Wooden Garden Benches: Smooth and Rough-Hewn, Traditional and Modern

Garden bench under a tree at Scampston Hall Gardens
Scampston Hall Gardens

The longer we linger in gardens and green spaces, the more we value a place to sit. Over the last 18 months one of our most useful garden accessories, the bench, has been widely used and appreciated as never before.

I’m celebrating wooden benches that range in character from beautifully finished to rough-hewn and from classic to contemporary, by way of quirky and downright artsy. If your imagination works this way, try removing the bench from one pictures and replacing it with another. Garden furniture is more than just practical: the style of each bench alters the way we see its surroundings.  Continue reading “Wooden Garden Benches: Smooth and Rough-Hewn, Traditional and Modern”

A Peek into an English Bluebell Wood

Bluebell wood

Bluebells woods have a mysterious air. To get the full effect, you have to imagine everything moving in the lightest breeze, bees humming in the bells, birds singing as they attend their nests, and the odd grey squirrel bouncing around.

Bluebell wood

Light dapples through the tender young beech and chestnut leaves, moving across one patch then another; brightening or fading as clouds float between the woodland and the sun. Continue reading “A Peek into an English Bluebell Wood”

Old-fashioned Pink Roses With Lots of Petals

Double roses with button eyes
Double rose with a button eye and a ruffled style

There’s something about roses with many petals. For many, these romantic, soulful plants are the archetypal roses, especially if they happen to be pink and to have a good fragrance.

Some of these do and some don’t. What interests me about them is their flower forms, the patterns the petals take, and the way the blooms cluster together. The odd one you may recognise. Continue reading “Old-fashioned Pink Roses With Lots of Petals”

Antique Rose Emporium in Brenham, Texas, and Memories of Roses

Romantic tumble of roses at the Antique Rose Emporium

A free-to-visit garden is not to be sniffed at – but then again, some of them are. Few visitors to a rose garden can resist leaning in to inhale the fragrance. We seem hard-wired to think ‘scent’ the moment after we think ‘rose’.

Shakespeare’s ‘A rose by any other name would smell as sweet’ can’t take all the credit. Scent associations trap memories like flies in amber in a lifetime’s layering of impressions. Continue reading “Antique Rose Emporium in Brenham, Texas, and Memories of Roses”