The Curious Gardener (December)

From The Curious Gardener By Anna Pavord There’s no better time than winter to assess whether the lines you’ve drawn to divide up spaces in the garden are the right lines and whether they are sufficiently bold. Wandering round Florence over Christmas made me doubly aware of this. The landscapes and gardens there are superb…

The Curious Gardener (November)

From The Curious Gardener By Anna Pavord On a stage one time with Sir Roy Strong and Natasha Spender, we were asked which designer of the past we would welcome to do a garden makeover on our own gardens. We we there discussing the garden as art, so it was an apposite question. As it…

The Curious Gardener (October)

From The Curious Gardener By Anna Pavord Soil isn’t sexy. It’s sad but it’s true. Gardeners may sigh over their salvias, worship their wisteria, but soil, they take for granted. In gardening books you can bet that any chapter on soil will be illustrated with a hefty boot doing impossibly tiring things with a spade….

The Curious Gardener (September)

From The Curious Gardener By Anna Pavord The plant hunter Ernest ‘Chinese’ Wilson set out on his third expedition to China at the end of 1906, the party consisting of ‘eighteen carrying coolies and one head coolie, two chairs, two handymen, an escort of two soldiers, my boy and self’, as he noted in his…

The Drunken Botanist

The Drunken Botanist By Amy Stewart Reviewed by  Steven Kurutz Published in the New York Times / March 20, 2013 Amy Stewart has a way of making gardening seem exciting, even a little dangerous, as she did with “Wicked Plants,” her best-selling book about poisonous and invasive vegetation. In “The Drunken Botanist” (Algonquin, $19.95), her latest, Ms….

The Curious Gardener (August)

From The Curious Gardener  By Anna Pavord One of the nicest jobs in a summer garden is tying up sweet peas. Most of ours grows over a hazel tunnel which straddles a grass path in the kitchen garden…The sweet peas are the old-fashioned kind, smallish flowers but with a scent that is swoonier than any other smell…

The Curious Gardener (July)

From The Curious Gardener  By Anna Pavord It is a wonderful relief to leaf through gardening magazines and realize that there are so many thing that I don’t want. No, it’s stronger than that. There are things that, even if they arrived for free, would still be put straight in the boot of the car and driven…

The Curious Gardener (June)

From The Curious Gardener  By Anna Pavord The late Geoff Hamilton was once dubbed the worst-dressed presenter on television. On the contrary, I felt he was one of the few people in the business who always looked right in his clothes. That was because he made no distinction between what he wore on the screen, when he…

Rainer Reviews Kingsbury

Thomas Rainer on Noel Kingbury reposted from his blog Grounded Design Noel Kingsbury: The Ghost in the Machine Thoughts on Noel Kingsbury’s contribution and a review of his latest book with Piet Oudolf…  Noel Kingsbury is the great chronicler of contemporary planting design.  Kingsbury has been involved in over twenty books spanning the last two decades, most…

The Curious Gardener (May)

From The Curious Gardener  By Anna Pavord For most of the year, Chelsea is a football club. But for one brief, hallucinatory week in May, it becomes a flower show. Since 1913, the Royal Horticultural Society has commandeered the eleven-acre grounds of the Royal Hospital in Chelsea (home of the red-coated pensioners) and filled them with roses…

Four Hedges

Four Hedges By Clare Leighton Reviewed by lyn from her blog: I Prefer Reading I’ve been aware of Clare Leighton for a long time. Firstly, as the sister of Roland Leighton, Vera Brittain’s fiancé who was killed just before Christmas 1915. Roland’s death & the other bereavements Vera suffered during WWI were devastating for Vera as they…

The Curious Gardener (April)

From The Curious Gardener  By Anna Pavord There are moments in the gardening year when, like Cecil B. De Mille, you want to shout ”Hold it’ and freeze the scene, just as it is in every detail, for just a little longer…