Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Review: The Ivington Diaries

by Monty Don

Christmas approaches apace, and I thought I’d share with you one of the most inspirational gardening books in my collection. So for those of you be in the enviable position of having already finished your gift shopping, you’ll still have time drop weighty hints suggesting that the course of the festivities will run far more smooth for you having discovered a copy of this excellent book wedged into your stocking on Christmas morning.

Thursday, 24 November 2011

A grey day, with berries

Hips of the dog rose in the morning mist

It’s gloomy outside – the kind of day that words like ‘dank’ and ‘drear’ were invented for. But peering through the nullifying fog that hangs heavy in the air, cancelling out familiar views and making us feel like strangers in our own gardens, something rich and rather magnificent calls for attention. Winking, jewel-like clusters of opulent splendour, fat with food for the birds and creatures who share our autumn gardens, the berries take centre stage at this time of year, bringing colour and joy to our surroundings when all around is fading into winter gloom.

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Leaf fall

Autumn leaves of the Liquidamber styraciflua
at the boathouse, Scotney Castle Gardens

Every season has something to recommend itself, but for me autumn has always taken pride of place. I would love to experience a New England fall, but working in the garden or walking through the countryside here at home, I’m just as content to revel in the sights and smells of a Kentish autumn. I think it’s partly the freshness in the mornings, the smell of damp soil and bonfires, and the almost perceptible sound of the garden sighing after a frenetic summer's growing, drawing all its richness back into the ground as it prepares to muster its energies over the winter – ready to do it all over again next year.