Daily Flower Candy: Thymus pulegioides ‘Foxley’

Thymus pulegioides: broad-leaved thyme, lemon thyme Variegation in plants is a trait I can take or leave. I blame spireas – a shrub I find especially hideous when variegated – for my aversion, having encountered them one too many times in situations where they’ve looked truly despicable. Yet occasionally, as in hostas, variegation is one […]

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Thinking Time

The last few days of February and the first of March are the most challenging for me when it comes to maintaining this blog. It’s not that I am working every hour that God sends, or that there is nothing happening in my garden, but that I have no time to think. My overworked brain […]

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Bewitched, Bothered and Bewintered

As winter draws to a close, I can sum it up in one word: soggy. Dreams of bracing walks along the beach beneath clear, blue skies have been denied, replaced by nightmare navigations along muddy paths and through swampy fields.  I promise myself every year that I will visit more gardens during the winter (Anglesey […]

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RHS London Early Spring Plant Fair 2016

The first rule of visiting a flower show is not to go on the last day, unless you’re hoping to bag a bargain. The displays will invariably look worse for wear, and all the best plants will be sold. The second rule is not to leave yourself short of time to soak up the atmosphere […]

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Daily Flower Candy: Iris histrioides ‘George’ AGM

I don’t know about you, but my green fingers fail me when it comes to keeping early spring irises flowering from one season to the next. The tiny bulbs, mainly cultivars and hybrids of Iris reticulata and Iris histrioides, are about the size, shape and colour of a garlic clove (‘reticulata’ refers the the protective […]

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The Atolls of Acton

As well as the lovely parts of London, I get to frequent some pretty grotty ones too. The area around North Acton station is what one might call post-industrial, a soulless collection of cheaply constructed, thoughtlessly designed warehouses with an unloveable countenance. Those that have not already been demolished to make way for bland new […]

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Three Seagulls

I am not sure how I feel about the new convention of naming winter storms. Is it just me, or could it be that since the Met Office introduced the practice we’ve experienced a lot more severe weather? And did the general public, via social media, genuinely choose the name Desmond for the weather system […]

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Winter Warmer

I’ve had a cough or a cold for nearly six weeks now, which has severely curtailed the amount of gardening I’ve been able to do. Consequently I feel desperately unhealthy and just a little bit sorry for myself. Him Indoors, who says I am incapable of relaxation and despairs of the restless patient I am, […]

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Daily Flower Candy: Coronilla valentina subsp. glauca ‘Citrina’ AGM

Coronilla valentina: shrubby scorpion vetch, bastard senna As winter’s end approaches our coastal garden is starting to look a little bedraggled. A mild December and January granted us a continuous display of luxuriant green, but now that same brave foliage has been torn and tattered by the wind. Beyond our garden gate there are flowers […]

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Daily Flower Candy: Ranunculus Pon-Pon Series

Ranunculus asiaticus: Persian Buttercup I am not sure I have the patience to be a plant breeder, nor the stamina to go hunting for new species in far-flung places, but I am glad other people do. New hybrids and wild-collected rarities fuel the horticultural industry and gardeners’ imagination, a process of natural selection determining which […]

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