How fortunate we are in life to have among us those rare, to be loved and treasured people, those genuine garden experts and high achievers who don't seek the high ground of "personality", nor assume a cloak of great importance but retain the simple and pure enjoyment of gardening and of plants and whose love … Continue reading A Little Bit of Wonk
It was in 1997 that there was great commotion and hullabaloo over the "amateur" gardener who was awarded a gold medal for the garden she built and designed at the Royal Horticultural Society's Chelsea Flower Show. It seemed that the previous twenty two years she had gardened at her home, Helmingham Hall in Sullolk, did … Continue reading A Garden Well Placed
Decay is at the heart of the garden and Julian Doberski's The Science of Compost - Life, Death and Decay in the Garden is the most insightful and informative book on the topic I have read. It is important, so as not to mislead, to point out from the outset that this is not a … Continue reading A Ferment of Little Rotters!
John Brookes completely changed the way people thought of garden design, shifting the emphasis from the growing of plants and the craft of gardening to designing and creating spaces for people. His designs catered first and foremost for the essential practicalities of what people needed in the spaces attached to their houses so that his … Continue reading How to Design a Garden
Isabel Bannerman's latest book on fragrance in plants and gardens reminds us that we have lost a great deal, often imperceptibly, and though this brings a certain sadness, we can at least enjoy the remembrance of things lost and more greatly appreciate what we still have. Scent Magic was the author's previous wonderful book on … Continue reading The Star-Nosed Mole
Pure Style in the Garden - Creating an Outdoor Haven by Jane Cumberbatch - was not the garden design book I had imagined it might be. It was far more and far better! Certainly, the author deals with style in the garden but one soon realises that it is the gardener's style which is being … Continue reading The Happy Style!
Great Dixter, Then & Now is the title and I suppose “Then, Then and Now” would have been too cumbersome a title for this small volume but it would have reflected the contents more accurately for this is a pictorial tour of the garden illustrated with present-day photographs, others taken by Christopher Lloyd himself and … Continue reading Then and Then and Now!
This rather odd title - for so it struck me - is proved by the golden thread of the artist's insightful and revealing commentary on her work which runs through the narrative. 21 January, 1997: "I have been in intense and exhausting contemplation with leaves and stems, light and shadow, with changing tone and colour; … Continue reading Thinking The Plant
Modern Plant Hunters – Dr. Sandy Primrose. Plant hunters have given our gardens the most wonderful range of plants; we are greatly indebted to these brave, courageous and daring people and Dr. Sandy Primrose’s account of our modern plant hunters is gripping and informative reading for all gardeners and plant lovers. Plant hunting is not … Continue reading Modern Plant Hunters – A Review.
Isabel Bannerman describes scent wonderfully: Witch hazel has a clean sanatorium smell of pure alcohol and Elastoplast. The crushed gourd-shaped seed pods of Wintersweet, if crushed, smell of dusty cloves, spiced wines and the depths of unused drawers. The rose, ‘Rosarie de l’Hay’ smells of cucumber, tea and laundered tablecloths laid at a table on … Continue reading Scent Magic!