To Pembury House, Clayton, West Sussex on March 8th for the final day of a month-long NGS opening.  This day was to celebrate the glorious collection of snowdrops and Hellebores.  Owners Jane and Nick Baker have over 50 named varieties of snowdrops together with naturalised drifts of common snowdrops and many different hellebores in the… Read More


Stopped at Southease churchyard at twilight on a Sunday evening at the beginning of March – the sun was just about to set – it had been a glorious afternoon over at Seaford – and a friend had tipped me off that the snowdrops at Southease were a “must see”!  I was not disappointed.. this… Read More


It was fantastic to see Marchants Hardy Plants featured on Gardeners World on the BBC last Friday evening.  Owner, Graham Gough was discussing the beautiful Asteraceae family (daisies to most of us!) with Carol Klein.  No doubt guided to it by Graham, Carol raved about Helenium ‘Sahin’s Early Flowerer’ (left), a fabulous orangey red and… Read More


Yesterday afternoon, a Wednesday at the beginning of August,  was spent at Charleston Farmhouse, near Lewes  with American visitors who have a particular interest in Bloomsbury, the famous and exceptionally talented group of artists, writers and thinkers who gathered here in Sussex during the first half of the twentieth century to share their art, friendships,… Read More


William Robinson’s philosophy of ‘wild gardening’ broke with the artificial and contrived Victorian conventions such as planting in straight lines of greenhouse-raised carpet bedding, preferring instead to use native and non-native hardy perennials in naturalistic drifts, shrubs and climbers, bulbs and alpines in informal planting which blurred the edges between landscape and garden. Robinson was… Read More


Jo Thompson’s caravan-themed garden really touched a chord within me.  Partly because the wonderful 1950’s caravan used as the focal point of the garden reminds me of caravan holidays in my childhood.  Here, the idea is that the caravan provides a retreat in the garden for the owner.  This is something I am planning for… Read More


SOUTH COTTAGE,  SISSINGHURST – A RARE OPPORTUNITY to actually go inside South Cottage (normally closed to the public as it is the residence of one of Vita Sackville-West’s grandchildren).   The National Trust, unusually, opened it for select parties for just a few hours the other Saturday and I was lucky enough to see it,… Read More


BEHIND THE SCENES – WITH THE GARDENERS AT SISSINGHURST April showers?  Torrential downpours, broken by bright sunshine – we huddled under NT lost property umbrellas, oblivious to the weather just happy to have this opportunity of seeing some hidden corners of Sissinghurst not generally on view to the public!  We took refuge under the arch… Read More


Yesterday to RHS Lecture Halls in London to hear Dan Pearson give a fascinating presentation on his gardening career, focusing on some of the very contrasting gardens he has designed and established. He started very young and was always, in his words ‘gardening on the edge of nature’ as his family restored a severely neglected… Read More


Birdsong greets me together with the sweet smell of the dawn summer rain lingering in the air; chickens run freely – one accompanying me as I take the rose walk through the orchard where old roses scramble freely over the trees and wind their way over low, metalwork arches (you have to duck under them… Read More