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…

A Glowing and Sparkling Floral Finale

Did you all have a wonderful Bonfire Night? We did, after inviting our neighbours to join us on the backgreen in order to burn a veritable ton of cotoneaster and buddleia prunings. Like so many people, we actually had our bonfire on the 4th of November because that was the more convenient day for everybody…

Dahlias and Roses on a Painted Shelf

It's turning into a mini tradition of mine to arrange my 'Café-au-Lait' dahlias in this yellow jug on our kitchen shelf in autumn (for previous years see here and here). This dahlia is a late bloomer, but once it does it's pretty reliable and always lovely. After idly wondering what I could do to make…

Two Cotswolds Gardens. 2: Hidcote

Of course, Hidcote was the main reason we had come to the Cotswolds, but our off-the-cuff visit to Snowshill on the previous day had furnished us with an interesting contrast. Hidcote and Snowshill seemed to be worlds apart, in atmosphere if not in geography: Where Snowshill was compact, homely, light-hearted and delightfully ferny at the…