Sarah Coles

Leaves, more leaves, different leaves

Nearly August. There’s been rain – everything through its grey veil seems to quiver upwards. I stayed inside until it stopped. Outside the wooden water butt has swelled and closed the gaps in drying wood. Here there aren’t enough flowers to shout, and the only reason the garden looks any good at first sight is the leaves – the variegated cornus looking pale and interesting, the shiny hands of the fatsia with pointy nails, the maroon flutes of Eucomis Purple Burgundy and the strange reds of Persicaria Red Dragon, and the all year gold of Choisya Sundance, and the huge balls and cocks of...
read more

No Wonder Pick Your Own is no more!

I’m fed up with my garden birds, blackbirds, thrushes the lot!  Loads of gooseberries, which I don’t mind sharing, but why do they always take the easiest to pick, leaving me with prickly hard to reach fruit in the middle of the bush?  Especially now, when Whinham’s Purple left to change from green to pink to dark sweet delicious purple, the size of pullets eggs, hasn’t had a chance.  They’re virtually all gone. Next year, remember, NETTING. No wonder the craze for PYO is over.  The wretched growers couldn’t cope with all the fruit or veg lightly...
read more


Summer scents!  It’s the honeysuckle spread like a shawl woven gold and cream over branches of a tall Stranvaesia (?) which wave up and down, it’s the double philadelphus at the far end of the garden, it’s the trachelospermum which sheets the shed wall in twisty white stars.  The philadelphus is quite pungent, but the other two waft scents I can live with all day, no bullying here, like the lavender which has just started to open, they are more stroke than shove. Soon there will be lilies, strong and sinister with their promise of death. For longest of all there are leaves...
read more


This year, eleven gardens on the main street of our village, Alresford, were open for charity.  Owners had been sweating guts for weeks.  All the houses along Broad Street are Georgian because after two massive fires in the 18th century they were rebuilt, each different, dignified and beautiful.   On the other side, away from the street, the gardens stretch away, long and narrow – they are based on medieval burgage plots which had to fit the narrow frontages along Broad Street, and most are still the original 20 rods by 2 rods – sometimes they are double, making the gardens 10 rods wide. ...
read more

Copyright Sarah Coles 2018
Privacy Policy
Website Design & Creation Forum Media and Design - Alresford