marian border at this moment is provided by Delphinium Loch Leven.
The spires of soft mid-blue flowers with white eyes contrast with
the flat, pale-yellow plates of neighbouring Achillea Taygetea, and
the blowsy, fragrant, white globes of the peony Duchesse de
Gardening: THE Chelsea Flower Show celebrated
its centenary this year. The essence of this peculiarly British
tradition endures. But what has changed? First, it is higher-tech
these days, and rightly more in tune with conservation and global
Gardening: A VISIT to the Royal
Horticultural Society gardens at Wisley, on the first warm day of
2013, did, I am afraid, reinforce a gardening stereotype.
Silver-haired ladies of a certain age abounded.