I’m actually away from home at the moment, so it’s probably not the best moment to file an update on the garden, after all. Plus I think I used up the best photos on the previous post. So in the meantime, I thought I would point you in the direction of a few other nice gardening blogs, interspersed with just a few more photos. By the time I get back, I hope that the new beds will have filled out and established a bit more.
There are an awful lot of gardening blogs about, and I must confess I do not have a lot of time to visit many regularly, but some I enjoy catching up on include The Garden Monkey (sadly seldom blogging these days, but worth checking up on for the odd blast of wicked brilliance, and if you have not visited before, trawling back through old posts until your sides hurt from too much laughing); Fennel and Fern (very stylish, with beautiful, inspiring photography); The Edible Gardener (funny and informative, by my Sunday Telegraph colleague Alex Mitchell); The Guardian newspaper’s gardening blog (always something interesting, and I love Howard Sooley’s updates on the Observer’s organic allotment); Silver Trees Daze (Nigel Colborn’s sometimes ascerbic but always entertaining and knowledgeable take on the world of horticulture); Victoria’s Backyard (musings from a ‘subtropical suburban oasis in Wandsworth, south London’; Veg plotting (by a keen gardener based in Chippenham); Emma Cooper’s blog which includes offers and regular podcasts as well as witty writing; and the many blogs of the Independent’s excellent gardening writer, Emma Townshend. Though more of a crafts than a gardening blog, I always enjoy what Jane Brocket has to say about her garden – she certainly knows a good tulip when she sees one, and I love her colourful close-up photography of the flowers she grows.
Relatively new on the scene are In the Greenhouse with Lila das Gupta (a fellow allotment fan, whose appearances were one of the highlights of the BBC’s coverage of The Chelsea Flower Show this year) and The Enduring Gardener (entertaining insights and tips from my friend and neighbour Stephanie Donaldson, garden editor of Country Living).
Finally, the garden blogging crown, or should that be daisy chain, has to go to James Alexander-Sinclair’s blog from his garden, Blackpitts, in Northamptonshire. Blessed not only with heaps of horticultural experience but a quicksilver mind and a talent for a terrific turn of phrase, ‘James the Hat’ as he is known to many was the well-deserved winner of the first ever blogging award from the Garden Writers Guild last year. He also takes a mean photograph and updates the site regularly with pictures of his own garden. Though the blog occasionally gets bogged down in in-jokes and even the odd feud with fellow bloggers, he is definitely worth reading – and check out his excellent book, 101 Bold and Beautiful Flowers: Ideas for Year-Round Colour (BBC Books, £4.99). How can you not admire a writer who likens Dicentra spectabilis (bleeding heart) to “a pantomime dame’s washing line of freshly-laundered, luminous pink bloomers, blowing in the wind,” or a parrot tulip to “Dame Barbara Cartland emerging from a spin drier”. Oh, and it’s his birthday today, too, I’m told… So Happy Birthday James! Pull up a deck chair and take it easy for the day….
For background information on my project to turn two Victorian railway carriages into an eco home, more photographs, garden journalism and other writing, including my past and current books, please visit my website.