Rhs Chelsea 2015

My recent  Cornish stay, and my appropriately-named lodgings, the River Retreat, reminded me that we in the UK have a rich cultural heritage of writers and gardens, writers inspired by the immediate landscape.  This heritage really was a source of inspiration for me when I was designing the M&G garden. I’ve always loved visiting these places: at … read more

Rhs Chelsea 2015

So here I am, back to plans after a weekend in Cornwall saying a sad goodbye to an old friend whose 86 years never stopped her from enjoying life. By coincidence, within a couple of hundred metres from my lodgings, Darren Hawkes is busily preparing his RHS Chelsea show garden, so I took the opportunity … read more

RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2015

As I’ve probably written before, these show gardens at RHS Chelsea could not be created without  all the different specialists in a huge range of fields. And for plants, as for everything else, we’ve gone to the best. Roger Platts is growing perennials and shrubs, Kelways are growing the peonies, and How Green are growing the … read more

RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2015

Today, a trip to the workshop with Scott, Scott, Nick, Nick, (….Cuthbert, Dibble, Grubb?) Scott and Scott will be building this garden, nobly aided by Nick and Nick who are working on the oak-framed retreat which will sit in a corner of the garden. I have designed a very complicated building,  I know. Its structure is simple … read more

Cow parsley and daisys growing wild in East Sussex

Another meeting with Ancient Industries today, looking at some fabulous furniture.  I received a nice update from How Green, who are growing some interesting annuals for the garden; it looks like  most of them are looking good. Roger Platts has managed to find the Molopospermum , which we had all but given up on. I did announce that … read more

East Sussex garden design

As predicted, I ran out of time. So here we are, three days later, and I’m not sure where the days went. Gardens still need designing, new clients need to be visited, and children’s and friends’ birthdays are celebrated. Dogs need walking, and the countryside needs admiring in these lovely days of early Spring sunshine. … read more

sissinghurst castle garden

Yesterday’s visit to Sissinghurst wasn’t just inspirational; it was magical. Incredibly kindly, Sarah Raven took us into their private quarters, where Vita Sackville West’s bedroom remains almost exactly as it was when she was alive. Harold Nicolson’s bookshelves and desk are still in the room below, walls panelled with floorboards, just because. The atmosphere was something I’ve … read more

Another day out in the sunshine today meeting Kendra and Megan of Ancient Industries together with wonderful craftspeople who are collaborating with us  on the garden. A potter round some very special interiors not normally open to the public, followed by copious cups of tea, and of course cake. Perfect day, rounded off rather unceremoniously by … read more

Today will be mainly spent writing. An article for The English Garden, some blogs, including some words on the Little Garden awards, another piece on garden design tips. And this blog. I’m also preparing a talk about Chelsea for the King’s Society in Canterbury this Wednesday, so getting into a tussle with a powerpoint presentation is also part … read more

Ok, so  I did get out into that sunshine. It gave me a chance to wander round our new garden and see how things are growing so quickly. The new roses http://jothompson-garden-design.co.uk/mygardenplants/ are producing lots of lovely red shoots, and the little Iris reticulata are positively jewel-like. It would be perfect if the weather could kindly stay just like … read more