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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Perfect Partners: Lobelia tupa & Lilium regale ‘Album’

The beauty of growing plants in pots is that they can be shuffled around endlessly until the most pleasing associations are made. I do this regularly, moving plants to the front, a little to the left or right, hiding them at the back or removing them from the picture altogether. Although occasionally tough on one’s […]

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April Showers

Unpredictability is the name of the game when it comes to British weather, but one old proverb certainly promises to ring true in 2019: ‘March winds and April showers bring forth May flowers.’ Whilst the warmth and vitality of May still feel a long way off, March and April are fulfilling their time-honoured roles as […]

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Violet Time

One of the many frustrations of having flu is that everything tastes and smells odd. Apparently viral particles linger longer in the nose and mouth than they do in the blood, altering and inhibiting the recognition of flavours and fragrances long after one’s physical recovery has begun. Whatever causes this phenomenon, it does make one […]

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Ten Things To Do In The Garden in January

January is a unique month in the year when plants, on the whole, demand very little from gardeners. House plants are an exception, but even these have minimal needs when light levels are low and days are short. January is the perfect month for gardeners to take stock, plan ahead, or simply take a break […]

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Winter Heliotrope: Petasites fragrans

What better way to start the New Year at The Frustrated Gardener than with a plant that flowers through the darkest, coldest months. The winter heliotrope, Petasites fragrans, is so called because it produces tiny clusters of flower that are said to smell like cherry pie. I don’t quite make that culinary connection, but it’s […]

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My Top Tips for Buying a Real Christmas Tree

Part of my day job is buying Christmas trees for British department store John Lewis & Partners. It’s a task I particularly enjoy since I can apply a modicum of horticultural expertise to my decision-making. Over the years, artificial Christmas trees have become increasingly realistic, to the extent that many models now have ‘tips’ that […]

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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 […]

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The Watch House NGS Open Day 2018

  Over the weekend we welcomed over 300 visitors to The Watch House, breaking records and surprising us all. At times it was a challenge to fit everyone in whilst offering an enjoyable experience in the garden, but there were no complaints, at least that I heard. On both days the sun shone, the birds […]

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34 Cross Road, Walmer: A Garden For All Senses

Living and gardening by the coast, I find my senses become attuned to a very specific set of sensations: the sound of seagulls, restless wind and tourists dispossessed of their volume control; the smell of seaweed and fish and chips; the feel of salt in my hair and sun on my cheeks. So when I […]

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