The Optimists Garden

When the start of the year is wet and windy and the croft garden is repeatedly battered by 70-90 mph gales, I should really declare the cottage garden out-of-bounds. A walk round the garden on a cold blustery afternoon in early February is enough to depress even the most optimistic gardener. There are times when… Continue reading The Optimists Garden

The January Garden – Looking Both Ways

Janus Pater, firstborn of Roman deities, presides over all transitions and beginnings, the door keeper, guardian of the new year, and custodian of the calendar, from whom January takes its name. In deference to Janus I am ambivalent about January - the lengthening days tell me to look forward as spring is coming, but the… Continue reading The January Garden – Looking Both Ways

In the Winter Garden

I always dreamed of having a winter garden - delicate snowdrops and aconites in perfect drifts beneath the tracery of the bare branches of elegant Japanese acers and the ghostly stems of birches. A contrasting backdrop of glossy green Mahonia and air laden with the delicate scent of winter jasmine, Osmanthus and Daphne. The reality is a cottage garden… Continue reading In the Winter Garden

Give me sunshine

After two weeks of long sunny days I'm as brown and wrinkled as a December Egremont Russet, my hands rasp like sandpaper, the finger nails are all broken and very grubby, and my joints crack and creak. All but the most urgent domestic chores are neglected and my e-mail auto-responder reads "gardening I'll get back… Continue reading Give me sunshine