Showing posts from February, 2017

Inspiration from the Garden Press Event

For me February's Garden Press Event is the start of the gardening season. Everyone's happy to be there after a long winter, plus the exhibitors are keen to talk and add a touch of inspiration to gardening plans and articles.

Westland's colourful stand was the one which greeted me first, and I was so bowled over by their gorgeous sweet pea vase I forgot to take a photo. Sadly I didn't win one of the 10 available on the day, but I'm just as delighted with the packets of sweet peas they gave me. I'm planning to grow lots of highly scented flowers on the allotment this year as part of my Flowers for Mum project - more on that soon.

Regular readers know of my love of clematis, so they'll understand why I was taken by the new range of clematis on the Suttons/Dobies stand. The flowers are born on longer stems which means they're perfect for cut flowers. The light pink flower is 'London', the darker flower is 'Oslo' (I think) and there's a…

Introducing the #mygardenrightnow project

A few days ago I was contacted by a TV company to see if I'd like to be filmed advising a 'lovely retired couple' on how to grow vegetables. Yes, of course I would. However as our chat went on, it became clear the enthusiastic researcher - and fan of my trug - thought we could show something similar to the above image... in early March.

On Facebook a little later, I joked that perhaps I should recreate the above photo and reveal the reality of my garden right now. Sara was quite taken with the idea, and so after some thought the #mygardenrightnow project was born.

Join me on the weekend of 4th/5th March and take a picture of yourself in the garden (or on your allotment, or wherever you usually garden) which shows how it looks at some point over those 2 days. Don't worry if you don't have a nice summery picture to recreate like mine or someone to take the picture for you, selfies or a little bit of you (like the picture above) are fine. I'm interested in seeing…

Weekend Wandering: A post-Doris walk

Today dawned bright and fair, unlike yesterday when dark clouds scudded across the sky as storm Doris made her presence felt. Luckily we got off fairly lightly, and the after-morning's bright sunshine tempted me out for a quick walk around our estate. How rewarding it turned out to be... perfect for a weekend wander here on't blog...

We're pretty much at peak snowdrop now and I'm rather taken with the Pulmonaria combination in the guerrilla garden out front, especially as it's a good one for bees. Trouble is, I don't remember adding the snowdrops. I wonder if the local squirrels lent a paw to my efforts.

The early morning sunshine was just skimming the top of the high wall round the corner and added a striking brightness to the colony of moss there. Moss is usually much maligned in our gardens, but here nature's chosen to highlight its fragile beauty.

This cherry tree's been a striking feature all week. We're blessed with some superb specimen trees …

Garden Bloggers' Blooms Day: A new clematis on the blog

My new clematis on the blog C. urophylla 'Winter Beauty' has bucked the Sleep Creep Leap trend by flowering within a mere 18 months instead of 3 years. I love its white simplicity and vigorous growth.

The flowers are quite small (like most at this time of the year - see this Garden Bloggers' Muse Day offering), but they're still welcome. Who can resist those cheekily upturned petals? The flowers are reputed to be scented - I need a few more blooms before I can confirm that. The evergreen leaves resemble those of Clematis armandii, though I'm having more success with 'Winter Beauty' than the latter, as I've managed to kill two of them already.

Most of the flowers dropped off before I could photograph them, which makes me wonder whether the catalogue blurb "Plant Clematis 'Winter Beauty' against a warm house wall so that you can appreciate its winter flowers from your window. This sought after variety will appreciate a sheltered site with so…

Be my Valentine

I spotted this cute vignette at the snowdrop press preview at Easton Walled Gardens last week and decided it was perfect for a secret Valentine today.  Easton's snowdrops are on fine form throughout the garden and you have until Sunday (19th February 2017) to see them with or without your beloved.

It's worthwhile combining your visit with Hodsock Priory like I did. Their massed snowdrops are available to view until 5th March and there's lots of other winter garden inspiration to be found there. Look out for plentiful ideas to add flowers, colour and scent to your plot at this tricky time of the year.

Allow around 50 minutes for travel between the gardens, which makes for a nicely full, yet relaxed day out. Both gardens have plenty of options for yummy treats and hot drinks to fuel your day.

Of lawnmowers, snow and cake

Warmth, hospitality, passion - three words which sum up my recent visit to the Viking factory in Austria. Oh, and let's not forget lawnmowers, snow and cake ;)

I've always found factory visits fascinating and this one was exceptional. It was also enough to make NAH green with envy - more on that later.

You may wonder why anyone would want to work in a factory in the midst of such beauty. Well, it turns out peak production time (January, February) coincides with when the locals can't work on their farms.

It means an extra income for them which also helps preserve the traditional Tyrolean way of life. Besides seeing the passion for their work, pride for their region also shone through during our visit.

Sadly I couldn't take photos inside the factory and I probably would have forgotten anyway as the process was so absorbing. It's probably the cleanest and quietest factory I've ever visited; even the many forklift trucks dancing their way along the factory floor w…

Garden Bloggers' Muse Day: Life is...

I don't usually think of plants as a metaphor for life, but when I searched for a quote to match a thorny discovery we made at Chelsea Physic Garden, I found one which reflects how life is currently chez VP Gardens.

My proven remedy for life's thorns is to ensure there are plenty of bright spots inserted along the path. A day spent with jolly garden bloggers and sprinkled with snowdrops was a perfect way to get it right :)

Sarah's post on Facebook nicely shows what else we got up to. Shopping and hedge bothering simply had to be done ;)

I *may* have succumbed to my first yellow snowdrop.

Garden Bloggers Fling folk from Toronto might like to show your approval of my choice of sweatshirt - it means you were also there in spirit.

* = I did!