Friday, 21 October 2011

Magazine inspiration

 I think I have mentioned before that I have a small problem when it comes to magazines. The problem is that I am addicted. The central library used to have a great selection of international gardening magazines, and I enjoyed making special trips into town to pile up as many as I could carry home, to feast my eyes over the gorgeous images. Unfortunately the central library has been a no go zone since the Feb 22 quake, and I have no idea what happened to their subscription magazines - they haven't come to my local library. So I'm having to buy magazines. (I'm not as sad about this as you might imagine.)

 The good thing is that I'm amassing a good home library of beautiful pictures, and the bad thing is that international magazines are so damn expensive, and also the wrong season! But, by the time they hit the shops here, they are a couple of months out of date and therefore pretty much only a season ahead, if you think of it that way. 

 Anyway. This is the August issue of Gardens Illustrated, from the UK. I love the colours of the late summer plants pictured above... I really must get myself some honesty seeds. And I would love a bower like in the second picture - but I will settle for making myself a bench out of some rustic planks (got plenty of those lying around).

 Now, get ready for something exciting. This is La Chatonniere in France - and check out that potager shaped like a rose leaf!!! I do think that is the most beautiful potager design I've ever seen. I'm just so excited by it. If I were starting my potager over again, I'd try to incorporate this design. Of course, I'd need a castle and a humongous estate to really do it properly.

There are several themed gardens throughout La Chatonniere and each has a name. The potager is the Garden of Abundance. My other favourite is the Garden of Dance - thousands of narcissi and other spring bulbs planted in this beautiful pattern, which sway and dance in the spring breeze. Have a look at the La Chatonniere website for more photos and information on the other gardens, including Intelligence, Romance, Luxuriance, Fragrance and Silence.


  1. Once you have honesty, you will always have it. I mulched the fruit trees one year with the dried seed heads and have never looked back. It is flowering right now with a purple flower that complements the poor mans rose yellow. It's easy enough to pull out if you have too much. I love those english gardens,from small to very large. Nothing like fresh inspiration.

  2. Hi Ruth, I found you through Blotanical. Ah yes, the International Gardening Magazine addiction, I know it well. My favourite is "The English Garden", although I have to admit, that leaf-shaped potager beats everything! There is an advantage in getting magazines in the wrong season though. I buy and read them for future inspiration, then put them away and read them again 3 or 4 months later, in the right season (and often again a year or 2 later).

  3. Miriam - I just ordered some honesty seeds, along with a few other "essentials"... there are still plenty of gaps I need to fill!

    Lyn, thanks for stopping by! You are quite right, it is useful to read a magazine ahead of the coming season, since as gardeners we need to think at least one season in advance!

  4. Oh, wow! You have just given me a wonderful idea! I was thinking of putting some sort of knot garden behind my house, but the plot is not perfect. Now I know I can do some sort of design - like the leaf design above! (of course, much smaller!) I love getting the creative juices flowing!

  5. Gotta love a good mag. Our little backyard has no room even for a potager (if i want lawn for kids to run around in that is!) so its some standard raised beds to the side. BUT one day I we might have a sweet country estate, never say never I always say! The chch libraries have a twitter account - if you have one, follow them and ask by "@" them. Or email. They are super friendly and approachable. I have noticed the increase in books and audio books to the south library. They might have a specific library they have all the mags going too. Of course they may have halted subscriptions until they get a new premises - but its worth a try. I go nuts on the knitting and interior magazines at the moment.



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