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 […]

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RHS London Orchid Show & Plant Fair 2018

Orchids are extraordinary flowers. They display remarkable diversity in colour, size and form. Some are scented, some are designed to entrap insects and few, like vanilla (Vanilla planifolia), produce edible seed pods. Among the 28,000 currently known and accepted orchid species, many are cultivated and inevitably there are still new species to be found in […]

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RHS London Early Spring Plant Fair 2018

One event in my calendar heralds the approach of spring like no other: the RHS London Early Spring Plant Fair. Throughout the first, frozen days of February I have been yearning for Westminster’s Horticultural Halls to throw open their doors and let me feast my eyes on delicate blooms and breath in the sweet scent […]

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Hampton Court Flower Show 2017 – The Viking Cruises World of Discovery Garden

  And now, for those of you who prefer something a little more classically beautiful, may I present The World of Discovery Garden. Fresh from RHS Chatsworth, where he presented a garden designed for a professional couple ‘inspired by brutalist form’, Paul Hervey-Brookes returned the horticultural stage with an altogether more harmonious design for Hampton […]

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Oh I do Like to be Beside the Seaside

  The weather this weekend has been far too nice for sitting in front of a computer writing. Instead I’ve been watering the garden, paddling in the sea and drinking Aperol Spritz whilst people-watching on the sea front. Weekends like this are precious commodities, not to be wasted indoors. Cleaning, tidying, answering e-mails and paying […]

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Hampton Court Flower Show 2017 – The Show Gardens: Brownfield Metamorphosis

  I’m very aware that I am not opening my Hampton Court coverage with classically beautiful gardens. In my quest to offer the fullest overview possible, I rarely get around to detailing my favourites, which was certainly the case last year. So this year, instead of starting with a lengthy perambulation around the showground, which […]

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Hampton Court Flower Show 2017 – The Show Gardens: Kinetica

  Designer John Warland has been a constant and stimulating presence at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show in recent years. His gardens for children’s charity World Vision have been amongst my favourites, blurring the boundaries between landscape design and art, whilst at the same time conjuring up beautiful, playful, often dazzlingly bright spaces. […]

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Chatsworth Flower Show 2017: The Wedgwood Garden – A Classic Re-imagined

  I can scarcely believe it’s over a week since that fateful press day at Chatsworth Flower Show where we all got drenched and muddy in the name of flora. I was able to hand back the coat I borrowed, but still haven’t tackled my boots, which may never be the same again: the Derbyshire […]

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Chatsworth Flower Show 2017: The IQ Quarry Garden

  What is it about the appeal of quarry-inspired gardens this year? Is because as a nation we seem determined to dig ourselves into the deepest hole possible? Is it because we feel stuck between a rock and hard place? Or have we suddenly discovered our inner Stone Age selves? Whatever it is, a second […]

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Chatsworth Flower Show 2017: BlueBell Nursery

  I’ve been to a lot of flower shows and admired a lot of outstanding show stands, so it takes a lot for an exhibitor to really knock my socks off. But nothing could divert my attention away from BlueBell Nursery’s staggering display of unusual trees and shrubs at the RHS Chatsworth Flower Show today. […]

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