Gardens of Miami No.2 – Vizcaya

January is a month when many of us dream of an escape to the sun. If we’re feeling flush we might take advantage of discounts and book a holiday. A few lucky folk may find themselves in a position to buy a property abroad – perhaps a modern villa with a pool, or a quaint […]

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Polish Spirit

My day job takes me all around the world in search of new, exciting products. I often travel alone and to places one might not consider for a holiday. Being someone who hates to follow the crowd, I find the opportunity to see untouristed places both liberating and fascinating. That they are not as immediately […]

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Delos Reimagined

I imagine I have a lot to deal with at The Watch House, but being the custodian of a large, historic garden is a different matter altogether. Responsibilities range from maintaining the fragile fabric (living and non-living) to deciding the future course of the garden’s development; not to mention fathoming out where all the money […]

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Gardens of Miami No. 1 – The Kampong

First of all, thank you for your patience whilst I have been away on holiday and taking a short break from blogging. It’s been many years since I’ve had a whole fortnight away from work, and I can heartily recommend it. It’s been almost as long since I’ve travelled long-haul for a holiday, and I […]

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Plant Profile: Ivy-leaved toadflax

Cymbalaria muralis: Ivy-leaved toadflax, ivywort, Kenilworth ivy, coliseum ivy, Oxford ivy, mother of thousands, mother of millions, thousand flower, pennywort, wandering sailor, Aaron’s beard, pedlar’s basket, rabbits, ruine-de-Rome (French), zimbelkraut (German), muurleeuwenbek (Dutch). “Cymbalaria ….. runneth and spreadeth on the ground and clymeth and hangeth on walls even as Ivie or Chickweed doth, the branches […]

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‘Cherry’ Ingram: The Englishman who saved Japan’s Blossoms

If you’ve been reading the newspapers or listening to BBC Radio 4’s Book of the Week programme recently, you will already be acquainted with one of Britain’s most interesting but perhaps least well-known plant collectors, Collingwood ‘Cherry’ Ingram (30 October 1880 – 19 May 1981). Following a genteel and somewhat quirky Edwardian upbringing in Westgate-on-Sea, […]

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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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Advent Thought For The Day: 24

December 24th: Christmas Eve When I set out on my advent blogging adventure I didn’t have a plan for what I’d write the next day, let alone on Christmas Eve. Yet here I am, twenty four days later, having navigated topics as diverse (some might say random) as borders, the weather, Christmas carols, pickles and […]

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Advent Thought For The Day: 21

December 21st: It’s a Wrap Being Mr Christmas, most people assume that my preparations for the big day run like clockwork. I can tell you they don’t. I have been known to be wrapping presents at midnight on Christmas Eve in a mad rush to beat Father Christmas. He has a choice of four chimneys […]

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Advent Thought For The Day: 18

December 18th: In a Pickle Just when I am tempted to imagine I know everything there is to know about Christmas, along comes a new tradition that I have never heard of: the Christmas pickle. For years I have been attending trade fairs, wondering how come there is demand for the preponderance of gherkin-shaped glass […]

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