Discovering Daffodils

It’s a little known fact – so little known that one might almost call it a secret – that the first job I ever applied for was with the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. As a Landscape Architect I would be travelling the world, recommending how to look after these historically important sites. The main attraction […]

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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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Iris Reticulata ‘Pauline’

In an exciting new development, the following post can now be enjoyed as a podcast as well as in text and photographs. Cultivars of Iris reticulata have enjoyed regular and enthusiastic coverage in this blog over the years. There are two good reasons for this. First, they bloom in February when few other plants are […]

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February Flowers

It’s that time of year when galanthophiles (the polite name for snowdrop bores) start to bombard social media with images of their pearly-white treasures. Whilst I would not go as far as to say ‘they all look the same to me’, it’s certainly the case that one must be a) an ardent lover of winter, […]

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Baby steps (towards spring)

Every weekend is pretty much the same during the lockdown. A time to catch up on sleep, to read, phone friends and family, make lists, walk the dogs, eat, drink and do a few jobs outside. There are a great many substantial projects that need to be tackled at The Watch House: fixing the roof, […]

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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 Year of Plotting

January 2020 After waiting only four months, we got the news that we had reached the top of the allotment waiting list: if we were still interested, would we like to come and choose the one we wanted? Yes, we were still very much interested, although, I have to admit, I was a little hesitant […]

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BITTERSWEET MEMORIES OF 2020

The year 2020. Where to begin? It’s tempting to dive straight into the obvious negatives – and let’s face it that would be rich territory – but I’m prepared to stick my neck out and say that in many respects it has been a good year, for us at least. I hope you won’t think […]

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planting ahead

The first draft of this post began with a rather gloomy assessment of the year’s events. By the time I reached the third paragraph I had bored myself, which is never a good start. Besides, who really needs reminding of 2020’s shortcomings? Shortly after beginning again I learned of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris’ victory […]

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Whatever the Weather

Since the end of August the garden has taken one battering after another. In Broadstairs we have experienced gales from every point on the compass, heavy rain and unusually chilly nights. By the end of September both the Jungle Garden and the Gin & Tonic Garden looked more like they usually do in early November. […]

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