Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red

What an inspired idea and a wonderful way to honour the lives lost in The Great War.




It was a bright sunny day when I went to The Tower of London.  Volunteers were working hard to assemble the handmade poppies -  a 4 part process - stem in the ground first, followed by a handmade, ceramic poppy head, and finally the black centre to secure it.



888,246 poppies are being 'planted' to commemorate each life lost on the battlefield.  You can buy one of the poppies online for £25 + P & P. All of the monies raised from their sale will go to families of service personnel.


The installation was conceived and designed by Paul Cummins and is being assembled by volunteers.


Blood Swept Lands will be finished by 11th November -  in time for Remembrance Day.


It felt very upbeat.  The volunteers were clearly proud of their role, the crowds were amazed by the scope of the installation.  The blazing sun meant it felt more like another city - not our familiar rain cloaked, grey skied capital.  Bright colour on this scale is not something Londoners are used to.


I don't know which organisation the volunteers came from, but I envied them coming together to create such a beautiful memorial. I'm not sure I will envy the people who will deconstruct it in November though!


I couldn't help but wonder what previous residents from times past would have made of the sight of a sea of red, spreading like a stain in the moat surrounding the bloody tower.



You can clearly see a path running through the poppies that leads to a green hillock that will presumably play a part in the ceremony on Remembrance Day .


If all the poppies sell, 15 million pounds will be raised, over 2 million pounds has been raised so far.

I hope they sell every single one.






A Very Grand Design Indeed

The most amazing house and garden - Great Dixter 


an Elizabethan house and the most exuberant 21st century garden







  even succulents got involved







Someone else looking at these told me they were called Ladybird poppies. 











Ferns - against the backdrop of brick, wood and fretwork.



the lily pond


Grass and Gunnera


What a gate should look like


attention to detail - finial and etching


I've no idea what this plant is called, have only ever seen it in Cornwall - my children christened them Honey Hives.


His Royal Hotness - Lucifer


stunning specimens


Wonderful fencing 


dashes of lemon and lime


there were tunnels and vistas






clever juxtopositions


delicious combinations



A path edged to perfection


luxe Lupins





 the most exciting colour combinations


the cat even works well on the bench!


the left hand side of the Long Border 


the right hand side 


colour and texture play


around the back


a Victorian watering cart


An beautiful barn



I love the tile pillars


until next time...