General Interest



The Lesson of Beth Chatto’s Gravel Garden

September 29, 2016

Troy Scott-Smith  suggested that Andrea Russo and Paola Avesani would be good people to review Beth Chatto’s latest book Drought Resistant Planting. It turned out that language problems were going to make that difficult, so instead they wrote a piece for thinkingardens about their interest in learning from Beth Chatto’s garden. Anne Wareham, editor       […]

Robin’s Big Statement by Paul Morgan

September 1, 2016

In the spring I visited a garden. It doesn’t matter which or where. It was perfectly adequate as a garden apart from having no seats. But it left me cold. And I realised that that is the thing which probably always comes first – the emotional response. Judgement follows. As Paul Morgan now explains. Anne Wareham, […]



Gardeners, Designers – or Garden Makers? by Anne Wareham

August 18, 2016

My apologies. This was not the piece I intended to publish this week, and I had no intention of popping up again so soon to annoy you. But today I got annoyed and you know how rare that is. For many years I had wanted to define and articulate the difference between those people who […]

Sissinghurst – forever, for everyone? by John Sales

July 15, 2016

I thought that this response to last week’s piece, Commercial at what Cost? from John Sales, the National Trust’s chief gardens adviser until his retirement in 1998, merited a separate post. Anne Wareham, editor   John Sales:  Your thoughtful piece about Troy Smith’s approach to the job at Sissinghurst raises some important issues.The first is that […]



Commercial at what cost? by Anne Wareham

July 5, 2016

I’ve thought a lot about what Troy Scott-Smith is up against at Sissinghurst and I gather he is appearing on Gardener’s World this week (8th July) to talk about it. These are some of my reflections about on Sissinghurst’s revitalisation and the issues it raises. Anne Wareham, editor           Commercial at […]

All that business? by Bella D’Arcy Reed

June 16, 2016

A post about access to gardens for people on wheels. I have to acknowledge regretfully that Veddw is not wheelchair accessible. The slopes are too steep and our bathroom very small and up a step. But clearly it is important that gardens should do better than that wherever possible. Anne Wareham, editor         […]



Blog for Nothing? by Alexandra Campbell

June 2, 2016

An issue close to the hearts of many of us, I think. I wish I could pay all you generous contributors ££££s! Anne Wareham, editor   ARE WRITERS BEING EXPLOITED IN BLOGGING…AND CAN WE DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT? by AlexandraCampbell A debate broke out about this on Twitter. Are companies exploiting bloggers by getting them […]

What do gardens say? by Robin White

May 18, 2016

By now thinkingardens readers are perhaps over familiar with the ‘are gardens art?’ debate. Well, here is an interesting new take on that whole issue by Robin White. Makes a sweet break from Chelsea. Anne Wareham, editor           Robin White: From time to time you read people in gardening magazines (and […]



Taste and Themes at Chelsea by Daniel Bristow

May 5, 2016

Quite a few of us have ideas about themes and taste at Chelsea (see ‘Do themes help?). But we rarely hear a critical comment from a designer who is actually showing a garden at Chelsea. It takes bottle. Here is Daniel Bristow, (“Propagating Dan”)with his first garden at Chelsea this year, speaking out for thinkingardens. […]

Garden allusions, by Noel Kingsbury, Anne Wareham, and Yue Zhuang

April 6, 2016

This piece, originally posted as ‘Allusion in Gardens’ arose out of a discussion about my use of an informal box parterre at Veddw. The intention is to allude to the local field boundaries indicated on the Tithe Map of the area in 1848, creating a link with the surrounding landscape. Definition of ‘allusion’. The discussion […]



The Importance of Labels by Rachel The Gardener

March 10, 2016

I won’t generally label plants at Veddw, not just because of the excessive work and the inevitability of mislabelling, but because for me it destroys the aesthetic of a garden. A bit like labelling all the colours on The Fighting Temeraire, maybe. It was interesting to me that searching through Charles Hawes’ extensive catalogue of […]

A slug by any other name by Nick Turrell

January 21, 2016

Well, here’s controversial. It’s well worn debate, but it seems it won’t go away. Should we adopt (and create) common names for plants to save our blushes over the difficulties of using Latin names? What do you think? I believe you predominantly use common names in America already? I guess you have to invent a lot of […]



Colour! by Nigel Dunnett.

December 22, 2015

Ever since the Popes (remember them? Hadspen?) foretold in 1999 that colour would be the big thing in the new century, colour has been perhaps the least considered aspect of garden design among thinkingardeners and their ilk. Though I confess that, unrepentant, it has probably actually been one of my prime considerations in beds and borders. […]

How do you like your edges? by Thomas Stone

October 22, 2015

I have a permanent argument with at least one good friend about edging. I like to see plants creating their own edge, merging happily with the grass and no bare soil in sight. She likes that carefully edged edge. As does Thomas. And you? Anne Wareham, editor           Thomas Stone: It’s […]