On a roll!

This week I visited Doddington Hall near lincoln.

I met Rachel who runs the cut flower garden.

All was looking lovely among the flower beds.

Roses in full bloom.

The English Iris company is the port of call for “Quintessential Modern British Iris”.

You can see them growing here.

Elsewhere were a selection of English Summer flowers at their best.

The Kitchen Garden also has vegetables.

Rows of them!

I have never seen so many artichokes. 

Now that I have purchased some I need a recipe on how to cook them!




The peoples’ gardener.


Everyone needs to have a role model.

Jim Buttress is a fine example in the world of gardening.

From humble beginnings he worked his way up to a high position in the Royal Parks and eventually  to the RHS.

I met him when I was a student with Britain in Bloom.

In his own words” He loves people”.

He also loves gardening , football and other sports.

I attended an afternoon talk at Lowdham book festival.

Jim held us “in the palm of his hand.”

Later, while signing my book, he managed to give me some cheering words.

Long may his friendly manner influence us all. !




On a winning streak!

Last week I won a ticket to a talk with Nigel Dunnett. 

This was part of the London Open Squares weekend. 

Nigel designed a garden at the Barbican. 

The talk included an introduction to his work and a summary of this design.

We then relocated to the Barbican to see this beautiful garden.

Later on a roof top garden ,I met another designer that I know.

The atmosphere was like a party!

We all need days that inspire us and this was certainly one of them.



Gardens and health: A new report.


A report out this month  entitled “Gardens and health“supported by The King’s Fund  and The National Gardens Scheme finds that there are many examples

where “gardens and gardening are being used to improve health”

These include community gardens, volunteering ,recovering from illness and end-of- life care.

Lambeth GP Food Co-op have is an initiative that includes patients, doctors , nurses and other sites where patients learn how to grow food in a safe and secure environment.

It even sells the food it grows to Kings College Hospital.

We have always known that gardening is good for you.

Reports like this will spread the news to a wider audience.


This week in my garden.

My courtyard garden needed a spruce up.

Jeyes fluid can clear up patio slabs quickly.

A more extensive clean will need a jet cleaner.

During the winter we installed a new fence.

Ground Elder now flourishes.

Pots had become overgrown.

One clear out produced an ants nest.

I replanted one pot with plants I had bought on a visit with Lincs Cottage Garden Society.

Elswhere  Necotiana mixed with Antirrhinums looked good.

I like to use up plants I have grown myself.

My list included Monarda, Lychnis,Geranium and Astilbe .

It is a useful practice to stand back and take a critical look at you planting from time to time.

Gardening and plant design is an ongoing process.


A well used icon.

Botticelli Reimagined is an exhibition at the V&A in London.

A large part of the collection is based on his painting of Venus. 

Yes it is beautiful.

Everyone else seems to have had a go at capturing this famous work.

Icons can be used to sell products or capture our attention.

If they are overworked we switch off.

The question is whether the inspirational works derived from the Venus can be classed as”original”.

However, we all need inspirational art work in our life.

It takes us away from the mundane to a world of immense beauty and tranquility.

This alone makes it worthwhile.