October 2016


What the fiddle?  Time my friends really does wait for no man . . . You will have seen that I have been busy opening my online shop and writing an irreverent blog all the time whilst editing my first novel, for which I am now seeking a literary agent . . .



October 2012

Where on earth did all that time go - gone in a flash and yet three years have passed since my last writing here..... I can't fathom that so I wont, for the mo.

During that time I have been designing shops. Two shops for a Charity. It was extraordinary....... have never worked so hard in my life and yet it was fulfilling, exciting and I learned so much. And met some amazing people.

Shops and gardens - very different and yet the same in many ways - it's all about colour, shape and form, imagination and energy. When I design a garden I want to understand my clients'

dream and try to give it to them - taking into consideration all the obvious: aspect/soil conditions/proposed use ... what is the garden for, who is going to use it... With the shops the challenge was, for me, all about selecting and displaying donations in a way that customers found interesting and exciting and fun, actually. Create a place where people want to be and they will spend their money. Especially when you are offering the very best of the practical as well as the quirky.

My passion now is to use all the experience I have gathered over the years and open a number of wonderful shops, the profits from which will go to charity. Can't wait. Gotta get on.............

October '09

Autumn is upon us again, the leaves are changing colour and the sun is dropping in the sky. It will soon be time to clear up, cut back the spent blooms of summer and prepare the garden for its 'big sleep'. All gardens look grotty at this time of year, so don't be ashamed - as I am sometimes, often hearing myself saying 'Yes, it is lovely, but you should see it in the summer.' Hopefully you will have structure in the garden - evergreens, topiary or some interesting statues or features - and these items come in to their own now as the colour fades... If you haven't any structure then you could perhaps think of adding something to draw the eye away from the soon to be emptiness of your outside space - even a pyramid bay will do the trick. And try to remember what didn't work for you over the season - before you cut back and memory is lost until next season, when once again that irritating clump springs up in exactly the wrong place! Move it, or ditch it, now! And I have noticed that many of my herbaceous plants have already seeded themselves inappropriately. Yes, I love valerian, but in amongst the paving slabs? No, I haven't a country cottage so now is the time to pull them out - it may seem harsh, but less is more in the case of valerian. Think about your trees too, are you sitting in too much shade? How is that affecting the garden?

It is nearly Easter.... 26th March 09 and the Spring is here... the willow is 'budding up' and I have finally cleared the leaves from the garden. I've clipped my 'Spirit of Freedom' rose - back to good strong buds and generally 'unravelled' it, for which it will reward me well throughout the season.

I made one horrible mistake last week - and am livid with myself. I was foraging in the garden, looking for wood for the fire having run out of chairlegs, and I took the axe to a huge old 'round' which has been lying about for a couple of years..... even with axe poised I had a feeling that I was doing the wrong thing, and - sure enough - as the axe fell and split the rotten wood I realised that it was a nest for STAG BEETLES. Oh no! There were the beautiful fat larvae snoozing in the holes made for them by their mum - and I had ripped their world apart. I tried to 're-create' the log around them and crept away feeling extremely guilty. What would happen to these still forming creatures? Two or three days later I went to have a look and they had all gone... eaten by birds I assumed. All my fault. But then I noticed an adult stag beetle pottering about.... I hadn't seen him/her before.... had he/she moved the babes somewhere else I wonder? There is plenty more old wood up there by the shed so maybe, just maybe all are saved? Anyone with any clues? Please let me know .....

We must not forget that old wood left lying about makes a fantastic home for all sorts of insects and wild life....... So either clear it up straight away - or leave and be prepared!

3rd November 07, 17.30

I am sitting here feeling sorry for myself. Aaaahhh... We've had some really wonderful weather recently, and I haven't been gardening. Three weeks ago I 'did' my back. I was just sitting on the fantastic deck we have had built on site, (photos and link to the timber guys to follow) admiring the view and doing nothing more strenuous that lifting my coffee cup when it just 'went'. No dramatic crrraaackkk just pain and it has been sore as blazes ever since. Really sore. The point of all of this (which as a first blog mayn't seem very interesting) is to remind us all that we have to take care in the changing seasons... cover up our bare bit of back that always seems to expose itself between tee shirt and trousers... wrap a scarf around our tummies, and probably stretch out more before starting work. Also have to remember those kneeling pads during this weather - muddy wet knees not a good idea. I feel like such a twit, cos I know all this yet got myself into trouble anyway... it's rather like the Health and Safety chat we are supposed to have on site (no tools left lying about on the ground etc...) and sometimes we forget and then someone gets a fork handle in the face.... NOT GOOD.

The good weather continues (at least in the South East) so am looking forward to getting on with it in the days to come, but I will remember to take more care as apart from the pain, it is just too boring not to be able to get out there and grapple with the garden, the roses need pruning, must attack the willow this year, the leaves are falling.... oh help.....