Hopefully 2012 was a good year for you. Here’s a look back at some of our favourite posts from the last 12 months.
Earlier in the year it was fascinating to see Great Dixter out of season – just look at the bare of foliage and precise pruning of this fig. As the season came to life there were some extra special plants :
Those delectable delphiniums at Wisley. The frothing Anthriscus in Nogel Dunnet’s garden at the Chelsea Flower Show :
and the laugh out loud moments :
This toilet was given a makeover at Chelsea. It wasn’t just the show’s that provided inspiration though. This buried treasure was a treat.
These lovely sunken gardens are a consequence of exploratory digs that have uncovered the remains of the previous cellars.
More recently one of the most popular posts was this Hobbitable Home, perhaps because we’re a nation of home owners. You can probably guess the main highlight of the year, I dare say that a few of you would agree. It has to be :
The Olympics. Everything about it was fantastic and that includes the planting. What a fantastic year. Here’s to 2013.
Charles Dowding (my new gardening god) is running a course on No-Dig Vegetables at Great Dixter on February 13th (£120 incl. refreshments and lunch). It is a practical one-day course on the theory and practice of this method and is bound to be hugely inspiring. It is also an opportunity to see Great Dixter when it is closed to visitors. If you can’t make it there, I can recommend reading the book about the course ‘Charles Dowding’s Vegetable Course’ . I read it from cover to cover over a weekend and it is going to change the way I grow vegetables.
Seeds for next season
I’ve been out in the garden collecting seeds that are ripe and ready to harvest. The cornflowers sown last autumn excelled themselves, flowering from late spring, and still producing flowers now, so it is well worth propagating from them. Then there’s Silene ‘Blue Angel’ which was a gift from Fergus Garrett at Great Dixter and seemingly unavailable in this country, as well as Mina lobata and the Lab Lab bean – all three have performed well and I would like to grow them again next year. I will store them in brown paper bags to dry, then clean them and put them in packets.
Silene Blue Angel
We’ve just been to a fund raising evening at Great Dixter in aid of a local charity. The garden was looking wonderful, especially in the soft evening light (after the thunderstorm had passed!) and brought home to me just how good the planting is in this very special garden. Head gardener Fergus Garrett gave a hugely entertaining illustrated talk showing how they assemble their magnificent arrangements of potted plants either side of the porch and in the Courtyard (it changes every 2 weeks). I woke up with a pulled muscle in my back the next morning – I think it was the thought of lugging all those pots around. If ever you see that Fergus is giving a talk, do go – his passion, enthusiasm and knowledge is second to none.