“Show me your garden and I shall tell you what you are.”

I have few words left to describe 2021 so instead, I have a collection of my favourite shots of the roses in the garden this Spring and early Summer. The garden has had a fantastic year and the roses are wonderful due to the unseasonal weather. Like the rose and the thorn, life has two… Continue reading “Show me your garden and I shall tell you what you are.”

The Perfumed Garden

Today is about the perfume and scent of roses.... It is a golden maxim to cultivate the garden for the nose, and the eyes will take care of themselves. Robert Louis Stevenson Did you know that rose perfume is at its most intense very early in the morning and the scent will gradually become less… Continue reading The Perfumed Garden

“Flowers don’t tell, they show.”

I'm in awe every day in the garden at the exquisite nature of the roses and the surprising array of rose blooms that at times appear so delicate, soft and angelic and yet some are bold, exotic, and majestic whilst others create an eye-catching display that is charming and elegant. The rose never fails to… Continue reading “Flowers don’t tell, they show.”

“I look upon the pleasure we take in a garden as one of the most innocent delights in human life.”

The early stages of Spring in the garden this year were magnificent. The full flush of blooms I missed though, as I had to be away for several weeks. As expected, I was greeted by thousands of spent rose blooms ready to deadhead and thriving rampant weeds on my return to the garden last week.… Continue reading “I look upon the pleasure we take in a garden as one of the most innocent delights in human life.”

“A flower is not a flower alone; A thousand thoughts invest it”

Flowers are the universal sign of happiness, love, forgiveness and condolence, and a natural way to brighten our decor and mood. They are an integral part of our lives and adored the world over; the perfect table centrepiece, lavish display in a foyer; the wedding bouquet; the remembrance wreath, or admired in beautiful gardens, estates,… Continue reading “A flower is not a flower alone; A thousand thoughts invest it”

The Garden at Billecart-Salmon

Arriving at BilleCart Salmon in the Champagne -Ardenne region of France, I was in awe of the beautiful à la Française Jardin or The French Garden that surrounded the Champagne House. We were early for our appointment to visit the famous vines of Le Clos Saint-Hilaire, the Chais and anticipated Champagne tasting so, we had… Continue reading The Garden at Billecart-Salmon

”The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain.” 

The unpredictable nature of rain has caused a few heartaches lately in rural areas where crops almost ready for harvest have been decimated from excess water. In the garden too, rain has been both a blessing and a curse. After the brilliant start of Spring this year, the roses have been ravaged by wind and… Continue reading ”The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain.” 

I have never had so many good ideas day after day as when I work in the garden.

Gardening is a means by which you can attain many valuable hours of solitude without being thought of as unsociable.John Erskine Isn't that the truth? The allure of a quiet reverie and time in solitude to think one's own thoughts uninterrupted is often out of reach. Well, the garden is just the place to enjoy… Continue reading I have never had so many good ideas day after day as when I work in the garden.

 A Sense Of Place

Gardens are a refuge, a solace from the world. We all at some stage, have been awed by a place where the buildings and landscape just seem to feel right, where a sense of harmony exists. In areas like this by simply being or planting a seed, or watching a rose bloom, or glimpsing a… Continue reading  A Sense Of Place

The Joy of a Well Designed Garden

Gardens of the Architect

To design gardens that look and feel appealing and are a joy to visit think like an artist and use the basic design elements such as colour, line, texture, form and scale.By using the basic design elements and their combinations will provide the tools to create balance, unity, harmony, transition, repetition, accent and proportion for… Continue reading The Joy of a Well Designed Garden

Just Peachy

As I worked in and around the garden last week, the colour of the peach roses took my breath away - they are the best I've seen so far. Crepuscule, Lady Of Shallot and Peach Profusion, are standouts. Roses in this colourway range from softest shell pink to rosé, peach, salmon, apricot and coral or… Continue reading Just Peachy

“Avoid being impatient. Remember time brings roses.”

It is official, the roses this year are a triumph, and I could not be happier with the results. The chilly slow start to Spring and natures reluctance to bring out the sun has seen blooms open at a regal and leisurely pace, but now the brakes are off, and full bloom is upon us.… Continue reading “Avoid being impatient. Remember time brings roses.”

“If you look the right way, you can see that the whole world is a garden.”

Another week into October, and the rain has gone. This week is all about florescence, for everywhere you look, buds are unfolding, and blooms are appearing all in their quiet, natural manner. The distinct seasons in rural life have their charm, but Spring has to be the most enjoyable. It is like a party where… Continue reading “If you look the right way, you can see that the whole world is a garden.”

“Life is trying things to see if they work.” 

My garden has always been an experiment to see if, despite the rural location and tricky climate, creating an inviting, lush and colourful outdoor space was possible. I've tried things out with no certainty that the plants would grow and there have been many setbacks and disappointments. As time went by I've become more informed… Continue reading “Life is trying things to see if they work.” 

Flowers are the music of the earth

Around the garden, hundreds of buds appear on the lush, dense foliage of the roses. Each day more blooms pop out, but after the recent rains and cool weather the process has slowed down. The weather is warmer now, and the first Spring flush is almost here. In some ways, it feels like waiting for… Continue reading Flowers are the music of the earth

“How lovely yellow is! It stands for the sun.”  

I've always admired the soft yellow flowers of a climbing plant that I see covering archways, fences and pergolas as I drive into our local rural town. They are always a welcome sight at the end of winter. The words in the quote of Vincent Van Gogh above could easily have described this charming climber's… Continue reading “How lovely yellow is! It stands for the sun.”  

“To everything there is a season”

The expression ' a watched pot is slow to boil' has been around since Benjamin Franklin first wrote the text in 1785. It has come to mind lately as anticipation of Springs first flush grows ever so slowly each day. A few buds are appearing, and the arrival of the first blooms, but because of… Continue reading “To everything there is a season”

“Nature does not hurry yet everything is accomplished”

Paul Bocuse Spring is unfolding at a leisurely pace, and almost all the roses are covered with new glossy foliage that looks healthy and fresh. Because I'm at home in lockdown, I'm more aware of the steady renewal of the new season. Apart from the gorgeous lavender spires everywhere Spring appears slow due to the… Continue reading “Nature does not hurry yet everything is accomplished”

“Spring work is going on with joyful enthusiasm.”

The energy of preparing for Spring has been going on all winter despite the rain. The garden has undergone a renovation of sorts that has been almost like starting a garden from scratch. Always first to come out in Spring- Snowdrops Suddenly, the weather this week has changed from winter to summer overnight. The winter… Continue reading “Spring work is going on with joyful enthusiasm.”

“I love being in my garden. I don’t plant a lot of exotic flora, but I do spend a lot of time outside doing manual labour. ”

Spring is on the way and the tell tale signs add vibrancy to the air but unfortunately, this week I've had to do a bit of a cull in the garden. It is necessary and has freed up space and allowed the best of the roses to have a bit more air and circulation around… Continue reading “I love being in my garden. I don’t plant a lot of exotic flora, but I do spend a lot of time outside doing manual labour. ”

Serenity has to be three-quarters hard work to be worth having.

Yes, it's true peace and relaxation are often won by a bit of hard toil most of the time, and I wouldn't want it any other way. There is nothing like relaxing at the end of the day, knowing you have made headway shaping the garden. Recently I've found more surprise roses hidden under some… Continue reading Serenity has to be three-quarters hard work to be worth having.

You become responsible forever for what you’ve tamed. You’re responsible for your rose.

Contrary to my initial desire to grow roses amongst perennials in a heavily planted garden, I have decided to thin out one particular garden bed this season to be predominately only roses. The idea is a major change in my perspective and requires an enormous amount of work that I am halfway through. I was… Continue reading You become responsible forever for what you’ve tamed. You’re responsible for your rose.

“The more I garden the less I know, but the more pleasure I get from it.”

The anticipation of Spring is in the air. Back to basics is the motto of the new season, and as it should be, the roses are at the heart of the garden. Taking one day at a time, I’m preparing whenever I can, and I’m noticing a change in my method this year. The initial… Continue reading “The more I garden the less I know, but the more pleasure I get from it.”

“One who plants a garden plants happiness.”

Today brings a sense of déjà vu, I'm inside again due to more rain. We've only had a few days of fine weather that lasted long enough to be out gardening recently. Surprisingly, at the end of the day last time I was out in the garden, despite the aches and pains after heavy work,… Continue reading “One who plants a garden plants happiness.”