A bright, frosty morning to wake up to today.
Strolling around my white, sparkly garden had me admiring the beauty and the scent of this beautiful Witch Hazel, Hamamelis intermedia "Jelena." Even in the depth of Winter, the garden surprises us with wonder and delight.
In fact, many of the plants that are flowering at this time of year give off a strong perfume in order to entice any solitary bee that happens to be passing.
It's January once again. A time to reflect on time gone by, but also to feel excited about adventures to come...and what to plant and grow in the garden this year.
I'm full of ideas, helped by the copious amount of seed and gardening catalogues that come through the letterbox on an, almost, daily basis. My plan, at the moment at any rate, is to keep things simple and not to try and not to overcomit to too many projects. We will see!
What about you? Do you have any garden dreams to acomplish this year? Perhaps Harrogate Garden and Flower School can help you?
I don't know about you but now that the Christmas decorations are packed away for another year I can't wait to get back into the garden.
I'm really looking forward to welcoming everyone back to garden class next week. The first classes of 2017 will start on Tuesday 10th and we'll be spending a bit of time thinking about what we'd like to achieve in our gardens this year.
One of the things I enjoyed most during last year's classes was the sharing of ideas and inspiration. Friendships grew alongside the seeds we planted and there was lots of fun and laughter - as well as plenty of learning.
For those who have been coming to garden class for a while now, we'll take things a step further in 2017 whilst reinforcing some of the things we talked about last year. Come armed with your questions and if you have friends who would enjoy learning a bit more about gardening so that they have the confidence to enjoy this wonderful hobby please let me know. I'm launching some new class dates this year so newcomers will be very welcome.
I can't wait to see everyone and look forward to another happy year of gardening!
I really enjoy reading The Harrogate Girl's blog, written by girl about town Victoria Turner, and I was delighted to be there when she celebrated her first birthday as a blogger at a lovely event hosted by Hotel du Vin.
Thanks Victoria for a super evening and for all the wonderful support you give to local businesses like mine.
If you're anything like me, you'll love natural Christmas decorations.
The Christmas season always involves a lot of entertaining.
October can often feel like a quiet month in the garden.
The coming weeks and months and the perfect time to plan ahead and prepare your garden for some spring colour.
With this in mind I have been putting together a bulb list for garden school members with a selection of my absolute favourite bulb varieties.
If you've never planted bulbs before, then do give it a go. It's a great sight to see the first green shoots poking through the soil, even in the winter, not to mention the fabulous blooms that follow. Even if you're a seasoned bulb-planter, why not try something new this year and enjoy the results during the coming months?
The tulip varieties I've picked out include huge statement Blue Parrot tulips, violet Night Club tulips and deep crimson Ronaldo. I've selected my favourite orange toned tulips, white/green shades as well as some unusual yellow tulips that are nothing like the traditional tulips you'll be used to seeing. These include the native Sylvestris tulip which grows really well in grass and light shade.
My recommendations for daffodils and narcissi include delicate Paperwhite, dwarf Tete-a-tete and large golden Smiling Sun.
Majestic Alium planted now will add character and height to the garden and run from spring into early summer. Try Christophi, Purple Sensation and Sphaerochephalon.
For even more variety in the garden next spring why not plant some Camassia and Crocus bulbs.
If you haven't received my list of recommendations and special prices please drop me a line at email@example.com and I'll send you one.
What a treat it was to be invited onto Sunday's Julia Lewis show on Radio York to talk about the Harrogate Garden and Flower School.
I love Julia's gardening programme and it was wonderful to have an opportunity to share some of our garden school news with listeners. Julia asked me about the classes and workshops we run here and I was able to share some of the fantastic successes we've had over the past few months. Numbers have grown, friendships have been forged and gardens have bloomed.
As this is the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness I chose to share one of my favourite autumn recipes with Radio York listeners. My healthy plum crumble makes excellent use of the abundance of fruit that many people have in their gardens at this time of year.
The programme is available on iplayer for a few more weeks so if you'd like to listen click here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p045q148
My interview starts at around 1hr 35mins into the show.
Our next workshop is The Autumn Table and we have a new date for this which is Saturday 1st October.
This is a fantastic opportunity to learn how to use some of the most vibrant blooms of the season in eye-catching displays for your home.
Our seasonal table workshops are always really popular and they're a great way to lose your floral inhibitions and get creative with flowers.
As you can see from this picture taken at our Summer Table workshop, there are always masses of colourful British flowers to get your hands on and some lovely rich foliage to add to your arrangements.
There's plenty of freedom to follow your own ideas and style although I will be demonstrating how to make hand-tie bouquets and flower crowns. Choose the colours you love and let your imagination take over as you make your own autumn displays to take home.
As always at Harrogate Garden and Flower School there will be some delicious refreshments on offer and plenty of laughter and conversation along the way.
The workshop will run from 10am to 1pm and costs £55 to include all materials and light refreshments.
I do still have some places available so please give me a call if you'd like to come along. Tel 07764 237142 or email me to book a spot.
We'll also be running some Christmas wreath workshops in December and these are booking up fast. If you're interested get in touch and put your name down as soon as possible.