Autumn frosts have blackened my dahlias and brought out the fiery colours in my acer and Iris seedheads. I've been keeping warm in the greenhouse, reading an incredible book about gardening in war zones, and joining the committee of my Horticultral Society.
"I used to feel as calm in the garden as if I was knitting socks by the fire - it always made me happy" These words, spoken to author Lalage Snow, sum up the peace and fulfillment that can be derived from plants. It is a sentiment well understood by gardeners. Yet this, and every interviewee featured in her book 'War Gardens' tells a story of gardening in conflict's dark shadow.
Edelweiss accident A few weeks ago I experimented with sowing seed from my Edelweiss flowers. I followed advice from members of the Alpine Garden Society, which I have joined. I was excited to see some germination in the pot and whilst it's possible that the tiny green seedlings could have [...]
Wood Anemones light up the floor of deciduous woodlands in March and April with starry constellations of pure white or pink tinged blooms. The flowers are lifted above a shaggy carpet of lush green leaves, an emerald sky to the white star flowers. This is not a flower I was [...]
Chrysanthemum 'Avignon Pink' I meet many people who turn their noses up at Chrysanthemums. Undoubtedly, the gaudier selections at supermarkets and petrol stations are not the best advertisement for these flowers. If you grow them yourself, however, you can find some amazing varieties for autumnal flower arrangements. Very soon, my [...]
The garden is showing so much colour at the moment - showcased beautifully in the glorious sunshine this week and clinging on for dear life in the high winds. This week I share some pretty flowers, am proud mum to baby Echeveria and set a mystery shrub identification challenge.
It's been another glorious week for gardening with warm bright days. If it wasn't for the darker evenings and tell-tale reddening of the leaves I could believe it was early summer. Some of the stalwarts of June are still flowering magnificently, such as my roses. The dahlias, asters and sedum [...]
This week we had frost in the Chilterns. The days have been balmy and sunny but the clear nights, which revealed the big harvest moon, brought temperatures right down. The frost was only visible on my car windscreen and insufficient to blacken my dahlias which continue to bloom away. The [...]
Dahlias are beautiful flowers to bring into the home, adding a touch of late summer or autumnal opulence with minimal effort on your part. Here I share four stunning but simple techniques using dahlias and describe how to grow them in any sized garden.