Search Results : danny » Through The Garden Gate

Apr 202012


I’ve featured Danny’s garden quite a few times on this blog and it’s been much admired. Here’s his front garden in spring. He tells me that the tulips are: ‘Golden Apeldoorn’ (tall yellow), ‘Don Quichotte’ (single bright pink), Havran (burgundy), ‘Raspberry Ripple’ (white with raspberry red), ‘Evita’ (double white), ‘Camargue’ (tall, pale yellow with rosy streak) and ‘Blue Parrot’ (which haven’t come out yet). Plus some ‘Bowles Mauve’ wallflowers.

That’s quite a daring combination, but it works. Danny is one of those people who has a way with plants, and with a camera – he took these pics. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg as far as his talents are concerned.

Danny was recently informed that he had been awarded a ‘Silver Gilt’ in the Waltham Forest Best Kept Front Garden Award that he entered last year. That means his garden was in the top 12, but not in the top three. Standards are clearly exceedingly high in E17!

Aug 142011

Walthamstow (by Paul Lindt)

My current accessories, a Nora Batty-style bandage and a crutch, are not conducive to taking pics for this blog. So it’s time to call in some favours. For the next few posts I’ll be employing some roving reporters to take pics on my behalf.

First up is Danny’s garden, taken by Paul Lindt. Danny is a man of many talents and his garden is a wonder, cleverly designed and laid out with his own fair hands, and packed with plants. Not that an estate agent liked it much, though – when he came round to value the house a while ago he informed Danny that the garden ‘could be very nice’.

Anyway, Danny’s front garden has been shortlisted for a ‘Best Kept Front Garden’ award in Walthamstow, and deservedly so.

Over to Danny…

‘In a blatant attempt to curry favour with the judges, and tick the criteria boxes (attractiveness, creativity, wildlife friendly, choice of plants), my supporting text for my entry read:

“Chock full of year-round interest, subtle colour, texture and some unusual plants. Danny’s front garden rises to the challenge of dry, summertime shade.He’s combined woodland plants like thalictrum, astrantia, tricyrtis, anemones, phlox and hardy geraniums. It’s peppered with self-seeded michaelmas daisies and softened by puffs of deschampsia.  The house is clothed in spring-flowering clematis and white wisteria and a headily scented trachelospermum (a surprising success in shade).

Architectural plants include acanthus, phormium and fern while the front door is flanked by a pair of cypress trees.  A wall-trained pyracantha has been home to nesting blackbirds again this year, and the soft dry soil provides nesting sites for solitary bees and the ubiquitous ant.  And he’s a martyr to the snail.
Come late summer spiders strike up instant webs between tall stems, and autumnal yellow and golden hues suffuse the foliage. Fading to a garden of evergreens and dried seedheads. When spring comes around the garden is soon awash with mauve clematis and wallflowers and tulips, bluebells and alliums until the street trees draw the curtains on the sun for another summer. 

It’s not the most manicured of gardens, ‘natural’ you might say, but Danny’s crammed it to the gunnells with lovely plants that vie for the attention of passers-by.”

Let’s hope he wins, eh? I’ll keep you posted. In the meantime if you spot a nice garden on your travels, please take a pic and send it to me via the Contact Me tab!
PS You can see more pics of Danny’s garden here. Well worth a look.


Sep 112011


This weekend, I had a legitimate reason for ogling at other people’s front gardens. It was the E17 Art Trail and my friend Danny had transformed his road into the Street of Blue Plaques. He had trawled old census records to come up with a plaque for almost every house, commemorating an ordinary person who had previously lived there.

It was a simple yet brilliant idea which was great fun and also strangely affecting. In just 100 years, most of the jobs that people used to toil away at have ceased to exist: dairyman, for example, and fur cutter, and (my favourite) train ticket printer. Some people were working with materials I’m not familiar with, such as Xylonite and mica, and one chap built Britain’s first motorcar. In the spirit of the art trail, most houses in the street were sporting a plaque, and where a house had been bombed in the war, Danny hung a plaque on a nearby tree or railing. Those that weren’t claimed adorn Danny’s own windows (above). You can see them all here.

The art trail, of course, was also another chance to have another look at Danny’s garden. It was looking as lovely as ever, and there was a small gathering of garden aficionados out the back cooing at his imaginative plant combinations. The patio is surrounded by a trellis that’s draped in a large-leaved vine, Vitis cognetiae, and Clematis armandii. I would never have thought of putting a trellis in that spot as it obscures the view of the rest of the garden, or of covering it with such bold plants, but of course it all works brilliantly.

Aug 082011

St Albans

My friend Danny and I once observed that gardeners receive little gifts almost every day – something that pops up where you weren’t expecting it, puts on new shoots in spring, comes into flower or ripens.

My Mum received a gift of her own the other day. As I’m currently without a garden, she’s  minding some of my pots and had put this one in a dark corner of her composting area because she thought there was nothing in it. But when she went there the other day, she was startled to see a perfect display of marigolds.

I have absolutely no recollection of sowing these – in fact I’m pretty sure I didn’t. A friend gave me some seeds (that were given to him by his mum) a couple of years ago, and I sowed them last year in an old wine box. And then I moved. So these must have self sowed themselves perfectly in a completely different pot.

Nature, eh? The pot now has pride of place on my Mum’s patio. And I took a pic of this ‘present’ on my birthday.