Postcards from Prague

No jetting off to New York this year, but a trip to the Czech Republic instead. And what a refreshing trip it was. Not only were easyJet and Gatwick airport surprisingly pleasant experiences (wonders will never cease), but the Czech Republic delivered snow, invigoratingly clean air and lots of Christmas inspiration. It had been 24 […]

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Harbour Highlights

As soon as I get near the coast I develop a fascination with photographing fishing paraphernalia. Harbour arms are frequently a treasure trove of interesting subjects – nets, buoys, floats, lobster pots and rusty metalwork. From Essaouira to St Ives, Broadstairs to Bermuda, the picture is the same: after a tough spell at sea fishermen unintentionally leave behind still-lives composed of working materials; often bright, […]

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An Island in Bloom and a Bridge Too Far

While the January storms rage outside it is a good time for me to catch up on a little reading. Next to my bedside table is a stack of magazines, books and newspaper articles that would be condemned if it were a building. Their colourful pages vie daily for my attention and rarely get it, but last night, at long […]

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Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens, Cornwall

Cornwall’s great gardens are, by and large, gardens that were created over 100 years ago and that have developed organically ever since. A handful have been rescued from the edge of oblivion in recent years but, with the obvious exception of The Eden Project, newly imagined gardens are a rarity. This is surprising given Cornwall’s exceptional climate and […]

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Easter Treats at Trevoole

It’s all go at Trevoole as the team prepare for tomorrow’s opening. The gardens are full of camellias, primulas and early tulips, intermingled with slowly unfurling fern fronds and the emerging foliage of artichokes and summer perennials. There’s an Easter egg hunt for visitors that arrive early, which the kids on the farm have been preparing since the weekend. What’s […]

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Return to the Salutation

With both gardens almost locked-down for winter it’s time to start writing about some of the places that have not yet made it on to The Frustrated Gardener. These half-forgotten visits are like blogging hay – sweet, fragrant and reminiscent of a time when the earth was warm and the sun high in the heavens […]

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A Floral Cure

Apart from having a hectic work week, I’ve also been struggling with blogger’s block. Lots to write about but just not finding the requisite levels of inspiration. Finally the spell has been broken by the talented florists from Hibya Kadan in Japan, who have staged an exquisite exhibit at the Maison et Objet show in […]

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Mottisfont – The Meeting Place by the Fountain

‘It is the time you have wasted for your rose that makes your rose so important’. Antoine de Saint-Exupéry In Saxon times, just a few yards from the River Test lay a natural, spring-fed pool, or ‘font’, over three metres deep. The font provided the focus for village meetings, or ‘moots’, and so it is […]

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The Land of the Thunder Dragon

The Butanese have 13 traditional arts and crafts, known collectively as Zorig Chusum. These are supported by all levels of society and are integral to every Butanese home. Strict conventions exist around the designs, which are carefully observed. However artists can express their personality through the execution of minor details. Below, year 4 art students […]

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Charley Harper’s Backyard Birds

Charley Harper was a genius of a graphic artist. His cheerful, highly-stylised wildlife prints always make me smile inside. So I was very happy to find his festive “Backyard Birds” print on Christmas cards when I went to New York earlier this month. I had to have them! It’s a crisp and wholly fantastic scene, […]

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