Gardening and The Time Paradox

It's a little while since I wrote a garden book review. Followers of my Instagram account may know that I am reading Beth Chatto's Garden Notebook month by month, and I won't be ready to review this until I finish the year's journey with her in December. I also have another gardening book on the…

Here comes the sun (and I say, it’s all right)

What is it that is so inherently cheerful about a sunflower? This one bears no resemblance to either of the varieties I ordered from Sarah Raven last spring. It should be killing me with its sinister ring of dark bronze juxtaposed with bright yellow. It has an uncanny likeness to Sauron's glaring eye. And yet…

Two Topiary Gardens

On my return journey to Scotland from our trip to the Cotswolds in September (see my write-ups on Snowshill and Hidcote), I stopped off at Levens Hall in Cumbria on the recommendation of my mother. Levens Hall has the oldest and most extensive topiary garden in the world, and since topiary is my spirit garden…

The Living And The Dead

November is a funny time of year. Certain plants remain in flower across the garden — mainly salvias and roses but also Acanthus mollis, pelargoniums and Cerinthe major — and their bright blooms look quite out of place beside those that are dying back. In July I harvested all the spent allium seedheads, and plonked them in a…