Opening the garden in 2017 under the NGS (National Open Garden Scheme)

Only a week before I open my garden. And as s ever there’s a long lists of jobs that are still have to be done. But come what may we are delighted to be opening (again) for the NGS (National Open Garden Scheme).

Our open day is Sunday 23rd July from 10 am – 5 pm.

Admission £4, children free

35 Turret Grove, Clapham Old Town, SW4 0ES

Teas, Pimms, Cakes & Plants for sale

All monies raised goes to the National Garden Schemes charities e.g. (see NGS Website for full list of charities)

 

35 Turret Grove, Clapham Old Town, SW4 0ES

Teas, Pimms, Cakes & Plants for sale

All monies raised goes to the National Garden Scheme charities

Recycled glass sculpture by www.steveyeates.co.uk

4th July Garden Museum

For many the 4th of July was American Independence Day. But for us it was the day we opened the garden as part of the Garden Museum 2017 walking tours of Clapham gardens that raises funds to support the museum.

The tour of Clapham explored seven urban gardens that are owned by amateur gardeners, artists, architects, professional designers, garden writers and bloggers and community volunteers and range in size from tiny to the generous town gardens.  As much as I’m looking forward to welcoming this group of 30 I had concerns because I understood a large number of them are professional gardeners and garden designers. But I needn’t had worried as they loved the garden and it was a joy sharing it with them.

Coleton Fishacre

I also visited the wonderful gardens of Coleton Fishacre and what a time to visit.  As high summer is the perfect time to see and explore this beautiful garden. The banks and borders were over flowing bright ribbons and swathes of colours. This all sits against a backdrop of stunning sea views. The Rill and walled Gardens are a pure joy and the hot border sang in the sunshine

see link: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/coleton-fishacre

 

Agatha Christie home (Greenway)

It’ has also been a year of visiting and discovering lovely garden. Two highlights have been visiting Agatha Christie home (Greenway) and its delightful gardens, which being slightly overgrown was just my cup of tea.

The garden at Greenways sits within a woodland garden that waxes and weaves its way down to river Dart. It has spectacular views, colourful borders, a fernery, a walled garden and majestic trees. Many of which were planted to protect the privacy of Madam Christie.

The garden at Greenway.

Sorry

It’s been such a long time since I last posted anything but I’ve been busy with a host of new projects and visiting lovely gardens.

The big news is that my little garden is going to be on TV. It’s going to be on ‘Down The Garden Path With Dee Hart Dyke’ (mother of Miranda Hart). Miranda will be narrating a new gardening show based on her mother’s love of gardening. Down The Garden Path will be a three-part series for More4, which will see Dee visiting a number of gardens including some private gardens that open to the public under the National Open Garden Scheme (NGS).

Before filming, there was much anticipation and worry about Dee liking the garden and would it look good in April? As soon as Dee arrived (who had never seen my garden) all my worries vanished as not only was she charming she also said such lovely things about the garden. The crew and production team were all delightful, which made the filming a day of great fun, lots of laughter, talking about plants and gardening, heaven. I decided to get involved in this show because it’s an opportunity promote the NGS. I understand the show will be broadcast in autumn. So watch this space.

A new garden opening in Clapham

I was honoured to be invited to see a wonderful garden that’s small but perfectly formed. The garden belongs to Jack and Chris and shows the amazing and wonderful things that can be done in a very small garden.  And the good news is it’s going opening to the public on 23rd July 2017 as part of the NGS (National Open Garden Scheme)Address : 2 Littlebury Road, Clapham (1 -5 pm).

This small garden, creatively packed with bright colours and interesting plants. One of the many highlights of this garden is a living wall of 50 fern species, a micro-pond, tropical plants and quirky indoor plants. In July colour comes from monad, clematis, acanthus, salvia and aliums.  September opening sees (Sunday 10 September (1 – 5pm) Dahlias in triumphant, unmissable glory. Owned by a garden designer/blogger who uses his garden as a trial ground for new ideas.

I’m so happy that people are going to be able to see this truly wonderful garden.

I urge people go and see this small but perfectly formed garden.

See: www.jackwallington.com

An Australian Odyssey

Just back from a trip down under and was lucky enough to visit Wendy Whiteley’s wonderfully astounding secret garden that sits on the edge of Lavender Bay on a large patch of former derelict land.

Although, I set out to find Wendy’s garden it very much feels like stumbling upon an amazingly magical make believe land with incredible views of Sydney. The planting is lush, tropical and dense with lots of nooks and crannies in which to simply sit. At times it’s hard to believe you’re in a city. I was there for four hours and saw tourist mingling with local office workers having their lunch. I was also overjoyed to see so many young people enjoying this wonderful garden.

The story behind this garden is as astonishing as the garden itself, it was created at considerable personal expense. Wendy has spent millions (of dollars) on this amazing garden. Thirty years ago Wendy started cleaning up (what was then a large patch of derelict land) that’s adjacent to her Lavender Bay home. The land is owned by the Rail Corporation. When Wendy started this garden it was covered in weeds, rumble and rubbish. Remarkably the Rail Corporation had no interest in the land and raised no objections to Wendy beautifying the area. She did this long before guerrilla gardening ever became fashionable. The public have always had free access to this wonderful garden that I’m totally in love with.

In 2009, Wendy was awarded the Medal of Order of Australia for “service to the community through the establishment and maintenance of a public garden.

I would urge everyone visiting Sydney to take a couple hours and see this joyous garden

English cottage gardens in Australia

Given how many expats live in Australia it’s hardly surprising that English cottage gardens are popular down under. However, the ones I saw were owned by Australians and South Africans. My garden it’s highly influenced by the tropical plants of my birth place Jamaica however, it’s also influenced by English cottage gardens that merges informally with dense plantings.

The plant of my Australian Odyssey was the Agapanthus (African lily) that seems to grow everyone.

Busy making plans

I’ve been busy making plans to move and change and move things around. Moving things and changing things an annual event for most gardeners and this one is no different. I’ve got a number of plans to change and develop things.  My garden is eight years old and what surprises me is that even after eight years there are still problem areas and pockets that I want to tweak. There’s also a long list of tasks that need to be done.

My garden doesn’t come into its own until late summer. Yet like a lot of people spring is my favourite time of year when everything is fresh with the gardening year is ahead of us. As we all know this summer has been very odd, but the longer I garden the more I understand that every year presents its own challenges.

No, no regrets and the National Open Garden Scheme

Last year as part of the National Open Garden Scheme 210 people visited the garden and £1,307.35 was raised for the NGS charities, which for a small London garden is an amazing figure. However, for a whole host of reasons we made the difficult decision to not open in 2016. Not opening in 2016 meant I’ve cut things back significantly more than I would normally.  I’ve also missed the sharing of a very personal space with others.

Edith Piaf – No Regrets