blog

broad beans

Looking all ‘Audrey Hepburn in My Fair Lady at the races’, who’d have thought this was the frankly robust broad bean. I love broad beans, to pod, to eat, to sow a proper crop in late October/early November when everything else is going dormant.  These were last year’s flowers, the photo taken on 8th April, […]

wreath lectures

We’ve been making prototypes for our Christmas wreaths.  What a lovely day, getting floristry supplies from Nine Elms up the road, collecting foliage and putting the pieces together outside in the delectable October sun. We’ll be at selected markets and fairs across south London from late November. We’ll have Christmas wreaths for festive front doors […]

hortus conclusus

A dark black pavillion with sloping roofs and rectangular lay out reminiscent of Ryonan-ji  zen temple. Simple, yet perplexing, as you can never see the whole. Difficult to photograph too, with deep contrast between the shaded corners and the sunlight pouring in. The  planting is ‘too big’, and densely packed so that there is a […]

garden marathon

Whether garden making is a craft or an art is sometimes debated.  Certainly, gardens are cultural artifacts and draw on past movements of high art, as well as social history and technological advances. The Garden Marathon at the Serpentine Gallery in Hyde Park in London brought together an international range of 60-odd visual artists, installationists, […]

winter squash

Cucurbits (courgette, pumpkin, squash) can be really satisfying to grow as they have big seeds that you start off indoors in May and produce nice plants pretty quickly.  The fruits are shapely and tasty, and their final curing (sitting in the sun once ripe) encourages a postive transition to autumn, I feel. I’m still getting […]

cosmos psyche white

What’s in a name? Well, how could your mind not be lifted by Cosmos ‘Psyche White’. It’s a light and floaty tall annual, with fine foliage and prolific moon-daisy flowers. It also has a vigourous, iron constitution and is easy to raise. I spare a 1.5m x 2.5m raised bed for cut flowers at my […]

timber

The geometry of stacked timber at the yard is very pleasing. We were sourcing new oak last week for frames in a garden. What a great day out in Sussex, in the great Indian summer of 2011. Or was it ‘borrowed’ from Iberia? The lure of the sea and admiring the construction of the groynes.