Happy Hallowe’en!

‘Pixie, kobold, elf, and sprite, All are on their rounds tonight; In the wan moon’s silver ray, Thrives their helter-skelter play.’ ~Joel Benton

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Daily Flower Candy: Melinis repens

Chinese factories are not renowned for their landscaping – a few scrubby trees and sickly pot plants are likely to be the most natural greenery on offer. But once in a while one finds something interesting. At the end of the day, outside an ugly building in the middle of southern China, I spotted this […]

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Fallen

Mercifully, the St Jude’s Day storm was not a repeat of the Great Storm of 1987.  On that occasion, the UK lost in the region of 15 million trees in winds of up to 122mph.  At the time the devastation was heartbreaking, but in time the opportunity was taken to replant and rejuvenate parks, gardens […]

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Plant Portraits: Osmanthus fragrans (Guìhuā (桂花) or Sweet Olive)

It is customary in Hong Kong for 5 star hotels to have a house fragrance, pumped into lobbies in heady clouds and sold at great expense in the gift shop. However, it’s not often one steps out of a car onto the street in China to be greeted by a similar olfactory experience. In fact […]

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Out of the Darkness

I have just endured a whole week in China. It was not the death-defying driving or the tawdry toilets that upset me, it wasn’t even the separation from my garden, but the complete lack of connection to the outside world – no BBC, no Facebook, no Twitter and worst of all no access to The […]

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Glorious Goodnestone, Part III: The Walled Garden

The British love a walled garden: solid, enclosed and often romantic, they are private spaces where a lucky few get to garden and where visitors can appreciate their labours. In the 21st Century those that remain are mainly cultivated as decorative fruit, vegetable and cut flower gardens. Those attached to hotels and National Trust properties […]

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A Schoolboy Error

After a night of torrential rain – the kind of deluge that you’d imagine might signal the end of the world – it was a surprise to wake up on Saturday morning with sunlight streaming through the windows.  It’s on nights like these that our coastal garden becomes a repository for the entire town’s debris […]

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Daily Flower Candy: Agapanthus africanus

Those of you who check in to The Frustrated Gardener regularly will know I’m a big fan of Agapanthus. Our majestic Agapanthus africanus come into bloom in late July. The seed heads that follow look magnificent well into autumn. Avoid the temptation to keep them intact through the winter, as they will seed prolifically and […]

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Trading Apple for Apples

I never think of myself as especially tech savvy.  However, as I embark on my 40’s I find myself more anxious than ever to keep up with advances in technology.  I have no time for endless research, so have happily sold my soul to Apple – the iPad, the iPhone and now a gorgeous, sleek, […]

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Daily Flower Candy: Colchicum autumnale

In this debauched scene, naked ladies cavort in the damp grass, collapsing hither and thither in gay abandon.  Also known as meadow saffron or autumn crocus these delicate denizens of damp meadows can be found growing wild in the western half of Britain, where they push through the sward in early September.  They are known as naked […]

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