Delos Reimagined

I imagine I have a lot to deal with at The Watch House, but being the custodian of a large, historic garden is a different matter altogether. Responsibilities range from maintaining the fragile fabric (living and non-living) to deciding the future course of the garden’s development; not to mention fathoming out where all the money […]

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Spring Comes to Sissinghurst

  How fortunate that my first visit to Sissinghurst this year should coincide with the warmest day of the spring so far. As the car bowled through the Weald of Kent the roads were fringed with sulphur-yellow catkins and golden daffodils, sparking beneath a clear blue sky. The greys and browns of winter had started […]

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Stourhead Revisited

  “We reached Stourhead at 3 o’clock. By that time the sun had penetrated the mist, and was gauzy and humid ….. Never do I remember such a Claude-like, idyllic beauty here. See Stourhead and die.” James Lees-Milne, May 1947   It is incredible to think 20 years have elapsed since I last visited Stourhead. […]

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Duty

I have been particularly dutiful this week, even if I do say myself. I began the week in Cornwall, entertaining my beautiful, happy, intelligent niece. As duties go, this was an absolute joy. Martha has taken to walking like a duck takes to water, and is now in proud possession of her first pair of […]

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Trengwainton Gardens, Cornwall

From a very early age my parents took me and my sister to visit gardens. I like to think the reason was to cultivate our interest in flowers and plants, but as one follower of this blog commented recently (with reference to another Cornish garden, Trebah), it was probably to keep us both from wreaking havoc […]

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Trebah Gardens, Cornwall

On the steep sides of the Helford River in Cornwall lie two famous gardens, as similar in style as the two halves of a 1920’s semi. The likeness is not so surprising when you discover that both were influenced by the same family at a crucial point in their development. The Foxes, a large, wealthy quaker dynasty, created […]

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The Very Best of 2013 – A Year In Pictures

When I wrote my equivalent post this time last year, I thought 2012 was a momentous year, but reflecting on 2013 I find the last twelve months have more than measured up.  I celebrated my 40th Birthday and over the course of the year visited 10 countries, including Nepal, India, China and Bhutan, the Land of the Thunder Dragon. […]

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Blue Gold

The days ahead promise more warm dry weather, but we’ve enjoyed some much needed rain today. The last time we encountered ‘the wet stuff’ we were up in Northumberland enjoying the beautiful gardens at Wallington Hall. In spite of the weather, this beautiful border of yellow, mauve and blue flowers was still eager to please.

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Wallington Hall, Cambo, Northumberland

Northumberland is a wonderful, wild, unspoilt county in the north of England, once the frontier between rampaging Celts and civilised Romans. The region is noted for its landscape of high moorland and forests, and is mostly protected as a National Park. Northumberland is also the most sparsely populated county in England, with only 62 people […]

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Daily Flower Candy: Fuchsia ‘Rose of Castile’

Cascading from the ornate iron supports of the Edwardian conservatory at Wallington Hall, this superb fuchsia is named ‘Rose of Castile’. Bred in Kent in 1869 it makes a large and long-lived shrub. A 60 year old specimen grows outside the Electric Shop on Alcatraz island. ‘Rose of Castile’ establishes itself quickly and can be […]

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