Garden Guru: White in Gardens
The most famous all white gardens is probably the one at Sissinghurst Castle, Kent, created by Vita Sackville West in the 1950s.
Photo credit: Newton Abbot Travel Club
I used to think of these colour-themed planting schemes as pretentious nonsense but I have changed my mind ...
Garden Guru: 5 Gardener’s Resolutions
We are back in the real world – Christmas is put to bed for another year, the longest day has passed and mild weather has encouraged very early growth of spring bulbs. A new garden year has already begun and, as ever at this time of year, I am thinking about a new start a ...
Garden Guru: Wabi-Sabi in 2018
The year is not quite done but predictions for the big garden trends of 2018 are already in print. Most seem to me to be a re-packaging of what we are already doing – except for the Japanese concept of Wabi-sabi, which has crept into articles this year and is clearly going ...
Garden Guru: Poinsettia
This ubiquitous Christmas plant is a spurge, it comes from Mexico and gets its name from the American, Joel Roberts Poinsett, who introduced it to the USA in 1825. Not very romantic, or Christmassy or British.
Does it still merit a place on your table this Christmas? well, yes ...
Garden Guru: Christmas Wreath
A real Christmas has to start with a real Christmas Wreath on the front door, welcoming in visitors but also greeting passers by and sort of shouting out Merry Christmas to everyone. I make my own and try as much as possible to use what I find in the garden.
Who has time to mes ...
Garden Guru: Which Christmas Tree?
It’s nearly time for that annual decision – which type of Christmas tree should I go for this time. I find myself conflicted every year: how about splashing out on an expensive specimen, with smart coloured foliage and beautiful drop-free needles; or should ...
Garden Guru: 5 Best Books for Xmas
Last year I wrote about my favourite garden related books of the year in late December. Many people commented that they would have found it useful for buying Christmas presents if I had posted in November. So here are my 5 best books for Xmas with something that will appeal ...
Garden Guru: Magical Magnolias
There is something special about magnolias, as if they belong to a species apart, regal, pure and dignified. The only thing that spoils their image is the rather nasty generic paint colour which bears its name – but I can generously put that to one side.
I always thought ...
Garden Guru: Gorgeous Garlic
Ever thought of growing your own gorgeous garlic? It sounds like quite an exotic thing – all that Mediterranean flavour and eastern promise – but some of the best in the world is grown in the Isle of Wight.
I don’t have a vegetable plot in my small ga ...
Garden Guru: Perfect Privet
Wouldn’t it be lovely if we could all return the space in front of our homes to garden? When our north London suburbs were built the front garden was the show off bit, the face you showed to the public, full of elegance and greenery. Back gardens were generally more workad ...
Garden Guru: Pot Up Some Pleasure
It’s way too late to grow indoor bulbs and have them flower for Christmas – you should have thought of that in early September but, does it really matter?
I love the idea of bursts of gorgeous blooms in my house AFTER Christmas, when the green and red theme has been ...
Garden Guru: Dazzling Dahlias
I keep reading about how dahlias are having a huge renaissance after years of being considered old fashioned and ugly. As far as I am concerned dahlias have always been in style and, although they are in bloom from mid-summer, this is the time of year when they really are worth ...