my garden in June and a little loot shoot

by Sharon Santoni

We have alternate rain and sun this week and the garden is growing like a Normandy version of the Amazon forest.  Fast and luxuriant!


I found a few pieces out at a fair this morning, accompanying clients who were having fun filling up bags and ticking off wish-lists.

 Each time I come home to the garden, I find myself with mixed feelings  …. pleased to see so many flowers, and yet rather jealous of those gardeners who can show real restraint.  My atttempts at the mixed-border-meet-cottage-garden seem to result in some very over crowded and somewhat over busy beds.

I know all the theory about leaving space between perennials, leaving them room to grow and develop, I just find it hard to leave any empty spots.  Maybe one day I shall turn my garden over to a professional, who will rip everything out and start over …. maybe …

Meanwhile back at the loot shoot, Ghetto was pretty grumpy about not having come along to the fair, and needed two biscuits before he’d smile.


Have to love that special light when bright sunshine pierces through dark menacing clouds.


I hope you have done something fun this weekend.  Thank you for reading me, despite the more sporadic posting right now.


Don’t forget that when I don’t have time to post on the blog, I always keep up to speed on  instagram and facebook.

Wishing you all a great week ahead.



Gina June 8, 2014 - 7:22 pm

Dear Sharon, Do not let a “garden professional” touch your garden! It is perfect and so beautiful. ox, Gina

Pamela Bolton June 8, 2014 - 7:24 pm

I love a gardener who can show no restraint. I have tried and failed with my gardens in 3 states and 2 countries. Now I am gardening in the desert in Arizona and there is not a single cactus in my garden, but there are plenty of roses and lavender. And it’s full and shaggy. Love it.

Rita C. at Panoply June 8, 2014 - 7:47 pm

Sharon, I find your gardens simply gorgeous as they are (mine are more compartmentalized…we always favor what is not ours, I suppose). Yes, I love that light that pierces the clouds. Gorgeous photos, great stuff, and it looks like two of the most handsome dogs around!

Jennifer Wines June 8, 2014 - 8:46 pm

Sharon, the garden looks gorgeous. Whatever do you do when it’s time to cut everybody back? After 20 wheelbarrow trips to the tip, just with the spring bulb foliage, I shudder to contemplate what the end of summer will bring….
More biscuits for Gibson and Ghetto please!

Lise-Lotte Loomer June 8, 2014 - 9:21 pm

I love your garden. I hope you don’t change to a “professional look”!

Colleen Taylor June 8, 2014 - 9:27 pm

I can’t even imagine that a so called professional could do anything better Sharon. All beautiful but I had to take a deep sigh at the last photo of your Lady Banks Roses. I had 2 of those, one died & the other just refused to bloom no matter what I did. I no longer have them. Not sure what I did wrong but I’m happy you have such lovely ones. X

Dee June 8, 2014 - 9:54 pm

Sharon, please don’t apologise about your garden – it’s gorgeous! I love the colours, the flowers and the full beds! Every garden exudes the personality of the person who lives there, just as a home does…we’re all unique and that’s a good thing!

Rosemary June 8, 2014 - 10:18 pm

Jungles are good! Gardens should be like food on the table, plentiful and abundant. One of the greatest compliments I have ever had was from a little girl who visited. She went home and told her mother she wanted a garden like Rosemary’s, full of flowers and secret places. I think she would say the same about your garden… and who can say no to little girls who love gardens?

Debbie Spence June 8, 2014 - 10:32 pm

Love your garden. Love your posts. Love the dream of visiting you one day!!

Rita June 8, 2014 - 10:46 pm

I love the blue and white plates and platter! and always the adventures of Ghetto:)

Kari Odette June 8, 2014 - 11:02 pm

Sharon, you do NOT need a professional gardener! The arrangement of your garden is not unlike the beautiful arrangements you make with the flowers from the garden. You have a good eye for beauty – and a green thumb to boot! Those first pink flowers look like carnations. (I’m showing my not so green thumb). I know near the end that one is foxglove? or is it digitalis? Some time could you label what they are? I know that is asking a lot from one so busy. Easy for me to ask, right?
Love your…babies as I call my own. Had to laugh at the expressions on both as if they were teenage kids and mom was wanting them to be in the picture: “Hey, you kids stand over there and let me take your picture, okay? come on… Smile!”
Their response: “Oh, mom!” (a little whine with that mom) “We do this all the time!” or “I don’t feel like smiling.” and “do we get a treat for this?” lastly “yeah, that’s what you said last time..” ;0)
Thank you for sharing such gorgeous photos for me to dream by!
Kari Odette

La Contessa June 8, 2014 - 11:13 pm

Your garden looks perfect to me!I too wouldn’t be able to leave any empty spaces!What is that pink flower in the first photo?A poppy of some kind?I need that for my front yard!I have been working on my TASK from you……..think I will have an answer tonight!

Leslie in Portland, Oregon June 9, 2014 - 1:47 am

I love the way your garden looks…if that is overcrowding, overcrowd away! Your photograph of the light on the lupine is breathtaking. I am a lupine lover who cannot grow lupine because my garden is shady, so I particularly appreciate your showing us your glorious lupine. And Ghetto and Gibson make every photograph even better! Thank you.

betsy austin June 9, 2014 - 2:06 am

Hi Sharon,
Please let me know about the September tour.
I am very interested in the details.

Bea Becker June 9, 2014 - 5:10 am

Dear Sharon. I know the feeling. I have tried in the past 30 years to organize my garden like the professionals would advise me to. Unfortunately either I loose some of my very special flowering plants or they take forever to make flowers again. so I have given over to nature. Enjoy your garden as is and make your house full of all the over blooming roses peonies and all your other flowers

Heather McPherson June 9, 2014 - 5:21 am

Loooovvvveee your garden, don’t change a thing! I live in Sydney Australia, have a lovely garden but nowhere as beautiful as your! Love all your posts etc just gorgeous, gives me hope, thank you xxx

CÉLINE CHOLLET June 9, 2014 - 7:03 am

Magnifique comme toujours ! J’aime bien ton jardin un peu “fouilli”, les roses, les capanules, les pavots ! Guetto aime la brocante on dirait !

Julia June 9, 2014 - 8:39 am

I agree with the others, don’t change your garden, it’s lovely and lush and luxurious and that is, in my opinion, how a garden should be
I spent my weekend making flavoured vodkas, an elderflower, a strawberry and a mint…
I’m now thinking of lavender … Bon juin!

Lyn June 9, 2014 - 10:49 am

Don’t ever change your garden, it is so beautiful, I would love to have such beautiful flowers as you have. Thank you for sharing, I so look forward to your blog. Lyn

Roxane June 9, 2014 - 11:55 am

Your gardens are magnificent! You don’t need the “professional” manicured touch. It’s the garden I’ve always dreamed of. I hope that some day I’ll be able to come back to visit in the spring or summer and see it in all its glory! Ah, those beautiful pink flowers in the first picture sent me on an internet search. Are those Pom Pom Poppies? I haven’t had much luck with poppies, but it’s probably because I haven’t planted them in their right spot yet. All I can find around here for plants are the typical orange poppies. I think I’ve struck Poppy seed gold on eBay though….so many different vibrant colors…black, pink, red, white. I might have a new flower obsession, move over tulips! Thanks for sharing your beautiful gardens with us.

Sally June 9, 2014 - 12:18 pm

It’s heaven Sharon…….I am truly passionate about gardens and yours is beautiful… ARE a professional …you have the abundance of the cottage garden that is so hard to achieve.

It all looks wonderful and your pink poppies are delectable, I am with la Contessa..she is also an amazing gardener.

I too am sporadic as I am away a lot……but I am reading as often as I can, and loving your inspiration and beauty always
I hope you have some time to just sit and enjoy your garden in these busy days

Teddee Grace June 9, 2014 - 1:22 pm

I can see your little dog was upset. They do have such revealing expressions.

Lindsay June 9, 2014 - 1:41 pm

I love your garden.. And I agree with everyone. no need for professionals, just let them all
flower. they are all so beautiful and well taken care of.
Thanks for sharing with us, some of us live in apartments, and this is our morning
wake up..

cynthia woodyard June 9, 2014 - 3:12 pm

Sharon, I’m a professional and I love your garden in all it’s sensual jumble because it’s yours! Just enjoy yourself! I’ve had other professionals offer wonderful suggestions now and then when they visit, a few I’ve carried out to my delight! Just saying there’s nothing wrong with a fresh view now and then…….


Jeanne McKay Hartmann June 9, 2014 - 3:19 pm

Sharon, I think your garden is gorgeous just as it is. I love the abundance and lushness! Your loot looks fantastic, and Gibson and Ghetto sweet as always, even if grumpy. Have a lovely week! XO

Peggy Braswell June 9, 2014 - 5:28 pm

ahh such a beautiful garden + love gibson & getto + had a lovely weekend gardening.

burnside June 9, 2014 - 6:15 pm

You probably have them already, Sharon, but I want to recommend Vita Sackville-West’s old columns from the Observer.

They’ve been collected and published and I feel two such generous gardners should meet!

Sally June 9, 2014 - 6:43 pm

Hear hear from me!
I have both these books….they are reminiscent of the inspiration that made my fabulously talented grandmother, and subsequently I, gardeners. Granny would have loved your garden so much, Sharon, and Gibson and Ghetto too.
In the 1950’s when Vita was writing, she took the Observer every week. The columns will be cut and saved somewhere

Sublimely beautiful….exquisite Sissinghurs….it is to me, the most iconic garden of all

Sharon Santoni June 9, 2014 - 9:11 pm

Well thank you! I am beyond flattered to be compared to Vita S-W!! I have the book of her newspaper contributions, and I love it. I also grow up very hear her home at Knole, and her creation at Sissinghurst, both very inspiring.


Cathy June 10, 2014 - 1:26 am

Hi,Sharon! What a lovely garden you have created! Love Gibson & Getto.
Greetings from Montevideo,Uruguay.

Justine June 10, 2014 - 8:37 am

Beautiful garden!!!:)


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