The Urban Guide to the Countryside
Bucks & Oxon Edition

Category: Gardening

Early birds! Get your Mothering Sunday sorted

8 Mar 2017

Everywhere gets so darn booked up for Mothering Sunday – as you’ll know, if you’ve ever spent the week before desperately trying to nab a restaurant reservation only to find it’s Burger King or bust. So in the interests of being super-organized, we’ve decided to get in there early this year with our guide to what to do with your mother – or your children – on Sunday 26 March (I can think of a few suggestions that aren’t quite in keeping with the spirit of the day, but let’s leave that there).

Read more

Brave the cold with these January Gardening tips

1 Jan 2017

No British garden is a thing of beauty in January (cue a deluge of photos from irate proud gardeners – go on, prove me wrong!), but a little bit of TLC now will pay you handsomely come spring and summer.

Jackie Hunt, who is head gardener at the award-winning Turn End Gardens in Haddenham, suggested these winter gardening tips if you feel like getting out into the outdoors and exercising without the need for lycra – though don’t let me stop you if you want to dig up you dahlia’s in your neon crop top.

Read more

Found: *awesome* London girly lunch spot

15 Jul 2016

Whoo-hoo! Very super-duper-pooper excited to write about my new find because you’re going to love it. I went up to old Larn-din town last week to meet my lovely regional Muddy editors for lunch, but it’s pretty tough finding a venue to suit when one editor is coming from Norfolk, another from Sussex, and another again from Cornwall!

In the end I used my noddle and remembered that The Quince Tree (RIP Stonor, hello Henley!) also has a London cafe/restaurant in the beautiful Clifton Nurseries, in the lovely leafiness of Maida Vale.

Read more

Let’s PARTY!!! Cornwall Manor opens for guests

18 Apr 2016

Whoo-hoo! I’m so excited to tell you about this because I know Cornwell Manor – I had a sneaky peaky around it last year (friend of a friend stuff) – and I’m not kidding, it’s one of the loveliest manor houses in the Cotswolds. It’s a total stonker.

Cornwell Manor is close to Chipping Norton in stunning rolling countryside, a 2000 acre estate with a Jacobean manor house (updated with a Georgian facade in the 18th century), a petite Norman church, lakes, wood, streams and gardens designed by Clough Williams-Ellis who created the brilliant Italianate gardens at Portmeirion in North Wales.

Read more

5 March must-dos for your garden

10 Mar 2016

I’m not the kind of gardener to tend the soil in freezing December, or do some magnificently forward-planning pruning. But when the daffs come out and the stilettos  no longer sink into the grass like it’s quicksand, I tip toe out in the garden with my spade, hoe and rake, place them neatly in a row and then *cough*, have a nice long coffee and almond croissant in the sunshine. Oh come on, I can’t be the only one!

Read more

Stoke Park – the best spa in Buckinghamshire?

7 Nov 2014

While I was being Bridget Jones at Stoke Park hotel the other week (at least Bridget Jones before she went and changed her face forever – Renee, what have you done?!), I spent several deliriously happy hours in the Stoke Park spa.

There was just too much to write about Stoke Park generally to do the spa justice in my last post, so this missive is really to let spa-lovers have a sneaky peek into what’s on offer, because let me tell you, it’s gorrrrrrgeous.

Read more

Green fingers: October garden tips

27 Oct 2014

Richard Key has over 30 years in the landscape industry and is a Fellow of the Society of Garden Designers. He’s created medal-winning gardens at both Chelsea and Hampton Court Shows and is author of several books including ‘Family Garden’. He also happens to live locally which is handy for us on Muddy Stilettos! Here are his expert tips on how to tame your garden this month. 

Bulb Planting


This is the month when you can start bulb planting to give those golden swathes of daffodils which herald the beginning of Spring.

Read more

September: 5 must-do gardening tips

19 Sep 2014

Richard has over 30 years in the landscape industry and is a Fellow of the Society of Garden Designers. He has created medal-winning gardens at both Chelsea and Hampton Court Shows and is author of several books including Family Garden. – See more at: http://www.muddystilettos.co.uk/business-directory/14857/richard-key-landscape-design/#sthash.KKoekK4D.dpuf

Richard Key has over 30 years in the landscape industry and is a Fellow of the Society of Garden Designers. He’s created medal-winning gardens at both Chelsea and Hampton Court Shows and is author of several books including ‘Family Garden’.

Read more
The Urban Guide to the Countryside -
Bucks & Oxon Edition