Sarah Coles
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CHELSEA FLOWER SHOW! 2019 Yes, it’s over. I’m critical but I love it, the vibes, the brief excitement in this tiny area of plants, gardens, pop up shops, food vans, stalls selling Pimms, uplifting mottoes all over the place, furniture, gazebos, and sculpture, naff and ok. I went on the final day, and hardly bothered with the show gardens, because they’ve been on TV and they’re about spectacle not reality – they look stunning for a week before being slung into refuse vans. What has a Yorkshire canal lock to do with gardening? It’s about getting the tourists to Yorkshire. And it was...
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Lazy Gardener?

No seeds this year.  Sheer laziness, no, just lack of time.  And so, Plants!  Container annuals from Sarah Raven, and leeks, golden beetroot and a variety of lettuce from Mr Fothergills.  Handy research for Gardening Forever.
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Overnight ghost stag horn ferns and clouds sprout on the windows of the freezing greenhouse.  But as it warms by one degree they vanish as quickly as they came, leaving smeary glass.  But while they are here, the freezing tiles on the barn opposite are outlined in white, grass is crisp and wiry, everything is still, and beautiful.  Twigs and leaves sparkle with a myriad brilliant spots, as though each were a pinhole to paradise.  Which they are.  Today it’s warmer and everywhere is flat, wet, dark.  Tiny balloons from last night’s rain hang on branches, each a microcosm of...
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JANUARY 3RD 2017 Bright  and freezing.  Nothing in the way of flowers but, wait!  I never noticed Christmas Box, Sarcocca confusa, its slight creamy flowers are barely visible among the shiny leaves and last year’s black berries, but boy … from two pots either side the door its scent now wafts over everyone who enters.  A welcome, a Please Enter. They’ve been there over ten years, and come from self sown seedlings, and all I do is occasionally top dress them, scraping off some soil and replacing it with fresh compost, and giving a bucket of water when there’s a summer...
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January 3rd. Wet and warm. Rains every day. Since I have had my cataracts lasered off I can actually see! And drops do not dribble down or mist up my specs because I don’t wear them. Best, I can see the row of hellebores among emergent bluebells along the narrow path to the gate – already out at the end of December. Most are still pearls hugging the earth, but one is fully out, petals with coarse maroon flecks and, another, most precious of all because it is self-sown and therefore like nothing else and totally mine, is one which is palest shell pink with a delicate dusting of freckles. ...
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