Apr 292011


When I had a balcony I was tempted by shelves as a way as cramming more plants in, but I couldn’t quite figure what to do with them. But I see now that the trick is to fill them with the same type of plant in the same type of pot for maximum effect, as they do at East Ruston Old Vicarage.

At the moment I could fill this blog with weird planting combinations that should never be seen together – such as wallflowers and roses, shown here.  Suffice to say that I saw daffodils and roses flowering on the same day, and I’m still recovering from the shock.

Apr 272011


When I first went to East Ruston a few years ago I was amazed by its flamboyant spring pots – and they were looking just as exuberant this time around, stuffed to the gills with tulips and hyaciths in every colour imaginable.

Co-owner Alan Gray was on Gardeners’ Question Time last summer, talking about how he keeps looking his pots so good, and I seem to remember that the summer ones at least involve copious amounts of manure and feeding. But I think the lessons I’d take away from these pots are: 1) Use the biggest pot imaginable 2) Use twice the number of bulbs you think you’ll need and 3) Go mad with colour.

Apr 242011



I hadn’t seen a real-life auricula theatre before but there was one at East Ruston Old Vicarage this weekend, and very lovely it looked too. As with everything at East Ruston, it managed to be immaculate, tasteful and unusual all at once, with weathered terracotta pots, turquoise-painted shelves and a Chinese-style roof.