Category Archives: Uncategorized

Flying high

Was the evening becoming tired and emotional when OE artist/ceramicist Jonathan Garratt suggested planting up either side of airport runways to make ‘accelerated gardens’? These are gardens designed to be viewed at twenty miles an hour or whatever it takes for a Ryanair jet to crawl into the sky.



Out here in Taiwan looking at the Floral Expo and stuff has started to kick off with the Baka people in Cameroon. I think I’m on the wrong continent. Damn.    

Chelsea Ulf Nordfell

Ulf Nordfell, this year’s king of Chelsea, strolls in with a posse of sleek-looking Swedes. They are staying at the Swedish Embassy which sounds swish until he tells me that it’s full of Ikea furniture. I wonder if our diplomatic outposts are furnished from Homebase.
Tricky moment when sound man tries to clip a mike to Ulf’s new black leather Armani jacket but GP James smoothes ruffled foliage with an even smoother introduction for Ulf’s ‘conversation’ with me as his bit of the afternoon is billed.



Lake swimming last night. Water lily flowers tight shut. Vast pike leaps out of the water lily pads beside me.

Now I will stick to admiring my own mini lilies, by day, from my pike-free garden.    

Design speak

Andrew Fisher Tomlin, who helped pull this debate together, has been hired by the RHS to tutor the Shows Department in design speak. Good thinking. Cuts down misunderstandings. Maybe this new urge to communicate properly will avoid future appearances of dreary plots like the Plastercine garden.    

Chelsea wednesday James Alexander Sinclair Mark Gregory and Ian Dexter

Gorgeous pouting (GP) James Alexander Sinclair, author of outstanding garden blogs for the BBC and himself … ment_layer as well as being a famous, fabulous person, is co-chairing Chelsea’s Gardening Matters forum with me today.
Mark Gregory and Ian Dexter are first up to talk about the Marshalls garden – The Street The Street is buzzing.
I’ve admired Mark’s excellent Chelsea construction work (and more recently his own eco designs) for years. And I loved Ian’s Marshall’s garden last year with its clever climbing frame/ pavilion. But what I liked most about seeing these two on stage together is that they were still speaking – just a couple of days after the exhausting marathon of a Chelsea build which has a lot of designers and constructors ripping each other limb from limb .


Cool thoughts

although I am too hot to think. Writing about no-chemical swimming pools is heating instead of cooling my brain. And I cannot remember the name of this plant.

I’m told that it seeds everywhere. I was told that about Nicotiana sylvestris and I can’t manage to get it to flower let alone seed.
Then there’s the enigma of the Monkey ‘C’.    

Plant free

It was Ian, staunch defender of the RHS – that hallowed heaven of all things horticultural – who said that we should broaden our horizons and not reject a garden without plants. Blimey. Post-Chaucerian treble negative apart I enjoyed this radical sentiment from the editor of The Garden.



Which plants to leave out? Can’t bring them all in. The orange tree has retreated inside, ditto a couple of scented leaf geraniums. The eucomis are sitting in a sheltered (I hope) area beside a brick wall.
But the wormery will grind to a halt and there’s nothing I can do about it apart from bringing it inside…