Daily Flower Candy: Canarina canariensis

Regular readers may already have noticed that I am sucker for a subtropical plant. On a cold Sunday in February, whilst visiting London’s Chelsea Physic Garden, I found myself drawn in by the the scented warmth of one particular glasshouse, that which holds the garden’s collection of rare and threatened species from the Canary Islands and Madeira. Scrambling towards the […]

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Bravery

I had ideas about going to the Great Dixter Spring Plant Fair this weekend, but it dawned on me that I should spend more time worrying about the plants I already have rather than acquiring new ones. This was something of an revelation for a confirmed plantaholic like myself, and one which I hope doesn’t occur too […]

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Primrose Blue

You’ve all heard of primrose yellow, but let me introduce you to primrose blue. As a flower colour blue is something of acquired taste, especially when it doesn’t come naturally. Could there be anything more abhorrent than a blue rose, a turquoise chrysanthemum (please note Tesco cut flower buyer) or, worse still, a sapphire orchid? And […]

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Slow Motion

Since the first balmy weekend in March I have watched both our gardens move forward as if in slow motion. Temperatures have remained resolutely low, bringing to a halt the tulips, narcissi and hyacinths that seemed so eager to get going in late February. In the span of two weeks their fat buds and leafy shuttlecocks have edged forward only the tiniest […]

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Chelsea Physic Garden – Nick Bailey’s ‘Best in Snow’

Early in February I went along to the Chelsea Physic Garden for one of their annual snowdrop days. I was lucky enough to bag a ticket for head gardener Nick Bailey’s ‘Best in Snow’ walk, where he described very eloquently a dozen or so of his favourite plants for winter colour. Not many of them can […]

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Daily Flower Candy: Iris reticulata ‘Sheila Ann Germaney’

For two years in a row I have waxed lyrical about Iris ‘Katherine Hodgkin’, a reticulated hybrid with bleached denim-blue flowers that remind me of the ghastly jeans I cherished in the 80s. This year, for a change, I thought I would try out a sister cultivar, Iris ‘Sheila Ann Germaney’, to see if I could spot the difference. […]

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Daily Flower Candy: Dutch Crocus (Crocus vernus)

The groundflame of the crocus breaks the mould, Fair Spring slides hither o’er the Southern sea, Wavers on her thin stem the snowdrop cold That trembles not to kisses of the bee: Come Spring, for now from all the dripping eaves The spear of ice has wept itself away, And hour by hour unfolding woodbine […]

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Divine Decay

Whether in gardens, nature, art or through the camera lens, flowers fascinate me. At the root of my love of gardening lies a deep-seated passion for flowers in all their myriad forms. On the journey from bud to seed, my favourite stage of a flower’s development is its first opening. There is something about the perfection […]

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Daily Flower Candy: Ypsilandra thibetica

Just occasionally, well, maybe a little more often than that, I buy a plant for all the wrong reasons. Invariably my foolishness leads to failure, followed by guilt. I hate to see a plant die, especially when it’s through no fault of its own. I tell myself I should know better than to waste my […]

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Book Review – Garden Design: A Book of Ideas

I love a new gardening book, which is a dangerous passion when so many fresh titles hit the shelves every year. Most are glossy, many interesting and just a handful destined to become classics. (Fewer still feature my own garden, so I confess to a degree of heathy bias when it comes to this post’s subject.) Cutting it on […]

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