I first really started admiring garden statues at Cothay Manor where a magnificent stag lords over the wildflower meadow. Garden Statues focus the eye, enlighten a dull corner and will enhance a garden. David Harber and his team clearly demonstrated their skill at designing and positioning statues at their show at Eaton Square where the Torus shone out in the simple design of lawn and trees adding a harmony where the shadows of the trees were brought down to our eye level. The show was a garden of treasures where David’s cleaver use of steel and bronze was a journey of delight. The Chalice pool, with it’s slow rotating water was soothing in the courtyard area. At the end of a hot day, dangling your fingers in felt refreshing and relaxing. The bronze Quill was a really cleaver, illuminating the garden from it’s rather dark corner. I watched a number of people go up to look for the lighting but whilst it was gleaming in the evening light there was no electricity. The Obelisk was an absolute treat as it was placed in the shady area and was so cleverly situated as at times it was almost lost. It brought light and joy to a dark area. All was a joy to see and whilst you might be disappointed that you missed this, I’d head to Hatfield House where some sculptors can be viewed along with other garden sculptor exhibits and I’m sure you’ll find a garden statue that will suit your garden. https://www.lovesculpture.uk.com/
David Harber‘s Torus has been a beautiful piece of garden art in the ROSY and Victory Garden. The polished stainless steel Torus has brought additional life to the garden mirroring the garden beautifully. When the weather shines the fluffy white clouds are picked up in it, even in the rain the Torus has subtly reflected the garden with little pearl shaped raindrops clinging to the art adding an additional feature.
Thank you David Harber for lending me this at Malvern.
12 Hours to Go before the Malvern Show officially opens. The excitement and focus of building a Show Garden is over for this year. We all shared the excitement of having had the judges reviewing our gardens today. So we wait to hear what the judges think of the ROSY and Victory garden, there is the anxiety, my peonies and foxgloves hadn’t flowered, but the Geraniums are the Aquelegia have what will the judges think.
So whilst the designers and amazing teams collapse in a heap and wait the Three Counties Show Ground takes on a different buzz there is a hive of activity as trade stands arrive from bulbs to vintage lawn mowers
This is a slightly surreal time as we have no work to do but are waiting for the next phase of the show to begin so I’m going to enjoy the floral marquee while I can.
Sponsors for the ROSY and Victory Garden at RHS Malvern Spring Festival 2014
28 days to go to the RHS Malvern Spring Festival and sponsorship is still required to help achieve this garden so if you are able to help please contact me and help raise awareness for ROSY – Respite nursing for Oxfordshire’s Sick Youngsters, is an organisation that raises awareness of the need for respite nursing and funds. www.rosy.org.uk
These are companies who have kindly sponsored the garden.
Hedging supplied by Ready Hedge
David Harber for the sculpture
Turf supplied by Teal Turf
Babylon Plant Nursery
Peter Dowle Howle Hill Nursery
Paving supplied by
Tools supplied by
ROSY and Victory Garden
100 years ago was the start of WW1. I have designed an Edwardian style garden with rooms and lawns. It is a celebration of an EnglishGarden inspired by Siegfred Sassoons poem ‘Victory’ when he was tired of reds and wanted to see blues and silvers.
“Return to greet me, colours that were my joy,
Not in the woeful crimson of men slain,
But shining as a garden; come with the streaming
Banners of dawn and sundown after rain.
I want to fill my gaze with blue and silver,
As you look up the path from the red garden you invited to the next room with your eye drawn to the silvers and blues leading you Betula jaquemontii representing the woods.
Like the soldiers thinking of England and home The ROSY charity helps sick children at home by offering respite nursing to terminally , acutely or chronically ill children and babies in their own homes.
I recently talked to Cotswold Life about snowdrops and good places to go snowdrop hunting in Oxfordshire and beyond.
You can read the full article here
Joe Swift and Mark Diacono entertained us enormously in the Good Life Pavilion; in just 25 minutes Joe Swift showed us how to transform a rectangular garden into a lovely garden design, meanwhile Mark created cocktails using equal amounts of something flat and something fizzy, strawberries and a little grinding of the seed from the Schezuan bush. We all had a nibble of the seed and it had us all laughing as our tongues went numb and then exploded into a tingling sensation. My children rushed off to purchase the Stevia herb that was dropped into the cocktail as the leaves taste of sugar, ideal for adding sweetener to cocktails or a pudding, the low fat alternative to sugar.
Little packets seeds of all kinds were there to tempt children and adults. Pennard Plants packets had lovely illustrations perfect for little presents.
Strolling away from the pavilion we hit the largest vegetables I’ve ever seen, onions the size of dinner plates, cabbages, marrows, leeks etc.. James and the Giant peach came alive at this moment.
The autumn is always stimulating and walking around seeing so much blazing colour is as tempting to me as a sweet shop is to children. I walked away with my 20 plug plants from Chyrsanthemum direct, a vibrant collection of lime green ‘Green Mist’, reds ‘Quinty’ and ‘Misty Red’ and orange ‘Lexy’. Whilst I have always thought of Chysanthemums as an old ladies plant or a hospital bouquet this has changed over the years and I must confess I rather enjoy the blousy rush of colour that these plants give us in the autumn.
So inspired from the fabulous show I’m now off to plant my sweet peas, onions sets and garlic bulbs. My chrysanthemums I’ll pot up and nurture this winter and although they may not be quote as big and bold as the vegetables we saw they should bring me a vibrant autumn bouquet next year.
As a little preparation for Christmas, go out and buy the Narcissi ‘Paper White’, a multi head narcissi with a delicious scent, and plant then up in a pretty pot and place in a dark area 8-10 weeks you should have a beautiful table decoration.
Sarah Raven sprays some twigs with silver and places these between them for support which will give you an added festive look.
The leaves are turning and soon the winds will be pulling them off the trees, so why not take advantage of this and get the children outdoors and collect as many different types of leaves as possible. You can then use them for a variety of pictures:-
- Simply gluing and sticking the leaves paper, willow leaves make great rabbits ears and oak leaves make reindeer antlers.
- Alternatively get some wavy crayons and place the leaves underneath the paper and rub over them, we’ve made some great sea scenes with field maple being coral and different shapes leaves being different fish.
As we prepare for warm winter evenings in front of the fire there are just a few jobs you could do to on those lovely clear winter days.
- In anticipation of frosts and winds, cover your root vegetables with straw or cardboard up to 30cms, to enable you to dig the ground when you want your vegetables. Also stake your sprouts and earth up your cabbages to prevent wind rock. If we have a hard frost coming you can protect your cauliflowers by wrapping a few of the outer leaves around them.
- Plant garlic anytime before Christmas in well drained soil; do not plant on freshly manure sites as the garlic is prone to rot. There are varieties of onions that you can plant now which can be harvested in June.
- Take hard wood cuttings of currants and gooseberries and indeed any other shrubs.
- Protect any pots by wrapping them with bubble wrap and then if you think that is not aesthetically beautiful enough add a little hessian to the outside.
- If you have existing apple and pear trees it is time to get out and prune them. You’re aiming for an open goblet shape, so remove any crossing branches, damaged and horizontal branches and prune to an outward facing bud. Do not prune your soft fruit trees at this time of year as you can damage them. Also leave trained apple and pear trees alone such as espaliers as these require summer pruning.
- If you want Rhubarb now is the time to plant it, you may be lucky and get a crown off a neighbour. When you’re planting Rhubarb dig in a lot of manure around the crown and let the crown peek out and see the light it does not appreciate being buried.
- Cut leaves from the crowns of kale to encourage side shoots for harvesting in late winter