Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Friday, 25 April 2014

Mail order

Look out for an exciting new mail order development. Enough said. For now!

The British Flower School

Mapeprton is a truly beautiful place to be hosting this flower school. I am so very delighted that the Earl and Countess of Sandwich are up for it. We opened the doors two weekends ago, just to show off the space, and since then I have been working on what is really going to go on there! And I already have two fabulous florists from the States booked for next year, and two of the UKs most prominent garden designers signing up wanting to come and host events. Hoorah. All I can really say is watch the website and all may gradually be revealed.

What's been happening?

The main preoccupation since returning a month ago (really? a whole month ago?) has been getting everything organised for the opening of The British Flower School at Mapperton Gardens. I believe we're getting there, and I believe it's going to work. It's certainly going to be huge fun and a wonderful place to be.

And there have been weddings, and hellebores and anemones and ranunculus galore and tulips tulips tulips. I never have been able to resist a tulip. And my own new gardens to sort out (complete with tulips, ranuncs etc). These are also getting there, plants that were planted or re-planted last year are bulking up and there is virtually nothing left in the acre and a half original gardens that cannot be cut, from akebia vine to cherry blossom at the moment, with lots of narcissi, tulips, cilla, camassia, tellima, phlomis, honeysuckle, clematis,  lysimachia, lily of the valley, nepeta, solomon's seal and now early annuals such as love in the mist all crying out to be picked and made into beautiful bouquets. All good fun.

Shamed! and Burma

It's shameful that I haven't posted anything for two whole months. I have reasons but none are good enough...
So, back for a moment to Burma, which is where I was going when I last posted. A marvellous, curious, heartwarming country where the wonderful people deserve better than they've got. Interesting growing too. We took some time out of the blistering heat and universal dust of Yangon (though a fascinating brilliant city nonetheless, and wonderful flowers stalls, all home grown of course, nothing imported) and went to the slightly cooler climes of central Burma and Inle Lake, which I decided is a cross between Venice and Evesham. Watery, houses built on the water but more interesting for me the fact that the gardens are also on the water, captured pockets of land a metre deep that are anchored to the bottom of the lake with giant bamboos, compost is lakeweed and silt captured from the lake and taken back in boats to spread.This is where they grow the tomatoes for Burma, plus cucumbers, gourds, some flwoers.... tomatoes are the main crop, 3 months to grow and 3 months harvesting, then another crop.

And not just practical but also utterly picturesque. I m wondering if it could be a way forward for the Levels, with different plants, and using willows instead of bamboos as the staples?