In “The Deckchair Gardener” Anne and her mischievous and irreverent Gnome make it plain that all of us gardeners out there have been had, utterly had by the gardening nonsense that we have been reading over the years. What was gospel truth is taken by the collar and shaken to show up some crazy ideas being peddled by the experts as advice.
Continue reading Review of Deckchair Gardening by Anne Wareham
Earlier this year I went to the Garden Press Event buried in the depths of the Barbican. Humming and hawing over whether to go, it seemed a long jump from home. Wrong wrong wrong. On arrival, a bright pink cupcake got pressed into my hand and spluttering, I fell into the hands of the soil magicians. What bliss – how often does the nerdy opportunity to talk soil structure for several hours on end with a range of enthusiasts?
Continue reading Dig your soil? Or then again, do not
I do not want to plant lilies at all. I hate to think how those bright red lily beetles can zone in. Living in the back of beyond well away from all human contact they still arrive. Do they travel about in prototype drones?
Continue reading Why I do not want to plant lilies at all (plus random garnish of pics)
This week I have mostly been spending time on planting plans and fending off the breath of chaos breathing down the back of my collar as I juggle with 6 or 7 different projects. It’s worth sharing some knowledge.
THERMOMETER: Plant choice is worked out with my customers who can have as little or as much input as they want. The temperature of the mind’s desire is teased out so I can put expectation together with the strictures of site and soil. Set up a joint Pinterest Board – really handy in the thermometer department.
Continue reading My 10 top tips for a successful PLANTING PLAN
Bulbs are opportunists. Most come from the far Eastern end of the Mediterranean, from rocky scree where early snow melt gives a source of water before summer drought. The busting into leaf and flower comes from energy suppled by a modified root and shoot system stored in their fleshy cells. Photosynthesis and pollination accomplished, they retreat below ground before a hungry goat munches them.
Continue reading Bulbs – try out the dolly mixture planting style
How was it for you? I am about to ring my PR mate and ask her about yesterday’s Garden Press Event. Actually I tried to call her for directions as I blundered round windy walkways that skylined past St Giles Cripplegate church, urban lunchers and chunks of Roman Wall. The Barbican Exhibition hall was not easy to find. Three people confidently pointed me in completely the wrong direction.
Finally made it and plunged into a horticultural whirlpool; a kind of man-made heaven with astonishing cupcakes endorsed by the Bosch machinery people. Heaven because there are all too few places where an enthusiasm for the state of soil can be mulled over and talked about at any length.
Continue reading How was it for you? 2017 Garden Press Event
Every twenty years or so landscape design puts something truly revolutionary into the public domain. For instance The Landschaftspark in Duisburg-Meiderich, Germany, designed in 1991 by Latz + Partners. Set in an abandoned coal and steel production plant, the concept for this site was to embrace the industrial past and preserve as much of it as possible. The living green walls of Japan and Paris are another, as is the climbing-plant-draped massive pergola of Zurich’s MFO Park.
In the way that the rag trade leaps on a Gualtier catwalk design and deconstructs and re-sews for shallower pockets, these landscape influences percolate down. They affect the way we look at things, the plantings we choose and our approach to nature. All of us garden makers are moulded by change and it is a good idea to keep a close eye on innovation and the High Line is my choice of the day. It has spurred much copycat action and makes wannabe town planners foam at the mouth.
Continue reading Greening the grey with High Line
The short dark days of the early year are tailored to armchair gardening, plotting and researching future schemes. Musings in our house have turned to the magical quality of water, to where to put it in the garden and what the influences and inspiration might be. I will walk you round the history and psychology of water in the landscape, but for starters, I am giving rosettes for my three favourites.
The first goes to Tom Stuart Smith for his understated and covetable weathering steel (Cor-ten) bowls shown in one of his Chelsea show gardens. Cor-ten has a stable rusty appearance and has become a fashionable hard landscaping material. He used the colour to show up interesting bare stems and a plethora of plants from a pale blue and white palette. The point about the bowls is that they were brimful, water held in a meniscus by surface tension. The surface wobbled like a jelly. I could look at this all day.
Continue reading Do ‘water features’ set your teeth on edge?
This year walled garden curiosity has quietly gripped me. It started on the Isle of Mull in a squall, taking refuge behind the mossy stone of a 4 acre walled garden. The kind climate of the Gulf Stream had allowed the rarest of shrubs and trees to flourish. Back in Suffolk, a walk through sandy onion-filled fields surrounded by creaking pines led to the out buildings of a large estate. We peered through a tooth-gaped gateway in the walls into an emptiness of tussock grass and waving brambles.
Continue reading The Best Walled Garden in the World is in Suffolk