Sunday, 27 May 2012

Why My Gardening is Like My Cooking: A Visit to Chelsea Flower Show 2012

If you watch and read the press coverage of the Chelsea Flower Show you may get the impression that it is all about grand designs, complicated planting scheme and unusual plants. Whilst these are a major focus of the Show and they were great to see and be inspired by when I visited last Wednesday, for me it is the small points of detail that are important.

My gardening can be a little like my cooking. Most of the year I use the same tried and tested recipes, occasionally using slightly different ingredients. I tend to buy the same style of plants and think about my garden in a similar vein each year. I am highly unlikely to ever completely re-design my garden in a totally a style, but small changes can make a big and cumulative difference to how my garden looks.

So here are some of the snippets and ideas I took away from Chelsea this year.

Roses over willow

I just loved the way this rose twists and turns over the willow. This concentrated mass of blooms is a lovely way to see a climbing rose.

The Perfect Garden Shed

We do have a shed at the back of our garden, but it doesn’t look as romantic as this one.  I have seen metal chains in tropical countries to direct water flow.  Using it in the garden instead of a plastic downpipe works really well.

Fairy Door

I might not create this Fairy door found in the Furzey Gardens Garden , but imagine you were three and came across this little dwelling.  It’s a true reminder that it’s important to create magical scenes in our gardens for all members of the family.
Trainer Planters

Move your garden up the walls and recycle what you have in the house out into the garden is the message that this wall of trainer planters sends to me.  It make a change from welly boot planters

Alys Fowler
One of the bonuses of a visit to Chelsea is on such a small site you are bound to spot a celebrity or two.


Runner Beans

The use of Shepherds Crocks to grow runner beans up make my bamboo poles seem rather tame.
So I came away from Chelsea motivated to keep working at my garden.  To let it evolve with me and my family.  Even though unlike the other RHS shows they don’t sell plants, seeds and bulbs are for sell.  Unusual foxglove seeds and lily bulbs were in my shopping basket.

Monday, 7 May 2012

Bluebells, Wellies and A Surprise in the Woods

Bluebell Wood

One of the best things about exploring outdoors is finding the unexpected.  A walk in one of our local bluebell woods was no exception.  England has been rather wet this spring so the children donned on wellies and waterproofs as a matter of course.  Though we were rather lucky as not only did it not rain, but the sun shone for us.
There is something very soul-warming about seeing bluebells.  Great fun was had racing through pathways surrounded by hues of blue on either side.  As interest waned in the bluebells attention then turned to the puddles – sloshing through them must be one the most universal childhood activities.  My husband commented that perhaps we should visit a local stream so the children could do some proper sloshing.

Kids in Wellies

Kids in stream

A couple of moments later at the bottom of the wood, lo and behold, we came across a perfect stream about 4/5 inches deep.  The children were in heaven and spent a good half an hour discovering how many sounds and different types of movements could be created between boots and water.  We then followed the stream  for a good ½ mile uphill pushing through the surrounding foliage.  Simple pleasures.  We never quite managed to find its source.

Kids in the Woods

It was one of those days that will be talked about ‘Do you remember the day we found that stream’ no thought of the bluebells. We will be returning.

That’s why I love exploring.

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