Daily Flower Candy: Lilium ‘Pink Flavour’

I have a new favourite lily and it’s called ‘Pink Flavour’. The bulbs were an impulse, end of season purchase from Sarah Raven and I didn’t have a place for them, so into a pot they went.  Within weeks the flower spikes emerged, growing nice and evenly, the foliage subtly tinted bronze. Arriving home late […]

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Amsterdam Open Gardens Weekend 2014

We all know Amsterdam as a city arranged along tree-lined canals. Some are fronted with fine houses, others modest ones, but all share similar characteristics – lofty edifices, punctuated by vast windows and topped by fanciful gables. Less well known are the gardens, which linger in the long shadows of the buildings to which they belong. On […]

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Daily Flower Candy: Rubus odoratus

Given Holland’s colonial past, the palette of plants used in Amsterdam’s town gardens is suprisingly limited.  The stereotype is a formal layout of camellias, box and other other evergreens, interspersed with hostas, hydrangeas, philadelphus, campanulas and roses. However, not all of the plants favoured by Amsterdam’s gardeners are that familiar in UK gardens. Most are […]

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Hollyhocks from Holland

There are no front gardens in old Amsterdam. Instead, householders adorn their doorsteps with potted plants, or grow roses and ivy through gaps in the pavement. Ever the opportunists, hollyhocks also get in on the act, seeding themselves and then rocketing up between cobbles wherever they may. They dart between railings and through bicycle wheels, […]

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All Change!

They say a change is as good as a rest. Normally I’d agree with that, but the amount of turmoil we’ve had through June has left me not so much in need of a rest but intensive care. It would not have been so bad had it not been for the silly amount I’ve been […]

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Elham NGS Open Gardens

Nestled in a broad, fertile valley cutting a swathe through East Kent, Elham is the very essence of England. During W.W.II Sir Anthony Eden lived in a house outside the village and Audrey Hepburn attended school here. The settlement has a long history beginning in the Neolithic period, but is defined by its fine Tudor and Stuart architecture. […]

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Daily Flower Candy: Lotus berthelotii

In case you haven’t noticed I am a sucker for anything colourful, exotic and expensive looking. This goes for food, cocktails, shirts, wallpaper and yes, plants too. I am a dreadful magpie, unable to resist the lure of anything bright or shiny. Hence it’s no wonder that the flame-like flowers of Lotus berthelotii, otherwise known […]

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Trevoole Farm – National Gardens Festival Weekend 2014

This weekend over five hundred gardens participating in the National Gardens Scheme opened their gates to raise money for nursing and caring charities, including Macmillan Cancer Support, Marie Curie Cancer Care and Carers Trust. One of those was Trevoole Farm, Cornwall, fast becoming my adopted home in the South West. I was there to help out and […]

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Birthday Bombki

I celebrated The Frustrated Gardener’s second birthday yesterday in one of the farthest corners of Poland, near the city of Wroclaw. The countryside in the south west of the country is pastoral and green, a gently ruffled counterpane of orchards, wildflower meadows, small villages and forests. There are bees and song birds in their trillions, […]

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London Grows, Amsterdam Shows

Every so often a particular date throws up so many opportunities for merriment that one is spoilt for choice. The next such occasion is June 21st and 22nd, when two gardening events I’ve been hotly anticipating clash over one weekend. It wouldn’t be so bad, but they’re taking place in capital cities on either side of the English […]

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