March 2012

March 11th, 2012

My aeonium has flowered

Ooo-er! Has anyone seen the like? Might it die now?

March 6th, 2012

Kate and Kevin's book is almost done - latest photoshoot..

Our book designer asked if me and Kevin could supply a photo of us for the book - panic set in. Both of us loathe having our photos taken. So we got together this afternoon and Peter got snapping away. Result above. What do you think? Need Rachel de Thame and Chris Beardshaw be worried?

March 6th, 2012

Snowdrops - do we split and re-plant 'in the green'?

I've just spent a lovely day in the garden digging up big clumps of snowdrops and re-planting them in bare patches of soil to get a bigger, better show next year. I put a load among my hostas as I don't move them around often, they are late to come through and they don't seem to mind the intrusion.

March 1st, 2012

Blimey - it's the 10th anniversary of Kate's Cuttings!

It is ten years since the following words of mine appeared in our excellent village newsletter in Tollerton:

‘Call me sad, but I am an obsessive gardener and I have always wanted a gardening column. Don’t get me wrong, I’m no Alan Titchmarsh or Pippa Greenwood but the chance to share my successes (few) and failures (many) with other gardeners and for them to share their experiences with the rest of us seems to me to be a worthwhile and harmless exercise in this increasingly complicated world’.


February 2012

February 26th, 2012

Stumpery now Properly Designed!

Had a great day yesterday in the garden in the sun with Lauraine and Alan. Lauraine used her designer's eye to make the stumpery look better - much more natural, less obviously 'placed'.We laid a path of wood chippings down to the bench and I have just planted Liz Wills' cyclamen and corydalis amongst the wood. Alan decked out the hut so we can now stand on it in comfort for a grand, quite different view of 'Charnwood'.

February 26th, 2012

Crocus this morning

Crocus - I think it's Thomasinus - looked gorgeous in the sun this morning. They have naturalised in the grass among big clumps of 'Februray Gold' daffodils. Who knows, perhaps they may even be out together in decent numbers this year. Daffs are in bud and the weather is kind so we may get lucky!

February 18th, 2012

New African hut emerging

A recent gap left by a large, nearly dead sycamore needed some serious and creative thought. A safari style hut seemed the best choice and great pal Alan came up both with a design and the skill and energy to build it. Will be fab, especially when we get the giraffe sorted. Never let it be said we have run out of ideas at 'Charnwood'! Especially when Lauraine is around...

In case you are wondering, Peter had just arrived back from a bike ride.

February 12th, 2012

Spanish sun in February

Just back from a week on the Costa del Sol so not happy, it's cold! Bright blue skies replaced by murky grey.

Some interesting gardens, one in the beautiful old town at Ronda at the Casa del Rey Moro. The house was actually never the home of the Moorish King. It was built in the 18th Century, when Moorish Spain was already a distant memory. Its apparently Moorish gardens (see picture) are even more recent, having been designed by the French landscape gardener, Jean Claude Forestier, in 1912. But it is typical of southern spanish gardens and reminded me of the Alhambra, albeit on a much, much smaller scale. Certainly the atmosphere of peace and calm order makes it a good place to be if you need a gentle space in which to reflect.

Cordoba was also a joy - plans to explore this part of Spain again more thoroughly have begun!

February 3rd, 2012

Blimey it's freezing!

Gorgeous day, but blooming cold. Long tailed and blue tits seem oblivous, chatting away and hopping about the rosemary outside the office window. Peter took a photo of the wheelbarrow - Cecil Beaton eat your heart out...

February 2nd, 2012

Seed sowing for summer

Hello winter! I thought it would never arrive. Some days in the garden in December and early January felt more like early spring – birds singing, bulbs coming through, no coat. I was weeding, mulching, pruning and trying not to get lulled into a false sense of security. It was great to be out and doing proper gardening in the middle of winter (I was even spreading mushroom compost on Christmas Day!), but when the serious and regular frosts arrived it did feel like the natural order of things had returned. A rather comforting thought now I am well into my middle age. I hope you all got your tender plants safely into the warm before it descended? My little greenhouse is stuffed full of cuttings, dahlia tubers, agave and tender perennials such as agapanthus, salvia and galtonia.