Lessons Learned

As autumn arrives, it feels like a good time to reflect on the year. It’s far from over, of course, but there’s a change in the air. Summer – if you could call that a summer – certainly feels like it’s over, and autumn is on the way. Too much red and purple It all […]


I’ve returned recently from a very British August summer holiday in Scarborough with the family. Soggy fish and chips, seaside rides and variable weather – glorious! A trip to Sewerby Park on one of the better days, however, provided some welcome surprises. My family history is inextricably linked with Sewerby Park. A number of my […]


Heavy rain for the first time in weeks last night. Proper waterbutt-filling, sleep-depriving rain. Long overdue. After waking early – thank you, wood pigeons – I make a cup of tea and go out to do the rounds. Huge brown and black slugs navigate across the lawn. A blackbird picks them off before I can […]

High Summer

It’s high summer – for some, the peak of the growing season. My garden, on the other hand, is still some way off the summit. That’s not to say there aren’t things to enjoy – there are ALWAYS things to enjoy – but the supposed dog days of August are when things really start to […]

Coming Home

Feeling low after the football result last night. Yes, it’s only a game, but it still hurts. I spent some time in the garden this morning – pottering about, pulling a few weeds, taking some photos. My head felt clearer, my mood lifted. The garden is a tonic. And besides, only 524 days until we […]


How’s it going? Well, I’d call it a mixed bag. Understandable, I suppose, given the bizarre weather earlier in the year. The hostas have romped away, with the exception of Empress Wu – she’s been a bit of a flop (probably in a large part due to the bombardment by the slugs and snails). After […]

Harlow Carr Flower Show

A thoroughly enjoyable trip to the Harlow Carr Flower Show last Friday. The stalls were fine – a mixture of plants, pots and ornaments for sale – but the real attraction was the gardens, which were looking glorious. I was particularly taken by the stream-side planting. Isn’t it brilliant? The main borders were wonderful, and […]


My lawn is a constant source of frustration and disappointment. Look at this – awful! I’ve spent many an evening in the garden, drink in hand, starting vacantly at the bald patches. I don’t know why it’s such a struggle to maintain, but I’ve all but given up on having a perfect lawn. Oh well. […]


This is such an exciting time of year. Now that the risk of frost has passed, the tender plants can finally be planted outside. Here are my dahlias – Chat Noir, a cactus variety – tucked next to a young melianthus major in the sunny, shallow border. The cannas are in the ground, too. Here’s […]


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