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 […]

Read More

A Stroll Around The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh

Work brought me to Edinburgh this week. I could not pay a visit to one of my favourite cities in the world without a visit to ‘The Botanics’, as they are known locally. Situated just north of the city centre, the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh extends over 70 acres of gently undulating terrain around Inverleith […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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, […]

Read More