My ‘Graham Thomas’ rose lives–and blooms! Is this a miracle, or what?


Graham ThomasHere’s a bit of  good news: the ‘Graham Thomas’ yellow climber growing in my back garden is boasting a few  brave blooms! As I said in a previous post, I’d given it up for dead until my husband Continue reading

Beauty bush: My favourite shrub–this month, anyway

beauty bush/ gazeboThe amabilis in Kolkwitzia amabilis–beauty bush’s botanical name, after Richard Kolkwitz, a German botanist from the 20th century–means lovely, and that’s an apt if understated description of this old-fashioned, dependable and flower-laden shrub.

Add “fragrant” to its list of attributes. Continue reading

It’s alive! My wisteria finally leafs out–plus a weird survivor of winter

wisteria leafs out

No flowers, but we’ve got leaves! It’s almost the middle of June, when the wisteria is usually in full bloom, but the new leaves are proof our wisteria is  at least alive.

I’d about given up on the wisteria growing at the side of our house. My husband kept telling me it was showing green under the bark, as I wrote on this blog a couple of months ago, but it wasn’t looking good to me. The branches looked dry, dull and brown. Then, on the morning of May 29, about the time the wisteria would be about to break into  full, glorious bloom, I looked out the bedroom window Continue reading

Zinnias: my new best friend


zinnia raggedy anne

‘Raggedy Anne’ was the first zinnia I grew after years of dismissing them as stiff and garish. Funny how a seed packet can change your attitude.
Photo courtesy of Renee’s Garden

“Grow more zinnias” is at the top of my garden to-do list this year, and who’d have thought? For years, once I’d outgrown my all-colour-all-the-time early gardening stage, I turned my nose up at annuals, especially zinnias, which I considered stiff and garish.

That changed a few seasons ago, after I received a sample packet of  ‘Raggedy Anne’ zinnia seeds from Renee’s Garden in Felton, California. It wasn’t any ordinary seed packet, Continue reading