Stop And Smell The Roses

We’re mad for anything roses – smells of, tastes of, looks like, is. Big, blowsy vintage type roses with bold and unusual colors is our latest fad. We could share an infinite number of pictures of roses and they’d all be beautiful, right? But there are already brave souls of questionable judgement who do that on Pinterest to the tune of 22,000 pins and upwards. So we like to cherry pick the ones that make us do a double take, the ones that stand out as unique and glorious in their own ways.

Did anyone else do a freeze frame in the middle of the movie Anonymous when they saw a bi-colored red and white Tudor rose casually adorning a bush in a garden scene? Fine, just us then. But it did inspire us to hunt out some stunners ourselves, and in a historical sense, especially when you consider how far shapes and colors have come along in the last few hundreds of years of rose breeding, one can still find old fashioned and also newly minted stunners. These are all real breeds, not photo shopped to look more alluring. This one gets through the door for the subtle beauty of tones.


Called the Black Baccara, this jewel is the deepest red. Sourceblackbaccarabyhowlitaflickr

It’s a mystery how they can refine strains so infinitesimally that tinges of opposing shades appear. It’s called Cherry Parfait. cherryparfaitonflickr

It IS a black rose and you can buy the cuttings on etsy. etsy

A really old fashioned climbing rose found hereflowersgardenlovetumblr

A very ancient strain of rose with a powerful scent. From Mary Eadsmaryeads

Another of Mary Eads smashers. This is the one that reminds us most of the Tudor rose, and you can see why it was incorporated into their coats of arms, representing the white and the red roses of the Houses of Lancaster and York. maryeads2

Royal Amethyst speaking for itself. royalamethyst

Striking combination of burgundy and white. Sourcetasselstumblrcom

The delightfully named Tiramisu Spray. Good enough to eat. tiramisuroses

Bright Handed

Londoners don’t limit their palette to the flora…we also love a dash of color on the patio. Makes summer dining that much more cheerful. Some clever souls will beautifully integrate the colors of the outside to the themes running through the house, tying in their own personality to the whole property. We’re going to make it our mission to seek out festively vibrant patios this season, they’re already fun before you go about the business of having any. These days people’s ever increasing sense of sophistication in design and interiors doesn’t stop at the back door, thanks to the proliferation of social media sights with scads of innovative and creative expressions to plunder. Have a seat. We’ll be out in a minute with freshly made lemonade.

A zing of pinks boldly go where boring patio furniture doesn’t.

outdoor33But look how the deep pink is carried through from the outdoor vase to the inside orchids. Luvly. colorful1Boho cushions vamp up this London decking.

outdoor34More casual Bohemia in a great place to lounge and dine. outdoor18Why be up to your knees in mud at a festival when you can glamp in your London garden? We’re lusting after that gorgeous parasol

colorful2Fantastic shot of fuchsia lifts a backyard deck to a chic, modern space.  Source


The best ’til last…a slice of summer heaven in the middle of the city. LoveLoveLove this terrace!outdoor30

Pulling The Birds

We’re all supposed to be planting for the bees, but let’s not forget the birdies while we’re at it. We particularly like a strong architectural element, which sounds lofty until we confess the reason we do is that it allows us to anthropologically imagine they have tiny furniture inside and miniature pictures on their walls. Rather than the probable mess of lice infested twigs and scavenged dryer lint. Nevertheless, what is a garden without bird song and the occasional glimpse of our wonderful British bird population. All credits found on Forget Me Not Garden’s Pinterest boards here.

Lots of amazing examples to get to, so we hope you become encouraged to feather a little nest out there and make a home for your local flock representative. Here’s a little Bohemian style house – even the birds are getting in on the trends these days.


A clapboard cottage with a mini ‘widows walk’ at the top. birdhouse3

Weathered and mossy, it might be a ghost bird residence…birdhouse1

A fantastic idea – re-purposing a vintage radio. birdhouse2

A porch! Washing hanging on the line! They have their own mini, mini bird house! Cute overload! birdhouse4 Found on

A little chapel surrounded by blooms. birdhouse5

Simple but lovely, in a cottage garden. birdhouse7Wait…what?


Almost Burtonesque this one. Recycled tin tile ornately used for a roof. birdhouse6 They’re bird houses. They can’t help being adorable.  birdhouse8

The ultimate. We’re so jealous. birdhouse9

Let’s Play House

Since we’re heading into summer, now would be an ideal time to have a nosy at some cozy. Bedding plants are brightly bordering, lawns are growing like over watered cress. Summer houses and pavilions are being swept clean and de-spidered and the chair cushions might just about be safe to come out from under the tarp. There will be tea, there will be Pimms with cooling cucumber, mint, apple and orange. Lucky for us, we know a man who is superb at making them.
Well, we can but hope. If the rain stops. Brits know summer houses – or in some cases, summer pods. A lovely selection to inspire you is on the menu, so butter a scone and pull up a lawn chair.

Vintage trailer conversion with corrugated tin roof. Any small garden could accommodate this sweet little retreat.


This makes us happy! Bunting and vintage wicker chairs. A shady place to chill out while the bees do their thing. pavillion8

Neo-Classical pavilion with Ionic columns. Looks so comfortable! Sourcepavillion13

Not sure how much you could get up to in this antique pavilion, but it certainly is charmingly decorative. pavillion14

Boho style pavilion. Here you will write poetry and sketch each other. Mandatory. pavilion17

A summer…pod, with sun refracting glass. How cool is this? pavilion19

Shabby Chic summer house with leaded light and faux Corinthian column. We’d put money on there being croquet mallets stored inside. Gorgeous! pavilion18

Shabby English Gardens

Here in the UK we have such a rich source of antiques to mine and creating the Shabby Chic look is effortless. We love how that principle is carried over into the gardens, spiced up by gently decaying furniture artfully arrayed. Or household antiques employed in a surprising way. What it does is extend the home personality into the outdoors, and in many cases, creates a room-like feel to the garden, applying the same space and area delineating techniques, just as you would in a house. It’s the inclusion of furniture (and faux walls and lighting) that does it and makes the difference between a cottage garden and a true shabby chic one. Lucky for you we have some lovely examples to share, which we hope you enjoy as much as us. Oh, and a few animals won’t hurt either.

Delicate paint tones, dainty potted flowers and vintage fabric here.


Vibrant custom painted wrought iron chairs and antique bedstead complement the blooming Forsythia wonderfully. Sourceshabby2

Grand French antique bed decadence in this London garden. We suspect the cat has been painted to match the bleached wood decking. shabby3

Rule Britannia all over these shutter doors, which create a faux and private walled areashabby4

This garden has it all – dovecote, country borders separating the upper and lower parts of the garden, rusted, mismatched furniture, two poodle-y things and a disdainful cat onlooker. We are in awe of the details, especially the brightly colored washing line pegs. shabby5

How to fully take advantage of owning a garden, ably demonstrated by a black cat. How’s that camouflage fur been working out so far? A garden for de-stressing and shutting the world out. Found hereshabby6

Source Vintage glorious color that makes you want to buy a thrift wardrobe just to hang outside, even if you’re not legitimately doing the laundry. The hens seem to be enjoying the ambiance. shabby7

Lastly, a little London Flour pot. OK, we’ll get our coats. shabby8



Modern Love

It’s not all quaint cottages and Tudor-y buildings in London, you know. The most cutting edge design goes on here too, evinced yet again this year by the Chelsea Flower Show, which just happens to be the most prestigious in the world. You don’t achieve that caliber of envelope pushing without some serious native gardeners in the country, and they in turn have plenty of customers for their handiwork and many others taking the germ of an idea and translating it to their own domestic spaces.

London also spearheads modern garden design and we’re delighted to bring you some cool examples, whether it be in use of furniture, color, planning or accessories.

We’re digging this swathe of color in East London:

ImageAnd also this impressive silvery water feature that must be the star attraction in this garden:


But skillful and innovative planting and uberhip furniture and statuary gets there in exactly the same vein…


and also here…making the garden look and feel like a lounge by having a proper fireplace and chimney!


We fully approve of how this garden has combined the wildness of a country cottage with up to date contemporary confines.


Adding these super cool pieces into a white themed gardenmodern6used

Or this monotone theme which looks crisp and fresh; Source


Alternatively, a contemporary approach can create a well defined social activity area, becoming a must for any London garden when space has to be utilized at a premium. If you have an outdoors, you’re mad if you don’t take full advantage of living in it, as has been done here:

modern2And finally, two very different but equally appealing spaces perfect for partying… The modern take on a courtyard:


And the extravagant ultra lounge in chic whites: Gorgeous! London? You bet!



In An English Country Garden

Cottage gardens have a reputation for being cultivated chaos, but really they’re meticulously long-term planned and continually maintained to get the rambling look so many people love and emulate. The great thing about them is they can be done with any size of land or random patch.  This beach cottage dispenses with a garden plot because it has the luxury of having the sea as its back yard, but nestled close to the house is a little border of cottage climbers.


This cottage garden has made perfect use of the steep incline it was dealt, gradating the planting to fabulous advantage.

cottage4 cottage5

We also adore their ‘secret garden’ rusty gate embraced by generous lavender Found here


Something like this would take years to mature…but how rewarding when it does!

cottage26However, if you had a small London courtyard such as this place, you can evoke the feel of a cottage country garden just with abundant and multi-level planting.

cottage13usedAlso bang in the middle of London…although you’d never feel as if you were, having tea in it..

cottage12usedLastly, we’re going to leave you with another little slice of London tucked away. It can be done, and accomplished superbly!


Mad Dogs and Englishmen

Nothing embodies the English more than a bit of eccentric dottiness, so we’ll begin with a jaunt around some unusual garden embellishments, with some original takes on decor and design and a sprinkling of bonkers. We have to remember who started it off; it was the Brits with a proliferation of Follies. Useless but great fun. Of course, if you really go for it, you could end up being a tourist attraction in your own right, just like The Lost Gardens Of Heligan in Cornwall which is host to such delights as this:


Or if Topiary is your thing, why not go in for stampeding hedges?


We rather like this Balinese style odyssey but love that it’s smack in the middle of London. There’s another elephant. Exotica!


Elephants seem to be the thing to go for if you want a smidge of quirk. Source


Anything will be enhanced by a Tiki god spewing forth water. Find it here


They could have at least put it on the grass. Can sheep do steps? Credit


Belligerent looking Green Man enter stage left. We hope that’s birdseed he’s carrying. Source


It appears that Baron Von Munchausen presides here.


Pink elephants on parade. As you do. Source