Not long now till many of our trees, shrubs and perennials divest themselves of their foliage before swooning into a hibernal slumber. Meanwhile, less glamourous things – semi-evergreen, hardy biennial and annual things – are quietly going about their business, apparently unfazed by the drama, while we pass them by..
Episode 3 of the Gardens, weeds & words podcast is out and, as the clocks go back and we head into darkness, I’m talking to food and lifestyle photographer Ros Atkinson about the part light has to play in her beautiful images. And trying to get to the bottom of her love affair with vegetables.
Death and taxes, wrote Benjamin Franklin, are the only certainties in this world. I feel he could quite safely have added “weeds” to the list without the least risk of damage to his reputation. My own cv comes up pretty short in the area of Founding Father, but rather the opposite under the category of Proficient and Joyful Weeder. And this is just the time to indulge in a prolonged bout of that particular activity.
As the leaves fall, we begin to see our gardens in their wider context, which makes it a perfect time to consider how they relate to the surrounding landscape. In this episode I’m joined by the artist Celia Hart, who discusses her earliest plant memories, and the role that her local Suffolk landscape has upon her work.
This year’s Almanac – a seasonal guide by Lia Leendertz quickly became something of an essential and trusted companion, and so the publication of 2019’s version has been greeted with great enthusiasm from all quarters. Is it a worthy successor? Read on to find out.
Like any industry, the horticultural trade supports many business, jobs, and – let’s not forget – customers. But it also churns out a bewildering amount of *stuff*. It’s good to take a moment to sift out the considered, the well-made, and the necessary from the endless lines of shiny new products demanding our attention while promising gardening nirvana.
Have you ever wondered why we make gardens? I have. How do we choose to surround ourselves with plants? How do we incorporate them into our lives? Our relationship as a species with plants is something that fascinates me, and these are just the kind of questions the new podcast is creating space to explore – albeit in a fairly relaxed manner. The first episode was promised in early autumn...and it’s almost time.
I’ve been a little remiss with my Instagram summaries. Nothing since March – it’s almost as though April and May didn’t happen, and now here we are at the end of August, having sighted the outriders of Autumn as the next season makes its way inexorably toward our gardens. But it’s always good to pause and take a look back at where we’ve been, just for long enough to inform the next steps we take on our gardening journey.
I have a new best friend in the garden. He’s eight foot tall, has three legs and seems perfectly happy for me to stand on him for extended periods. I am of course referring to a tripod ladder, but not just any tripod ladder. This is the tripod ladder I’ve had my beady eye on ever since I began gardening as career, and it’s made by the UK company Henchman.
Flamboyant, fabulous – on occasion demurely restrained – the dahlia is an exquisite conundrum that encapsulates the vibrant energy of the garden as high summer turns towards autumn. In her latest book, Naomi Slade explains her fascination with the flower, and introduces us to over 65 captivating varieties.
Seven acres of beautifully landscaped gardens in Kent, boasting award winning perennials and more late summer colour than you can shake a stick at. When an opportunity came up to meet the garden’s curator and the man behind Dyson’s Salvias, I wasn’t about to refuse.
Pauline and Paul McBride know how to do summer perennials, and I’ve been keen for several weeks now to get down to Sussex Prairie Gardens to see how the plants have been coping in the heat. We chose a sweltering day for it. There may also have been cake.