This Week

training roses

training roses

Last week we moved three established bushes of the beautiful old bourbon rose 'Variegata di Bolonga'.  We've been reorganising our rose garden to make space for new plants and to give everything more room, and these three beauties were in close competition with some very vigorous tayberries, both roses and berries flourishing on the rich helpings of muck that we've been using as a mulch....

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warming up

warming up

Well it may be a little overcast and chilly this afternoon, but for the last few days there has been a distinct feel of spring in the air.  Everywhere are glistening clusters of snowdrops and fresh green clumps of narcissi leaves, which we find most exciting.  For the first year ever I have managed to prune all our roses by mid February, and I am so pleased about it because they are...

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cold weather

cold weather

In the cold and fog, we still have to carry on working: planting the new roses, clearing weeds, taking out old annuals to make way for new plants.  Finally we thought we had planted all the thousands of  bulbs that we'd ordered this year, only for a hugely heavy box to arrive yesterday - so heavy I can only move it with a wheelbarrow - which turned out to be full of the lily bulbs...

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in go the tulips

in go the tulips

In go the tulips!  This is one of seven beds we will be planting before the middle of the month.  It is hard work but we are so looking forward to the abundant crops of magical flowers in the spring.

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last pick of the year

last pick of the year

The first hard frosts have arrived, blackening our dahlias and bringing an end to our flower deliveries for the year - the last delivery, of asters, chrysanthemums, snapdragons and scented leaf pelargoniums, was made today.  The garden feels peaceful and still, and begins to look more organised and tidy now that we have more time to get on with the garden tasks.  All the bulbs except...

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soft late summer wedding flowers

soft late summer wedding flowers

Rosie and Geoff are certainly the most laid back couple for whom we've provided wedding flowers.  As I decorated their house - a beautiful converted church - the day before their wedding last week, they were mostly concerned with their three black labradors, two of which are adorable frolicking little puppies.   One of the tall church windows has the stone head of an unknown ...

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bulb catalogues

bulb catalogues

After a wet dash around the garden to pick flowers on Friday morning, it was the perfect day for putting on the kettle and the radio, and settling down with some bulb catalogues.  The weather became so heavy that I had to heave the bothy door shut,  closing myself and the dog up in the semi-dark, but stopping the sheets of rain from blowing right in to where we...

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end of season draws closer

end of season draws closer

The blankety mist this morning, followed by rich golden sunshine lighting up the fallen apples in the orchard and picking out the white sheep on the hills, is powerfully autumnal.  We still haven't suffered a frost at the flower garden, where we are sheltered by excellent high walls, and although the dahlias and other powerhouses of the garden are slowing down, there are still some new...

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bijoux opulence

bijoux opulence

For the last wedding of this season we picked buckets of decadent, plumptious flowers in shades of burgundy, cream and blush pink, along with lots of spilling foliages (jasmine and clematis tendrils; fruiting fig branches; lacy black elder leaves) for the wedding party to use for decorating their tables, and three big buckets of fragrant, silvery eucalyptus for twining up the bannisters. ...

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country house flowers

country house flowers

What fun last week to fill the bothy up with buckets of  interesting things from the garden - Chinese lanterns, great  long boughs of climbing roses, a jumble of feathery old man's beard, fuzzy peach chrysanthemums, fleshy  fragrant tomato stems, brilliant blue late delphiniums, the papery puffs of pink-turning hydrangea - with no especial colour theme, and then to transport them...

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