Wednesday, 17 May 2017
Monday, 8 May 2017
|Tbilisi, Georgia - an amazing city|
|Living wall in Tbilisi|
|Bridge of Peace, Tbilisi|
|Street art - it's everywhere in Tbilisi|
Very few words today, just pictures as I've returned from Tbilisi in Georgia and am sorting through my photographs for a post later this week. Much to tell and weather was wonderful!
Tuesday, 25 April 2017
|En route to Glasgow - over the clouds, somewhere in the Lake District|
|The Pineapple - an extraordinary architectural feat, on the way to Edinburgh|
|Pitmuies - a captivating garden on the way to Aberdeen|
|Edzell Castle - a ruin with attitude, helped by the bright blue skies|
|Crarae - a Himalayan garden in the heart of Argyll and Bute - coming into bloom at this time of year|
|Benmore Botanic Garden - famous for its magnificent trees|
Sunday, 23 April 2017
Charles Jenck's Garden of Cosmic Speculation - the Holy Grail of Scottish gardens - is open to the public for just one day this year - next Sunday, 30 April - as part of the open scheme arranged by Scotland's Gardens.
I've been lucky enough to visit twice in the last five years - once on an open day in 2012, and again last year on a garden tour with a very small group. The single open day means that it can get very crowded and although adequate parking is provided, it's advisable to arrive early to find a place close to the gardens. As parking is in a field, it can be VERY muddy, so do take suitable footwear!
Wednesday, 19 April 2017
Geoff Stonebanks' garden is definitely one for the "Wishlist" this summer - Driftwood is a tiny plot in Seaford, East Sussex, filled with innovative ideas and perfect planting. It opens from 1 June for groups, by arrangement and on designated days for charity (see website link above for details). Keep your eyes open and don't miss the finer details of this extraordinary garden. Every penny raised from openings goes to charity and Geoff has already collected more than £76,000. You certainly won't be disappointed when you visit and you know your donation is going to a good cause. Happy visiting!
Wednesday, 12 April 2017
Wednesday Walkabout - Spring gems in Sussex and Kent - Great Dixter, Gravetye Manor, Michelham Priory and The Walled Nursery
|Great Dixter in East Sussex is always worth a visit - it's a jewel garden filled with colour throughout the season|
Spring is sprung and gardens around the garden are awash with colour. There's always an incredible display of tulips at Great Dixter at this time of year - which marks just the beginning of another season of extraordinary eye candy at this wonderful garden, where head gardener, Fergus Garrett reigns supreme to ensure that every visitor leaves ecstatic! He worked alongside garden guru and owner, Christo Lloyd for many years and carries on the tradition of vibrant planting established by his mentor.
|William Robinson lived at Gravetye Manor and created the original gardens - Tom Coward has brought them back to life during his successful seven-year stewardship here|
And not too far away, there's another amazing Sussex garden, under the stewardship of Tom Coward, who worked alongside Fergus at Great Dixter, before moving seven years ago to another legendary garden - Gravetye Manor - one-time home of William Robinson. Tom has done a remarkable job of restoring and rejuvenating the landscape here and it's a must-see garden - a great place to have afternoon tea and then take a wander round.
|Geoff Stonebanks' garden is an utterly delightful micro garden overlooking the sea in East Sussex|
Another Sussex gem that opens regularly for charity, thanks to the extraordinary energy and effort of owner, Geoff Stonebanks, is Driftwood in Seaford, but check opening dates below. This is a magical micro garden overlooking the sea, filled with interesting plants and quirky, interesting ideas - rest assured, you'll never catch them all in a single visit. Check out Geoff's webpage here to see when the garden's open. You won't be disappointed.
|Michelham Priory is in the heart of the East Sussex countryside near Hailsham and well worth a visit|
Michelham Priory, near Hailsham is flourishing under head gardener, James Neal's care and is alive this week with tulips. A really good choice for children over the Easter holidays as there is a number hunt to keep them occupied and masses of space to run around in, while the grown ups can enjoy the bucolic setting of the priory and its grounds.
|The Walled Nursery at Hawkhurst, Kent has a wonderful cafe if you're out plant hunting|
And if you're putting your best foot forward on the hunt for plants and want to follow an interesting restoration project that's underway, head for The Walled Nursery near Hawkhurst in Kent, close enough to combine with Great Dixter or Sissinghurst. There's delicious food at The Winery Cafe on site and some interesting plants.
Wednesday, 5 April 2017
Well worth a walkabout, especially in springtime - Wakehurst Place in Sussex - where you'll find ideas for your own garden: trees and plants to marvel at; the Millennium Seedbank (worth a visit on a rainy day); and wonderful walks throughout the year. This is Kew in the countryside at its best!
Get there as soon as possible to see all the magnificent magnolias in flower, rhododendrons and a lot more besides. The shots below are just a snapshot of what's in flower now.
Open daily from 10.00 -18.00 (Last entry 17.00). The Millennium Seedbank is a working scientific hub that aims to conserve 25% of the world's plant species by 2020. Admission is £12.50 for adults, free to National Trust members.