A History of Gardening in 50 Objects by George Drower

As regular readers of our blog will have come to realise, of the three of us I am the one with the most inquiring mind, the fact finder, the researcher. So my holiday reading on our recent break to the Hebrides was a copy of the recently published ‘A History of Gardening in 50 Objects’ by George Drower. Don’t be put off by the word ‘Objects’. It’s original title was ‘Gardeners, Games and Grubs: The Stories of Garden Innovations and Inventions’ and although this is clearly more cumbersome it does convey the sense that the subjects of each chapter...

Continue reading

Rosa ‘Sally Holmes’ A.G.M.

Laura knows a good rose when she sees one! A few years ago she spotted a neglected specimen which was just about surviving near an aircraft hangar at Shoreham airport. It was autumn, the perfect time to take rose cuttings, and they thrived. She gave one to me and we all called it Rosa ‘Shoreham Airport’ until some time later I spotted it growing in a friend’s garden in London … and there was the label still on the shrub. Once seen, never forgotten, it is the most beautiful rose, bred by Robert Holmes in the UK, named after...

Continue reading

On the hunt for magnolias

Every area of RHS Wisley garden in Surrey has  ‘its moment’ some time in the year so it was with great intent that I set off last Sunday to take my annual tour around Battleston Hill, principally to look at magnolias. Unsurprisingly for this spring, it was wet, but en route to Battleston Hill there were some enchanting cameos of little groups of plants glistening with raindrops, such as these charming little sanguinarias nestling by the wall beneath the alpine glasshouses. And then these trilliums with their leaves washed clean. We entered Battleston Hill from the top, through the collection...

Continue reading

Still time to go on Wisley’s Winter Walk

If you’re already a member of the Royal Horticultural Society you’ll know that besides its internationally renowned Chelsea Flower Show each May, a more permanent jewel in its crown is the RHS garden at Wisley, just off the M25 in balmy south-east England – and luckily a manageable drive from my house. I’ve been visiting for over 30 years. Today it’s  reputation makes it a magnet for Londoners looking for a horticultural fix and the RHS has responded by continuing to invest in this truly phenomenal garden. I’d love to keep you up to date with the latest £160m...

Continue reading