The Very Best of 2015 – A Year in Pictures

The moment I sit down to write my review of the year my mind goes completely blank. How do I sum up the year that was 2015? What happened of any note? Nothing there. A gardener’s optimistic outlook means I am always looking ahead, not back, which in this instance is unhelpful. Thank goodness I […]

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Balmy Boxing Day

I began my traditional Boxing Day post last year by commenting on the unusually mild weather that lead up to Christmas. Had I known then what I know now, I may well have made less of it: the UK is about to record its warmest ever December, with temperatures 4°C above average for the time […]

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Hoard

I think I did rather well, don’t you? Wishing you and yours a magical Christmas Day.  The Frustrated Gardener, December 25th 2015.

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A Growing Obsession

The promise of a new library has fuelled my growing obsession with books related to gardens and gardening. My Christmas list is a roll call of titles old and new, including Richard Mabey’s “The Cabaret of Plants“, Frank Lawley and Val Cobbins’ “Herterton House” and the late, great Will Giles’ “Encyclopaedia of Exotic Plants for Temperate Climates“. The […]

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Christmas Flower Candy: Cobaea scandens

If you live in the Northern hemisphere, you may consider Cobaea scandens, otherwise known as cup and saucer vine, an odd choice of Christmas Flower Candy. But in our coastal garden, high up in the canopy of the bay tree, this rampant climber is still flowering for all its life is worth. Our cup and saucer […]

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Top Tips for Choosing and Dressing Your Christmas Tree

Every year my team and I dress a hundred or more Christmas trees for product reviews, press shows, store displays and special customers, but when it comes to dressing our own trees it’s a different story. Having explored every look going, we find ourselves stymied by choice and just a little nervous about what people might […]

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Reflections

In my life as a buyer of all things festive, it is Christmas every day of the year. My face is permanently dusted with glitter (it’s not makeup, honest) and my hands scratched; not by roses but by assembling umpteen artificial spruces, pines and firs every month. Despite these minor afflictions, it is very possibly […]

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Shipwreck Weather

As we drove across the border between Devon and Cornwall on Friday night it was almost as if the wind were determined to blow us back to London. The car rocked and rolled across Bodmin Moor, forging valiantly ahead towards the westernmost tip of the British Isles.      However rough it gets in the […]

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Winter Green

Last weekend was officially my final gardening weekend before Christmas. From now on it will be a roller coaster ride of shopping, wrapping, cleaning, writing cards and decorating before the festivities commence. Him Indoors has embarked on a social schedule that would make The Queen look lazy, offering me peace and quiet to complete my […]

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