Archives for the month of: July, 2011


Alerted by a crawing magpie, I spy at Canonbury overground station this beautiful cherry laden with ripe fruit. And no ruddy way in to get at it for us without feathers….Grrr


Committed gardeners will know the name of Kelways of Langport, an historic nursery rightly celebrated for its breeding of luscious peonies.

My friend Carol, who works near their Langport site, told me of the trial beds still prospering, where Edwardian train travellers once made their trains pause a while purely to enjoy the spectacle of these beauties.

Here is the photograph she sent me, showing just how tough these long-lived plants really are, thriving amidst the benign neglect.

Here’s a lovely bit of sculptural hedgery in North Yorkshire.
These are conifers of some maturity, they’ve grown together in the way we want hedge plants to, fusing their individual forms into a satisfying whole. But their proprietor has charmingly clipped them backwards to their more juvenile shape, where their top third still cleanly delineated.


This is a fairly new roof garden on the Thames…..a few quite mature trees are confined to very small boxes of earth but don’t seem to mind a jot. This one bears a small plaque dedicating it to artist Angus Fairhurst who lived in the building and gardened on the roof.

What better way to enliven the lawn in front of your oh-so-private parking bay, than with a dead tree stump. Wait a minute, let’s make sure to add a single bedding plant. Oh, and how about a single granite slab?
Now, that’s just perfect.

One of my favourite hang-outs as a child was a little, old-fashioned and rather neglected park between our house and the nearby beach. Even in the 70’s it’s formal beds of tea roses, mini-golf and benches were losing their lustre, though the pedal boats you could hire on a warm afternoon remained appealing for their anarchic possibilities as you careered around various mini islands splashing your friends.
Returning a few years ago I still enjoyed the park’s benign neglect. Most elegantly, this drained pond had developed a grid of neat, luscious grass between the tiles that lined it’s base.