General Interest



Go it alone? by Rory Stuart

September 12, 2013

It’s an odd way to approach something which should be such a total, immersive, absorbing experience: to go round a garden with a guide or with the proud owner wittering at you. (sorry, Rory – would love to have you wittering at me anywhere…) Why not take a book, some music, prepare to linger?.. But […]

Slow Gardening by Sally Gregson

September 6, 2013

Do you have the patience? Here is Sally Gregson, shooting herself in the foot: a nurserywoman encouraging us to think (and look and think some more?) before we buy… Anne Wareham, Editor Sally Gregson: Several years ago in Italy Carlo Petrini started the Slow Food Movement in protest against the proposed McDonald’s at the foot […]



Conspicuous Design by Tim Richardson

August 7, 2013

I am very grateful for the generosity of Tim Richardson and the editor, Sarah Giles, of the Garden Design Journal for permitting me to use this piece, which I think raises an issue, as Tim says, of special importance to designers of small gardens. (as opposed to small garden designers..) I  don’t have handy examples of over-design, […]

Just a gardener – Just? by Stephen Hackett

June 28, 2013

We’ve had a lot of responses to Nick Turrell’s piece, ‘Would you be a Gardener?‘. Including what amounts to a whole new article, which I am publishing below. Keep up the comment – but more, perhaps, let your views be known and the pieces circulated wherever they may make a difference? Anne Wareham, editor Stephen […]



Would you be a gardener? by Nick Turrell

June 26, 2013

I hate the image of gardeners that we are routinely presented with in the media. We are all middle aged, cheerful and smiley. If you are a woman  you are inevitably as ‘lovely’ as your garden and had better be as sweet natured and lovable as Beth Chatto or Anna Pavord. So, as Nick Turrell points […]

Chelsea 2013 uncovered by Charles Hawes

May 21, 2013

The photographers hope to get a press pass again next year…         Charles Hawes has a good selection of high resolution photographs of Chelsea Flower Show on GAP Photos. (Including one on the photo library front page.) The photographs on this page and other high res Chelsea photographs can also be obtained for […]



Chelsea 2013, some thoughts from Anne Wareham

May 21, 2013

This year was marked for me by having one garden that shocked me by its badness, and one that delighted me. And the other remarkable thing was the extent of agreement about both those things amongst the people I talked to. Prize for shock went to Jinny Blom’s garden for Prince Harry and his charity […]

The End of Botanical Gardens? by Ewan Michaels

May 9, 2013

The Botanic Garden of Wales always seemed an odd idea, and it is true (see below) that is has struggled for survival  from the moment it appeared. I wonder if anyone thinks Botanic gardens are still relevant today – and if so, why and what for? Here are Ewan Michael’s thoughts on the matter… Anne […]



Tranquil Havens full of Birdsong by Abbie Jury

April 18, 2013

This is another longish one I’ve let by, just as a warning for those of you with short attention spans. Having seen so many similar owner entries in the Yellow Book over the years (“This other Eden, demi-paradise” ..) I was riveted. Wonderful stuff. Thank you, once again, Abbie. Anne Wareham, editor Abbie Jury: For the […]

RHS judging: an interview with an RHS judge by Victoria Summerley

April 2, 2013

It may seem difficult to believe in the current wintry climate, but the Chelsea Flower show opens in a few weeks’ time. For the past few months, while the show garden designers have wondered whether their plants will survive the winter, the RHS has been re-examining the way it awards their medals. Victoria Summerley talked […]



Your Views about Views? by Susan Cohan

March 19, 2013

There has been discussion in the British press recently, I believe, about whether we should specifically protect important views, before they are all covered by wind power stations. Views, as borrowed landscape, are vital to many gardens.  However – when we can’t even protect AONBs (Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty), or the view from Highgrove, […]

Three Actors by Tristan Gregory

March 11, 2013

Speaks for itself, this article. It comes with a great addition: a piece of original artwork by Paul Steer, created especially to accompany this piece. Thank you to both contributors – and anyone/thing else involved…. Anne Wareham, editor Tristan Gregory: I was cutting away at some Hawthorn trees one Saturday morning in an attempt to […]



What do we want the garden media for? by Monty Don and Anne Wareham

March 5, 2013

A few weeks ago Matthew Appleby published a piece here about the use of celebrities in the media. It produced a great deal of comment, which you can see here, together with the original piece. In the course of all that comment it seemed to me that the topic moved on a little – or […]

Orchids at Kew – could it be more exciting? by Susanne Masters

February 12, 2013

We see magnificent plant displays regularly, at Chelsea and other RHS shows. We do ‘oo’ and ‘ah’ as expected, the plants are always amazing. But could there be a different dimension to these displays? Kew is doing an orchid show until the 3rd of March. Susanne Masters visited – and wondered whether Kew could make […]