BBC Gardeners’ World comes to The Watch House

Friday March 8th 2019, 8.30-9.00pm, BBC2 When I look at my garden this evening, as it takes a battering from Storm Freya, I find it hard to recall how it looked that warm August day when BBC Gardeners’ World came to film. The outdoor kitchen has had its annual spruce up and a smattering of […]

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Homeward Bound

Before I left England for my trip to India and China I took the bold decision not to attempt blogging whilst I was away. It’s been the longest gap between two posts in six years, but it was the right decision for me and my sanity. Blogging whilst on buying trips is tough, not only […]

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A Ramble Around Rosemoor

Rosemoor, the most south-westerly RHS garden, is my favourite of all the RHS gardens. Opened officially in 1990, the society’s secluded Devon outpost is located in a lush valley outside Great Torrington. Rosemoor is set like a polished gem in a vast woodland clearing. Its verdant grounds are fed by clear springs which have been […]

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Farewell to the summer of 2018

  As the sun sets on August, what will be my abiding memories of summer 2018? It goes without saying that the heat and drought that descended on the South East from early May until early August will not be forgotten. Sustained fine weather, with many consecutive days in the high twenties centigrade, provided exceptional […]

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TALES FROM THE GIN & TONIC GARDEN, Part II

It’s almost 15 months since the Gin & Tonic Garden first came into being. My compact, 20ft x 20ft courtyard is still occasionally referred to as ‘the other garden’, ‘the new garden’ or ‘the back garden’, even though my house has no definitive front or back. When visitors come to The Watch House, the Gin […]

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In The Limelight: My Day Filming With BBC Gardeners’ World

  I’ll let you into a secret – I’m not very good at keeping secrets. When BBC Gardener’s World contacted me, quite out of the blue, I was a tiny bit sceptical. Sometimes these things naturally come to nothing and I didn’t want to build my hopes up. But before I knew it a date […]

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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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Hunting Brook Gardens, County Wicklow

  It was raining as we arrived at Hunting Brook; a light, steady drizzle filtering through opaque air. The lanes leading to the garden were bounded by sullen brambles and parched grasses, begging for relief from the heat and drought. Inside, thalictrums and fennels were spangled with water droplets, bowing gently beneath the unfamiliar weight. […]

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The Final Countdown

Twenty days to go and the countdown to my NGS garden open weekend is well underway. In truth the garden does not need another twenty days to look its best; it’s there already. I am mildly concerned that it will peak too soon, but there’s no holding it back now. Recent weather has been exceptional, […]

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Hampton Court Flower Show 2018: The Santa Rita ‘Living La Vida 120’ Garden

  I am becoming predictable. Just as at Chelsea, it was a contemporary garden featuring a blast of vibrant yellow and a generous entertaining space that captured my imagination at Hampton Court. In spite of the tongue-twisting name (henceforth I shall refer to it simply as the Santa Rita Garden), this was one of the […]

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