My week: Winter hangs on:

An injury has forced me to stay indoors this week.

However, it has given me an opportunity to plan outings.

This year I hope to stay near at home to extend my gardening knowledge.

NTU has a special unit to help people with learning difficulties.

The Flower Pod has invited Christine Walkden to give a talk in March.

I now have an interest in Vegetable Gardening.

Charles Dowding is giving a talk in April on “No dig veg”.

I have researched three more gardens to visit.

Elli car Gardens near Doncaster has beautiful borders and a Natural Pool for swimming.

Welford Park near Newbury and Brodsworth Hall near Sheffield

are worth  a visit.

There is no need to feel down when the weather is cild.

Use the time to make plans.



My week: New contacts , new ideas.

The collapse of Carillon is much in the news.

Perennial has offered to help anybody in the horticulture and landscaping industry that needs help.

A good friend indeed.

I made a good contact this week.

As I sat having a cup of tea in a favourite tea shop I talked to two people who had a small holding in Derbyshire.

We exchanged info on gardens to visit.

They told me about Rhubarb farm in Derbyshire . This is a community Project

It does local veg boxes, educational visits and much more.

I have been contacted about the Belvoir Flower show in July.

Tickets are now on sale.

As i have often said , we need others to help us on our way.

Gardeners make good friends for this purpose.


My week: Palmstead Workshop.

It is worth catching the 6.30 am train from Newark to go to Kent .

This week the workshop was home to 400 people. The largest ever .

The title was Podium DeckingPlanting. 

The most imaginative example of this is the Bosco Verticale in Milan.

Tower blocks can now be livened up with super planting.

I saw the Barbican planting scheme with Nigel Dunnet a couple of years back.

He is such an enthusiastic gardener/professor.

Dan Pearson made us quite sad with his images of the Garden Bridge that is now consigned to history.

Beside the talks ,it is super to meet old friend and have a great day.

My enthusiasm will keep me going for the next few months!

My week: trust me I am a designer!

I cannot express my satisfaction with events this week.

At my Pilates class was more about the bulbs coming up — than fitness.

I am getting excited at meeting old friends at Palmstead workshop next wednesday.

I have started a new gardening journal,complete with pictures.

Lastly, yesterday I went past a care garden that I was involved with last year.

The clients became very difficult when I explained that such gardens would be subject to

Local Authority control as regards Health and Safety standards.

They did not agree to this and I had to withdraw.

It seems as if the garden was never built.

At least the clients have not been subjected to risks.

We are trained in what we do and it is better to listen to what we have to say.

This saves time and energy.

Carry on thinking of what you will do with gardening this year.

New year: New beginnings.



There is plenty to get excited about.

I have looked up the gardens I want to visit this year.

Top of the list is East Rush ton garden, Norfolk.

Perhaps to visit the snowdrop event.

I also want to go to Monks Wood, Sussex.

Nearby  is Haddon Hall, Derbyshire.

for Flower Shows I am hoping to go to go to Belvoir in July.

In a couple of weeks Palmstead will be holding their annual workshop.

The bulbs I planted indoors are at their best now.

Outside tips of the daffodils and tulips have made an appearance.

Hellebores are coming up.

There is a lot to cheer us up.

We just need to be willing to look for things .



Happy New Year.

During the relatively quite period between Christmas and New year I have given some thought to the year ahead.

Here are my ideas:

1)Develop art techniques.

The cold weather gave me a chance to due some pastile work with plant pictures.

2) Plan garden Visits– Norfolk comes high on the list.

So does the new Flower Show at Belvoir in July.

3) Palmstead starts a new regime with their workshop in January.

The topic is Vertical Planting / podium decking.

4) Anne Smith Designs will be 13 years old in 2018.

5) Indoor bulbs  listen up my house. I am so glad that I managed to do this amidst the many other activities.

If you are planning 2018 and gardening I hope that I have given you some ideas.

Good Luck!


I never follow what critics say!

Travelling to Tate Britain on a train I read the review of the Impressionists Exhibition. 

It was not very good.

Why criticise  something just because it does not reach unrealistic standards.

The fog scenes of London were very interesting.

I also enjoyed the depictions of social life.

Surely Monet’s scenes of the Thames were worthy of note.

As somebody who has just started painting, I liked the colourful paintings of London.

I will try a similar approach.

It is sad that people ,who should know better ,do not encourage  others to go and see Art.

I think it is waisting an opportunity.

Go and see this Exhibition.

Make up your own mind!,