Beverley Nichols

Last summer I was staying at a house in Hampshire which was famous for the brilliance and the originality of its gardens. There were many of them, but the most beautiful of all was a walled garden in which every flower was blue. There were all the obvious things like delphiniums and acronitums and larkspurs, but the most beautiful blue of all came from the groups of cabbages – the ordinary blue pickling cabbage. Set against the blazing blue of the other flowers, it had a bloom and elegance which made it a thing of the greatest delight.

“Last summer I was staying at a house in Hampshire which was famous for the brilliance and the originality of its gardens. There were many … Read More

The Oldfields of the future are beyond hearing; they are shut up in the factories and the workshops, leading a rackety and mechanical existence, to the damage of their bodies and the peril of their souls, for the sake of an extra pound or so a week, which they promptly spend on mental or physical narcotics.

“The Oldfields of the future are beyond hearing; they are shut up in the factories and the workshops, leading a rackety and mechanical existence, to … Read More

A garden without cats, it will be generally agreed, can scarcely deserve to be called a garden at all…much of the magic of the heather beds would vanish if, as we bent over them, there was no chance that we might hear a faint rustle among the blossoms, and find ourselves staring into a pair of sleepy green eyes.

“A garden without cats, it will be generally agreed, can scarcely deserve to be called a garden at all…much of the magic of the heather … Read More

Long experience has taught me that people who do not like geraniums have something morally unsound about them. Sooner or later you will find them out; you will discover that they drink, or steal books, or speak sharply to cats. Never trust a man or a woman who is not passionately devoted to geraniums.

“Long experience has taught me that people who do not like geraniums have something morally unsound about them. Sooner or later you will find them … Read More

Life in the country teaches one that the really stimulating things are the quiet, natural things, and the really wearisome things are the noisy, unnatural things. It is more exciting to stand still than to dance. Silence is more eloquent than speech. Water is more stimulating than wine. Fresh air is more intoxicating than cigarette smoke. Sunlight is more subtle than electric light. The scent of grass is more luxurious than the most expensive perfume. The slow, simple observations of the peasant are more wise than the most sparkling epigrams of the latest wit.

“Life in the country teaches one that the really stimulating things are the quiet, natural things, and the really wearisome things are the noisy, unnatural … Read More

I had never ‘taken a cutting’ before … Do you realize that the whole thing is miraculous? It is exactly as though you were to cut off your wife’s leg, stick it in the lawn, and be greeted on the following day by an entirely new woman, sprung from the leg, advancing across the lawn to meet you.

“I had never ‘taken a cutting’ before … Do you realize that the whole thing is miraculous? It is exactly as though you were to … Read More

Most people, early in November, take last looks at their gardens, are are then prepared to ignore them until the spring. I am quite sure that a garden doesn’t like to be ignored like this. It doesn’t like to be covered in dust sheets, as though it were an old room which you had shut up during the winter. Especially since a garden knows how gay and delightful it can be, even in the very frozen heart of the winter, if you only give it a chance.

“Most people, early in November, take last looks at their gardens, are are then prepared to ignore them until the spring. I am quite sure … Read More