Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Alvis come to Stevington

A group of Alvis car fanatics came on a garden visit in mid July and we enjoyed them parked in our front drive; made in Coventry, several dated from the 1930s. According to the Alvis Club website 'They were relatively expensive when new, competing in the upper end of the market, and were not produced in large numbers, thus they are very exclusive. Performance, appearance and finish are all well above the levels found in run of the mill cars. Whilst other makes are better known and more instantly recognised, there is an air of quiet good breeding about an Alvis which expresses its owner's taste.' They certainly graced our garden that day!

Sunday, 26 July 2009

Mad Hatter's Tea Party

For our Mad Hatter's Tea Party next Saturday we are going to dress up and act out the trial scene about who stole the tarts with the Red King, White Rabbit etc all wearing glorious hats. Over 50 people are coming to the party and we will have the most exotic tea with Dodo egg delights, Eat Me Stuffed Mushrooms,Fish footman “Dear Little Crab” tarts,Down the Rabbit Hole Cupcakes,Pocket Watch cupcakes, Eat Me Cakes,Looking glass biscuits etc etc all made by Masterchef finalist, Hannah Miles. It promises to be an amazing adventure!

Monday, 20 July 2009

Deep Dark Clematis

Two of our favourite 'late flowering' clematis are out right now...angular Romantika and rounded Miegritianka both with an array of dusky jewels. They vie with Black Prince to be the darkest of them all....but there are also a host of others, light blue, purple, cream, yellow, pink etc. to be seen on our Tuesday openings in July or on our Open Day on August 2nd.

Saturday, 18 July 2009

Bee heaven

Echinops sphaerocephalum Arctic Glow is really attractive to bees and on a warm day each spiky globe will probably have three or four different types supping the nectar.

We call these echinops 'golf balls' here, easy to see why with the Open Championship well under way, but the latin name translates as hedgehog and its easy to see why. They have self seeded amongst the gravel to form a great colony beneath the white stemmed birch trees and they make an impressive display.

All sorts of honey and bumble bees visit them including carder bees, orange bottom, and white bottom types. We saw a hornet there earlier in the week.

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Nigella papillosa African Bride

Nigella papillosa African Bride comes out slightly later than the usual blue love in the mist. Self seeding every year between two white stemmed birches, it is as much an 'eye catcher' in flower, as it is when it holds its amazing seedheads aloft. A winner either way.

Thursday, 2 July 2009


I always love Wimbledon fortnight. I used to work at the Bank of England and one of the perks was to sometimes be lucky enough to receive entry tickets to Wimbledon (preliminary matches were held on the Bank of Englnad tennis courts at Roehampton). How I revelled in the excitement of John Mc Enroe and Bjorn Borg etc etc. Well, now I have my own tennis racket planted up! Is any one else that MAD! It will be even better next year when it has filled out a bit. Roll on Murray!

Creepy Crawly Insect Cakes

Imagine my delight yesterday to be given a wonderfully exciting tray of fairy cakes which Mary, the cookery teacher at Lincroft school had used as a demonstration to show the children how they could use garden insects as a decoration. Caterpillars and spiders were to look delicious! Their recent visits to my garden had made even the teachers think about garden life! More to come!

Wednesday, 1 July 2009


After the soaring heat of the day, how refreshing it was to enjoy the soft, exquisite light on the stipa giganteas and white echinops beneath the white stemmed birch trees which lie to the fore of the wild flower meadow. Here the bales of hay were alight just like the church tower in the distance. Then as the red ball of fire dropped below the horizon, the pale blue scabious were at their most delicate.