No! Lovely spring day, stuck inside. ‘How you have to watch the world from a window while you finish the hat’ (Sondheim) – or design in my case. I wasn’t ready for spring, too busy! But spring won’t wait for me. A mindless hour of overdue unravelling dry bean stems from netting, tete-a-teting with robin, […]


‘You don’t know what you’ve got til it’s gone’, goes the song I realised was in my head. It’s only once the old is cleared that it’s possible to see possibilities – in making a garden and life! This is in a good way: no parking lot, pink hotel or swinging hotspot, though we do […]

bean feast

That’s what I’m planning for this year: a bean feast.  Shortly before Christmas my (dare I say it) best present came in unassuming brown envelopes inside a padded envelope:  six varieties of drying beans from Garden Organic’s Heritage Seed Library. Phaseolus vulgaris – the bean of the people.  And a source of vulgar humour, but […]

winter salad leaves

Thanks to the mild winter leaf crops are still harvesting well with only protection from pigeons, Miss Haversham style under fine white netting. They are looking very pretty on the plate and tasting very nice on the palate. L – R: Lettuce ‘Valdor’ (sweet), blood-veined sorrel (sour), radicchio ‘Rosso di Treviso’ (bitter), lettuce ‘Lattughino’ (also […]

bee bee tree

Loved the angle and grace of the dichotomous branching of this tree in bare naked winter form today at Wisley and on further research I find it has so many virtues I’ll be looking for an opportunity to plant one asap. – swamped by bees in July and August with domed corymbs 15 cm (!) […]


Delivering flyers (how quaint, in these days of social media and app marketing) for our Christmas wreath initiative, there was a doorway with a range of odd sticks. Aha! a small boy lives here, came the thought, as I was reminded of my now towering son, and instructions to leave wayside garnerings outside.  But gardeners […]

seedy sunday

Use winter to plot, plan and develop your growing.  There’s a whole lot of joy to be had looking at seed catalogues online, or getting them in the post and perusing in bed, curled up on the sofa, on the commute.  However, selecting can be mind boggling, given the wonderfully wide range of varieties plant […]

treetop walkway, Kew

Visiting Kew earlier this month I enjoyed the low winter sun on the rusting patina of the ‘stems’ holding up the treetop walkway. Angles in the structure replicate the angle in some branching trees, and also some of the adjacent paths in the park.  The orange colour was picked up in the last few leaves […]

’tis the season to be holly

Two fabulous aspects of holly to behold at Kew Gardens: the grand scale curvaceous formal hedge and topiay which echo the form of the Palm house, so sharply clipped and stately in the hazy December approaching dusk… …and the holly walk (link to Kew’s webpage), over 1000m long with ’56 species and hybrids, making this […]