The Beth Chatto Garden in Elmstead Market, near Colchester, is one of the “must-see” gardens in the United Kingdom. I find it difficult to put the sensation I felt on my first visit to there. There was an immediate sense that this was right; that it all fitted together; that this was a garden comfortable … Continue reading Right Plant, Right Place!
Have some entertainment gardens left the practices of normal gardening so far to the side that they have become artifices of what a garden should be? Has the desire to be a constantly perfect attraction lead to gardening in a manner and style which is far removed not alone from the practices of the common … Continue reading Too Good to be True?
This is book bursting at the binding with enthusiasm and an almost obsessive love of our native orchids. Leif Bersweden, a precocious botanist who fell in love with native wildflowers as a child, was unsuccessful in his initial application for a place at Oxford University and decided to use his gap year to track down … Continue reading The Orchid Hunter
Dan Pearson’s book, Natural Selection, draws on ten years of his columns for the Observer newspaper and are arranged in a calendar format, a diary of gardening notes. As with all such compilations, the individual parts, while all excellent in themselves, do not add up to a unified book. The organisation of the selected articles … Continue reading The Selection!
The countryside is no longer the haven for wildlife that it once was. Changes in how land is used and managed along with other factors have lead to an alarming fall in the population of all wildlife species. Accommodating the needs of wildlife into how we manage our gardens may smack of desperation and futility … Continue reading Gardening for Wildlife
Salvia ‘Wendy’s Wish’ was a chance seedling in the garden of Wendy Smith in Victoria, Australia. As she is an enthusiastic salvia grower there were several candidates which might have been the parents but a Salvia buchananii x Salvia splendens cross seems the most likely, the first contributing the deep magenta colour and the latter … Continue reading Three Wishes
There is so much more than botanical sketchbooks in this volume that the title does it an injustice. This is one of those treasure troves of a book where every page brings a new delight, new fascination and new interest - Botanical Sketchbooks by Helen and William Bynum Quite simply, the book is a collection of pages … Continue reading Much More than Sketches!
They dream of finding an abandoned house in a wild garden and then plan in great detail what they will do with it. They are Isabel and Julian Bannerman. I have visited one of their gardens, Hanham Court near Bath, which was their home for many years and can say that they made that reality … Continue reading Dream Gardens
How often have you looked at a designed landscape and wondered what had inspired the creator to develop the area in this particular way! This book has been both a revelation and a comfort as there are times when the source of inspiration may be clear and obvious – for example, when the garden is … Continue reading What were they thinking?
Roy Lancaster's first interest in flowers was in the wild flower of the countryside around Bolton where he was born in 1937. He began work with the Bolton Parks Department, spent two years in Malaya as a national serviceman, two years at the Cambridge Botanic Gardens as a gardening student and 18 years with the … Continue reading Roy Lancaster: My Life with Plants