I have quite a fondness for the south of France, even when the days are cold, crisp, and still. Perhaps in Provence the lavender in the heat can no longer tickle the nose, but the shimmering autumn colour can dazzle the eye as you drive through the rolling hills.
What a summer we are having in London! The thermometer has sat in the high twenties for nearly a month now and there is no sign of rain. As an expat Australian working at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, I’m enjoying the warmth after the bleak cold and snow of February – the only downside is that the Gardens could really do with a big drink.
What has the world come to that we are reducing everything to a series of words pre-empted by a hash tag? #gardening #pot plants #indoors #foliage . Whatever the less social media savvy might think, social media is very much part of the modern world. It’s here to stay and is influencing and shaping modern gardening in a positive way.
Malahide Castle and its gardens, north of Dublin city in County Dublin, are a very worthwhile visit for at least three reasons. The first is the historic Malahide Castle itself, owned continuously for about 800 years by the Talbot family. The lands and harbour of Malahide were granted to founder Richard Talbot by Henry II in return for his part played in the Anglo- Norman invasion of Ireland.
“Neither Art nor Science are very materially remunerative professions but very soul-satisfying both.” OLIVE PINK TO WILLIAM CROWTHER, 1935. A fiercely independent woman ahead of her time, Olive Pink is best known for her staunch support of the Aboriginal People of Central Australia, which is illustrated in this edited extract of the book Olive Pink: Artist, Activist and Gardener
SAD – Seasonal Affective Disorder – is exactly that. When winter skies hang low, we start to feel a little dreary. But gardeners instinctively know what to do. We head into the garden to potter around and turn our faces to the winter sun. We also crave and look for colour in the garden.
Jonquils are in full bloom in my garden and the scent from a bunch I’ve picked is wafting through the kitchen. Jonquils are thought of as spring bulbs but these fragrant, yellow-flowered bulbs bloom in winter in my garden. In warmer zones than my Tasmanian garden they can begin to flower in late autumn.
“Before you fairly start this story, I should like to give you just a word of warning. If you imagine you are going to read of model children…you had better lay down the book immediately…Not one of the seven is really good, for the excellent reason that Australian children never are…There is a lurking sparkle of joyousness and rebellion and mischief in nature here, and therefore in children”. Ethel Turner, Seven Little Australians
Water in the garden has a long history, as long as gardens themselves. Any history of gardens and gardening will show that the Mesopotamian, Egyptian, Chinese, Roman, Japanese, Persian, Mughal, Aztec, French, Italian, Dutch and Spanish gardens all featured water prominently in their designs.
Thank you…To Mark and Faye Leveson, for letting us into your lives and for allowing us to bring to you what we do best – to make a garden in memory of your son, Matty. While we know that nothing can replace Matty our entire team hope this token of creation will help you slowly find some form of normality in your lives.