Cold and Yet More Cold and Japanese Magazines

Well the weather isn’t getting any better. Yet more snow this week and the temperatures barely above freezing but with an icy wind. And they say it may not get much better for a month!

This was rather disappointing to our visitor last weekend as he had come to see an English Garden and to report on it for his magazine – Mr Partner  ( – a lifestyle magazine which features English life quite often. They had decided that for the May issue they would feature English gardens.. ho ho. We had so little so show them. However we did our best and made a quick visit to find what was in flower at the store and plant up some new pretty blue pots on the patio and some lovely red flowers too.

So along came one of the Editors – lovely man who had some grasp of English and a very handy tape recorder who spent 2 hours with us! He photographed outside and inside – he was interested to see I had begonia corms on a windowsill warming through and beginning to sprout. He said that would not happen in Japan as they do not have windowsills … or at least ones wide enough. He also said that even where Japanese people had gardens, even if small, they used them mainly for storage and did not grow anything.

I had to prepare an English tea and cakes for him, as we provide that for our visitors. So out came the best glass cake stands and I made a lovely beetroot and pineapple cake with a cream filing and topping taken from a Delia Smith idea (the topping not the cake recipe).

He took photos of me pretending to plant something outside in my padded coat and then of both my husband and myself indoors. He asked and photographed the water system we have as that was one thing that had attracted his attention on our website ( We have harvested as much of our rainwater as we possibly can both front and back. And at the back it is piped into a huge tank hidden under a bed of miniature and low growing plants. It is then piped down the garden to 2 taps for easy watering at the back of the garden. We were the only London garden he was visiting so can’t wait for the mag to come out to see what he has put in.

We do say on our website that we are to visitors  by appointment from March but this year of course so little was actually in flower. Many of our daffs are still thinking… usually of course the spring meadow has come right up and is beginning to fill out with flowers for the bees from symphitum and so on, but there is almost no sign of them so far… (We open for charity and only charge a small fee to cover costs for tea and cake and give our receipts to charity)

Still he seemed interested in what I had to say and went away with lots and lots of digital photos of the garden as we built it and how it has transformed since our first plant Dec 2007 – so we are now coming into our 5th summer. And we now have over 40 clematis! We went and got 3 new ones this afternoon from someone who has moved and there are several from my birthday present too waiting for planting including one for a hanging basket – new way of breeding them. I’m so looking forward to planting them and seeing them grow!

This is 20111

This is 20111

an overview DSCN1339 DSCN1317 DSCN1331 DSCN1286 DSCN1297

The garden 2012

The garden 2012

Overgrown and ivy everywhere

Overgrown and ivy everywhere

The original state of the back garden

The original state of the back garden

IMGP0283 tree58a4

The garden we started with in 2007

The garden we started with in 2007 halfway through its tranformation


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