19 Feb 2017

Never mind the roses

Hellebore atrorubens
~ Wisley borders, Valentine's Day - Hellebore atrorubens aka the Lenten Rose ~

It's rare that I can look back on a week so positively plumped with gardening goodness but the past seven days have been  just that - filled with gardening hygge, the feel good vibe that I get when surrounded by nature, chatting to fellow garden enthusiasts or getting my hands into the soil or around a pair of secateurs.

I'll have to do separate posts in more detail but it all started on Valentine's Day (Tuesday) when I woke to blue-ish skies and made a spur of the moment decision to go to the gardens at RHS Wisley - no air flown roses there, but lots of Lenten roses, plentiful signs of spring and the uplifting sight of the winter walk. The scents and splashes of colour at this time of year are extraordinary - with the added treat of butterflies in the glasshouse.  I vetoed a visit to the RHS Early Spring show in Westminster in favour of the Wisley visit but don't regret it for a minute - even with the traffic on the M25 to get there and back!

Ginger lily
~ Ginger plant, I presume? Wisley glasshouse. Gotta love a bit of tropical in February. ~
In the evening I headed out to the first of the Chelsea Fringe meetings - my first time of (hopefully) being involved in this event. I wasn't sure about it before I went but came away fired with enthusiasm and inspired by projects from previous years. 

Wednesday was a normal workday, recharging the gardening batteries somewhat, receiving a review copy of Anne Wareham's new book 'The Deckchair Gardener' and getting ready for the highlight of my week ...

... the big day out to the Garden Press Event at the Barbican on Thursday. It was my first time there and really was an amazing day, so many lovely people to talk to about seeds, sheds, planters, plants, tools, shoes, gloves ... and blogging. Yes, bloggers are a force to be reckoned with these days, such is the power of the internet, and garden suppliers treat us almost like gods - amazing.  As rewarding as that is, one of the best bits of the day was an impromptu bloggers meet up after lunch. Suddenly I was able to put faces to familiar names like the Gardening Shoe, the Physic blogger, the Cynical Gardener, Mud and Gluts, the Chatty Gardener, the Unconventional Gardener as well as saying hello again to familiar faces. What a fabulous, friendly and generous bunch of people!  And, of course, the traders made sure that everyone who wanted went home laden with goodies. Top day for so many reasons. 

Friday was back to normal but with a new pair of swanky leather gardening gloves from the previous day's event to tackle the mahonia pruning in a client garden ... before heading out to Oxfordshire to collect a new Stihl compact cordless hedge trimmer given to me for review.  I have a large privet hedge surrounding the middle gated garden so I can't wait to give that a whirl - or rather safe and controlled trim!

Tiger Longwing butterfly
~ Tiger Longwing butterfly in Wisley glasshouse ~

And so to the weekend, head buzzing with ideas, heart glowing with good gardening vibes from this lovely gardening community that we're all a part of and good weather to get out into the garden. There's lots to catch up on after last weekend's snowflakes and bitter winds but at the very least I plan to sow some broad beans, mulch some beds and get that hedge under control!  What's everyone else up to - has your gardening year started yet?

PS.  Next week I'm off to Kew Gardens and the snowdrop weekend at Waterperry Gardens near Thame in Oxfordshire.  And keeping my fingers busy by blogging more details of all of the above!


  1. Wow, what a brilliant week - all that and Kew Gardens and Waterperry next week too, how wonderful. And lovely to meet all those other bloggers as well, it sounds great. I've done a little gardening tidying here, not much, and replaced a couple of pots smashed by the boys with their scooters/skateboards, sigh. The frogs are very busy in the pond at the moment, so I think spring must be in the air. CJ xx

  2. You must be floating on cloud nine after such a perfect week Caro. What a contrast weather wise between last weekend and the one ending today. It was almost balmy this afternoon when the sun peeked out. I've sown sweet peas earlier this week. Hoping to get broad beans and onions sown this week. Then there's the promise of a garden centre trip next weekend - time to buy some seed potatoes. Here we go again :)

  3. You have been busy. We visited Hodsock Priory to see there snowdrops last week.

  4. The red flowered bromeliad looks so beautiful!

  5. That sounds wonderfully inspiring. Here all the broad beans sown a few weeks ago are ready to be planted out and some weeding and fertilising is on the list for this week.

  6. Sorry I missed you at the lunch. It was such a hectic day! All the best . Karen

  7. Hi Caro, what a lovely week you've had! Nice to feel rejuvenated and ready to get into a new year! I'm looking out the window, itching to get out, overtaken by work and study requirements. Gggrrrr. Have not yet done my sweet peas, rushing now to catch up! Look forward to your Kew post. x

  8. What a lovely post about what was clearly a busy and enjoyable week.
    I'm happy to be back plotting again the past few days. Flighty xx

  9. Sounds like a great week. Lots of Gardening Hygge, love that. Amazing the difference in temperature this weekend after the bitter cold of previous weeks. Lots of garden visiting, brilliant, look forward to hearing about your trip to Kew.

    1. OK next sunny day I'm having annual leave and straight down to the allotment! Too envious, I've been stuck in an office all week. Jules x

  10. It sounds as if you had a wonderful week and next week sounds as if it's going to be just as good! Getting together with gardening friends is very special and is time to be treasured. Happy gardening in the warmer weather that we are enjoying!

  11. If the rain keeps off (it's not sunny down here!) I'll be out in the garden for sure. So much to do but how wonderful to get a head start this year. Keep up the good work!


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