Vernal Equinox

To celebrate the arrival of spring in the northern hemisphere, here are some of the flowers in my garden this week.

Helleborus niger, commonly called Christmas rose or black hellebore

The sap is rising, bees are waking up and buds are bursting.

What a difference a week of sunshine makes.

Species tulips – Sylvestris

Let the longer days begin!

A Week of Flowers: Day Seven

For a second year Cathy of Words and Herbs is hosting a Week of Flowers, inviting everyone to share some “extra colour and cheer” by posting one flowery photo a day, for a week.

Scented-leaved Pelargonium (November 17 2021)

And here are all the flowers from this week  which were found in the sub-tropical gardens during late November.

Thanks Cathy!


Flashback Friday #43

This post was written in 2018, long before the dreaded Covid-19 hit the headlines and people found themselves stuck at home more and more. Gardening and being in open spaces took on a whole new meaning then. My post was written for one of the earlier Lens Artists Photography Challenge.

change the way you feel

Recently there has been a lot of talk about the way in which gardening is helping people to change their lives: particularly people with mental health issues, disabilities or suffering from loneliness. Research has discovered that gardening can help reduce anxiety, improve cognitive recall, help with dementia, help combat isolation, improve physical health and stamina and make us feel good by releasing the brain chemical serotonin – the same chemical released when eating a bar of chocolate.

Maple leaves

People are brought together when they have a garden or allotment to care for. They learn how to care for something and reap rewards whether in flowers or produce. It might be the only place where they feel able to relax, can communicate with others, help with learning new practical skills/teamwork and planning.  Gardening can make you feel happier, healthier and more confident and give structure to your day.

Gardening has always been a pleasurable pastime for me and even when I have been without a garden I have always enjoyed visiting other gardens and having a few houseplants or container plants around me. There is so much that gardening can give you: from the benefits of simply being outdoors to the joy of seeing something grow from a seed. I can easily while away an hour or two just pottering around my own garden (and it’s not even very big!) doing a bit of dead-heading, weeding, clearing up dead leaves, redesigning parts of the borders, watching the bees and butterflies visiting and just enjoying the flowers. Photographing flowers is a bit of a passion too and getting that perfect shot can take a lot of time and patience and luck.

Visiting gardens open to the public is another of my ways of relaxing, there I can admire the way a garden has been designed, the combinations of the flower types, colours and structures. I can take away ideas for my own garden and dream about ‘what if.’

Goodnestone Park Gardens

Gardening is fun and creative, it gets you out into the fresh air and is a good form of exercise. Gardening can make you feel good and improve your mental and emotional well-being. And it can be done anywhere by anyone.

This post is a contribution to Fandango’s Flashback Friday. Have you got a post you wrote in the past on this particular day? The world might be glad to see it – either for the first time – or again if they’re long-time loyal readers.

Garden Portrait: Kilver Court

This three and a half acre garden is hidden behind the vast stone textile mills and framed by the sweeping curve of the listed Charlton Viaduct. It is a delightful hidden secret and originally designed by the industrialist Ernest Jardine as a recreational space for the workers of the mill. Now owned by Roger Saul the founder of Mulberry who bought the mill in 1996 as the headquarters for the business. He and his wife Monty, both amateur gardeners, transformed the rather corporate looking gardens into the beautiful space you see today.

There is a lake which reflects the viaduct beautifully, a rock garden with streams and cascades and colourful herbaceous borders.

It’s not a huge garden, but there is plenty of interest for anyone who loves plants.

In late May, the time of our visit – though during an exceptionally cold month – the colour came from large rhododendrons, azaleas, irises and many of the wonderful trees planted around the lake.


A formal parterre offers you the chance to sit and relax, before perhaps heading to the rather upmarket Garden Kitchen Restaurant for a spot of lunch.

In addition to the garden there is an excellent nursery and the delightfully named Wiggly Shed which sells seeds, garden tools and peat-free compost to outdoor furniture, garden accessories and other interesting items. In fact if I lived closer I would be spending a lot of time here! Kilver Court Gardens

Edit: Sadly as of the 6th September 2021 the businesses operated onsite by the Saul family, i.e., The Great House, Fashion Emporium, Plant Nursery and Garden Entry, and the Garden Kitchen Restaurant, have closed. Farewell Message