The garden’s the place to bee

Summer may be long behind us, but there are still bees on the wing, and our gardens (which, according to the people at Wild About Gardens, together cover a greater area than all the National Nature Reserves) can play a huge part in helping to boost declining bee populations. In the garden here, there are still…

Midsummer blooms, damsels and tigers

My favourite flowers for midsummer are out: climbing roses, whose blooms come in tight clusters; the airy, winged flowers of Gillenia Trifoliata; the pure white of Geranium phaeum 'alba'; and the perfumed mock orange whose scent hangs on the warm air during the day and wafts in to the house in the evening. Then there…

Down among the daffodils

The garden is dancing with daffodils. Every year I'm taken aback by the sheer number of different flower types. There are big trumpets and small trumpets, showy doubles, and delicate narcissi. Under the old apple tree grows this white petalled variety with pale, peachy trumpets. Elsewhere, the bright frilled edges of these lemon yellow flowers…

Snowdrops and snowflakes, blossom and bees

For days now the cherry plum trees that line the end of the garden have been spangled with white blossom. We've missed the clear, crisp days of winter when the sky is blue and the air cold.  Instead this profusion of tiny flowers must be our frost and our snow. Beneath the branches, huddled together,…

Scent in the garden: July

Summer afternoons, and the far end of the garden is filled with the scent of mock orange. It floods the warm air, drawing me near like an intoxicating enchantment. The shrub responsible, a Philadelphus “Belle etoile”, brightens up this otherwise dark corner with its cascades of papery white flowers. Beneath a canopy of cherry plums…