Green & Spring Life

Regular contributions from Cowley Manor's garden designer on what to look out for in your garden, tips for planting and how and what to forage as well as seasonal recipes from the Head Chef
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Rose is a partner of Dale & Heybrook Landscape Design, designing beautiful gardens and landscapes including those of Cowley Manor. At home, Rose grows all her own herbs and vegetables and declares foraging in the hedgerows surrounding her farm as her favourite pastime.
  • December 2015

    Looks like we are heading for a very mild run up to Christmas. In fact, it's so warm I can't quite believe it nearly is Christmas. I must finish my shopping, bake some mince pies, decorate the tree and make a wreath quite soon!

    I love natural greenery and berries most of all for decorating the house.  This all needs to be done only a day or two before so it looks fresh and glossy and smells delicious.  However, it's not a bad idea to collect the berries on walks or in the garden now so the birds haven't gobbled them all before you get around to it. Store them somewhere cold like in a bag in the garden shed - or even the fridge!  Just make sure that no one eats the (very poisonous) mistletoe!

    Here are a few of my favourites…

    An old fashioned Christmas tree - a Norway spruce rather than a Nordman - I know they drop their needles as if they're going out of fashion but they smell so deliciously Christmassy they're a must have. When you bring them in, saw the bottom cm or 2 off as they may have sealed up, keep them in a bucket of water and keep topping it up daily.
    Mistletoe - wonderfully pagan and good for kissing under.
    Holly - preferably with berries, plain green or variegated.
    Berried ivy - nature's floral bounty. This is brilliant stuff, easy to find and fantastic for combining with a few flowers like hyacinths in a vase or for decorating mantlepieces, pictures, bannisters - just about anywhere really.

    Have fun and Happy Christmas! xxx