Vivienne has gardening in her veins. She comes from a family of keen gardeners but only acquired a proper garden (‘one that you can walk out into’) relatively recently. For many years, she had a tiny sun baked plot in North London which she opened under the National Gardens Scheme. You could see round it in all of five minutes but she did do very nice teas. This garden was featured in several magazines.
She now lives in Oxfordshire where the garden is still ‘under construction’ . In truth, it’s always under construction. She loves peonies, late salvias, irises and alpines. She grows all sorts of vegetables but especially tomatoes, padron peppers and onions. She is hopeless with brassicas and a fool with beans. Hope always triumphs over experience and every year she is astonished to be inundated with courgettes.
During the first lockdown she produced a Twitter bouquet every day from her garden and had a devoted following.
Peonies. Oh, how I love them. Let me talk you through some of my favourites….the first to appear is a little species peony called Paeonia Corsica. It’s little with grey-green leaves and reddish stems but the flower is astonishing on such an insignificant plant. It is a big blousy cerise pink with a shock of … Continue reading Peony Love
What about the garden this year? It was the strangest of weather. We had the Beast from the East (a snowstorm) in March. Around us, there are many open fields interspersed with hidden small roads. Strong Winds from the East blew the modest layer of snow off the fields, dumping it in the lanes in … Continue reading September Garden Update
I’m surrounded by seed and plant catalogues because this is the time of year when I reflect on what worked and what didn’t in the garden and decide what to grow next year. I have to start by confessing that I don’t learn. In fact, I am remarkably similar to the pheasant I spotted taking … Continue reading January Garden Journal
I love tulips. I can enthuse about almost any sort, except those funny ones with fringed petals. Some people treat tulips like annuals, digging them all up once they have flowered which gives you the luxury and fun of choosing a whole new colour scheme next year. Fine plan but it comes expensive, not to … Continue reading Tulips. I love ’em
How gorgeous are these girls? All are dwarf iris and all named after girls which seems appropriate as we come up to International Women’s Day. Katharine Hodgkin, the unmistakeable pale blue and yellow, Lady Beatrix Stanley (that mass of mid blue) and Pauline, elegant in deep purple. The great plantsman, E B Anderson crossed two … Continue reading Girls, girls, girls