If Lonicera fragrantissima were a celebrity it would be the comedian Lee Evans. Its a bright, fragrant, cheerful shrub that lifts the dullest of winter days but my goodness, it’s all over the place. I specify the winter flowering honeysuckle (Lonicera fragrantissima) in big wild bellowing schemes. They need space to spread and they don’t form a nice tidy shape, they go all over the place. They do however have one m
If Cornus were a celebrity, it would be Bear Grylls. It’s strong, resilient and attractive for it’s can do attitude. Commonly referred to as Dogwoods, Cornus are roughty–toughty plants. They tolerate shade and offer great winter colour. Dogwoods will happily tolerate Brighton chalk and are even happier on clay as long as it doesn’t become waterlogged. Provided it fits with my textural pallet then Cornus
Each Month I will show you the plant or tree that is shining a light for me. This month is the turn of Daphne Odorata. If Daphne were a celebrity, it would be Michelle Obama. This is a plant that has style, class and inhabits her space well. It’s always presentable and never straggly. Daphne is slow growing but a strong and resilient plant. It throws out a humongous scent and for all to enjoy for many of the dankest
Chelsea Flower Show marks a seminal point in my year. It comes at the end of the spring rush to get gardens tidied up and marks the end of my academic year. Its one long exhalation of relief on all counts. This year though the only thing I could say about Chelsea was weeds. I was really disappointed. Don’t misunderstand me, I am not criticising the naturalistic approach, I’m saying that if you are going to take this approac
We decided to take a break from out slightly frantic spring rush this evening to see Dan Pearson as part of the Charleston Festival. If I am completely honest Dan is a gardener that I didn’t fully engage with up until recently. I think Dan has a very special, mature and modest approach to gardening and design. Dan’s ethos is that a garden is an oasis and sanctuary. It gives one a space to think in a very over-st
As the light fades on 2010 I finally have time to reflect, and what a year it’s been. The snow at the end of November meant we were working right up to Christmas. So Christmas has been a lovely time for rest and reflection after completing work and university deadlines. In a year in which we saw a new coalition goverment (which feels very conservative), air travel ground to a halt with the eruption of a volcanic ash cl
I am in my second year of my BA Hons in Garden Design and we are currently studying hard and soft landscaping. We were given an article for further research which I thought was so fascinating that I had to post and share it. Trees in the Urban Heat Island Urban Heat Islands were discovered as early as 1810, the main identifying features are an overall increase in temperature over surrounding rural areas, but the most marked i
In the second week of August I noticed a change in the air which could mean only one thing. Autumn is on its way. If like me, you are lucky enough to sleep with doors and windows wide open, it’s that moment when you wake and need to put a cardigan on. There’s an indescribable but unmistakable chill and freshness in the air as Mother Nature lets out a large sigh after her energy spent yielding. And what a summer it has been.
Britain in Bloom award ceremony will take place later this month in Birmingham. Brighton and Hove have entered as well as areas such as Brunswick and Kemp Town. We were involved with the Brunswick trail getting St. Nicholas Church ready for judging and as always assisting Peggy Thomas in whatever way possible at the Waterloo Street Community Gardens. I really hope we win as I feel the council have done some magnificient planti
Congratulations to Andy Sturgeon on winning “Best in Show” for the Telegraph Garden at Chelsea today. This is Andy’s first commission since the death of his partner Sarah. Sarah died last summer of a heart arrhythmia leaving him with 3 small boys. Andy wanted to dedicate this garden to Sarah. The garden is a contemporary gravel garden with corten steel screens. It represents choices in life. “I̵
Last Thursday, I was lucky enough to see Anna Pavord and Fergus Garrett recalling their memories of the Amazing Plantsman Christopher Lloyd. I followed Christopher Lloyd’s writing in the Guardian on Saturday for some years before and up until his death in February 2006. In fact it was at Great Dixter whilst organising tulip bulbs that I decided to retrain and become a gardener. I think Christopher Lloyd was the greates
Now is the time not only for us to get your garden for a fabulous summer but also to keep half an eye out for any busy nesting birds. Last week I was unable to do any hedge cutting as a family of Jay’s had nested in the cottoneaster hedge and today I watched a blue tit tucking into my sheepskin rug that I had accidentally left in the garden. I think I may be leaving it there for a while longer! Tread and prune careful
My heart genuinely lifted on Monday, the croci burst open and I was working in sunshine again. What a winter it has been. The official start to spring is not for another 3 weeks but things are definitely starting to get going. Now is the time to start planning and planting your seeds under glass.