UK Society of Botanical Artists Exhibition

Changing Seasons: an exhibition by the Society of Botanical Artists. For our new and regular visitors alike, we hope you will enjoy visiting us in the autumn of 2017 to delight in this seasonal change and maybe do some pre Christmas shopping before the City gets too crowded. As well as paintings on show, our shop will be full of cards, prints, books and new SBA products to tempt you.

Central Hall Westminster, SW1. Nearest Tube stations are St James or Westminster. 11am to 5pm daily

The Artist’s Garden, RHS Rosemoor

Over 80 of the South West’s most talented artists join together in this exciting and colourful exhibition of naturalistic pictures, prints and cards. With a focus on gardens and plants as well as landscapes, seascapes and wildlife pictures, this exhibition offers an eclectic range of art.

Free entry for RHS members, plus family guest

Lecture Hall, RHS Rosemoor, Devon

RHS Wisley Flower Show

Celebrate 25 years of the RHS Garden Wisley Flower Show this year. Featuring a variety of top quality nurseries and tradestands, there will be expert advice, plenty of shopping opportunities and beautiful floral displays from the National Association of Flower Arrangement Societies, and much, much more.

Adults £14, RHS members (plus 1 guest) FREE

Autumn Plant Festival, RHS Harlow Carr

Make the most of the season at the Autumn Plant Festival with Plant Heritage. This two-day event welcomes a range of specialist nurseries to the garden and presents a wealth of advice and information for autumn and winter planting as well as a Tender Plant Show.

The experts on hand are: Helen Bainbridge, Martin Fish, Geoff Oke, Lynne Dibley, Don Billington and David Allison, Chairman of the National Vegetable Society and RHS judge.

Free with garden entry of £12.10/adult

Outdoor Sculpture, RHS Hyde Hall

A charming exhibition by Surrey-based artist Alison Catchlove who specialises in metal sculptures of birds, bugs, animals and flowers which will be dotted around the garden for visitors to admire in this beautiful autumnal setting

RHS Hyde Hall Flower Show

Join us for this four-day floral extravaganza set in the stunning surroundings of Hyde Hall.
The show promises an all-encompassing day out with specialist nurseries, gardening sundries, expert advice and demonstrations, as well as the chance to explore the garden in full bloom.
And don’t forget that if you’re an RHS Member you gain FREE access to the show, along with one family guest.

NEW for 2017

Exhibits and advice from the British Cactus & Succulent Society and Southend Bonsai Club. Chat to members, pick up tips and see choice plants on display.
An expanded Artists’ Pavilion featuring more exhibitors, with outstanding botanical art, glass and photography to view and buy.
Innovative floral art displays on the theme ‘Celebrate Summer’.
Talks from Hyde Hall staff will include updates on our exciting Strategic Investment Programme.

Scything for beginners, RHS Rosemoor

Andi Rickard Andi has been a champion scythe for some years and enjoys teaching others the graceful art of scything. The skill has been making a comeback in recent years, partly helped by a scene in the television version of Poldark, and is a more environmentally friendly way to cut grass and wildflower meadows.

You will learn the history of scything, how to sharpen and use the scythe and try different designs, all in one of our wildflower meadows. Scythes and other tools will also be available to buy from Andi.

Rose Festival RHS Rosemoor

Join us in this month long celebration of the rose. Rosemoor’s Garden Kitchen will be celebrating roses throughout the month with a delectable series of rose-inspired and rose-infused treats, from rose meringues, rose and rhubarb cakes, to the restaurant’s much-lauded Turkish Delight Coffee.
A Rose Trail will take visitors on a historic, scented journey through the garden: from the Queen Mother’s Rose Garden, to the Long Borders and the Cottage Garden, discover stunning varieties and their fascinating stories.

FREE for RHS members plus 1 family guest

Open Garden Squares London

Feed your curiosity with over 200 private, institutional, commercial and communal gardens to explore in this magical two-day event. Gardens range from the historic and traditional to the new and experimental and can be discovered across 27 London boroughs. Gardens may be open either Saturday or Sunday, or both days, and opening times will vary so consult the Open Garden Squares website

Lloyd-Dawson and Stevens Open Garden, Herts

Visit one of Hertfordshire’s most stunning gardens this May when Kerrie Lloyd-Dawson and Pete Stevens open their private garden for the National Garden Scheme.

Although the garden is only 30m x 15m (100ft x 50ft), you will be amazed at the huge variety of plants accommodated by several soil types and microclimates. Includes a pond, bog garden, sun-loving perennial border and significant collections of rare woodland plants and hosta.

43 Mardley Hill, Welwyn, Hertfordshire, AL6 0TT, only a 1 hour drive from central London.

Open Monday 29 May (Bank Holiday), from 1-5pm. Admission is £4, children free. Homemade teas.

Córdoba Patio Festival, Spain

From 2 to 14 May, the city of Córdoba in Spain  becomes the capital of color, light and joy! Declared a UNESCO cultural heritage festival, Córdoba’s annual spring Patios de Córdoba opens the stunning private courtyards that so typify the city.

To see the best courtyards, visit Alcázar Viejo district, between the Alcázar and the parish of San Basilio, although there are also many in the districts of Santa Marina, around the church of San Lorenzo and near la Magdalena. Just around the Mosque-Cathedral, there are also very beautiful old examples of courtyards in the old Jewish quarter. The most beautiful courtyards of all are to be found in the Palacio de Viana (Viana Palace), with twelve different courtyards.

Private patios are open every day, from 11am to 2pm and then in the evening from 6pm to 10pm. Some of those around offical buildings are open only in the lunchtime hours.

Patrimonio Inmaterial de la Humanidad por la Unesco, llenos de color, de aromas, de luz, de vida, todo esto se respira en el típico patio cordobés.

 

Radicepura Garden Festival, Sicily

The new Radicepura Garden Festival in Sicily is dedicated to Mediterranean-style gardening and landscape design. Organised as a collaboration between Piante Faro nursery and the Fondazione Radicepura, which is dedicated to protecting the natural environment, the Festival features 14 designer show gardens by well known international designers such as James Basson and Kamellia bin Zaal, as well as emerging designers who have won a place in the Festival. Several artists such as Sicilian artist Alfio Bonanno have also contributed to the Festival with art installations in specially-built gardens

As it is held in the Radicepura Botanical Gardens alongside the giant Piante Faro nursery, visitors will also discover the inner workings of a large production nursery.

Open daily from 10am-7pm, 15 euro adults, children 6-16 years 5 euro, U6 free.

Radicepura Garden Festival – Via Fogazzaro n. 19 – 95014 Giarre, Catania

RHS Flower Show Cardiff, Wales

RHS Flower Show Cardiff is an early-spring show with the beauty of spring flowers set against majestic trees and contrasting hard landscaping within Bute Park. featuring show gardens, and the floral marquee, it’s a great family day out, with plenty of activities to keep kids and parents happy like the renowned Schools Wheelbarrow Competition as well as the Young School Gardener of the Year Competition.

RHS Botanical Art Show London

See some of the world’s best botanical artists on display plus the famous RHS Lindley Library collections. Free entry, open 10am to 5pm Saturday and Sunday. Meet the artists, pop-up studio, food available, find out about botanical art courses.

RHS Early Spring Fair London

The RHS Early Spring Plant Fair in London features high quality plant exhibitors, expert advice, previews of garden designs for the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, Q&A sessions with designers, expert plant and design talks, tours of the Lindley Library, floral art. Workshops on posy making and creating a terrarium. Evening opening 6pm-9pm 13 February, and 10am-5pm on 14 and 15 February 2017.

RHS Early Spring Fair London

The RHS Early Spring Plant Fair in London features high quality plant exhibitors, expert advice, previews of garden designs for the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, Q&A sessions with designers, expert plant and design talks, tours of the Lindley Library, floral art. Workshops on posy making and creating a terrarium. Evening opening 6pm-9pm 13 February, and 10am-5pm on 14 and 15 February 2017.

Garden review: historic Villa Gamberaia, near Florence

As gardeners, it is usual for us to want to see gardens that might inspire us. One garden I had read about, and heard about from fellow horticulturists, is the Italian garden of Villa Gamberaia, on the outskirts of Florence. Continue reading “Garden review: historic Villa Gamberaia, near Florence”

The Garden of Ninfa – is it worth all the superlatives?

It was at a meeting of heritage rose lovers that I first heard about Ninfa, a romantic, rambling, Italian garden built in the ruins of a medieval town. People spoke of it in reverential terms and my interest was piqued by their idyllic description – old roses and vines cascading from ruined towers and trees, scrambling along crumbling archways and overhanging crystal clear streams. Continue reading “The Garden of Ninfa – is it worth all the superlatives?”

Review: A tale of two Normandy gardens

A broad lawn sweeps downhill to a lily pond at lowest point, rather than being interrupted by the usual terracing of Continental gardens. On two sides of this lawn, woodland gardens of rhododendrons, herbaceous perennials and bulbs transition from humanised landscape to natural forest. On the far side, a series of themed garden rooms surround the country house and assorted farm buildings, leading to further woodlands beyond. Continue reading “Review: A tale of two Normandy gardens”

Amsterdam’s secret: an enchanted forest and gardens

For a lifelong cyclist Amsterdam is heaven – once you get your bearings that is. That skew-whiff grid of canals is totally bamboozling at first. The initial 24 hours completely did my head in. Utterly lost. Embarrassing for someone who prides himself on being able to find his way around. Since then however, the cycling has been sublime.

Continue reading “Amsterdam’s secret: an enchanted forest and gardens”

Canal Open Gardens (Tuinen Dagen)

More than 25 Amsterdam garden owners will open their canal gardens to the public. When the gardens were designed, in the 17th century, their purpose was to be useful. When the inhabitants grew richer, ornamental gardens became a status symbol. These days however, a return to utility is apparent in the canal gardens. It seems to be a trend to grow fruit, herbs and vegetables again.
Open Garden Days gives special attention to this trend, by creating a tour past these gardens as well as the beautiful ornamental gardens and exquisite garden houses. All gardens can be reached on foot or by bike

Festival des Architectures Vives

To face today’s economic mutations and technical, technological and societal changes, it is not enough to adapt – today we must innovate.

The Festival des Architectures Vives is an architectural path for the general public, who can discover or rediscover the historical landmarks of the city of Montpellier since 2006 and the city of La Grande Motte since 2013. The event invites visitors to go in contact this rich heritage by offering installations scattered around the city. In Montpellier, it takes place in the historic town and offers a path connecting mansions and courtyards, mostly private, that are usually not visible to visitors.

Estufa Fria – Lisbon’s greenhouse (serra fredda Lisbona)

[Scorri in basso per leggere l’articolo in Italiano – scroll down to read in Italian]

This enchanting “cold greenhouse” is located at the end of the Parque Eduardo VII in Lisbon, Portugal, in a protected and sheltered area of an abandoned former quarry. It occupies the surface of one hectare and a half and was inaugurated in 1933 on the project of the painter and architect Raul Carapinha, then renovated in the 1940s and 1970s with new facilities and a new pond. It is now divided into three different areas: Estufa Fria, Estufa Quente and Estufa Doce.

Continue reading “Estufa Fria – Lisbon’s greenhouse (serra fredda Lisbona)”

Ludwigsburg: one of the world’s best pumpkin festivals

When I was growing up the only pumpkin we ate was the Ironbark, which required the strength of an iron woman (or man) and a sharp axe to cut it up. Usually it was baked with meat and potatoes, until tender and delicious but sometimes it was boiled then mashed with butter and a dash of nutmeg. The shape and toughness of the Ironbark made it difficult and time consuming to peel so it was often baked with the skin on. The cooked flesh could then be scraped away from the skin but to be honest I liked the nutty taste of the skin and happily devoured it all. Continue reading “Ludwigsburg: one of the world’s best pumpkin festivals”

My challenge, the acceptance, and the Jardin du Bois du Puits

In May this year I contacted my friend and colleague Catherine Stewart with a challenge: find me a garden to visit in the middle of France I said. Or, more precisely…
‘We are catching ferry from Portsmouth to Cherbourg. Then drive to a rented house near St Malo. Then cross country heading for brother’s place in Monceaux-au-Perch. Via probably Domfront, Alençon that sort of direction.
It’s worth a good red!! I will owe you one’ Continue reading “My challenge, the acceptance, and the Jardin du Bois du Puits”

Garden travel – how do you temper your desire?

Garden travel starts with desire…you want all the beautiful gardens and exotic locations, delicious new foods and intriguing local culture. But after 10 years of leading garden tours, I know that this desire will be best satisfied when its balanced by restraint, as that’s what will give you the most holiday pleasure. Continue reading “Garden travel – how do you temper your desire?”

Wildflowers of the Dolomites, Italy – Part 3

During our 2013 trip to the Dolomites in northern Italy (Wildflowers of the Dolomites Part 1 and Part 2), we were captivated by the mountains and scenery, and were lucky enough to revisit them in 2015. Carrying less gear in our packs (but still too much – next time we’ll be going ultralight!) – we once again used several of Gillian Prices’ Walking in the Dolomites Cicerone Guide books, plus topographical maps. Continue reading “Wildflowers of the Dolomites, Italy – Part 3”

The Kiss: Gardening with Gustav

Have you ever seen a piece of art and imagined it as a garden? I am not a horticulturalist, garden designer or landscape architect. My only design experience comes from moving seventeen times in thirty four years and always having to cram my stuff into a new house and find a way to make it look appealing. But I am an art lover. Continue reading “The Kiss: Gardening with Gustav”

Welcome to the world’s largest maze, in Fontanellato, Italy

The Masone Labyrinth (Labirinto della Masone) of Franco Maria Ricci in Fontanellato, Italy, is 7 hectares (17 acres), making it the largest labyrinth in the world. Will you ever escape its tunnels of green gloom? Continue reading “Welcome to the world’s largest maze, in Fontanellato, Italy”

Book Review: ‘Lessons from Great Gardeners’

Lessons from Great Gardeners‘ is an inviting book. First, in terms of content. Forty ‘gardening icons’ – gardeners, garden designers and/or garden owners – are profiled, many with emphasis on one garden to which each has devoted a significant part of his or her life. You absorb their practical skills in terms of knowledge and experience. You respond to their creative ideas and their passion for gardens. You learn from them. Continue reading “Book Review: ‘Lessons from Great Gardeners’”