The Sunday Telegraph - Sunday



The unseasonab­ly mild weather over Christmas meant I could have a daily fix in the garden, cracking on with new projects. I have a bit of an addiction to creating spaces and this is the perfect time of year to indulge my habit.

One current project is the space surroundin­g my new circular bench in the yard. I have just made a simple pattern of Breedon gravel paths around it and am shortly going to install the metal edging to keep the gravel edge crisp.

I inherited four staddle stones from my late mother, all of which had their tops stolen many years ago. With a lot of puffing and a sack barrow, we installed them around the bench. Getting new tops would be expensive, so after trying various sized cardboard balls on top, I decided on 23cm diameter balls at £25.90 each from Grosvenor Stone (grosvenors­

These are reconstitu­ted stone but can be coloured to any stone shade you want. To speed weathering, you can rub moss, leaves and soil over them, which is more instant than yoghurt. I then planted up rows of lavender ‘Hidcote’ around the bench. Using just one type of plant makes maintenanc­e far easier and keeps the look clean and simple.

A bit of rain in no way deters me from working outside: the waterproof gardening trousers I’m wearing in these pictures are by Genus ( They have padded knees, loads of pockets and thermal insulation to keep me warm and allow me to move freely. I slip them on over leggings so they can be removed outside without shocking anyone – and thereby avoid dropping soil and twigs around the house.

 ?? ?? Sphere and now: Bunny positions new tops on her old staddle stones
Sphere and now: Bunny positions new tops on her old staddle stones

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