In the news....
'Though nothing can bring back the hour
Of splendour in the grass, of glory in the flower;
We will grieve not, rather find
Strength in what remains behind.'
The Wordsworth House Garden (image: NT/Val Corbett)
Wordsworth might have written Intimations of Immortality while looking on his childhood garden, swept away by the Cumbrian floods in 2009. The Georgian walled garden at Wordsworth House in Cockermouth was all but destroyed by the torrential rainfall: oak gates were ripped from walls and the terrace where William and his sister Dorothy played was largely washed away.
He'd be celebrating this week though: the Wordsworth House Garden is one of five National Trust restoration schemes chosen by the public in the Great Outdoors Revival competition, which asked people to vote for projects they wanted to give £20,000 to. Other garden winners included East Riddlesden Hall in Keighley, West Yorkshire, and Cragside in Morpeth, Northumberland.
Meanwhile a report just out is suggesting the organics bubble may have burst. After years of steady growth, sales of organic fruit and veg fell by 13.6% in 2009 - the Soil Association blames the government for not encouraging farmers to make the switch. The dicey economic situation may have some part to play too - but maybe it's just a reflection of the fact that one in five people in the UK now grow their own?
Elsewhere on the web...
Two must-watch moments on the web this week: French environmentalist Yann Arthus-Bertrand's remarkable and beautifully-filmed essay on the world's forests, made to mark the launch of the United Nations International Year of the Forests this year...
...and, possibly lowering the tone a little, internet phenomenon 3 Men Went 2 Mow have been busy again, this time in the potting shed. Worth watching for top designer Cleve West's priceless compost-sieving technique alone.
Out and about...
There's nowhere quite so romantic as a garden, even one in February. It's all that perfume (wintersweet and witch hazels) and flowers (snowdrops in your hair rather than roses, perhaps, but this is no time to be picky.) Yes, it's Valentine's Day on Monday; time to cast aside all inhibitions and get seriously smoochy.
Judith Blacklock's Valentine's arrangement
After decorating your table with Judith Blacklock's romantic arrangement picked from the garden, present your loved one with a heart woven of willow (learn how at The Courts Garden in Wiltshire) and a free hand-carved love spoon, given to all visiting lovers on February 14th at Aberglasney in Carmarthenshire, Wales - surely one of the most romantic gardens of them all.
One last thing: the RHS London Plant and Design Show, on the 15th at the Horticultural Halls in Westminster has rooftop gardens and free advice from design legend John Brookes. Clear your diaries now.