Category Gardening

“The ‘breast of the nymph in the brake’ astounds no one”

Ever vigilant in keeping my gardening standards at the cutting edge of taste, Lady took to heart Muriel Stuart’s sage advice that gnomes and pheasants are out . . . . . . but stone nymphs are in . . . . . . with the happy result that my window boxes are now graced […]

Window boxes, autumn edition

Back at the beginning of the summer I wrote about planting some flower boxes outside my kitchen window.  They were full of pink geraniums, yellow snapdragons, and a mass of trailing petunias.  I never followed up with a “here’s how they turned out” post because, well, they never quite lived up to my hopes.  This […]

I’m in Wales!

After a nearly sleepless night in sweltering London, we left early for a weekend road trip to Wales. By early afternoon we were in the green, hilly, blessedly cool Welsh countryside where all the road signs have more Ys, Ws, Ls, and Ds than you ever thought possible. First stop: Powis castle and gardens. It’s […]

The gardens at Great Dixter

About eight miles down the road from Sissinghurst lies another significant English garden.  Designed in the early 20th Century around a Tudor mansion, this garden, too, has been a repeat player in the gardening books I’ve been reading.  So after prying myself out of the Sissinghurst rose garden, I set out to find Great Dixter. […]

Sissinghurst castle garden

Saturday was the last day of June!  Since June is peak garden month in England, and the weather was forecast was perfect, I rented a car and set out to see a couple of my top bucket-list gardens. First stop?  Sissinghurst castle garden in Kent (about 2 hours southeast of London).  There is no “castle” […]

Vaux le Vicomte

The weather in Paris this weekend could not have been better.  Warm, sunny, glorious.  Perfect for visiting one of the more notable French chateaux:  Vaux le Vicomte. If you’re a garden/architecture/art nerd like myself, then you’ll know that Vaux le Vicomte was built in the mid-1600s by a guy named Fouquet who was the finance […]

A palace and a play

King Henry VIII was quite the king.  All those wives and the drama with the Catholic Church and the fantastic Holbein portraits.  Yesterday I went to see where he used to live. Hampton Court Palace is about 15 miles up the Thames from London and claims to be the largest medieval palace in Europe (certainly […]