Monthly Archives: July 2012

Life in a Cottage Garden – Book review

For me, Carol Klein epitomises gardening. Her passion and sheer enthusiasm for all things green and organic is instantly infectious.

In ‘Life in a Cottage Garden’ we’re invited to have a sneaky peek over the boundary hedge of Glebe Cottage, her home and garden in the beautiful North Devon countryside.

The book takes the format of a gardener’s diary, with Carol sharing a personal and intimate insight into her day-to-day activities in her garden with her husband Neil, daughters Annie and Alice, pet dogs Fleur and Fifi and cat Sylvie. As each month unfolds we’re treated to fascinating insights into what needs to be undertaken in the different areas within her garden, including the Brick Garden, the Hot Beds and the Woodland Garden. Alongside this are details of the year round hive of propagation activity in the potting shed.

What is particularly striking is the sheer volume of activities that Carol takes upon herself. I was left feeling somewhat inadequate at times and I’m almost 15 years her junior!

A strong theme in this book is propagation, which is only to be expected of a leading plantswoman. Anything and everything that can be propagated, is. Whilst details of the how and when for some elements of propagation are shown in the book, readers will benefit from getting hold of a copy of Carol’s ‘Grow Your Own Garden’ book (see my Shoot review).

In summary, a great read, which is both entertaining, informative and fascinating. But the book is more than this; Carol’s descriptions of fauna and flora, prevailing weather conditions and the surrounding North Devonshire countryside are a joy to read. With stunning photography by Jonathan Buckley, this book is a must for all gardeners.

20120729-223832.jpg

Sunday shots

Seed sowing Sunday. Various grasses, Knautia, Astrantia & foxgloves…

20120729-143440.jpg

20120729-143453.jpg

Sunday Shots

At long last… A warm, almost hot, sunny Sunday in the garden:

20120722-132420.jpg

20120722-132430.jpg

20120722-132443.jpg

At long last…

At long last, after months of rain, rain and yet more rain, my weary front garden has mustered up enough energy to start flowering.

These Rudbeckias are providing a most welcome drop of sunshine. Heleniums are also about to flower alongside Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’.

And if the weather forecast is to be believed(!), the sun will make a late July appearance too.

Better late than never…

20120718-205034.jpg

Sunday Shots

Summer evening sun in my back garden – 15 July 2012.

20120715-185620.jpg

20120715-185628.jpg

20120715-185635.jpg

Hampton Court Palace Flower Show (4)

‘The essential indulgence garden’, designed by Raine Clarke-Wills and Chris Holland.

This garden, which was my favourite, has been designed for self-indulgence and has an opulent, contemporary style. It has been created as a gift of pure pleasure for its owners and is a taste of extravagance.

All elements of this particular garden worked well with each other; the planting, the hard landscaping and the effective use of structural planting in the garden.

My only concern with the design of this garden was the positioning of the main seating area in the centre of the garden. Personally, I would have sited the seating area in the top left hand corner overlooking the whole garden.

20120714-164924.jpg

20120714-164947.jpg

20120714-165025.jpg

Hampton Court Palace Flower Show (3)

The ‘Contemporary contemplation’ garden, designed by OneAbode Ltd, is a contemporary and stylish garden featuring structural planting with a graphic formation of spectacular white flowering Agapanthus. Ferns drift whimsically through a bold graphic layout of box topiary balls.

The simplicity of the landscaping emphasises the elegant lines of the sunken amphitheatre and seating platform, creating a garden which is contemporary yet calm and tranquil. A classic green and white planting pallette enhances the peaceful nature of the garden.

Floating metal steps lead to a single seat nestled within the planting, with a backdrop of striking silver birch trees.

20120711-212205.jpg

20120711-212221.jpg