National Gardening Week 2015

snail on orange calendula flower, marigold



National Gardening Week takes place during April 13th – 19th, 2015.


The idea behind it is to celebrate gardens and gardening and also to encourage more people to try out gardening themselves.


There are many events happening across the country, so click the link to find some near where you are.



So why have I chosen to take National Gardening Week as my inspiration for this week’s blog?

I thought perhaps, with all this gardening in the air, sharing some of my passion for gardens might encourage you to explore some open gardens, or even venture into your own garden and look on it with a new eye.


I’ve chosen a few gardening quotations around which I’ve set my gardening thoughts, hopefully to inspire you to enjoy National Gardening Week in your own way.

giant scabious, garden, , cephalaria gigantea, dunvegan castle, Marie Shallcross, herbaceous perennial, architectural plant, isle of skye



To own a bit of ground, to scratch it with a hoe, to plant seeds, and watch their renewal of life…this is the commonest delight of the [human] race, the most satisfactory thing

seed sowing stuff

As a garden designer, I am often asked how I ‘got into’ gardening and garden design. My answer is that some of my earliest and pleasantest childhood memories are of pottering in the greenhouse with my Grandfather. Tying up tomatoes with a hessian twine, the aroma of the bruised tomato leaves and warm potting compost mingling together. Or in the potting shed; making little molehills of horticultural grit, sand, home-made compost and soil, then mixing them together. As much fun as making sandcastles on the beach.

perlite, vermiculite and horticultural grit, growing media, propagation

I best like gardens I can eat and that smell divine. I think that translates in to helping you discover that even if you think you’re not really a gardener, and only have a little time for gardening, you can still grow a few herbs for your kitchen and have jasmine surrounding your back door, filling the summer months with a heady scent even when you’re in the middle of a city.

Jasmine officianalis cream, climber, edible flower, perennial



“If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.”
(Marcus Tullius Cicero)

Plus a dog, and a cat, and a coffee, and some chocolate maybe? Perhaps Cicero was being a little simplistic, but the concept of a garden as meeting your basic needs for relaxation is a good one.

greenhouse, border collie

tabby cat on a garden table

espresso coffee cup

Chocolate cosmos

Gardening should be a pleasure. I understand that part of my role as your garden designer is to create a garden for you where the chores are minimal and the enjoyable tasks are many. This may translate as an overall easy maintenance garden; or it may be that you’d like a small orchard and a cottage garden border but only want to give the rest of your garden minimal attention.

fruit trees, elizabethan garden, kenilworth castle


If you would be happy your whole life long, become a gardener.
(Old Chinese Proverb)

There’s something to this proverb. You may not be happy all of the time, but if weeding the vegetable patch or the flower border gets rid of the frustrations of traffic delays on your way home from work, that’s changed your mind-set, hasn’t it?

edible garden design bromley, raised vegetable beds,herbs, grow your own, gardening lessons

One of the greatest pleasures of my work is teaching gardening to people in their own gardens. The pruning becomes obvious and relevant when it’s your own shrubs that are the ones you learn to prune. Sowing seeds and transplanting seedlings that will grow into your lunchtime salad is fun. And sometimes you can even see the point of botanical Latin…




As part of National Gardening Week, Friday April 17th is National Gardens Open Day when many gardens that normally charge entry are free; and other gardens that are not normally open to the public fling wide their gates and encourage us to explore their horticultural delights. The National Garden Scheme, also known as NGS or Yellow Book Gardens, have a number of gardens especially open for this event.  For more ideas on some gardens to visit, why not check out our Garden Visits blog archive?


Related gardening blogs you may enjoy

Edible gardens and ornamental food
Easy maintenance edible gardens
Allotments and allotment gardens
Garden pests slugs and snails – 5 tips for dealing with the molluscs
Seeds and seed sowing

nicotiana in courtyard ightham mote, marie shallcross


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