Sowing the seed for 2013

My introduction to gardening was through the pages of seed catalogues. As a young child I could sit for hours looking through the pages of colourful annuals, later cutting them up to make garish collages. Suttons, Dobies, Mr Fothergills or Unwins, I was neither fussy nor discerning. Fortunately none of those colourful creations survive to […]

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Classy Clivia

A few years back my partner’s mother gave us an offset of one of the many clivias that bask in her front porch.  The lucky escapee has since languished in our bathroom, on an east facing window ledge, where it appears to be very happy.  For most of the year the glossy but fairly unexciting […]

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All I want for Christmas is…….?

I don’t consider myself a man who has everything, but when it comes to putting together a Christmas wish list I am struggling this year.  Between us, we already have more ‘stuff’ than anyone could possibly need.  Our kitchen cupboards are full of exotic foods and “useful” gadgets (mostly unused and unuseful), our bookshelves are […]

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Marvellous Mahonia

As Christmas approaches, I’m finding it increasingly hard to find time for the garden and even the faithful iPad’s becoming something of a stranger. Outside our French windows in London, the terrace and lawn are smothered in butter-yellow leaves from the wild plum tree in a neighbouring garden. I know they need sweeping up, but […]

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Down to earth with a bump

So, here we are. Mid November and just 40 days until Christmas. Despite my working life revolving around the festive season, I can feel mild panic brewing already. Only a week ago we departed steamy Singapore in 34 degrees Centigrade and arrived in London with the mercury only just reaching 34 degrees Fahrenheit. Apart from […]

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The Floating Gardens of Inle Lake

If, like me, you’re accustomed to gardening on dry land, Inle lake in Burma is a bit of an eye-opener. For here the fruits float and the veg ride the ripples of a vast, idyllic lake. The lake itself is situated about 2900ft above sea level, bordered on either side by mountains which bring frequent […]

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National Kandawgyi Gardens, Pyin Oo Lwin, Burma

As we progress around Burma, attended to like two little kings (which always makes me feel rather uncomfortable) I am continuing to persist with the “free wifi” that’s so proudly proclaimed in every restaurant, hotel and airport. It may well be free, but there’s very little point in it if it doesn’t work….which is rarely […]

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The Road to Mandalay – All Aboard the Chrysanthemum Express!

On the road to Mandalay, from the hill town of Pyin Oo Lwin, is Mandalay’s morning flower market. If, like us, you were expecting a Covent Garden-like covered market, then think again. This is a flower market on wheels. About 20 minutes from the city centre and occupying the sides and central reservation of a […]

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