Spring at The Salutation

  If I were to win the lottery, The Salutation is the house I’d want to live in. I’d spend every spring and summer there, before overwintering in Capri, or the Caribbean; I can’t decide which. It’s probably not a choice I’ll ever be called on to make, but I like to think about it […]

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Running to Stand Still

  With April bright on the horizon I am already having to get a wiggle on to keep up with what needs doing in our garden. Within a fortnight that wiggle will have become a jog, and by early May I’ll be sprinting just to stand still. I feel exhausted just thinking about it. At […]

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Daily Flower Candy: Acacia longifolia

Acacia longifolia: long-leaved wattle, acacia trinervis, aroma doble, golden wattle, coast wattle, sallow wattle, Sydney golden wattle   Winter has returned for its last hurrah this week, bestowing cold gales, hail and sleet upon us poor gardeners. As I set off across London’s Hanover Square yesterday, umbrella clenched in hand, I spotted, between the spokes, […]

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Crazy for Corydalis

  The defining plants of my pre-teen years were those that grew in the garden of my parents’ 1930’s semi-detached house in Plymouth. Climbing the walls were Rosa ‘Masquerade’ and R. ‘Albertine’, a delicious loganberry and a variegated honeysuckle which resolutely failed to flower. In the borders there were African marigolds in summer and crocuses […]

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Coughs and Caterpillars: An Hour in the Garden

  It’s all going on in the garden right now. The plants have had a sniff of spring and now they are intoxicated, thrusting out of the ground, sending tendrils hither and thither and scrambling up in search of light and warmth. They’ve discovered the powerful drug that is spring. The energy that was quelled […]

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Daily Flower Candy: Asarum delavayi ‘Giant’

  Asarum delavayi ‘Giant’*: Giant Wild Ginger, Panda face ginger As an antidote to my post about Vita Sackville-West’s macabre ‘Box of the Dead’ earlier this week, I thought I’d share a happier tale. Regular readers will know that I often purchase plants without any real idea where I am going to plant them. It’s […]

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Spring Comes to Sissinghurst

  How fortunate that my first visit to Sissinghurst this year should coincide with the warmest day of the spring so far. As the car bowled through the Weald of Kent the roads were fringed with sulphur-yellow catkins and golden daffodils, sparking beneath a clear blue sky. The greys and browns of winter had started […]

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Getting Real

  How comforting – Vita Sackville-West and Harold Nicolson had plant casualties. They were like the rest of us, after all. This amusing revelation comes thanks to The National Trust’s renewed efforts to restore some of the ebullience and gay abandon that Sissinghurst’s creators strived for when they were alive. Sissinghurst is getting real, and […]

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The Amazon Man Cometh

  Oh dear. Him Indoors has gone skiing and left me alone, at home, with only my credit card for company. It’s dangerous territory, and we both know it. Just ten minutes on Amazon earlier this week and I had parted with the best part of £100 on books that I haven’t really got time […]

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Golden Wonder

  This solitary, banana-shaped bud belongs to the one and only yellow pleione species, P. forrestii, just one of which has found its way into my fledgling collection. It’s a wonder that it’s there at all. The first pseudobulb I ordered got lost in the post; hardly surprising given its diminutive size. The second almost […]

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