Trust The Great Beech For a Bold, Bright Winter Garden

Autumn beech leaves
Beech leaves dry to a striking bronzy-brown

In Phantastes by George MacDonald, a country maiden warns the hero, Anodos, to shun the Ash and the Alder, but says he can ‘trust the Oak, and the Elm, and the great Beech.’ Sure enough, Anodos meets a Beech tree with a voice ‘like a solution of all musical sounds’ who longs to be a woman. She invites him to cut lengths from her hair, and uses them to create a protective girdle of beech leaves for his magical journey. Continue reading “Trust The Great Beech For a Bold, Bright Winter Garden”

Twelve Snippets from Prague

As real travel would neither be safe nor legal, I’m indulging in photo-travel by using Becky’s Squares Challenge (Up) as an excuse to revisit our brief trip to Prague in January two years ago.

Painted tree trunk with the John Lennon wall, Prague

1. (Layered up) Locals and visitors have been adding slogans, quotes, I-was-heres and drawings to The Lennon Wall since the singer’s death. The wall has always been controversial, so authorities and activists have often covered up the colours with  fresh layers of paint, to find it quickly filled with artwork and slogans again. It is now protected by new rules (no spraying) while cameras help enforce the theme of peace and love. Continue reading “Twelve Snippets from Prague”

Beautiful Ways To Train And Support Rambling Roses

Rosa 'Malvern Hills' trained in an arch shape around a door
Rosa ‘Malvern Hills’ trained in an arch shape around a door

A rambling rose will grow against almost any garden structure and can be encouraged to scramble into a tree. Most ramblers need to be tied to, or woven around, their support while the canes are still young and flexible.

If you only check one thing before buying a rambling rose, make it the height, which should be a good match for the structure it’s going to be growing against. A common mistake is to choose too big a rambler: you’ll have to keep cutting away potential flowering stems to prevent your rose from completely swamping the arch, arbour, obelisk or trellis. Here are some ways to support rambling roses that will show off these beautiful plants to their best: Continue reading “Beautiful Ways To Train And Support Rambling Roses”