• clematis

    Goodbye 2018

    8th January 2019In The GardenStephanie Donaldson

    Posting my ‘Top Nine of 2018’ in Instagram, it was interesting to see that the most ‘liked’ images were all local – some from my own garden, but also from Perch Hill, Sarah Raven’s always inspiring garden at nearby Brightling and the equally inspiring Great Dixter. The only non-plant post was of the approaching Beast from the East. As we walked along the beach the sky was the most extraordinary colour and it was pulsing like a malign aurora borealis. Fingers crossed we don’t see anything similar in 2019. Follow theenduringgardener on Instagram.

    Stephanie Donaldson on Instagram

    Key to photographs:

    Top row: Beast from the East; a carpet of Fritillaria meleagris at Great Dixter; tubs of  tulip ‘Exotic Emperor’ either side of our front door

    Middle row: Dahlia ‘Tartan’ at Perch Hill; Rose ‘Simple Life’ at Perch Hill; trough of cutting tulips in my garden (they looked too lovely to pick!).

    Bottom Row: Hellebore in my garden (I think it is a picotee) bought many years ago from Elizabeth Strangman; cutting garden at Perch Hill; corner of the courtyard in my garden with Begonia boliviensis.

    New Year’s Eve in the Garden

    This strange year has been full of horticultural surprises, courtesy of the unpredictable weather – and it continues right to the very end. There are plants in flower  that are hanging on from summer and autumn – most unusually, the Brugmansia that is still in full leaf and producing the odd bloom or two (a neighbour tells me hers is covered in flowers). Salvia ‘Phyllis’s Fancy’ is still blooming against the wall, with winter-flowering iris emerging beneath it – a very unlikely combo. More predictably, the first hellebores are opening and Clematis ‘Winter Beauty’ is dangling from the branches of the quince tree. Meanwhile, overhead the mimosa has started to flower weeks ahead of schedule. I’ve certainly never had mimosa in the house in December before now.   Gardening is always full of surprises and I’m sure 2019 will be no different. Happy New Year.




    Salvia ‘Phyllis’s Fancy’


    Iris unguicularis

    hellebore flowers



    Clematis urophylla ‘Winter Beauty’