Beaded II

We had family from Sheffield staying at The Watch House last week. In contrast to early August the weather was atrocious. From what I can deduce most of the week was spent in a cycle of getting drenched, drying off, eating and playing board games: all essential elements of a British summer holiday. Attempts to […]

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Daily Flower Candy: Clematis vitalba

Clematis vitalba: Old man’s beard, traveller’s joy, virgin’s bower, ladies’ bower, love vine, traveller’s ivy. When the feathery seed heads of Clematis vitalba start to appear in the hedgerows, one knows autumn can’t be far away. Walking along the clifftops yesterday I observed this rampant climber piling over railings and smothering less vigorous neighbours. In folklore, old man’s […]

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New Look, Same Frustrated Gardener

I began The Frustrated Gardener as an experiment. I wanted to challenge myself to keep up with technology, rekindle my deep-seated love of plants and create something beautiful and interesting for others to enjoy. Unintentionally it’s become a record of what I did when, and a means of connecting with hundreds of talented gardeners and plant lovers. Since 2012 I’ve […]

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Walmer Castle Gardens

Like fry through the holes in a fisherman’s net, certain gardens I visit manage to escape being written about on my blog. It’s not that these gardens are too small, simply that the day’s catch is so large that I can’t get to them in a timely manner. The gardens at Walmer Castle are a case […]

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Agave Agony

A sun-soaked stroll along the beach between Broadstairs and Ramsgate, picking up chalk pebbles and gnarled flints, ultimately leads us back to The Italianate Glasshouse in King George VI park. Through the delicate structure the solitary panicle of canary yellow blossom belonging to Agave americana still lurches defiantly into the sky. A thick blanket of white cloud now obscures the heavens. […]

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Summer Lovin’

There have been precious few moments over the last week for composing wise words on gardening matters. I am not about to fob you off with something I’ve rushed, so will instead treat you to a vision of what a hot summer day looks like in this neck of the woods. In nine years of […]

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On Course

I am on a course this week in the salubrious environs of Hunton Park in Hertfordshire. Sadly the once magnificent grounds leave much to be desired, but I am not here to learn about gardens. The course is teaching me to be a hot-shot negotiator and, despite grave misgivings, I am really rather enjoying myself. […]

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In The Garden This Week: Clashing Colours

Royal blue and orange, canary yellow and purple, candy pink and red, fresh lime and magenta – our coastal garden is packed with clashing colours during August. I love, cherish and celebrate them all. Whether the combinations are technically right or a little bit wrong, who cares? They are fleeting moments that perhaps only I […]

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Beaded

Its been a sultry week here in London. Moisture has been heavy in the air, reluctant to fall, forming a dull haze over the Thames valley. Reluctantly this afternoon a white sky found the energy to form a thin drizzle. In the garden every leaf and flower is finely beaded with water, deftly poised, waiting for […]

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Daily Flower Candy: Lilium ‘Scheherezade’

The number of occasions during the day when I feel I am starting to lose my marbles is increasing steadily, to a point where I genuinely wonder if senility might be imminent. I have always been a list-writer but have reached a stage where noting down ‘to dos’ has become a necessity rather than a safety […]

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