Hairnets and Harry Wheatcroft – The Chelsea Flower Show in 1973

The Beau is a thoughtful chap. For my birthday earlier this week he managed to track down a copy of the Chelsea Flower Show catalogue from the year of my birth, 1973. Whilst the cover design leaves much to be desired, the contents allow me to draw some fascinating comparisons with the modern-day. Most striking […]

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A Bookish Birthday

You might well assume that I’d had enough of being busy doing nothing over the Christmas holidays. That’s certainly not the case. Over the last year I have embraced ‘down time’ like never before. Perhaps it’s my age, or The Beau’s positive influence; maybe it’s simply having the time to entertain periods of relaxation instead […]

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Getting Away From It All

Like many folk, we’ve barely spent a night away from home since the New Year. I love The Watch House with all my heart, but being there is not a holiday. Everywhere I look there’s a job to be done: a plant to be watered, a bulb to be planted, a wall to be painted […]

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10 Books on my Winter Reading List

  Having built myself a library, you would think I’d be spending all my time sitting about and reading. Unfortunately that’s so far from being the truth that I am rather embarrassed to admit it. Even when I have ‘spare’ time, there’s always another task begging for attention; usually a practical one. During my four-hour […]

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Story of Flowers – Azuma Makoto

  If you have delved into my essential reading list, you will already know that I find the work of floral artist Azuma Makoto breathtaking, to the point of being moved to tears by it. In a world where one frequently feels one has seen it all before, his work is a revelation, encouraging us […]

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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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Book Review: “Daffodil: Biography of a Flower”

  “I’m always pleased to see a daffodil” confesses Oxford University botanist Dr Robert Scotland to the author of this new account of the ubiquitous spring flower. With those seven words he speaks for a nation. Narcissi, daffadillys, Lent lilies, jonquils, haverdrils, julians, daffydowndillies, call them what you will, daffodils are much beloved flowers. Yet […]

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Book Review – 365 Days of Colour in Your Garden

My initial response to the launch of “365 Days of Colour in Your Garden” at the end of 2015 was to ask myself whether gardeners really need another book on colour. Surely the subject has been amply covered by the likes of Percy Thrower (“Colour in Your Garden”, 1987), Penelope Hobhouse (“Colour in Your Garden”, […]

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Hoard

I think I did rather well, don’t you? Wishing you and yours a magical Christmas Day.  The Frustrated Gardener, December 25th 2015.

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A Growing Obsession

The promise of a new library has fuelled my growing obsession with books related to gardens and gardening. My Christmas list is a roll call of titles old and new, including Richard Mabey’s “The Cabaret of Plants“, Frank Lawley and Val Cobbins’ “Herterton House” and the late, great Will Giles’ “Encyclopaedia of Exotic Plants for Temperate Climates“. The […]

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