Tea and Inspiration 

On Sunday I had the opportunity to visit a nearby garden open as part of the National Gardens Scheme. On a completely different scale to my own the garden was planted with a stunning selection of azaleas and rhododendrons, many of them scented.


It’s unlikely that I will ever plant an azalea dell or a rhododendron walk but I still found inspiration, like these naturalised camassias (one I bought three years ago still lurks in its original pot).


Wild garlic lined a shaded path while an informal avenue reminded me to value the calm green of our trees which I often bemoan for a lack of blossom.



Lilacs were another feature of the garden. This lilac walk reminded me of my own solitary lilac and the need to buy more. Elsewhere they formed the centerpiece of more formal planting.


This more formal section of the garden featured some lovely planting combinations including this golden rose peeking out from behind a white clematis. And then there were the peonies…

Fresh greens

Last weekend the garden at AV Acres seemed to be all about the emerging foliage. There were few new flowers but suddenly all the herbaceous perennials emerged from their winter sleep while the shrubs and trees slipped on their summer coats as if for a wedding. The congregation are just waiting for the bridal party to enter the church.

Plantain lilies emerging from the north east and north west beds despite the slugs’ best efforts.


Hardy calla lilies fighting back after being nipped by the late frosts.


The contrasting foliage of rosa rugosa in the north east bed and Etoile d’Hollande by the front door.

Decisions, decisions

I recently decided to create an informal hedge of filberts, guelder roses and roses along the eastern boundary of the front garden. My hope is that this will create a better backdrop for the north-east border than the neighbours’ cars. 

Don’t get me wrong, our neighbours are lovely. It’s just that my planting doesn’t stand out terribly well against either their cars or the brickwork paving of the drive (I regularly bemoan how intrusive our own drive is).

The filberts and guelder roses are (or will be) grown from cuttings and seedlings but it’s a great opportunity to select some more roses. The colour scheme for this corner of the garden is orange through to yellow, colours I wouldn’t normally choose for roses. Fortunately a nursery I’ve used had a sail so, after an evening  studying the options, I’ve placed my order and am eagerly awaiting delivery.

A Weekend of Scent


This weekend has been all about clearing the beds under the trees that screen the front garden from the road. As a consequence I’ve had my head buried in the gorgeous scent of these fabulous Viburnum burkwoodii. While I rather suspect they are one of the things triggering my hay fever I’m more in love with them than ever.

On the garden side these beautiful shrubs form a backdrop to a bench overlooking the rest of the garden. This has inspired me to plan a scented arbour for us to sit in. I’m planning tubs of oriental lilies, climbing roses dripping from the trees above, creeping lily of the valley under the seat, and scented plantain lilies all around it. Who knows if I will ever realise this vision but I’m certainly enjoying planning it.