The good and bad of Christmas 2016.



I was saddened by the failure of a firm I wrote about last week to deliver a special food order for Christmas.

Failure to source ingredients for food orders is a bad reflection on any firm.

However, a super contact is Plants4presents.

I met them at the RHS  plant  Fair in London.

They helped me to give a plant to a relative in 24 hours on Christmas Eve on The Isle of Wight.

What a great achievement!

There are a lot of people out there trying to make us believe they do care about the service they give.

Sadly a lot fall short.

I hope in 2017 to report on more firms that actually do offer a great service.

I will be looking out for them!


London. A higher perspective.



Last weekend I visited the Shard.

It was not a great day for a view.

However, it was suitable for gaining an impression.

What you can see is the numerous high -rise building that are going up.

These contrast greatly with the low buildings around south London.

Here  green spaces  were part of the environment.

There is a sense of community.

Are we planning for this today?

Buildings now have short “shelf life”.

Yes , there is a “wow factor” in buildings like the Shard and The Gherkin.

Just as impressive was the beautiful view of the Thames as it wound its way through the built up areas, joining the old to the new.

This will never change

We need this.

The Thames was, and still is, the centre of London life.

As we look to a new year may we embrace the good of the past as well as the excitement of the new.



Last minute gift ideas.

What can we give gardeners that is a little different?

My local Italian coffee shop in Southwell wonders what I can write about them.

My idea is grow your own coffee plant.

Yumbles has them .

So does Amazon.

You can get coffee plants in a coffee cup.

Other ideas are:

A membership to Shoot.

This website is for all gardeners.

Or membership to the RHS. 

Another idea is a ticket to a RHS show for 2017.

Passing on your love of gardening could be an aim for 2017.



Grade design takes time:


This is an image of my new Gravel Garden. 

A lot of time and effort went into removing numerous plants to achieve this effect.

Only a Vitis and the plant shown here remain.

The backdrop of the wall is part of the design.

This week I realised again what an effort it is to tackle   a new garden.

Patience is needed to see through the old trees and shrubs and gain a view on what might be.

The client needs to be adaptable and not over tired at the thought of change.

Garden designers are trained to be able to make judgements about this .

It does take strength.

Expert knowledge helps the process.

Therefore take time to consider that the best time to look at a garden is in the Spring.

The light is better and so is the chance that both client and designer will possess the drive to battle through the obstacles and make progress.

The wait will be worthwhile.