Planting A Container for Autumn Colour

By mid-September, many summer-flowering annuals have started to burn themselves out. They’ve given their all, and their natural instinct is now to produce seed before the weather gets colder and they die. This can leave pots and containers planted in late spring looking rather forlorn. If you’re not ready to resign yourself to the onset […]

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Now is the Time to Plant Spring Bulbs

Whilst tempting to lament the summer that never was, now is the time to be looking ahead and planting your spring-flowering bulbs. The first 2022 catalogues seemed to arrive earlier than ever this year, some of them well before the last tulips had faded in our garden. With no opportunity to impress customers at the […]

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A Moment In The Gin & Tonic Garden

Once in a while one’s garden has a ‘moment’, a brief period of time when everything comes together to create a picture-perfect scene and an exhilarating feeling. ‘Moments’ can be planned, but never guaranteed: nature and serendipity play far too great a part. A garden’s finest hour can be elevated to new levels by a […]

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The Watch House Awaits

The pots are all planted and in position, their arrangements have been checked from every angle, adjusted and appraised again. Happy with the result, we finally feel ready for our garden opening this weekend. It’s been a long and winding road to get here. A cold, harsh winter and very late spring put us on […]

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Here Comes Summer!

The title of of this post is tongue-in-cheek given I’m sat at my desk with rain pattering on the skylight and a brisk draught whipping around my ankles. Three weeks of ‘too-good-to-be-true’ weather ended, here in the South East of England at least, with an almighty thunder storm last Wednesday. More storms on Thursday were […]

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The Late, Late Tulip Show

Cold weather in spring can only hold our gardens back for so long. It’s like a catapult, the further the sling is pulled back – i.e the longer the cold days continue – the faster the shot flies when conditions improve. For the last week, every night has been over 5ºC and daytime temperatures have […]

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The Late, Late Daffodil Show

In a normal year, I’d consider myself lucky to have one or two daffodils blooming in May. By May Day their dominion is over and tulips reign supreme. This year is an exception; I have more daffodils in flower now than at any time previously. An Entente Cordiale has been reached between the two exalted […]

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Arctic April

It has been the strangest month; cold – indeed the frostiest April in sixty years – and desert-dry. Although we’ve escaped spring frosts here on the East Kent coast, it has been bitter day-in, day-out, with desiccating winds blowing in from the north and east. Most days I have returned from walking the dogs feeling […]

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How To Prepare Your Garden For A Spring Cold Snap

Over the last week we’ve been blessed with glorious spring weather. Sunshine and temperatures in the high teens and twenties (ºC) have, quite literally, made the garden blossom. It’s been a delight to be outside, getting jobs done and feeling the warmth on our backs, but don’t let a mild spell lull you into a […]

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Hurrah! the Ides of March

Our garden is at its lowest ebb from early February until the Ides of March, on the 15th of the month. Battered by gales laden with salt and sand, scorched by snow and starved of light, everything but the eternal evergreens* is pale, frazzled or mushy. I try to like what I see, but I […]

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