Hunting Brook Gardens, County Wicklow

  It was raining as we arrived at Hunting Brook; a light, steady drizzle filtering through opaque air. The lanes leading to the garden were bounded by sullen brambles and parched grasses, begging for relief from the heat and drought. Inside, thalictrums and fennels were spangled with water droplets, bowing gently beneath the unfamiliar weight. […]

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Plant Profile: Asarina scandens

As the heatwave drags on, my evenings are consumed by watering the garden. Already short, their length is reducing daily so that I am often found watering in the dark, a torch in one hand and a hose in the other. Normally there’s a glass of wine not far away to keep me going. All […]

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The Final Countdown

Twenty days to go and the countdown to my NGS garden open weekend is well underway. In truth the garden does not need another twenty days to look its best; it’s there already. I am mildly concerned that it will peak too soon, but there’s no holding it back now. Recent weather has been exceptional, […]

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Hampton Court Flower Show 2018: The Santa Rita ‘Living La Vida 120’ Garden

  I am becoming predictable. Just as at Chelsea, it was a contemporary garden featuring a blast of vibrant yellow and a generous entertaining space that captured my imagination at Hampton Court. In spite of the tongue-twisting name (henceforth I shall refer to it simply as the Santa Rita Garden), this was one of the […]

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Hampton Court Flower Show 2018: Best in Show – The Bursting Busy Lizzie Garden

  Who would have imagined that a garden jam-packed with common-or-garden Busy Lizzies would win a gold medal the prestigious Hampton Court Palace Flower Show? Or that such a garden would land Best in Show and the ultimate horticultural accolade, The Tudor Rose Award? Well, thanks to talented designer Matthew Childs and a partnership between […]

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It Ain’t Half Hot Mum

I write this post, naked from the waist up, basking in the sun at The Watch House. It’s not a pretty sight, but only I can see it. Beyond the garden gate bodies of all shapes and sizes litter the beach, reclining on vast towels, shielded from their neighbours by gaudy windbreaks despite there being […]

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