May? Mayhem more like. So much is going on this month I feel like Dorothy whizzing around in a plant filled whirlwind. Different gardens I designed in winter are coming to fruition now, Chelsea’s next week and our open day is somehow only 8 weeks away! Continue reading Pot’s Growing On in May: getting ready for a show-stopping summer!
I didn’t think there would be anything more nerve-wracking than having Monty Don coming around to see our garden expecting it to look finished. But then, I hadn’t reckoned on opening our garden on the National Open Garden Scheme (NGS). Continue reading Pot’s Growing On: winners and losers
I had two gardening epiphanies on Friday at RHS Wisley (that place gets me with every visit!). First, just sitting in the sun with no one else around amongst a large row of Pinus sylvestris soaking in how peaceful it was and spotting an early ladybird. Then, it was getting giddy over full grown Magnolias… Continue reading RHS Wisley in spring
With the spring equinox (and a non-existent cloud hidden solar eclipse) done and dusted, Clapham is noticeably exploding into growth right now. The little propagation station we have set up in the front, south west facing bay window is working wonders…
Ricinus communis ‘Carmenchita’ from Sarah Raven not only have beautiful big (but poisonous) seeds, their germination is a wonderful thing to behold. Slow and primeval, a red stalk slowly drags the large cotyledons out of the soil, like an umbilical cord / crane over the course of two weeks.
The Rudbeckia hirta ‘Cherry Brandy’ seems to be doing well with most now growing their second or third true leaves. Both the grasses, Briza media and Lagurus ovatus are doing well. Unfortunately, the second batch of Solenostemon scuttelarioides after seemingly escaping damping off, after being pricked out, some have developed what looks like the start of the disease and growth slowed 🙁 I’m suspecting a dodgy batch of seeds as I sterilised the growing media to kingdom come! I’ll try again in the summer.
Down in my raised bed at the local community garden, even though my broad beans and peas were early cropping varieties, I was surprised to find them this week completely covered in flowers. I’ve been advised to pollinate them as there might not be enough bees around yet. Though I’m not sure how really… eek.
Around the area, signs of spring are everywhere, with local Magnolia buds bursting, daffodils here, there and everywhere, and the leaf buds on trees and shrubs all splitting with green shining through.
It all feels like a long time coming, but suddenly, all planned planting needs to happen right now! I’m so excited. Last year at this time I knew nothing. I had no ‘favourite’ plants. Now, in my second proper gardening year, I know quite a bit more yet there’s so much still to find out, learn and explore.
Three barrel cacti, including one from Chelsea Flower Show 2014. The flowering one is obviously the healthy new one from Chelsea 🙂 The other two, I’ve had for a couple of years and they’ve pretty much done nothing. I’m putting this down to using some fairly poor “cactus compost” in a packet, which I thing is probably too dry and sandy for the cacti with no nutrients. So, I potted all three into this one pot with a mix of the cacti compost but with about 50-60% normal potting compost with John Innes. Since doing so, at least the spikiest one has now started growing.
I went to the Chelsea Flower Show for the first time this year and it was a much better experience than I expected. There were some extraordinary plants I’d never seen before. Continue reading RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2014
At the Chelsea Flower Show 2014, one of the gardens I loved the most was the London Square garden, inspired by the many London squares around the city. And the plant of the year for me was Cornus Kousa variety I believe is a chinensis, within that garden. So it caught my eye that this small front garden on Clapham Manor Street had a very similar look. I loved walking past it each day coming back from work. Continue reading Clapham Manor Street front garden
The garden of designer, Lorraine Johnson Rosner was open over the summer and is an immaculate space with an extra side garden for a private retreat summer house.
In early summer, Chris and I visited Ham House in Richmond. The walk along the Thames in the sun was an unexpected bonus with fantastic views – I felt like the star of Sense & Sensibility of some other period drama. The house is interesting but the gardens have the wow factor with some stunning formal topiary and yew hedging. Continue reading Ham House, Richmond, London
The garden of designer Charles Rutherfoord at 51 The Chase in Clapham is tulip heaven in spring, with thousands of the flowers. It also has a lovely dome greenhouse and a gigantic metal bull sculpture at the back. Continue reading 51 The Chase, Clapham
I’ve visited Kew gardens at least once a year since I was a child (probably about 9 years old) and since moving to London in 1999 I’ve visited multiple times a year. One of my favourite times to visit is in spring, I always take a day off to plod around on my own taking it all in. Continue reading Kew Gardens in spring: a sea of blue bells and dazzling Azaleas
The Holy Trinity Hospice in Clapham has an award winning garden split into a number of key areas. They including a terrace, informal planting area and lawn, a shaded wet area with pond and wind sculpture, plus another formal planting area and lawn. They also have the most immaculate yew hedge you are likely to ever see. Continue reading Holy Trinity Hospice, Clapham, Open Garden