The Garden & a Giveaway...

The garden is looking so darned beautiful at the moment that I had to show it off to you! Instead of my usual vegetable bed, this year I planted bee & butterfly friendly flowers in sowing, then a wait of 2 weeks and another ensure blooms all summer long. It worked so well that I had to put in some twisted willow edges to keep the foliage from completely blocking the path!
Candytuft, borage, poppies & cornflowers now run riot among the more established plants...
A dwarf buddleia adds it's particular vibrant magenta and delights the butterflies....

Under the shade of the olive tree, the nasturtiums and white snowballs of the hydrangea tumble over each other...

while the crocosmia, lavender & catmint add their particular vibrancy to the mix. I can't stop looking at it! The secret of all this lavish gorgeousness may lie here...

although, as you can see, we've had some beautiful hot sunshine, it's been interspersed with amazingly 'sharp showers'! Difficult when planning what to wear, but fabulous for the plants!
I'm so thrilled to have received all the wonderful comments from new followers after my last well as the equally welcome visits from old friends. To celebrate - and because of the Olympic pride we are all feeling at the moment (isn't it amazing? I'm not a huge sports fan but it's hard not to be drawn in by such fantastic performances...Jessica Ennis! Michael Phelps! Chris Hoy! So many inspirational competitors...) I thought it was time that I had another giveaway!
There is a garden & a British theme to this one. It's open to ALL followers...wherever in the world you may be, so don't think that's a barrier to winning!
Here are the gifts that I'll be thrilled to send one of you...

First is this beautiful Emma Bridgewater Jubilee commemoration tea caddy. It's a lovely tin - the 'steadfast & true' bit you can see is an extra cover on the inside, under the lid. It will make a wonderful storage tin when the tea is all gone (English Breakfast, naturally....)

Next is this cute bundle of 10 seed collection envelopes...they come in 2 you can collect seeds from your own plants & either store them or give them away as a little gift to a gardening friend...

and lastly is this really sweet garden bunting! It's waterproof & designed for hanging up against a shed or greenhouse...or garden fence...or across a vegetable plot attached to some bean stakes...or anywhere you want to adorn!

So, there it is. Hope that you like everything! To enter, just leave me a comment on this post...tell me anything you like about either your own garden or one you love....or just say hello! I'll make the draw a week from today, on Sunday August 12th (the Glorious 12th!)

Hoping you have a beautiful sun-filled week....with my love xoxo


  1. Hi Rachel I love ur garden and your home is so bueautiful . I have see pictures from the Susan Branch blog. It is also Nice to see your baking pictures,your dog and its lovely to see u in your element love ur blog I have been folloing it for a while .
    Have a great week full with wonderful things

    Mary Chicago il

  2. Happy Sunday, Rachel! Your garden is looking as beautiful as ever! I loved the little video. It always makes my heart happy to see rain pouring down to quench the earth and gardens, after a few hot days of blazing sun. My favorite thing about my garden right now is the bright pink roses blooming in my yard. They were the only rose bush that survived through our last winter. They are so special to me. They have a story behind them. Four summers ago, we were driving along a highway and Nuno spotted a single wild rose growing in a ditch. He decided to dig it out for me, to plant in our garden. He pulled over by the highway and even confronted a garden snake (his biggest fear) as he walked through the high grasses to dig out the rose for me. He put it in the trunk of the car, and planted it in our garden when we got home. For me, it symbolizes his love for me. I am so happy that the only rose bush that survived was the most special one of all. I wish you could smell the roses - they have such a strong scent. My apologies for going on and on here. Your giveaway is just lovely. I am sure anyone would LOVE to win. Good luck to all! Have a wonderful day, sweetie. All my love...Rosinda xoxo

  3. New follower here too via SB :) Unfortunately I can't do annuals in my garden as the deer are too 'friendly' but this year I did convert 1/4 of the fenced vege garden and just picked my first bouquet of dahlias yesterday - hurray!!

  4. Terri from Swansboro, NC5 August 2012 at 15:24

    Love the brick path in your garden and the willow to hold it all at bay! Reminds me of the very beautiful gardens in Germany. I took so many pictures of gardens while I lived there. Miss it this time of the year! And the rain is the reason for beautiful gardens!LOL! So many complained of all the rain in Germany but loved the lush green of everything... So what do you wear on rainy days out and about! LOL!!

  5. Your garden is so lovely. Would love to spend sometime in it and I kinda did via the internet, lol! Colors are just so vivid. The rain is always so good for all the flowers. Your hydrangeas look so fresh. One of mine almost died in this dreadful heat in spite of all the water I gave it. My Annabelle hydrangeas have all turned green now and the pinks and blues are fading. I love the herringbone pattern of the pavers in your yard.
    I keep trying to add plants to my beds but I think chippy digs so many tunnels under it that some of the plants roots are dangling in air, lol. Anyway your efforts in the garden are obvious now with all the wonderful color and different types of flowers. I love butterfly plant too. Have enjoyed mine since planting it three years ago. Thanks for the wonderful look at your bloomin garden. xoxo

  6. Hi Rachel Love your garden! Unfortunately I don't plant much in my garden we have a lawn that's surrounded by trees, but with two teenagers & a trampoline & Basketball net its just not worth the hassle! However I do have lots of pots on my Balcony and my decking which are filled with azealas, rhodadendrums, daiseys, lavender and fruit trees & my favorite beautiful hydranga that a friend brought for my birthday a couple of years ago. Its the flattish one with huge flowers! I wonder if there are many "cutting" plants you can put in pots? I have the sweetpeas but thats about all i have to cut. Love Nina xx

  7. Hi Rachel! I have been a follower of Susan Branch when she published her first book. Through her trip to England (where I was born!) I discovered you! I adore your blog and look forward to reading it all the time. I too, surround myself with creative women and it is always so inspiring!Thank you for sharing your life and yourself with all of us!

    Tracy Jones

  8. What a treat to see your beautiful garden. I'm a little envious since we can't grow flowers at our place because of the deer. Daffodils are the only things they won't eat! I do remember when we lived in London and everybody had his own little patch of earth, a garden of some kind, no matter how big or how small. Happy Sunday to you!

  9. Hi Rachel,
    Add me to the list of Susan Branch followers who bopped over here from her page a couple of weeks ago and have loved every minute of my visits here.
    Please add me to your list of hopeful winners. My fingers will be crossed until you list the winners. Hugz!

  10. Laura B Jenkins5 August 2012 at 21:03

    The garden is very green, as we have had adequate rain this summer...but, I would love to have a cutting has been years since my roses fizzled out...and it is too warm here for my favorite varieties, like peonies. So, I will live vicariously through you and Sue, with your lovely green thumbs.xo

  11. I love your garden and be happy you have rain. I live in California and I am doing a lot of watering. We expect 115 next week. I am also a follower of Susan's blog and loved the tour of your home. I liked your idea of sowing seeds twice, going to try that next year. Looking forward to seeing who wins. Linda P. Bakersfield, CA

  12. Hi Rachel! Your garden is lovely! I've been following you for a while now and I love seeing your garden change through the seasons. I have a small garden that I enjoy. My favorite part is being able to be my own florist! Cutting fresh flowers and bringing them inside makes me so happy! Just to think that I grew something so beautiful is a wonder : )
    Thank you for this lovely giveaway!

    Danielle xo

  13. Oh Rachael I just love your garden, the flowers are amazing!! Our gardens are not doing well this year due to all the extreme heat. I do have one plant out front in a pot that I bought at the farmers market this year that is beautiful!

    Thanks for this wonderful 'give away'!


  14. Isn't your garden lush and colorful this summer! Here the honey sellers at the markets label their honey with the names of the greenery the bees consume (or whatever bees do) as they make it so you can get orange honey and so on. Now your bees are making bouquet honey. I loved the rain video, wonderful to be caught in a UK downpour!

  15. I'm a new follower.At the age of 36 this year has been my very 1st attempt at gardening and it is peaceful,rewarding and addicting.I got a plot at the community garden nearby and it's been a bonding experience for myself and my 6 and 3 yr old.

  16. Just discovered your lovely blog,I look forward in anticipation to your future musings. I love my garden.It is an English country style so takes fair amount of maitenance. Most of my weeds are volunteer annuals of Shirley poppies, opium poppies, larkspur,bachelor buttons, calendula,Pyrethum.I always leave a few, which usually turns out to be too many but they look so beautiful in bloom.This year with rain until the middle of June and now a heat wave the roses and lilies have been fantastic.I especially love my Westerland and Abraham Darby Rose. Our yard is fenced as many deer inhabit this area. They do keep my Montana Clematis "Fragrant Spring" and "Dorothy Perkins"a rambler rose growing over the outside of our fence pruned. So cute when a doe turns up with her fawns to nibble.(ha ha).I live in British Columbia on Vancouver Island so hope I have good luck in your give a way.

  17. whatever they say about Blighty and the rain, it brings the most beautiful of gardens! Mine is full of our natives, and lime trees, lemon trees and the poinsettias are on their way.. I cut down a banana tree today which was full of almost ripe lady finger bananas on Saturday but I left it too late and the fruit bats got to them and now most have been scratched and half eaten by the little rascals! That was a sentence I never thought I'd write!
    Thanks for sharing your beautiful garden with us xxxxxxxx

  18. Oh ---- visiting your garden is just what I needed is so lovely!! Your bees must be terribly happy with all the variety you've planted for them.

    Like everything you do, it's filled with color, whimsy, and delightful attention to detail. Thank you for sharing...

    Love the surprises you have in store for a lucky winner; darling, each one of them!
    Have a wonderful week dear friend!


  19. Your gardens are beautiful! We live in a condo, so although I do have a small amount of dirt to "play" in - I don't have much! Seems my garden area looks the best in spring with tulips and daffodils!!
    Francine W.

  20. Karen from Spivey's Corner, North Carolina6 August 2012 at 12:21

    What a fabulous treat to see your lovely garden! I love the variety of color and lushness of your garden. I have a small garden with lillies, daffodils, and roses because of their ease. Thank you for sharing the video and pictures! And thanks for the opportunity to win your prize! Have a wonderful day!

  21. Rachel: I've so enjoyed 'meeting' you through Susan Branch; I met her in person at a book signing 12 years ago...very special. It's delightful to follow your blog all the way from England, and a joy to see a glimpse of your corner of the world. Thank you so much for taking time from your busy days to share with us - and a special thanks for your delightful giveaway! (I am most fond of growing herbs ...) Sharon in Kentucky

  22. You have inspired me to start looking after my garden. It's like a wildlife sanctuary with high ( very ) high grass and over grown bushes. Now I have inspirations thanks to you. I could even have a good brew after if I win your competition. Oh happy days xx

  23. Your garden is looking lovely, filled with such pretty summer blooms. Good idea to stagger the plantings. The bees will appreciate it.
    I'm longing for summer and can't wait to get out to plant seeds and seedlings. A plant catalogue arrived in the mail today full of gorgeous photos of lilies, lupins, dahlias, gerberas, gladioli etc. etc. You've chosen some lovely items for your giveaway.
    Great to see GB winning so many Gold medals:)
    Have a good week.
    Betty, from a cold Melbourne.

  24. That IS a lovely garden. It looks so carefree and effortless. I have very little talent in the garden and enjoy being able to see other people's handy work. Thank you for sharing!

  25. The idea of staggering the seed plantings is a good one. Lovely Garden!

  26. Rachel,
    Hello from Florida. I am new to your blog by way of Susan Branch. I'm enjoying getting to know you. I loved reading about your trip to Martha's Vineyard and being with Susan when she visited you and Paul at your home in England. I am definitely an Anglophile and would love to visit someday. My husband and I are both of Welsh heritage and would love to see Wales also. My boss and his wife recently returned from two weeks in England and brought me back two Emma Bridgewater mugs which I was very thrilled to recieve. Love the tin and the other goodies. Thanks for sharing with your readers.

    Sue in Florida

  27. Dear Rachel,
    What a beautiful garden you have, I love the idea of sowing the seeds at a different time!
    And a giveaway! FAntastic! Count me in!!!
    (The Olympics have been so much fun! Loved Andy Murray winning yesterday, I cried, did you?)

  28. Hi Rachel
    Lovely garden you have. I do not really have a green thumb, but I do try. Planted a rose bush in back yard this year and it seems about to reward me with a bloom. Great to see you posting again-missed you for a while. Please enter me in your draw.
    Thanks-Susan M from Canada

  29. Oh, goodness, I've had my eye on that Jubilee tea tin! Was so happy to find your blog via Susan Branch.

    What a lovely home and garden you have!

    Connie in K.C.

  30. Hi Rachel, I have recently discovered your blog through Susan Branch's blog. How lucky you were to have her visit. I am slowly reading through your older posts. Still have a long way to go. I also love your all food blog. It makes me so hungry for brownies etc. I live in the UK and must try and catch you at a farmers market one day. I love the sound of your caramel brownies. Thanks for sharing your lovely garden. Mine is full of weeds in-between all the vegetables. Best wishes Anne Hamilton

  31. Kim m galwayst@hotmail.com8 August 2012 at 12:23

    Hi, I have just found your site and it looks great, lots of reading. The garden I love is my mother in law's garden, she loves all the labour intensive flowers/annuals that I don't always have the patience for. In Spring her garden if just beautiful, i absolutley love it and so does she, which is fantastic.

    1. Hi Rachel
      I've only recently discovered your bog and I love it.Your garden is gorgeous. I have an old garden, originally a farm yard and its land. Its very challenging as the farm yard is still there beneath the ground as well as ancient tree roots!However we have managed to inject some colour with careful planting.

  32. I also discovered your blog through Susan Branch's blog - just love it. My son will be going to university in Preston, UK soon, so I hope to visit the UK some day!
    Your garden is beautiful - I would love to win the Emma Bridgewater tin!

  33. Rachel, Susan truly brightens the world with her art. Now her gift to me has been the link to your websites. Marvelous! Your garden photos are so beautiful I can almost sniff the heady perfume of all those flowers. Moments after watching your rainy day video, I heard a storm start knocking on my skylight. We needed that drenching very badly.

    My garden has been filled with rambling roses in distinct pockets of magenta. Geraniums in several shades have survived a very dry season. Flowers that I never planted have popped up in our front garden! They are a wonderful surprise. The real treat this summer has been my Peace rose. The first bud bloomed in time for me to give it to my mom on Monday. She just had surgery that morning and she was thrilled by the delicate scent and soft pink color.

    Thank you for sharing your passions with the world!

  34. Lori C. In Arizona8 August 2012 at 22:37

    Rachel Dear! Ditto the Susan Branch blog! I live in Arizona, so right now my garden is an Emma Bridgewater Poppy mug! ;) Your poppy's are gorgeous! So envious of your rain!

  35. so lovely ... I can't think of anything nicer than a cup of tea in the garden ... please enter my name for the Emma tin!
    Carole in OC - CA - USA

  36. Oh, Rachel! I absolutely LOVE your garden! Our garden is a large one with vegetables, and we are currently enjoying the tomatoes that come from there. Also, our Crepe Myrtles (2) are blooming, and they are beautiful!

    Such a happy time for you with the gold medals being won by your country! Wonderful!!

    xo Nellie

  37. Hello Rachel,
    I loved your comment on Susan Branch's blog about being the resident "English-custom-&-translation-girlfriend". Very funny. I'm so glad I found your blog as you are very cheerful and now I have two blogs to be my happy place! Such a great idea to stagger your plantings. This year has been so very hot here, but my tomatoes have done wonderfully. Especially a delicious heirloom variety called "Mortgage Lifter", not pithy at all like some of our varieties here in the states. Thank you again for sharing your cheerful posts!

  38. Hello Rachel,

    I, too, came to your Blog by way of Susan Branch. I've enjoyed looking at your garden photos, I especially love Alice, and those brownies on your other Blog...well, there are no words to describe just how delicious they look. I think you should give a batch of those away as one of your give-aways one of these days! How do you stay so slim?!

  39. love your blog! love your garden, too! thanks for the great ideas, and the chance at the giveaway!

  40. Nancy from Basking Ridge11 August 2012 at 04:15

    So happy to have discovered your blog, your sense of style and you! What a gorgeous garden you have. You have inspired me to do a step-garden as well.I am such a huge polka dot fan too. Looking forward to reading your blog and getting to know you better!

  41. Nancy from Basking Ridge11 August 2012 at 04:21

    So happy to have discovered your beautiful blog and you. I love your step garden and you have inspired me to take a look at my own garden. Big fan of polka-dots too!

  42. Your garden is so lovely! Found your blog via Susan Branch. Loved the story of how you two met and became friends! Pictures of your and Paul's house were magnificent and the wallpaper was so pretty. Please enter my name in your drawing.
    Joan - OC - CA - USA

  43. "Flowers are the music of the ground From earth's lips spoken without sound." EDWIN CURRAN, "Flowers"

    Bunny Perkins
    Whitefeather Farms
    Ohio, USA

  44. Rachel, I came over from Susan Branch also. Love how you two met and kept your friendship going! You truly are 'sisters'. My best friend is my Sister, who told me to check out your blog, which she saw on Susan's Blog.
    Love your garden, I have a small patch that I keep adding plants here and there, I thought it was 'messy' but when I see an English Garden I realise it is not 'messy' but a RIOT of color! When I feed the birds, what ever they don't eat grows, I've left some of it to mature and love to see the birds feeding on it in the fall.
    You Ladies have given me an insight to Beauty!
    Thank you.
    Ro from Ro'se Cottage, NJ- USA

  45. Rachel,
    I love your garden! My favorite garden is Longwood Garden in Philadelphia, PA. I grew up in Phila. and spent many wonderful weekends roaming their gardens. Life has taken me the southeastern US where we have a colorful garden of pink and orange canna lilies, purple Mexican petunias (Ruellia), soft pink and yellow knockout roses, more elephant ears than we would like, and a humble vegetable patch. The lilies draw many butterflies and hummingbirds to our backyard. It's been slow, but rewarding learning to garden in a new climate.

    Thanks again for sharing your lovely garden.

  46. Well I would be crazy not to get in on this! :-) And Ray, the wild garden, it's WILD!! I didn't know you were doing this! I think these wild gardens are my favorite kind . . . so beautiful, what great bouquets you must be getting! OK honey, back to work I go. Love you, have a wonderful day! xoxo

  47. Rachael! My first response went into hyperspace so I will try again. I love your garden. The the distanceare so vibrant. Looking our of my sliding glass doors this morning I could imagine I was right there in the middle of everything :) I could even hear the church bells in the distance. sowing seeds in intervals is something new to me. What wonderful results!!! Beautiful post. Thank you for sharing your garden. Georgie xo


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