Wednesday 22 February 2012

Thirsting for green shoots...

This is Stella McCartney's garden, as featured in Vogue

I find myself longing for the hedgerows to stir. Don't get me wrong, they are very noisy with chirruping and chirping, each morning the birdsong volume increases a notch as they are beginning to resume residence. As yet though there is very little sign of soft furnishings! I do love the sparse winter landscape, the structure of familiar trees and hedgerows revealed and the muted palette...But there comes a moment, like now, when you begin to sense that perhaps sap is rising and buds will unfurl. Yes, I want to find the hedgerows white again but this time with the froth of cow parsley.

I have been thinking intently about and watching this garden, unfamiliar still. Oh! there are drifts of snowdrops in the orchard and crocus self sown in the gravel on the drive and daffodils pushing up in clumps around all the large trees. Someone once really loved this garden and so I watch and think about what I might improve whilst celebrating daily discoveries. 

Gardens have been created to celebrate love for centuries and I am inspired by Stella McCartney's Anniversary Garden, created for her by her husband.

It really is stunning isn't it? If you have time check out the whole gallery at Vogue's website here

Image on left  from bforbonnie, image on right vintage "Cottage Garden" fabric by Collier Campbell
I really admire the colour combinations, especially the purple leafed cherry plum as a backdrop for cow parsley, (my favourite - we were married in May and the church was festooned in balls of it!) purple hued sweet rocket and tall grasses.

Ostara swing by Myburgh Designs
When I win the lottery I am planning to sit in this copper swing seat and look out across the Weald!
In the meantime I am besotted by the writing and engravings of Clare Leighton in her book "Four Hedges". She writes...

" spring seems to come suddenly. We have weeks of frost, when the earth resists all efforts to move it, and ice lies thick on the water butts in the midday sun, and birds gather at the kitchen window for food. But one day we turn to one another and say that spring has come. We can almost imagine that we know the exact half hour of its arrival, as though it were a visible guest."

 And so I watch and I wait...


  1. Wow that garden is stunning makes you want spring and summer to hurry up and appear.
    How wonderful to be married when the cow parsley was out. It's one of my favourite flowers too although unfortunately I can't get it to grow in our garden.
    Sarah x

  2. Wow what a garden, hope I can win lotto also.

  3. It's my wedding anniversary in April, and I have just shown my husband this post and made clear my expectations!!
    This is so beautiful, thanks heaps for posting about it

  4. Lovely garden, I have to say looking out at mine it looks very sad all mushy green and muddy brown! Roll on spring when hopefully it'll brighten up abit.

  5. Everything on your post is adorable. I love the garden, will check out the other pictures, lucky Stella. I also love the look of the book with the engravings on the front. Yesterday I spent a few minutes staring at the large Lime tree at the end of our garden, for traces of life returning again, could I see a bulging where the buds of leaves are starting? Or was it just my imagination? I think you are right, once everything starts you can practically hear the sound of the sap rising and buds popping, I can't wait.

  6. Hello from Paris ! I am a Chilean travel writer based in Paris, France and just found your beautiful blog. Your gardens reminded me of a trip my husband and I did in England last year. We visited the gardens around London and it was really marvellous. Every garden was stunning. I love the way english mix wild with sophistication. My mother is Scottish and in Scotland, they also know how to marry the extremes ! There is a great book about gardens (in Italy) written by Edith Wharton. Do you know it ?
    Thanks and à bientôt I hope,
    Francisca Mattéoli

  7. I am always in such great awe of that garden and of her. So down to earth, so unassuming and so ever so beautiful.

    Have you been watching 'Bees and butterflies' or is that a silly question.

    Nina xxxx

    1. mais oui, mais oui! I am taking a very keen interest as we would like to maintain an area of wild flower much to plan, but all good!
      love to you,
      Sarah xXx

  8. Yes, spring is early here, too! EARLY, I say! I'm shouting it aloud to everyone - it's a dream come true! Usually, we're buried deep in drifts of snow and it's bitterly inhospitable outside. Now, most of the snow is gone and, just a few days ago, I noticed an almost imperceptible tinge of green haze on the field. After the rain, last night, there are definitely green blades of grass, here and there. It's, at least, six weeks early! Isn't it all wonderful? Just wonderful?!!!

    However, now, I've been kicked into high garden gear - time to make some plans and get organized! I'm behind.... ;)

    and, this garden is one of the most romantic things that I've ever, ever seen! How beautiful! and, more than a little food for thought and dreaming....


  9. What a lovely post!! Thank you xx

  10. Oh yes bring on Spring I say!
    Lisa x

  11. I love Claire Leighton's book. And how wonderful to live in a world where entire gardens can be gifted on anniversaries!

  12. Oh cow parsley in summer is so frothy and pretty! I too live down a little lane, over here in Ireland a little lane is called a bohereen
    and ours fills with cow parsley and butterflies!

    Best wishes


  13. Oh it's here ... I can smell it, hear it and feel it upon my skin.. the zing in the air that comes with a Spring day.. birds a twittering, silk parachute buds unfolding, and the scent of freshly laundered flora and fauna..
    Have I lost it... or is it just Spring Fever!
    Love to you


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