Nosy Corner

I'm naughty. I peek into people's front gardens and back yards... sometimes I take pictures... sorry.

'Other people's gardens' are continually fascinating to me - probably because I've never had my own until now - so I go and visit gardens open to the public whenever I can.

Feel free to dip into here for inspiration.

A Holiday, part 3

 The perfect sunny day with friends, surrounded by late summer splendour…



We went to Haddon Hall, Chatsworth’s enchanting neighbour. The inside is delectable, particularly the Long Gallery, which is where one would dream of having the ultimate party or romantic tryst, but here are the gardens, laid out yonks ago of course, and recently re-planted by Arne Maynard. The borders are in their third year, beautifully done and perfectly crafted to echo the acres of delicious stone wall. I ambled with only an iphone for company, so these pictures are not the best. I would urge you to go up there for a jaunt soon…I got there too late for the abundance of roses covering each and every wall, so that is my mission for next year – but I have been in winter, and this place is just as intoxicating in the snow.



Deep deep borders full of deep deep glory


Late summer loveliness


*Gasp* What a canvas….and there is acres of it.


Comfiest, prettiest bench ever (and you can get one made for you too)


Knot garden with no box in sight – another recent addition, made from all things medicinal


Grand steps and pools


Lashings of lavender, covered in butterflies


Erigeron in every crevice….


Every plant buzzing with bees, and glistening glass in the windows


..and views out of story books…

And then there is the Bowling Green, a private house, a little way up the hill, with a garden also designed by Maynard:



A Holiday, part 2

We went to Renishaw Hall, home to the Sitwells – a truly fabulous family, with names like Raresby and Sacheverell. I am quite undone by these names and now want to re-name my own boy….I mean….SACHEVERELL – what’s not to adore and astonish in equal measure…I ASK you????

Anyhow, the garden is a glorious italianate confection of yew hedgery, lawnery, statuary and agapanthusary.




Wow hedging…


…with nasturtium growing through it at every opportunity


Grand pots of agapanthus on all the terraces


Bunny rabbits adoring something up a tree…




..and very sumptuous late summer borders

We had  a picnic on the lawn…the place is chilled and happy and entirely devoid of prissiness….slightly ramshackle, which I adore. Lovely woodland walk for children too. Thumbs up.

A Holiday: Part 1


We stayed at Swiss Cottage, Chatsworth. It is idyllic, in every single way.

There is a tame duck who likes to be fed very expensive food from Chatsworth Farm Shop. Her name is ‘The Duchess’.

There is also an adventure playground, and a really fabulous petting zoo, filled to the brim with children (and parents who would possibly rather be somewhere else)….

My ‘somewhere else’ was the garden.

Here were the highlights



Lots of rather gorgeous topiary


Extremely beauteous fencing


Good views


A pretty cottage garden with oodles of my favourite gladiolus callianthus


A cascade you could take your shoes off and paddle in


Long borders full of annuals….



Jurassic-style rock garden

…And VERY good lemon cake (which I was too late to photograph).

Pod love

I adore the London Eye…I went on it when it was born and I think it’s one of London’s better things.

…Plants make it even BETTERER

This was Andy Sturgeon’s one-day pod-fantasy conceived for a project called Cityscapes.

…It is very, very very pretty, especially when the Thames is all a-glitter….

Plant list is simple:

Cydonia oblonga (definitely one for my lust list)

Cenolophium denudatum (was going to be angelica but the cold got the better of that idea)

Deschampsia caespitosa

Hesperis matronalis

 The perfect spot for a picnic…

My mother’s camellias

…She hasn’t space for bushes…so instead she wall-trains them.

…It takes a while….

These have been here for as long as I can remember – (the pink one was given to my mother at the birth of my older brother)….What I’m trying to say is that they’re older than ME.

I don’t remember them ever flowering so abundantly as this year.
















…leaving a trail of luscious bounty….


Too many blooms to carry indoors, (like so many precious babies) and float in bowls


…So they get used to anoint topiary…’n stuff.










I’ll write a recipe for this one-pot-wonder once I’ve grilled my mother on her secrets.

a bientôt