The House by the Lane

‘Chyanvounder’: ‘Chy’ meaning house and ‘vounder’ meaning lane in the Cornish language. We have made three attempts to visit Cornwall this year. The first was thwarted by the untimely demise of The Beau‘s ill fated Mini Cooper. Dreams of a second sojourn were ended by lockdown. Thankfully it was to be third time lucky this […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

Tremenheere Treats

We were all set to go to the rare plant fair at Tregrehan in Cornwall last Sunday. My train was booked months ago, the was itinerary planned and a wish-list written. Then two highly predictable things happened: I purchased a whole heap of plants elsewhere on Saturday (good ones too …. see below for details) […]

Read More

Morrab Gardens, Penzance, Cornwall

March can be a wild and windy month, especially in the far south-west of Cornwall. So it was that we turned up at Trewidden to view the magnolias only to find the garden was closed owing to the inclement weather. All Cornish gardens of note rely heavily on shelter created by large trees and shrubs. […]

Read More

Magnolia × veitchii ‘Peter Veitch’

My ‘proper’ camera, a now rather dated DSLR, has been in a cupboard since September. I know it takes better photographs than an iPhone, but when conditions are less than ideal I just can’t be bothered to lug around a camera and a bag full of lenses. Fine spells over weekend, combined with an itinerary […]

Read More

Camellias: Harbingers of Spring

Spring arrives a little earlier in Cornwall than elsewhere in England. The far South West is blessed with a mild, maritime climate which ensures the county rarely experiences extremes in temperature, although they are not unheard of. In the summer Cornwall never feels quite as warm as elsewhere and in the winter frosts seldom bother […]

Read More

In Search of the Surreal

No visit to Cornwall is complete without a spot of plant shopping. The nurseries in the county I consider home are among the best in the country, particularly for the kinds of plants I am interested in. As a rule, the further south west you go, the more gem-like the nurseries become: there’s Penberth Plants […]

Read More

How to Grow Ornamental Gingers in UK Gardens

  Ornamental gingers – we’ve admired them whilst on holiday in tropical countries, or seen them curated in the glasshouses of botanical gardens, but how many of us have considered growing them in our own gardens? Surely gingers need more heat and sunlight than the British climate can offer? Aren’t they going to be hopelessly […]

Read More

Chelsea Calling

  It’s going to be a different kind of Chelsea Flower Show for me this year. As is tradition, I shall be there on opening day, but also for two days before. How come? Because it’s my first year as an assessor for the show’s trade stands. This is exciting as it will give me […]

Read More

Cornwall Spring Flower Show 2018

As great days out go, I rank a visit to the Cornwall Spring Flower Show up there with Chelsea and Sissinghurst. It’s a special day for many reasons. The setting alone, deep in rolling parkland at Boconnoc near Lostwithiel, makes it worth a trip from near or far. The Boconnoc Estate has been at the […]

Read More