Here are some photographs of my own garden (the better bits) in October.

One sees at once that the regimen for next year must be earlier staking, better staking and much MORE of it than seems necessary in the comparative calm of February.

Flowers that are good value for October are Aster Frikartii Munch, Salvia Involucrata, Dahlia Blue Boy, Dahlia Nuit d’Ete, Salvia Cerro Potosi, Verbena Bonariensis and Cosmos bipinnatus ‘Dazzler’ …all very easy.

More Kindling

October 21, 2012

The little bunch of short stories that used to be on my website are now published together as a Kindle e-book, and so are my children’s books.


This was my fifth visit to Sissinghurst in thirty years. Why so infrequent a visitor to what must be the most romantic English garden…so imaginatively planned, so well planted and so beautifully kept? Well, I live in Northamptonshire, Sissinghurst is in Kent and London sprawls between. One’s resolve falters at the thought of getting round the M25, so hectic, so jammed with cars, so dispiritingly ugly in every way.  But we were spending a few days in the charming town of Whitstable so the nastiness was already got over and we whisked through the pretty Kent villages in the best of moods despite incessant rain. Because of the weather and it being late … very late … in the season the car park was almost empty. One coach from Holland and a scattering of cars. Buoyed up by a decent lunch in the restaurant …very good vegetables …and a glass or two of wine we entered the garden …..

this is one of four bronze urns at the entrance, planted with Verbena ‘Sissinghurst’ ….


….to find ourselves very nearly alone. On former visits one has fought one’s way down narrow paths past streams of people embosomed with cameras, waterbottles, coats and notebooks and patiently waited one’s turn to get a glimpse, through the gaps between heads and shoulders, of an entire shrub.

The Yew Walk

The Lime Walk
The Upper Court

I won’t show you any detailed borders because enthusiastic gardeners will already have whole books of them taken by professional photographers and unenthusiastic ones will be bored. I just want to say that the experience of being alone in this lovely place (husband having got fed up with the rain) wrought quite unexpectedly upon my feelings. There was delight, yes, spades of it, but also an inkling of the terrific sadness one must feel when one knows one is about to be separated by death from the cherished garden to which one has devoted so much time and thought and energy.  This had not occurred to me before because I prefer not to DWELL  …but I was much moved.

I am delighted to report that my first two novels ‘Out of Love’ and ‘Past Mischief’ are now republished as e-books for Kindle.

Work is in hand to do the same for ‘Dance With Me’ and ‘Running Wild’, and also the children’s books ‘The Winter of Enchantment’ and ‘The House Called Hadlows’. All these should be ‘kindled’ before Christmas.