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

Will your spring-flowering shrubs survive the frigid winter?


Wisteria is gloriously, delicately mauve and hypnotically fragrant in June, as long as the buds haven’t been frozen over winter or in a late spring frost.


“Everyone talks about this winter’s storm damage to tree branches, but no one mentions the effect the cold may have had on spring-flowering shrubs and trees,” commented my friend Douglas Markoff as we chatted about the weather (what else?) last week.  Continue reading