Getting The Chop

Part of any gardener’s skill set is judging when enough is enough; that point where exuberance and gay abandon tip over into a top-heavy, over-blown mess. If pruning, cutting back or hedge trimming is not tackled at the right time it can be difficult, time-consuming or even impossible to get some plants back into shape, […]

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Daily Flower Candy: Crithmum maritimum

Crithmum maritimum: rock samphire, sea fennel, sea asparagus, sea bean, sea pickle, crest marine “There is a cliff whose high and bending head looks fearfully in the confined deep… The crows and choughs that wing the midway air scarce so gross as beetles; halfway down hangs one that gathers samphire, dreadful trade!” William Shakespeare Revelling […]

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The Morning After The Weekend Before

  It did not take long to go to sleep last night. After a weekend of baking, talking, entertaining, watering, meeting, greeting, fetching and carrying we were both absolutely shattered. 180 lovely people came to visit the garden; not a record, but we value quality above quantity and we certainly achieved that. At the final […]

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So Far, So Good!

  Day two of our garden opening is always a more relaxed affair and I am thoroughly looking forward to it. On day one the rain absented itself, but the wind did not. At times yesterday it gusted so hard that I got lost in a blizzard of white begonia flowers cascading from the shelves […]

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Opening Day

  Do come at visit us at The Watch House today, 12-4, and the same again tomorrow. If you aren’t able, please enjoy this three minute video. Have a lovely weekend whatever you are up to.  

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Waiting and Anticipating

  When preparing for our garden opening, I find I end up doing anything but gardening. Over the last two days I have been painting the front gate, unearthing chairs from the cellar, jet-washing the terrace, scrubbing garden furniture, making beds, stapling leaflets and dashing to the shops for this and that instead of tending […]

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Ever Decreasing Circles

  This is a petrocosmea, a ground-hugging, rosette-forming relative of the African violet, hailing from the mountains of Western China. In its natural habitat it has a nice, orderly life, bathed in cool mist, languishing in the shade. Each plant produces an ever-expanding, mathematically perfect spiral of downy leaves, softer than a lamb’s ears. Occasionally […]

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Ode to Joy

  A very dear friend of mine passed away this week. Her name was Joy. When we first met she referred to me as Mr Cooper and I referred to her as Mrs Willis. Retail was a much more formal business in those days and the use of surnames stuck. I played a very fine […]

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The Final Countdown 

  Twelve days to go and preparation for this year’s garden opening feels like one of those bad dreams where, try as one may, one never reach the finishing line. I can usually let go of the reins a little during August, but with the opening happening at the end of the month I have to […]

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Opening Pains

  Had we opened our seaside garden on the usual weekend, this is the scene that would have greeted our visitors. Not bad, even if I do say so myself. Instead, we spent the weekend in London, celebrating Him Indoors’ birthday and not worrying about deadheading or watering for a change. At Polegate Cottage, the […]

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