CHRISTMAS WISH LIST

I don’t want a lot for Christmas, I really don’t. Would be very happy with some peace and quiet. A nap. Half an hour to read a magazine undisturbed, that sort of thing. Having said that I do think it is fun to have one or two presents to open, and here are some things I would be very happy to find under the tree.

I want to get much better at taking notes to record the year in the garden. Photographs are invaluable but they don’t tell the whole story. What the weather was like, how loud the birds were singing, how long it took to plant all the tulip bulbs for example. I have definitely come to rely too heavily on photos and stopped taking notes and think I will regret this later on. So, a gorgeous notebook would be wonderful to receive and the best ones I know are from Choosing Keeping.

To go with the notebook, a new fountain pen. I know Monty Don takes his Montblanc pen into the garden but I think I will leave mine inside the house. One of these Kaweco Sport pens would be better – I have a green one at work and I love it. So many delicious colours to choose from, perhaps the navy one is not the most fun but I love it.

A rose – I can’t think of a better gift than a rose. If you want to give someone a truly beautiful gift, something that lasts, that gives you something to look forward to, then buy a rose. I quite fancy this new David Austin rose called Gabriel Oak. It should go well in a pot and since I am running out of space that is a big plus. The magenta colour looks amazing and it would add something to my collection of pale to mid pinks. And most importantly the scent is strong. No room in my garden for roses that don’t have fragrance.

A lovely garden inspiration book would help keep me going until springtime comes and this looks like a good one. I am intrigued by Arne Maynard’s garden in Wales and can’t stop thinking about another one he designed which was beautifully photographed by Eva Nemeth for House and Garden. All his gardens seem to have that true magical English Garden romance about them which I adore and I would love to know more about his thought process and the ideas behind the spaces.

How beautiful is this brass candle sconce by Malin Appelgren. I spotted it in a photo of Bride Hall’s sitting room and this is now on my forever wish list. If I do get to own one some day I am sure we would find a place for it inside the house but imagine how pretty it would look in the greenhouse at dusk.

Speaking of the greenhouse (which by the way doesn’t quite exist yet, it needs assembling but in my head it is already out there in the garden ready to use and decorate), I would like some pots to sit just outside it. In the rest of the garden all the pots are simple inexpensive terracotta ones but I like the idea of something a bit more fancy in the veg garden. This green glazed urn would do nicely. But I will need a pair so I can put one on either side of the door. Just love a symmetric arrangement.

There is one more thing that I have been thinking about for a while and if anyone has a magic wand, here is what I would like: a snowy day stay at Barnsley House. Can’t think of anything more magical than waking up there to find the distinctive shapes of the garden covered with snow. Imagine sneaking outside early, before anyone else, going to have a look at the potager and all the famous garden vistas before returning to the house for breakfast. Dozing by the fire all day. Lunch at the pub, a nap before dinner then a good nights sleep. Yes please.

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