Grasses in a small village garden

My garden in Cratfield is small, but somehow I have managed to squeeze in a number of grasses, and I love them! Piet Oudolf is an expert in this area, and of course Oehme and van Sweden in America have been hugely influential. The stipa tenuissima has not over-wintered well, which is very sad Looking…

Chocolate Cakes and Paeonies

Today is the first Cratfield Concert of 2013 and that means Cakes! I decided to start the season with two Chocolate Cakes. And in the garden the paeonies are all flowering, ‘Karl Rosenfeld’. The photographer is booked for Thursday but I doubt if they will still be there, so I am taking ‘backup photographs’!

A June garden in Cratfield

Despite the variable temperatures and sometimes vicious winds the garden is growing. The roses in the hedge are flowering – isn’t this hidden corner wonderful? The hedges around the village are absolutely beautiful too, pink and white dogroses everywhere. The Roseraie de l’Hay is finally flourishing, the daisies are enjoying themselves, and the everlasting wallflower,…

The Project

This South East London garden was laid out in 1985 and in the last few years has been sadly neglected. I want to ‘renovate’ it (can you renovate a garden?) so that it is again a joy rather than a dump about which I feel guilty! As Anne Marie would say, it is time!

Hyde Hall Gardens

I heard that the gardens at Hyde Hall were very beautiful, so yesterday I stopped there on the journey from London to Cratfield. It was a stormy, windy day, and rain was never far away, but the garden was coping well and there were some beautiful plants and sights. It made my fingers itch!

Country Grain Brown Bread with raisins

This is really good! It is my standard bread recipe with a little tweak. Mix 1 tsp sugar, 5fl ozs warm water, 1 tbsp dried active yeast and leave for c.10 minutes until it has frothed up in anticipation. Then add to: 750 g four – strong brown (c.66%), country grain (c.33%) 1 tbsp oil…

Garden Gates

I have been looking for garden gate ideas on the internet and posted my ‘likes’ on my pinterest site. I like this idea very much, which comes from this site: Or perhaps something much less ambitious:

Monk Frith

I want to add a garden gate, and in thinking about design ideas I wondered, yet again, if I could use the name of the house in some way – ‘Monk Frith’ . While we all understand ‘monk’ the internet tells me that the Greek monos meant ‘alone’, or ‘solitary man’. ‘Frith’ is apparently derived from Old…

Pinks, blues, and purples in the garden

The plants are growing taller and taller – thank goodness they are staked! The alchemillas look more like shrubs than perennials, and the ‘Mayflower’ geraniums are as tall as the allium ‘Purple Sensation’. The paeony buds are getting fatter and the Roseraie de l’Haye is about to open – all very exciting! And the Libertia…