Corydalis lutea (Yellow Corydalis)

Corydalis luteaWhen I first started gardening professionally I had an in-built discrimination towards this little yellow plant. Spotting it enjoying the lime and damp in corners of buildings and pathway cracks, my response to it was to remove it.

But now my response has done a 360 degree turnaround due to a client who showed me how delicate and beautiful it really is. I have always had a difficult response to yellow flowers and in particular those with an acidic hue, but seeing Marj’s smiling face and hearing her describe its beauty to me with her faded Liverpudlian tones I very happily allowed myself to change my mind.

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Over the past two years I have come to love and cherish Marj who I quickly connected with as a friend. We had a beautiful and lasting connection and love for each other. Marj always accompanied me in her garden and together we chatted, shared stories, giggled, and talked about family concerns over coffee and lunches on trays sitting in the garden.

Often Marj would snip at the stems of faded perennials to help with the making of the home-made compost. We loved each other’s company and just being together. The garden Robin would often stay with us and peck at the shavings of grated cheese Marj gave it.

Very sadly Marj died this week, aged 82 and I am shocked by the suddenness of her passing. I just want to say how much I will miss her and that I will always hold her in my heart and my thoughts.

And I will always smile as I pass Corydalis lutea where ever it may be..

Parthenocissus henryana (Chinese Virginia Creeper)

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This is such a great backdrop plant to have in the garden. I use it in my own garden to cover a shed. This young plant has put on good growth this year in time to display its beautiful rich autumn colours. *The plant was named for the Irish plant collector Augustine Henry (1857-1930) who discovered the species on his tour of Central China in the 1880s. (*Wikepedia content)

The white veining on its leaves sets it apart from the more common Virginia Creeper, although still beautifully resplendent in its own autumn colours. P. henryana first came to my attention when I was a student at Capel Manor and I am still as delighted by this plant now as I was then. Inexpensive to buy and a plant that brings pleasure and richness to a garden for many years. Continue reading

Rhus typhina ‘Laciniata’









This is a wonderful plant to give height and structure to the garden. The deeply divided leaflets are simply gorgeous and the autumn colour is magnificant, a tonal array ranging from yellows to reds. I have several in my front garden flanking the gate, which provide a wonderful overhead canopy when in leaf. The stems are like stags horns, soft and velvety to touch, covered in fine hair, hence its common name ‘Cut-leaved stag’s horn Sumac.’

Botanical name: Rhus typhina ‘Dissecta’
Other names: Cut-leaved stag’s horn sumach, Rhus typhina ‘Laciniata’, Fire fern sumach
Genus: Rhus
Species: R. typhina ‘Dissecta’ - R. typhina ‘Dissecta’ is a deciduous, suckering shrub with deeply dissected foliage that turns red and orange in autumn. Yellow, erect panicles of green-yellow female flowers are followed by dense clusters of red fruit.
Rhus typhina ‘Dissecta’ is: Deciduous
Flower: Yellow-green in Summer
Foliage: Green in Summer; Orange, Red in Autumn
Habit: Spreading, Suckering
Toxicity: All parts are highly toxic if ingested and foliage may cause skin irritation
Awards: RHS AGM (Award of Garden Merit)

If you would like to talk with me about a new planting plan for your garden or a bespoke Dingly Dell, please do feel free to get in touch, my email is For gardening development and maintenance enquiries (North-East London, Essex, Hertfordshire and Enfield) please telephone 07818 005773.

Happy gardening!


Epimedium x rubrum

Epimedium 011This is such a stunningly beautiful little plant which deserves being viewed from down on your knees.. as I lift up its incredibly delicate flower heads to take in their beauty, they tremble on their wiry stems. The heart shaped leaves flush from green to red as spring develops and by autumn turn auburn red. These plants are perfect for shady borders and give every reason to be discovered in the cooler shadows of your garden. Continue reading

Uncinia rubra (Red Hook Sedge)

Uncinia rubra

I love this little plant and only recently discovered it whilst working on a planting plan for clients with brick raised beds. Of course, as in other aspects of life, I now see it everywhere and I can’t understand why I hadn’t spotted it sooner. Is it just me or have plantsmen and women in London decided this is the plant of the season.. I guess it helps that it is hardy and evergreen, a real keeper. Continue reading

Pulmonaria officinalis

Pulmonaria officinalisI love this plant, especially because it has endured so much in the way of harsh weather this unending winter, despite it officially being spring.. Still the will is within it to make an appearance up out of the soil and I am instantly all the happier for it. Not only does this plant have the most delicate pale purple and pink flowers, but its leaves host striking white spots and splodges that make it look even more charming. Continue reading

Ilex aquifolium ‘Argentea Marginata’

This is a beautiful native Holly (Ilex aquifolium) to the UK. Its new young shoots are distinctively tinted pinkish-red. The broad foliage is spiny, but not excessively so, with a broad creamy white margin surrounding the olive green centre. During winter the clusters of glossy, bright red berries line the branches and just last week whilst working in my own front garden, I spotted a wood pidgeon guzzling them down. No munching just swallowed whole, one after the other. I feared I’d have none left to decorate the house with, so as soon as it flew off, I got my secateurs out and got snipping at a few branches with some remaining berries on. Continue reading