Archive for the ‘Climbers’ Category

topiary-vie-win-to-field Some gardens just make your heart sing. Bryan’s Ground is one of those amazing places. It’s a heady mixture of formal, intimate rooms (about three acres of these),inula-and-giant-fennel-at-bryans-ground-upright

and planting chaos, where self-seeders are left to do their own thing (Fennel, teasels and Inula (?) above),


blousey perennials wilfully flop into pathways


and climbers scramble up old bedsteads.


I first read about Bryan’s Ground on The Patient Gardeners blog, some years ago, and it wasn’t until last July that I finally managed to find my way over to see the gardens which are on the Welsh border about 20 miles from Hay-on-Wye.

Originally I’d been wowed by an image of a whole room full of Irises (have a look at Michelle’s pics of these) and planned to visit in May, but by the time I’d coordinated my plans with Veronica from Through the Garden Gate, summer was upon us and the irises (above) were well and truly over. We didn’t mind at all.

I’m sure whenever you visit, there’ll be gorgeous planting to see,

rabbit-pillarsand sculpture and follies aplenty to enjoy.




This truly inspiring garden has been created by David Wheeler and Simon Dorrell (who also are the writers of the quarterly Hortus magazine) since 1993.

plant-bench-at-bryans-groundAt every turn there are playful vistas and great planting ideas,

potager-2and I know it’s a garden that I’ll want to return to time and time again. Veronica felt the same.

pond-area-at-bryans-groundOnce you’ve wound your way all the different rooms, paths then lead you into the arboretum and another five acres with a large pond,

clearing-at-bryans-groundstylish mowing, and many specimen trees.

two-chairs-in-the-arboretum-at-bryans-groundIt’s a lovely calm spot.

When you’ve finished your wanderings, there’s also delicious cakes to tempt you and a small nursery area. Plan your visit well, as Bryan’s Ground is only open Sunday and Monday afternoons, this year from mid April until the end of July. Group visits can also be arranged by appointment. Most definitely worth making the trip.

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Street Holloyhocks on AmblerHollyhocks are giving a wonderful display in our streets and front gardens this year.

Street Holloyhocks on Ambler 3Their ability to grow in such tricky conditions never fails to astound and delight me.

Jean Loup ChartresOn a recent trip to France in June (postings to follow soon on some amazing gardens visited) we stayed in a B&B in Chartres with Jean-Loup Cuisiniez (above) and his wife and met a kindred greener-upper-of the-city. Jean-Loup has been strategically sprinkling Hollyhock seeds around Chartres and has a fair few plants growing in a car park (above),

Guerilla Hollyhocks in Chartres 2and along his street. He’s promised to send me pics when they’re all in flower. Jean-Loup is in discussions with the local council about making more paths public rights of way to create easier walking routes throughout Chartres and he also wants to adorn the streets near the Cathedral with roses.

Roses in Chedigny 4I nodded sagely as he explained his aspsirations, but it wasn’t until we visited the Rose Festival in Chedigny, a village in the Loire near Loches, that I really understood what this could mean.

Roses in Chedigny 2

Every wall in the village was covered in these glorious climbers and ramblers,

Rosesign  in Chedignywith labels letting you know the variety. How bloomin’ marvellous.

Roses  in Chedigny with arrowThe Rose Festival is the brainchild of Mayor Pierre Loualt who started the project in 1998, working with French rose specialist André Eve to plant over 700 roses in the village. The festival takes place over two days every year with specialist nurseries setting up stalls,

Roses in Chedigny 3

but you can happily wander through the village at other times to enjoy this marvellous rose extravaganza.

Finsbury Park Streets

Both sights and scents were truly inspirational, and, although our North London manor doesn’t quite conjure up the bucolic bliss of the Loire, I’m wondering if we could start some similar rose planting in our streets in Finsbury Park?

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Wisteria in Swan Walk

I  popped down to the Chelsea Physic Garden recently to hear the marvellous Joy Larkcom talk about unusual veg. The talk was wonderful and inspiring (more about that soon in another post), but I just had to share a few pics of the glorious Wisterias adorning various walls and railings en route in SW3. Take the purple panicles pushing through the railings above. Who wouldn’t want such a magnificent hedge?

Wisteria with Ivy in Chelsea 2

And I take my hat off to the gardener who manages to keep the ivy at bay on the front of this house.

Wisteria with Ivy in Chelsea

I’ve never been one for heights and this creeper must need regular pruning to give the Wisteria a fighting chance to flower each year.

Wisteria in Chelsea

Some of the plants growing up these houses seem to be springing out of the foundations from the lightwell in the basement, but I also love the way this trunk artfully swings its way towards the bricks and mortar from further afield.

Wisteri ahanging over wall in Chelsea 2

And even though you can’t see the full glory of the Wisteria here, you still get the benefit of the delicious scent as you wander by. Marvellous.


Wisteria on Laurier Road

Here’s a few more Wisterias that I pass by regularly (not always with a camera) on my journeys closer to home in North London. I’ve admired of theses beautiful twisted trunks and flowers for the last few years.

Wisteria on Laurier Road 2

Same street, different house (notice different coloured door) and slightly different training. Equally gorgeous.

Wisteria on Aubert Park

And just around the corner from where I live.

Wisteria on Aubert Park 2

And lastly on the same street, this very elegant display. Love ’em all.

P.P.S Have a look a Veronica’s wisteria sighting in Lambeth!

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