The Victoria Garden, Farnham

There’s something quite magical about a secret garden!  Did you know that Farnham has its own secret garden hidden away in the town centre?  If you venture towards the back of Sainsbury’s car park in South Street, you’ll have the chance to discover the Victoria Garden for yourself.  A beautifully serene, sheltered and enclosed garden awaits you, a place where you can escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life. 

Heritage Open Days 2018

I have some wonderful news to share with you, the Heritage Open Days have been extended for 2018!  This event will now create eight, very special days during September 2018, where you can experience local history, culture, and architecture.  The Heritage Open Days provide a rather wonderful opportunity to both open, and visit interesting, historic, beautiful and important places, which are normally closed to the public; as well as giving you an opportunity to enjoy free entry to some lovely places that usually charge an admission fee.

Through my work I have become very well acquainted with so many fascinating plants, but I have also enjoyed getting to know some interesting people, many of whom I have met at the different gardens I have visited.  I hold a deep affection for the Royal Botanical Gardens Kew, I am a great fan and supporter of Kew’s work in conservation and plant science, and I love to visit the beautiful glasshouses and gardens at Kew; Kew’s plant collections amaze and delight me! 

The RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2018

The highlight of the horticultural calendar, The Royal Horticultural Society’s Chelsea Flower Show is the world’s most prestigious flower show!  Over the past three weeks, award winning garden designers from all over the world, together with their teams, made up of some of the best landscape architects, project managers, builders, technicians, horticulturalists, artists and crafts people, have been working solidly to transform the Royal Hospital’s grounds at Chelsea into an oasis of gardening ideas and inspiration!

The Temperate House is the world’s largest surviving Victorian glasshouse!  This substantial glasshouse is sited at the Royal Botanical Gardens Kew, which itself is a National Treasure and an UNESCO World Heritage Site.  The Temperate House is a Grade I Listed Building.  When this glasshouse’s refurbishment programme commenced work in 2013, the Temperate House was in a dilapidated condition, at this time the Temperate House was on English Heritage’s Buildings at Risk Register.

I visited the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew in August 2013, just before the planned Temperate House refurbishment programme began and this Victorian glasshouse, with its shabby chic but regal splendour was closed to the public.  I watched nervously as Kew staff wheeled containers and decorative, heavy looking display items out of the glasshouse.  Back in 2013, the planned reopening date seemed so far into the future, 2018 sounded somewhat space age then, but now, here I am delivered safely to this date, with the good fortune to be here at Kew to see the Temperate House on the day of its reopening! 

This year, Father’s Day will be held on Sunday 17th June 2018.  I hope that this list of special garden events and activities held over the Father’s Day 2018 weekend will help you to enjoy a memorable, happy, and very special weekend with your family and friends.  Here are the gardens and venues that are celebrating Father’s Day 2018 by offering discounts or free entry to fathers. 

April is such a magical time of year!  It’s quite simply awe inspiring to see the landscape being painted by mother nature in every beautiful shade of green, as more leaves unfurl and the view becomes ever greener each day.  I love to be outside, surrounded by the birds singing and bees buzzing.  On warm days you may see butterflies flying: look out for the green toned Brimstone butterfly this month. 

Remembering loved ones

When you’ve lost someone you love, it’s natural to want to arrange a fitting memorial and to plan a meaningful tribute in their memory.  Memorials of any kind are such a personal choice, but I want to help you by sharing some information and ideas of ways that you could leave a lasting legacy, one that will beautifully celebrate the life of someone close to your heart, whilst being kind to the environment. 

Kew Orchid Festival

The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew are currently hosting their 23rd annual Orchid Festival.  You’ll find an array of colourful orchids, inside the Princess of Wales Conservatory at Kew, until Sunday 11th March 2018, when the Orchid Festival closes for another year.  I hope that you can make it to Kew to see this impressive orchid spectacle during the next couple of weeks! 

I’ve admired the work of Master Florist Henck Röling for a number of years now.  Henck Röling is a Master Florist and Artist, he works for some of London’s top florists, Henck creates weekly flower arrangements for the Ritz, Southerby’s, and Fortnum and Mason, to name but a few.  As well as at top London hotels and restaurants, you may have seen some of Henck’s work at Kew Gardens’ Orchid Festivals, where Henck has created an absolutely fabulous series of floral installations over the past eight years.

Rebecca Louise Law: Life in Death

On view at the Shirley Sherwood Gallery, inside the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

If you get the chance to visit Kew Gardens before Sunday 11th March 2018, it’s worth making time to visit the Shirley Sherwood Gallery of Botanical Art, where you’ll be able to view Rebecca Louise Law’s latest art installation ‘Life in Death’. 

Kew Orchid Festival 2018 Thailand!

From Saturday the 10th February 2018, until Sunday the 11th March 2018, The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew are hosting their 23rd Orchid Festival.  If you’re looking for a wonderful day out, you’re sure to find it here, at the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew!

This inspiring plant extravaganza has been designed to celebrate Thailand’s vibrant plants and culture.  

Mothering Sunday, also known as Mother’s Day, will be held on Sunday 11th March 2018, in the UK.  If you’re looking for a special family day out, you might be interested in discovering more about the following gardens and attractions, which are offering free entry to Mothers, or other special offers on Mother’s Day 2018.  Some of these Mother’s Day offers differ, so I’ve listed the details of each event for Mother’s Day 2018 offer separately for every venue. 

If you’re looking to plant up containers to bring an immediate dose of cheer to your garden, varieties of pansies and violas, purchased in flower from your local nursery, in your favourite colours, will brighten your garden.  With regular deadheading they, will flower from now until summer arrives.

If you’re looking ahead to the summer and you’re keen on bedding plants, this is a great time to sow seeds of Lobelia, Antirrhinums, and Pelargoniums, in the warmth indoors.

Here are the dates and details of some of the 2018 Daffodil Shows and Competitions that will be held this year:

Royal Horticultural Society Daffodil Competitions and Shows

RHS Garden Rosemoor
Rosemoor Daffodil Competition will be held on Saturday 10th March 2018 and Sunday 11th March 2018.  On Saturday, the Rosemoor Daffodil Competition will open at 11.30am after judging has finished.  

Daffodils are such cheerful flowers, heralding the start of springtime, they are a joy to behold.  There are many different varieties of daffodils, so consequently you can find daffodils flowering from as early as December until late May, and beyond in cooler areas of the country.  Which is wonderful, as it provides us with plenty of time to enjoy and appreciate the daffodil’s beauty!

Happy new year!  Happy new plants – what a great idea!  Here are the details of many local plant sales, fetes, festivals, sales, swaps, and other super opportunities to buy wonderful, locally grown plants at fantastic prices, or even to swap plants or seeds for free!  Great quality, rare, hard to find, special, and unusual plants can be found at the specialist plant fairs and other events that I have listed for you below, in this my 2018 Calendar of Specialist Plant Fairs, Festivals, Sales, and Swaps.

Gifts for Gardeners

I treasure the joy I experience when I find the perfect gift for a special person.  I hope to share this joy with you, by sharing the best products that I have tried and tested this year, to help you find superb presents for your loved ones this Christmas.

Gardening Society Membership

There are many great local gardening societies who meet regularly across Surrey.   

Welcome to my 2018 Snowdrop Gardens, Talks, Events, and Open Days Calendar!  Here are the dates, and all the details of some of the most beautiful and magnificent snowdrop gardens across the UK, Ireland, Holland, Belgium, and Germany, which are all opening especially to allow visitors the joy of seeing their collections of snowdrops.  You’ll also find details of snowdrop study days, open days, talks, lectures, and any other lovely snowdrop events happening in 2018.