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@nigelslater
There is almost always a vase of peonies in the hall in the summer - a cheery hello to all comers. This week’s bunch have opened like huge raspberry meringues. Blousy but delicate, like a pink silk ball gown. I felt the urge to share them. Thank you to everyone for your kind and generous messages about Toast, the play, the book and for your heartwarming words about GreenFeast. I’m at my desk for the entire weekend, finishing GF volume two.
Sat 25th May 2019
@nigelslater
Signed copies of Toast being packed up and on their way to The Other Palace Theatre. Looking at this cheeky little seven year old on the cover, wondering what he would say if he knew that one day the story of his childhood would be told on stage in London. I remember the moment this shot was taken, on holiday in Bournemouth with Mum and Dad. (That sweet, carefree little kid secretly tearing a paper napkin to shreds under the table, had no idea that his mother was terminally ill and his life was about to take an extraordinary turn.) A thousand Thank yous to everyone who has been to see Toast @theotherpalace and sent such heartwarming messages about the play, the cast and how much they have enjoyed it. If you haven’t seen Toast yet and would like to, that little golden haired boy would like to mention that we finish in early August to go on tour, so you might like get a ticket as soon as possible. The cast and crew are looking forward to seeing you. Details are linked in the biog.
Thu 23rd May 2019
@nigelslater
On reflection, I think this is one of my favourite ever Chelsea Flower Shows. I love the relaxed planting, the inclusion of small trees and wild flowers, the proliferation of cow parsley and hedgerow flowers and the quietly pleasing colour schemes. Informality and and a sense of calm was present throughout and I love the fact that so many of the gardens go on to a second life at hospices and charities. (The Pennard Plants stand, always a joy, had a splendid pumpkin plant and gave me shed envy.) Thank you #rhschelsea2019 for a wonderful day.
Tue 21st May 2019
@nigelslater
A special moment. A brief chat about the joys of eating with the seasons with HRH Prince of Wales at this year’s Fortnum and Mason Awards. Huge congratulations to HRH and @nadiyajhussain who were both recipients of awards from @fortnums. One of those wonderful events where I got to chat with Mary Berry and Stanley Tucci and reminisced with Celia Imrie over playing my aunt Elvie in Eating for England. Thank you @Fortnums and @ewanventers for the invitation. Picture courtesy @clarencehouse
Tue 21st May 2019
@nigelslater
Home to Mme Leonie Viennot climbing the kitchen walls with an old white jasmine. She always comes out in time for #rhschelsea
Mon 20th May 2019
@nigelslater
The High Maintenance Garden for the Motor Neurone Disease Association at #rhschelsea2019 As someone who is not usually fond of red in the garden I must say that climbing rose against the dark wood of the garage caught my eye as much as that gorgeous car.
Mon 20th May 2019
@nigelslater
In complete contrast to the ethereal wild ‘cow parsley and buttercup’ planting of the show gardens is this awesome display of bonsai in the Great Pavilion. Several of the trees on the Derbyshire Bonsai display are over a hundred years old. #rhschelsea2019
Mon 20th May 2019
@nigelslater
Somewhat inevitably, Mr Ishihara’s Green Switch is my favourite of the Artisan Gardens. This year his moss balls, flowing water, dark purple irises and rocks are accompanied by a glass walled tea room with a sedum roof, a classic motor bike and a Beatles soundtrack. His gardens never fail to delight and enthral me. Thank you Mr Ishihara. #rhschelsea2019
Mon 20th May 2019
@nigelslater
Most of the main show gardens this year are extraordinarily tranquil and calming. Whatever the planting, there is an over-riding coolness and clever use of shade throughout the show. This is a detail of the Wedgwood Garden by Jo Thompson. #rhschelsea2019
Mon 20th May 2019
@nigelslater
Gabriel Oak, one of two new roses by @david_austin_roses. Truly the most fragrant rose I’ve come across for ages. Determined to find a place for her at home. #rhschelsea2019
Mon 20th May 2019
@nigelslater
The mood at Chelsea Flower Show this year. Soft colours, wild flowers, running water and green shade. Looking good #rhschelsea2019
Mon 20th May 2019
@nigelslater
A tangle of climbing roses (Souvenir Mme Leonie Viennot) and wisteria Alba around the kitchen door.
Sun 19th May 2019
@nigelslater
GreenFeast. Publication day.🎉 🌿💚📕To everyone whose copy of GreenFeast arrives today, may it brings much joy and happiness. ✨🥬🥦🥑🍅🥕
Thu 16th May 2019
@nigelslater
It has been a long time coming, but the wisteria alba has finally flowered. After a wait of six or seven years, four long clusters of pure white flowers now hang down above the back door and there are more in bud along the side. There will be some light pruning later in the summer, then hopefully more flowers next year. This is also the year tiny ferns have taken root in the cracks on the stone steps. I shall leave them be.
Tue 14th May 2019
@nigelslater
At my desk. Shutters open, blinds up, early morning light, coffee, peace and birdsong. Six days a week I get up at 5.45am to write. I probably get more done in those first three hours than at any time during the entire day.
Sun 12th May 2019
@nigelslater
Three favourite bowls by (from l to r) Ryoji Koie, Teppei Ono and Lisa Hammond. Most the bowls in my collection are used day in, day out in the kitchen. But I have a few that are purely decorative and rarely used for anything other than the occasional cup of green tea. These three are particular favourites. The one in the middle used to be my breakfast bowl and has seen a lot of yoghurt and stewed fruits in its day, but I have retired it now. The dear little bowl is having a well earned rest.
Sat 11th May 2019
@nigelslater
Peony rockii unfurling. Bought in the belief it was white, this was a mistake I have grown to love. Her petals are so delicate, frayed at the edges, like an old silk ball gown falling apart with age.
Fri 10th May 2019
@nigelslater
Aniseed tends to divide people, (rather like gooseberries, rhubarb, trifle, marmite...) but I have always had a soft spot for it. There are deep liquorice notes to the fennel ice cream in Sunday’s @obsmagazine column but they are softened by the addition of cream and lemon. A sunny yellow ice cream for early summer. Details in the magazine on Sunday.
Fri 10th May 2019
@nigelslater
Kitchen roof. Rainy morning. The wisteria is coming along nicely, it’s new growth having to be tied in almost weekly, as are the Japanese maples all of which seem to have weathered winter on the roof. The two azaleas are just coming into flower. There are only really two rooms from which the plants can be seen properly (and one of those is the loo) but it is better than the empty roof that was there before. It is simply that I would rather see green than grey.
Wed 8th May 2019
@nigelslater
At the far end of the garden, almost hidden amongst the ivy, is an iron bench where I sometimes sit and drink my early morning coffee. It’s a quiet spot, a little chilly and hidden from view by a Bengal Crimson rose I bought as a tiny cutting from @chelsea_physic_garden. A rose that is hardly ever without a flower, summer or winter (it flowers amongst the snow.) Fragile, single blooms like resting magenta butterflies.
Thu 2nd May 2019
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