I first heard about Wendy Shillam’s wonderful rooftop garden via the Chelsea Fringe. It’s a small, but perfectly formed fruit, veg and flower garden, 5 floors up, and just round the corner from Oxford Circus in the heart of our metropolis.
I say perfectly formed, as this bijou veg patch also comes with a fully equipped writing shed,
and a very productive greenhouse.
It’s hugely impressive and utterly delightful.
Each time I visit, I’m wowed by how much veg Wendy grows in her 6 inch raised beds,
and how, over the years, she’s developed strategies for taming the wind on her rooftop to allow her to grow such a wide variety of plants.
This Spring, Wendy is running a number of workshops on growing year round salad leaves, edibles for a healthy diet, yoghurt making using herbs for flavouring and ‘preserving sweet flavours that are a million miles away from shop-bought cocktails and sugary colas’. Booking is now open, and I’m really looking forward to going on the first workshop in March.And talking of the Chelsea Fringe, the website is now open for signing up events if you’d like to participate! This year it runs from 20th May until the 4th June. Our community veg growing project joined in in 2012 and 2013. It’s massively enjoyable to take part,
and also great to see as many as possible of the hundreds of events that pop up each year (fernery in a toilet from 2013 above).
I can’t wait to see what the Fringe has in store for 2017……(Above-Geoff at the Inner Temple Gardens Dog Show in 2013)
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Posted in Allium, Bulbs, Gardens to visit, Gardens to visit in France, Uncategorized, tagged Alexandre Thomas, Allium Globemaster, French gardens to visit, Les Jardins Agapanthe, Normandy Gardens to visit on November 26, 2015|
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I was completely wowed by Les Jardins Agapanthe at the beginning of June this year. Above are glorious groupings of Allium Globemaster and as the bulb planting season is (just about) still with us, I’m borrowing this idea and have ‘Globemaster’ bulbs waiting to be planted as I type.
The first thing that really hits you is that all of the gardens are mulched with an light-coloured river sand which gives you the impression that you’re not far from the beach in the South of France, (when you’re actually in Normandy, a little north of Rouen). Très Mediterranean.
This area looked great from every angle, and seemed like an homage to the first world war cemeteries. Magnificent!
As you follow the twists and turns of the pathways, through gigantic exotic plantings to more intimate shady settings, it felt like taking a masterclass in garden design. It’s ‘Jardins’ in the plural by the way, as there are 2 different gardens, created by garden designer Alexandre Thomas, surrounding two houses, with a small road dividing them. Each garden is artfully divided into a number of smaller gardens, almost like different stage sets and I absolutely loved the drama and theatricality of it all. If you’re ever in Normandy, make sure you visit!
P.s. And you could also visit Le Jardin Plume (above).
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Posted in Uncategorized on February 19, 2015|
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The first RHS London show of the year, for me, always signals that winter is nearly over. Hurrah, bloomin’ hurrah!
I can’t wait to see what delights lie in store. Scrumptious hellebores no doubt,
all manner of delectable snowdrops,
and oodles of luscious ferns. What more could a girl ask for ?? All this (and more!) from some of the best nurseries in the country.
Theres’s also a whole programme of talks, a plant clinic, seeds and a generous selection of seed potatoes to buy. Always worth the journey.
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