General Interest



Gardening in the Wilderness: do we need a revolution in the garden? by Lucy Masters

December 10, 2013

Suppers are back! Well – one is, thanks to the effort and initiative of Lucy Masters, who wrote this piece to introduce the debate. And Chris Young, editor of RHS The Garden, who will be chairing it for us! Thanks Chris. This time we will not only have the discussion at the supper, but, bearing […]

Clump or Mingle? by Noel Kingsbury

October 31, 2013

Now, after all that discussion and noise in response to Thomas Rainer’s piece  about intermingling planting, here is Noel’s reply to Thomas. (and sorry, he hadn’t read all your comments before writing it..) I must apologise to all those who deplore my  (quote) “relentless puffing of Veddw garden everywhere you can, especially on thinkingardens”  but it […]



Mingle or clump? by Thomas Rainer

October 29, 2013

This is going to be challenging and interesting, everyone, (get your brains out) and it is just what thinkingardens is for. Recently Thomas Rainer published a post on his excellent blog raising questions in response to Noel Kingsbury and Piet Oudolf’s latest book, Planting, a New Perspective. I asked him to write us a piece […]

James van Sweden – a memoir by Noel Kingsbury

October 24, 2013

A short time ago James van Sweden died. I vividly remember the excitement I felt when I first came across the book ‘Bold Romantic Gardens’ which he wrote with Wolfgang Oehme. (It seems my copy is now worth £60.10) Noel Kingsbury wrote a memoir on his blog  and also kindly gave me permission to use it here. […]



Blooming Britain by Christine Dakin

October 18, 2013

Well, what do you think? Do you enjoy seeing our towns adorned like this? Or should we scrap it and find some better way to display our horticultural expertise? Anne Wareham, editor  Christine Dakin: BRITAIN IN BLOOM You’ll remember the time when towns and cities are sprouting containers full of bright and colourful bedding plants. […]

We should find out what people think by Anne Wareham

October 3, 2013

Mary Keen recently came across a blog post which was frank about the writer’s opinion of her garden. It was clear from her response both in her comments and a subsequent article that she was genuinely shocked and surprised to discover what they thought. It was what a lot of people that I have heard […]



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 […]