Seen at the Festival of the Tree

...if you would be happy all your life, plant a garden ~ Chinese proverb

Friday, 27 September 2013

Salad Days: Salad Rescue In Progress

A selection of photos taken when my plants arrived :)
Sometimes I'm a totally rubbish gardener ;)

I sorted out the holiday watering for all of my plants except the seeds I'd sown in modules for winter salads. All that warm weather whilst we were away sent them to their doom.

I turned to my Cheat's Salad Guide, where Anna had recommended Delfland nurseries, a company which she'd found to be very good for vegetable plant supplies. Unlike most plant suppliers you can mix and match varieties to suit your needs as well as opting for their designated selection.

Looking at their website last Friday, I couldn't find which salad leaves were on offer for September, and so left a customer enquiry. They cleverly looked a bit further into my email address, spotted Veg Plotting and kindly offered some samples for me to try.*

A lovely well-packed box of 60 healthy organic plants arrived on Wednesday - 10 plants each of lamb's lettuce, land cress, 2 x lettuces (Winter Density and Arctic King), rocket and winter purslane. They're strong plug plants and I particularly liked that the padding used to protect the plants in the box is compostable.

Here's some of them planted out for the winter in the coldframe at the side of the house. I've lined the glass with recycled polystyrene sheets for extra warmth. The plants are closer together than the usual recommended spacing, but I've found this doesn't matter when using Charles Dowding's picking technique..

I hope to get a light picking from these before the light fades and the temperatures really drop next month. Then they'll snuggle down for winter before we start eating from these plants in earnest next spring.

I didn't quite have enough room for everything in my coldframes, so I planted the lamb's lettuce outside. It proved it can survive an exceptionally cold winter earlier this year, so I'm sure these plants won't mind. I also have a rather nice fleece 'cloche' which fits over this planter on standby just in case.

* = Anna really deserves these for her recommendation, not me.

In other salady news...

The seed tape salads I sowed up at the allotment last month are doing well. The other seeds have confirmed what I suspected at the time; uneven sowing = dreadfully uneven rows ;)

Have you heard about the Tomtato (TM) launched this week? It's a tomato plant grafted onto a potato plant (an old technique I mentioned in passing in my 2009 post about grafted tomatoes), which is being sold at £14.99 (!) a pop. If the potato is matched properly to the tomatoes' cropping time, it must be a maincrop. I hope they've chosen blight resistant varieties at that price...

Update: Interesting post by the Sarvari Trust on their prior experience with grafting tomatoes and potatoes. I also believe it was a technique tried during WWII in an attempt to increase wartime crop production. I've yet to find actual evidence to support my vague memory of reading that somewhere...

How's your salad faring this month? As usual Mr Linky is standing by to receive the URLs of your salad related posts :)

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Unusual Front Gardens #14: The Lawn

This sign at Paddington  - at the entrance to the cafe and and shopping area at the front of the station - always makes me smile as it's nothing like a lawn! A couple of trips to London this week served to remind me to find out more. Is there an historical reason for its name, or did someone who worked in the railway industry have a wry sense of humour when naming it? Let's see...

As you know, a lawn is still seen as a must-have for many of our our front gardens, though hardscaping is a common replacement nowadays due to our ever shrinking plots. I think something similar may have happened in the case of the station, though for cafes and shops rather than parking. Perhaps a previous use of the land before the station was built in the mid 19th century might have inspired the naming of The Lawn?

Step One: The Evidence

Paddington station has Grade I listed status and from its listing information I found the area known as the The Lawn dates back to the 1930s, when it was constructed as a passenger concourse during major station rebuilding works. These were designed to not only to improve the station's facilities, but to also alleviate the effects of unemployment at the time. Its shaping into a more coherent 'leisure destination', with its shopping, eating and other facilities is part of the programme of major refurbishment works completed more recently.

Delving further into Google, British History Online reveals the area around Praed Street (the closest street to The Lawn) was noted for its inns, tea houses and other watering holes in the 18th and early 19th centuries. One of these in nearby Westbourne Green was called the Three Jolly Gardeners.

Apparently taverns of the 18th and early 19th century often had pleasure gardens attached to them, and those of Bayswater (the area which is home to Paddington station) were the earliest and most fashionable found in London. This area was well-known for its freshwater springs, which is probably why so many kinds of drinking houses were found there*.

Pleasure gardens hosted of all kinds of popular entertainments of the time (e.g. theatre, music hall, dancing etc., often of a bawdy nature) so their presence in Bayswater doesn't necessarily link this area to the kind of gardens we know and visit today. However, at least one person - John Hill - was known to grow medicinal plants there in the early 18th century.

Step Two: My Conclusion

So with this slender evidence - an old tavern name, the growing of medicinal plants and the taking of tea in the more genteel places of those on offer - perhaps The Lawn has roots of a greener kind after all.

Unless Network Rail knows differently - watch this space...

Have you ever wondered how a place got it's unusual name?

* = this is the time before water sanitation and other public health improvements were made in Victorian times, so the only way most people could safely drink was by brewing alcohol or making drinks requiring boiled water, such as tea. This is why inns, taverns, gin palaces, tea houses etc were so popular and why so many of our ancestors were almost always inebriated!

Monday, 23 September 2013

First Fresh Fig

My fig tree ('Brown turkey') has exploded into life this year and I hear it's happened to other blogging pals too. I don't quite know why that is, but for mine it's because I'd earmarked it for the compost heap ;) It had around 8 years of being a few sad twigs hidden amongst my sunflower 'Lemon Queen', and until now it really wasn't pulling its weight.

As you can see it's now pushed the sunflowers aside to show off its foliage. And this is from a fig tree which is planted in a pot just 16 inches across. Figs like their roots to be confined but the soil by next door's garage was just a little bit too shallow for it, hence the pot. What a difference a year makes - it's quite a fine specimen now isn't it?

My fig also had another surprise up its sleeve: its first proper fruits. Until now it's just borne tiny ones, but as you can see, this year I have figs of edible quality (and a bit of a rude looking photograph!). I thought long and hard about how to serve my first fig: perhaps wrapped in a slice of prosciutto ham, or with a huge dollop of natural yoghurt on the side. Decisions, decisions...

Instead, I finally decided to serve it au naturel. The flavours and juices of one's first fresh fig should be savoured just as they are. Yum :)

Friday, 20 September 2013

Against the Odds: Discovering Granby Park

Unlike many capital cities, it's very easy to step off the tourist trail and find the real heart of Dublin. Granby Park is just two blocks away from O'Connell Street - one of the most famous and busiest thoroughfares in the city - and was a welcome surprise discovery during our holiday in Ireland.

In 2003, I spent 10 days in Dublin as a volunteer for the Special Olympics. At the time the Celtic Tiger was in full roar and I worked and lived amongst Irish people during one of their proudest moments. Those of you who experienced 2012's Olympics and Paralympics will know what the palpable excitement of an entire nation is like.

10 years later, the Celtic Tiger is sleeping and many sites earmarked for development are derelict, just like the one currently hosting Granby Park. The word 'derelict' is my deliberate choice, because in some quarters its use in respect to these sites is contentious.

But for one site and for one month only there's an exciting transformation. Granby Park is Ireland's very first 'pop-up' park; a project with its roots firmly planted in both the arts and the soil which has flowered into something much more. Any project which uses yarn bombing to transform forbidding external grey railings into something softer and friendlier gets a huge thumbs up from me :)

The park is the brainchild of Upstart, which according to its website is:

"...a non-profit voluntary arts collective. Our mission to highlight the importance of creativity and ingenuity when society is in need of direction and solutions, and to emphasis the value of arts to the public life and community." Hear hear.

I love their Press Release explaining Granby Park, particularly:

"We are living in a grey world, full of empty spaces, closed shops, people are broke, people are bored, people are sick of it! Recession overload! Let’s change the topography, let’s get Dublin out in the sun, excited, livin’ the life of Reilly!"

A pop-up park sounds pretty spontaneous, but this one was two years in the planning and with a budget of around 70 thousand euros. Twenty thousand of this was found via crowd funding (Fund It) and the rest via donations from local businesses, Dublin city council etc. There were donations in kind as well such as expertise, plants for the garden areas and items for recycling or upcycling.

Granby Park is situated in Dominick Street, a once grand place (see Further Reading), which declined into slums. These were replaced by the typical 1960s flats shown in the above picture.

The park is staffed by lots of friendly and informative volunteers and the one I spoke to explained these flats have no outdoor facilities. Therefore, the park is fulfilling quite a need during its one-month existence. Which would you rather have: some grass and an outdoor sofa, or one of the balconies behind with a view out onto a vacant lot dominated by scrubby buddleia and the scruffiness these sites usually attract?

After the yarn bombing, the next feature which caught my eye was the "Dream Farm", a demonstration of hydroponics. I was surprised to find NAH working the pump to re-supply the tank at the top of the gravity fed watering system. It's not often you'll find my husband actually interacting with a garden! I'm sure it appealed to his engineering orientated brain ;)

Later on I saw a schools visit with the teacher explaining the principles of hydroponics to dozens of attentive pupils crowded around him. Here's hoping the park made a lasting impression on them.

Then NAH surprised me again whilst I was taking this photo. I was interested in the new 'upholstery' of the chairs, he was more interested in the books you can see behind in the 'Park and Read' area. NAH loves plays on words :)

I believe 'Park and Read' should be an essential component of many of our parks and gardens. Whenever I see someone with a book in a park, I always think 'what a great idea'!

The park has plenty of different areas including a play area, an outdoor cinema, a theatre and a cafe; the latter you can see in the distance in this photo. I instantly regretted our touristy panini and cappuchino we'd had in O'Connell Street and wished we could have swapped them for a bowl of hearty soup and the craic in this 'elbows on the table' community hub. Here we would have rubbed shoulders with local residents and office workers as well as fellow tourists.

Regular readers know I'm drawn to all things quirky, so won't be surprised I loved this take on a shoe shop display, with each recycled shoe transformed into a plant pot.

This is the theatre, one of the park's free event hubs. When I took the photo, I was appreciating it for the use of flowers and plants amongst the seating. Much later I found out this part of the park is important for another reason.

My friendly volunteer told me about how pallets are a symbol of the Loyalist bonfire tradition in Northern Ireland as they often form their main component. In July, several children from Loyalist families came down and stayed with Dominick Street families so they could help build the theatre, thus creating something much more positive from the pallets donated to the project. This is just one example of the north/south reconciliation activities happening today and the theatre is called 'Dubfast' in its honour. It also shows Granby Park has a much wider reach than its Dublin location.

Part of that wider reach is the toolkit Upstart are planning to produce after the park closes on Sunday. I was told as an organisation their remit isn't to become permanent curators of an open space, but to show everyone what the possibilities are. It will enable other groups to have their own version of Granby Park, and hopefully more quickly as there are hundreds of sites available which have the potential. The toolkit will also aim to help other groups avoid the pitfalls this project has encountered along the way.

The plants and materials obtained from the site's dismantling will be donated to other community groups and projects wherever possible. This and the toolkit should ensure Granby Park has a lasting legacy.

The Celtic Tiger may be sleeping, but perhaps with Granby Park's presence it's starting to purr :)

Further reading
  • Granby Park's website (sadly no more) had great stories and a wealth of information about the project. One of the posts was about the history of the site which shows there were orchards and vegetable plots nearby in the 18th century, with Dominick Street itself then forming one of the grandest Georgian streets in Dublin (the remaining ones are a key tourist attraction), until its decline into slum tenements during the 1800s, then final demolition of many of the buildings in the 1950s.  
  • Upstart's website - the arts collective responsible for Granby Park's fruition
  • Irish Independent's story - with a great view of the Dubfast theatre
  • Irish Times's story - with a great 'Before' photo of the site
  • My other Against the Odds and Out on the Streets stories

And finally, there's a totally unexpected personal connection to share with you...

...NAH and I had our first date (and kiss!) in The Marquis of Granby pub at Framwellgate Moor, Durham oh so many moons ago. Since returning to the UK I've found out this is the very same Marquis from the 18th century who lent his name to the area of Dublin from which Granby Park takes its name :)

Monday, 16 September 2013

Postcard From Ireland

For once we managed to get abroad for our main holiday this year, by taking a cottage for 2 weeks in Ireland - in County Wicklow (just 30 miles or so south of Dublin) to be precise. It's always interesting to visit a country with a shared heritage to your own, to gain a different perspective on common history and to experience subtle differences in a familiar way of life.

Our last minute destination was akin to choosing somewhere with a hatpin - what was available in early September which looked interesting. I did no research whatsoever (unusual!) and I had no idea until we arrived that Wicklow calls itself the 'Garden of Ireland'. We could have visited a different garden every day and still have enough left over to fill 2 weeks more - and then some. I had to ration myself to just a few as it was NAH's holiday too.

We were lucky with the weather, which is just as well as County Wicklow is very much an outdoors kind of place. We were just a couple of miles away from the sea, and the Wicklow Mountains - with its national park and long distance footpath (The Wicklow Way) - were only a few miles further inland.

The picture at the top of this post is of Glendalough, one of our unexpected and welcome discoveries. This is a place of Catholic pilgrimage as this quiet glen in the mountains was home to Saint Kevin and the resultant Monastic City founded in the 6th century. The hobbit-like round towers you can see in the distance are part of what remains - a reminder of the defences needed to fend off Viking invaders in the 9th century. The other remains in the area can be as recent as the 11th and 12th centuries. Non-Catholics like us were still able to appreciate the quiet beauty of the place and to take a delightful 3 mile walk through the ruins and around 2 lakes in the heart of the mountains.

Our 2 weeks took us from the green of high summer into the golds and russets of early autumn. The swallows departed for their winter home in Africa half way through our stay, signalling the start of the changes in the landscape around us. It was great to have the time to pause and for once really notice the evolving changes in the season.

I'll be back soon with more travellers' tales - of both planned visits and unexpected discoveries - over the next few weeks :)

Sunday, 15 September 2013

GBBD: Instant Sunshine

We've got back from 2 weeks in sunny Ireland just in time for me to take this picture of Rudbeckia 'Little Goldstar' before the first storm of autumn hits us this morning. It illustrates perfectly how the use of yellow in the garden really helps to lift the gloom - it was so dark when I took this photo our little outdoor light came on when I went past. That was at 9am!

This Rudbeckia is smaller than most of its clan - reaching just over a foot tall and with a similar spread - so it's perfect for the front of the border. Bees love it and it flowers from July until October, so I love it too. The label says plant in full sun or partial shade, but I saw some interesting uses of R. 'Goldsturm' in deeper shade whilst I was on holiday. More on that to come...

I hope you enjoy this little bit of 'instant sunshine' in what promises to be some challenging weather for gardening today. It looks like I have the perfect excuse to look through my holiday photos instead ;)

Garden Bloggers' Blooms Day is hosted by Carol at May Dreams Gardens.

Friday, 13 September 2013

Unusual Front Gardens #13: Green Roof

I suppose this is more of a 'wrap around' garden than a front garden per se, though the lower green roof over the front porch does help it to count as such in my opinion ;)

I was delighted to spot this on holiday in Wales back in July. It's on the narrow road going down to the Gwili Railway just after you turn off the main road. It's the first time I've seen a green roof used on a private property; my previous sightings have been on public property like the cafe at Westonbirt (which is still going strong when we checked it out at last month's Treefest).

I love how this roof echoes the planting in front of it. I wonder which came first and whether there's a natural re-seeding cycle in operation between the two?

You can view my previous Unusual Front Gardens by clicking on the link and looking through my blog's special Label :)

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Alliums and Biochar: The Results Are Finally In

Allium crops drying on the patio. The lower 2 rows are the ones grown with biochar  
At last the crops are dried and everything's been weighed to find out whether growing alliums with biochar added to the soil makes a difference.

The Experiment

I created 2 identical raised beds, each filled with home-made compost from the same bin. One raised bed had a large bag of multi-purpose compost + biochar instead of some of the home-made compost. This was well mixed throughout the soil.

Each bed was planted out with the following:
  • 10 garlic cloves 'Solent Wight'
  • 15 shallot sets 'Jermoor'
  • 24 onions sets - 8 each of brown, red and white (from a mixed onion bag)
The alliums selected were matched as closely as possible in size and weight for each bed. They were then left to their own devices and were weeded as and when needed. The same amount of water was poured evenly onto each raised bed when watering duties beckoned.

The Results

In a nutshell, I'm declaring it a draw. The shallots were better grown in home-made only, the garlic was better grown with biochar and there was hardly any difference at all between the onions.

Here are the more detailed results:

From this year's and last year's results it would be easy to conclude that biochar makes little or no difference in a small garden situation. However, my experiments are too small-scale for a firm conclusion and also I haven't repeated them to see if the same results are obtained each time.

I've also been reading a very interesting summary of the work of Justus von Liebig with biochar in the 1840s. One of his conclusions was that whichever soil element is deficient, this is what limits a crop's potential. I've endeavoured in my experiments to create identical conditions as far as possible and used fresh compost for my non-biochar beds which is also humus rich. Thus it's quite likely that my experimental controls weren't deficient in carbon and so were acting in a similar way to the biochar ones. This would help to explain my inconclusive results. Biochar may be more effective for using in situations where soil fertility and/or good growing practices haven't been maintained.

Biochar is also reputed to remain effective for many years, so if I could create 2 identical beds where just carbon was depleted over time in the control bed, it would be interesting to see if there were any significant differences in the results. Sadly, I believe this is too advanced an experiment for my humble allotment!

Monday, 9 September 2013

In the Footsteps of Plant Hunters: Fuchsias

Fuchsias lined up in the windows of Sezincote's conservatory.
Helen has written a fab post with all the details of our recent visit there :)

Today I'm thinking about a different kind of plant hunter. Not those Victorian gentlemen we've familiar with like Wilson or Farrar, who explored the remotest of places to collect new plants, but the people of today who seek to collect and research a particular set of cultivars. Many of these register their collection(s) with Plant Heritage and this post is my contribution to their 35th birthday celebrations this year.

I was particularly interested in an earlier press release of theirs as it involves Wiltshire and a plant I enjoy in my own garden, fuchsias. Since then I've been waiting for a decent picture to place at the head of this post. The rest of the images are courtesy of the Collection holder, Kristopher Harper and Plant Heritage.

Background to the Collection

James Lye with his fuchsias at Clyffe Hall
c 1890. 
© Market Lavington Museum
Kristopher started his Collection in 2009, which comprises 28 cultivars. It's a new collection to Plant Heritage and is held in Norfolk. It comprises cultivars introduced by the Victorian plantsman, James Lye who came from Market Lavington in Wiltshire. Kristopher's grandfather's family - who gave Kristopher his love of fuchsias - also owned a fuchsia nursery in Wiltshire and tried to build a similar Collection there. But this was lost when the nursery closed.

Kristopher was keen to maintain a Wiltshire link and James Lye seemed the ideal man. James Lye was a renowned Victorian prize-winning fuchsia grower and shower. He exhibited many of his own fuchsia introductions and earned himself the title of ‘Champion Fuchsia Grower in the West of England.’

Lyes favourite – Floral Magazine 1880
James developed the now recognised typical Victorian sense of grandeur and became renowned for growing his fuchsias in the style of pyramids; the results were between 5ft and 9ft tall. He's thought to have bred over 100 cultivars between 1860 and 1901 and his cultivars are known for their similar characteristics which make them easy to identify; a single corolla, sepals that are thick and waxy and nearly always white.

The search for more cultivars to add to the Collection continues...

Intrigued, I contacted Kristopher about his search and received the following reply:

"The two cultivars I am currently searching out of the many of Lye’s introductions which are believed to be lost from cultivation [around 70 - Ed] are ‘Nellie’ and ‘James Welch’. There are no images of these cultivars that I have come across, but there are descriptions which I have listed below.

‘Nellie' Single, Tube and Sepals Creamy White, Corolla Pink suffused pinkish mauve, deepening to clear mauve.  Referenced to it in the gardeners chronicle in 1885.

‘James Welch’ Single, Tube and Sepals Bright Rosy Red, The sepals are reflexed, Corolla pale maroon shaded bright purple.  Referenced to it in the Gardeners Chronicle in 1885 as new for 1886.

James Welch was the secretary of the Wiltshire Agricultural Association for a number of years, and appears to have had a close association to James."

How YOU can help

Calling all Wiltshire gardeners and beyond! Kristopher says:

"I feel sure that a number of these plants may still be growing in private gardens, admired by their owners who are unaware of their true identity or importance. Have a closer look!"

Or perhaps you have a link with the Wiltshire Agricultural Association and have some information about James Lye to hand? Or perhaps you know something about Nellie or James Welch?

Note: Kristopher is also keen to widen his search to Europe and America, so I hope the power of this blog and its international readership can help him to do that. Kristopher is also looking for copies of old nursery catalogues from the 1840s to the early 1900s to add to his archive collection. Kristopher is happy for you to contact him directly via his Collection website.

You may also like

My first post "in the footsteps of plant hunters" earlier this year, when I visited Borde Hill  :)

Friday, 6 September 2013

Book Review: The Flower of Empire

The Flower of Empire is a rip-roaring tale of a discovery of a giant water lily which fired the imagination of Victorian society in Britain. It includes a number of familiar key figures and institutions of the time, such as Paxton, Lindley, Kew, the Horticultural Society (yet to obtain its 'Royal' prefix) and the Royal Geographical Society.

Little did a German-born explorer working in the toughest conditions in South America know his discovery would create the sensation it did. What follows is political 'spin' at its very best as the task of naming the new plant in honour of the new Queen Victoria without giving offence proves difficult. Having got agreement to the name (Victoria regia) and therefore effectively securing royal patronage, the political waters are muddied still further when claims from abroad that the discovery isn't new are made.

Then follows the race to bring home viable specimens and to get the lily to flower with much horticultural pride at stake. This was eventually won by Paxton, a man with humble beginnings, who rose to be one of the most inventive and admired men of the Victorian age. The lily's structure also inspired him to solve a problem in the design of his new enormous glass buildings by using a 'ridge and furrow' design. Not only did this lead to the amazing Crystal Palace which housed the Great Exhibition of 1851 (via the amazing glasshouses he designed to house plant specimens), but it also lay one of the main foundation stones (excuse the pun) of modern architecture today.

Holway's book is meticulously researched and finely observed. Whilst her style reads a little novelish rather than reference at times, that's not a bad thing. This is no dry historical account and it's good to find an independent American view of an essentially British tale.

With London 2012 fresh in our minds, there are many parallels to be drawn between the events of the 19th Century and those leading up to the building of both the Millennium Dome and our hosting of the Olympics. Viewers of the recent BBC4 series 'Unbuilt Britain' (particularly the first episode) will find the detailed background to the inspiration for Paxton's proposed Victorian Way shown in the series fascinating.

A recommended read now the autumnal nights are drawing in.

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Hmm Hakonechloa... Part Two

OK, it's nowhere near perfection yet, but you should have seen it last year...

Previously on Veg Plotting I've pondered growing Hakonechloa in my garden as a lawn substitute. This was following my trip to the Seattle Fling two years ago where I saw grasses - particularly Hakonechloa - used to good effect in many gardens, and finding inspiration via Neil Lucas's fab book Designing With Grasses.

However, finding out how much it'd cost to replace my tiny front lawn (around £300 minimum) made me think again, especially as this is a deciduous grass. We and our neighbours would view dull bare earth for a few months, so I'd also need to buy e.g. spring bulbs to create some early season interest and help fill the gap.

I didn't give up on my idea though, and decided to try a Hakonechloa macra 'Aureola' in a large pot on the front lawn before making a final decision. I'm very glad I did! Skimble and Jess decided it was their favourite grassy nibble last year, thus cutting it back to within an inch (literally) of its life. I feared it wouldn't survive the winter.

However, all was not lost and this year has seen it bounce back into a shape much more like the one I see in my mind's eye. It's not quite the fountain of grass I'm looking for yet, but I think it'll get there in time. I've decided it's not the replacement for my front lawn, but who knows, some companions may join it somewhere nearby in the future...

... and here's another specimen set to improve, now I've finally given it a home

... . I thought I'd bought the same plant to start that companionship, but foolishly didn't check out the full name beforehand and bought a Hakonechloa macra 'All Gold' instead. Not to worry, I like where I've placed it at the end of our side path and the way it swishes and adds movement to that quiet spot. It's also lighting up quite a dim corner overhung by the trees on the public land next door. This grass looks poised to settle down and fill out even more next year :)

Karen and Helen must be giggling to themselves over this post as they've been trying to convert me to liking grasses for years ;)

Monday, 2 September 2013

I Love September For...

This time of the year I always get that sinking feeling. It's a back to schoolish kinda thing; the nights are drawing in and it's the first month of autumn. Blink an eye and winter is here with all that's cold and dark :(

So this year I've decided to do things a little differently and tune into my naturally optimistic side. Years ago when things got really tough at home, I could always conjure up and focus on at least one time where that particular date had been full of joy. Let's try a little of that philosophy again...

... so please welcome a new monthly series: I Love xxx For... and being entirely predictable and unoriginal, I'm starting with September ;)

I'm loving this part of the garden at the moment - for some reason I'm
finding myself drawn to dusky pink and dark red combinations this year
I Love September For...

Why not add what you like about September in the Comments below? Alternatively you're welcome to expand further over at yours. I'll make this a regular post on the second day of the month - if you'd like to join me, you can devise your own list or just focus on one thing. You can respond in writing, with photo(s), or both, make a drawing, compose a poem, or do something else - it's entirely up to you :)

Sunday, 1 September 2013

GBMD: Places To...

I found this on one of the planters used for Octavia's Orchard at Southbank recently (see my Roll Out the Barrows post for more). It struck me it's not only a fine philosophy for the National Trust, it's pretty good for my garden too :)

Can you sum up your garden in a similar way?
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