March 2012

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’.

Read More...

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'.

Read More...
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!

Read More...
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.

Read More...
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!

Read More...
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...

Read More...
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.

Read More...

January 2012

January 30th, 2012

Late January cheer!

A wander round the garden this morning with the birds singing and the sun shining cheered me up no end. In flower or looking good at the moment at 'Charnwood': a white Christmas Rose under a red stemmed dogwood, Virburnum Tinus 'Eve Price - lovely pink buds opening white, and the bright leaves of a variegated holly livening up the back garden.It will soon be Spring!

Read More...

December 2011

December 18th, 2011

Works of art in the garden

Sometimes a plant just won’t do it; it’s too dry, the season is too short, or it would simply look wrong. But a focal point is needed, or perhaps a little ‘something else’ to add some interest to a neglected corner. What do you do?

I use the phrase ‘a work of art’ ‘to cover any inanimate but decorative object in the garden (not counting your snoozing spouse, of course). So it could be a lump of wood, a mirror, a group of pebbles or shells, or an actual statue. You can add drama, humour, or all year round interest in this way and it can cost a lot or very little. Some ideas that work well at Charnwood:

Read More...

November 2011

November 18th, 2011

Planting trees

If the weather forecast is anyway near accurate, we may all be up to our necks in snow by now. Writing this mid October, it is very hard to imagine as there are parts of the garden that could fool you into thinking it’s June. One little group Charnwood includes is a pink English Rose, several spikes of a rich blue delphininum, some green tobacco plant ‘Lansdorfii’ and tall pink Cosmos.

Read More...

Pages