15 Open Gardens in Beckley, Oxfordshire

Blessed with a series of ancient wells, Beckley is one of those quintessentially Oxfordshire villages with irresistibly pretty country cottages, a manor house (or two), community pub and a medieval church that dates back to Norman times. It is the type of village where well-established English roses and wysteria command exterior walls and where exuberant cottage flowers find their way between the cracks to greet you. On Sunday 19th June 2022, Beckley will be opening their garden gates and welcoming visitors to 15 private gardens for charity.

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The RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2022

Since I was last at The RHS Chelsea Flower Show in 2018, the world has of course become a very different place. To say that plants and flowers have become a huge trend for interior decoration is perhaps an understatement. From small scale print designs to grand scale florals, the health benefits of plants and flowers and how we garden for the planet is now key.

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The Old Rectory garden opens for The National Garden Scheme in Berkshire

Members of the wonderful National Garden Scheme are generously opening their garden gates for charity this summer, just when we need them most. The sheer joy of a visit to see some of Britain’s private gardens is going to bring a lot of happiness to many. The variety of gardens you can visit range from secret city rooftops to cottage and manor house gardens. The season starts for us on Sunday 23 May (2 – 5 pm) with a visit to one of Berkshire’s finest.

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House and garden tour: Polkadot Parsley

Are you the sort of house hunter who knows straight away whether it is ‘the one’ or not? This was very much the case for Jo Beavan who runs her successful online ceramic oven to tableware business Polkadot Parsley. Jo and her husband Simon who is a chartered civil engineer, have a long-standing love of France and of period homes. So when Jo spotted an Oxfordshire farmhouse for sale with a Georgian frontage and a French-style walled garden, the contracts were as good as signed. The only slight sticking point was that their own family house wasn’t on the market yet…

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Garden design at The Newt, Somerset

If like me you are drawn to colour, pattern and texture in all its forms, I hope you might enjoy this snapshot of some inspirational garden design ideas from a recent visit to the gardens at The Newt in Somerset. The garden had been on my radar for a while so I was excited to be able to take the opportunity to make a flying visit.

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Interiors staying connected

‘Staying In’ has offered unexpected positives, one of them is having time to think about what’s important. In these very difficult times, it has been lovely to see so many acts of human kindness and creativity. It has also been inspiring to see the interiors industry getting supportive with webinars and even a new charity aimed at giving NHS heroes, interior designed havens to come home to. I thought I would share with you some of the creative Staying-In inspiration that has caught my eye these past few weeks.

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English secret garden

One of the sweet spots of the summer season is the moment when our calendar gets filled with dates to visit gardens open for charity on behalf of The National Garden Scheme. More exterior than interior I suppose but fairly inextricably linked for floral/botanical design inspiration and for the patterns found in imaginative landscaping. These are usually private gardens and there is often exceptionally fine, freshly baked cake from precious family recipes. If you are lucky, proper tea cups and saucers with the odd plant to buy and a bit of bunting. Heaven really.

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What is the future of shopping?

With high street stores in decline, is it conceivable that UK shoppers have gone off their favourite national pastime? Or is it that they just want a more tailored and personal service by buying direct from artisans at festivals, interior design shows, pop-ups and country fairs? Some shoppers are now choosing to make special purchases whilst enjoying their favourite pastime or experience at events such as The RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

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10 top trends from the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2018

To say that the world renowned RHS Chelsea Flower Show is a bit of a biggy in the garden design/interior style calendar is a little bit of an understatement! I am really excited to be reporting for the blog from the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2018 press day today before the show’s official opening tomorrow.

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Petersham Nurseries: Midsummer styling ideas

If you want to experience a cross between a magical midsummer night’s dream whilst entering the secret walled garden of a genteel country house (one whose Victorian glass house has charmingly ‘seen better days’)  – then Richmond’s Petersham Nurseries is the place for you!

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