Two year’s labour: one asparagus

Two year’s labour: one asparagus

Two years ago I planted a dozen asparagus crowns, watered them, mollycoddled them, and this year harvested our first crop: one asparagus. Here you see it shortly before it was drowned in runny egg. Yum. I am reliably informed that the third year is take-off year. Gardening rewards those that wait...I hope so anyway.Read more

Ripple Retreat

    Lynne and Ian McNicoll of It's Good 2 Give founded and run a charity that raises money for children with cancer and their families. Ripple Retreat is their most ambitious project so far. Ripple Retreat has been designed by multi-​award winning, international architects, Kettle Collective as a special retreat - a place to escape, to relax and come together as a family. The site is on the southern bank of Loch Venachar in a wonderful location on the waters edge with beautiful views down the loch to the west and over the…Read more
Come to our Noel Kingsbury Masterclasses with Macplants nursery, Fri 2nd & Sat 3rd October, 2015

Come to our Noel Kingsbury Masterclasses with Macplants nursery, Fri 2nd & Sat 3rd October, 2015

Noel Kingsbury 'The Rabbit's Eye View'   SATURDAY SOLD OUT   We're not quite sure how hardcore a gardener you have to be to have heard of Noel Kingsbury but to us he is pretty big news. A renowned plantsman, teacher, designer and wordsmith Noel Kingsbury is perhaps best known for his advocacy of naturalistic and sustainable planting, and his collaborations with Dutch uber-designer/plantsman Piet Oudolf. He also writes a great blog - Noel's Garden Blog.     Together Piet Oudolf - best known here for his contribution to the High Line in…Read more
Even garden grandees have weeds in their garden

Even garden grandees have weeds in their garden

 In late September Susan and I snuck off to the Netherlands (leaving husbands and children behind - hooray) for the weekend to take a peak at the playgrounds of a couple of Dutch garden design luminaries.  Our first stop was Hummelo, the garden of Piet and Anna Oudolf. Piet Oudolf has had a hand in some of the most significant landscape and garden design projects this century: The Highline in New York, Scampston in Yorkshire, RHS Garden Wisely…  Many of the vistas in the Oudolf’s garden were familiar from reading so much about it…Read more
5 Shrubs worth Swooning Over

5 Shrubs worth Swooning Over

Five Shrubs   In many ways winter is my favourite time in the garden. In spring or summer I’m too dazzled by what’s going on or too overwhelmed by tasks to take it all in. Early in the year the garden is stripped back to its bones and I can see it with clarity. I seem to understand it most at this point. I can truly get the measure of it, walking around and feeling my way I can see where the proportions have lost their balance. Shrubs whose straggly growth might be…Read more
Creative Roots and Formative Landscapes – Ile de Re and East Coast Scotland

Creative Roots and Formative Landscapes – Ile de Re and East Coast Scotland

Creative Roots I’m not long back from the Atlantic Island of Ile de Re, a small flat, salty patch of land that lies just off the French west coast.   Immediately on arriving I learned something about myself that I’d never known.     It hit me as soon as I was over the bridge and onto the island. Before me stood a crest of steep sided grasses rolling in the wind, their strong, upright growth bending in a wave of sea glass green, their soft feathery flowers heads a convincing watery froth.…Read more
White Roses for a mixed border

White Roses for a mixed border

I’m renovating a border that’s never been quite right; a thuggish rhubarb and a stylish mob of Italian artichokes have always dominated it. The idea was that they would bring a certain edge to the conventional border – in fact, the rhubarb was just there and I didn’t have the heart to move it - but I’ve come to think of them as the criminal underclass, the rhubarb is an East End gangster and the artichokes are Armani wearing mafia. Both have an edgy appeal and each makes for a very entertaining –…Read more
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