Six on Saturday: 11 Sep 21: Keep it in the family

This week’s Six on Saturday comes from my favourite section of Belgium’s botanical garden at Meise, just north of Brussels. It’s called the Cronquist garden (after the American botanist, Arthur Cronquist) and houses an enthralling collection of herbaceous plants, arranged neatly by family in beds – Cronquist was apparently instrumental in developing a new classification system for plant families. The beds are set off by … Continue reading Six on Saturday: 11 Sep 21: Keep it in the family

Six on Saturday: 04 Sep 2021: mellowing

Who captured the feel of autumn better than John Keats, with his ‘season of mists and mellow fruitfulness’? Well, we are not quite there yet, it’s a bit early for mist, and fruitfulness is a bit disappointing, as we’ve had very few apples and no grapes this year. But there is most definitely a mellowing of the light, which is to be welcomed, making the … Continue reading Six on Saturday: 04 Sep 2021: mellowing

Six on Saturday: a Kentish coastal garden: 21 Aug 2021

This week’s six comes from my mother’s front garden on the Kentish coast. After considerable entanglement in red tape and form-filling and testing, I have made it to England at last. 1 Pebbles and stone. The weather has been rather dull and grey, but it still feels good to be back and to see the sea again. It’s a pebble beach here, and several pebbles … Continue reading Six on Saturday: a Kentish coastal garden: 21 Aug 2021

Six on Saturday: 31 July 2021: Save the insects!

It’s been a week of gusty winds and unsettled weather, but also of good-ish news: double-vaccinated EU residents are finally going to be allowed to travel to England without the need to quarantine, allowing families (like ours) to reunite. Except for anyone coming from or going through France to reach the shores of Albion, which we do. We’re told this is because there are cases … Continue reading Six on Saturday: 31 July 2021: Save the insects!

Summer days: butterflies, blight and Banksy

Things are rarely entirely good or entirely bad, and so it is with summer in Belgium this year. On the bad side, we had the terrible weather and the terrible flooding in parts of the country. The clean-up is going to be long and expensive. Plus, we still have the confusion and uncertainty over how and when we can get to the motherland for our … Continue reading Summer days: butterflies, blight and Banksy

Six on Saturday: 17 July 21: Après le déluge

Well that was an awful lot of rain. You will have no doubt heard about the floods in eastern Belgium and seen the devastation on the news. Towns that we drove through in spring when we went to that region for a lovely holiday have been reduced to mud, upturned vehicles and rubble, it’s quite astonishing. Here in the centre of the country, perched on … Continue reading Six on Saturday: 17 July 21: Après le déluge

Six on Saturday: 10 July 2021: tribulations

Coping with loss, failure, and disappointment is as much the gardener’s lot as the more celebrated joys and triumphs of successfully growing beautiful plants and bringing in bountiful harvests. Perhaps inevitably, we highlight the good stuff and tuck away the bad stuff, well away from the camera lens and our brightly edited versions of our gardens. But this year has been tough in more ways … Continue reading Six on Saturday: 10 July 2021: tribulations