Daily Flower Candy: Caltha palustris ssp. polypetala

Caltha palustris ssp. polypetala:  giant marsh marigold, kingcup Forsythia, crocus, narcissus, mahonia, acacia, kerria: have you ever pondered why so many early flowering plants have predominantly yellow flowers? It’s because the colour yellow, whether it be primrose, golden, saffron or lemon, is highly effective in attracting pollinating insects, especially in the low light levels we experience […]

Read More

Wonder Walls

Cornish hedges are a defining part of the landscape on Britain’s most south-westerly peninsula. From a wildlife point of view they are like Noah’s ark, supporting hundreds of species that might otherwise not have survived modern farming practices. But for motorists they can be a challenge, literally hedging-in the narrow lanes that spread like fine lace across the […]

Read More

Snowdrop Week: Japanese Kokedama

If they didn’t literally smack you full in the face, the sheer ingenuity of the hanging snowdrop decorations at the Chelsea Physic Garden last week would have stopped you in your tracks. One of the garden’s team was inspired to create them for the special snowdrop days following a recent visit to Japan. Here, trees, shrubs […]

Read More

All Hands On Decs

Inspired by my judging role on Channel 4’s Kirstie’s Handmade Christmas, I decided that we should have a second Christmas tree this year, at our seaside home. Everything about it would be in stark contrast to the towering 14ft Nordmann fir we have in London, which is decked with thousands of newfangled LEDs and a collection of cherished glass baubles accumulated over […]

Read More

O Christmas Tree!

Heaven only knows what I did to deserve such an appalling start to the festive season. First a horrendous tummy upset, which began in New York, closely followed by a proper dose of flu as soon as I arrived in Holland. The latter nearly saw me carted off to hospital in the early hours of Sunday morning. […]

Read More

Wreath 3 Kings

As Christmas approaches, I find myself rapidly running out of time to do all the wholesome, festive projects I promised myself I would tackle. Fairisle baubles remain unknitted and card-making materials fester in the bottom drawer. Anything that can be bought ready-made will be snapped up and, as on other occasions, I may shamefully fail to […]

Read More