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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Where Have All The Coleus Gone?

  When a plant does well in my garden, I want to grow more of it. As a gardening strategy, this makes perfect sense. So often we struggle on, trying to grow things that are not best suited to our conditions. Then we ask ourselves why we fail. I wonder how many people have abandoned […]

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Countdown to Christmas

I can count the number of days I get to spend at home before Christmas on one hand. I’ve stopped buying an advent calendar because I’m never around to open the doors. Even though it’s the same every year, I am persistently overambitious about what I can achieve in those precious spells between work and […]

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Taking A Liberty With Houseplants

  Retailers like to be on trend, so it was never going to be long before plants took the place of the taxidermy, glass cloches and squirrel-cage light bulbs that were once the visual merchandising props of choice. Department stores also love a pop-up, hosting boutique brands, emerging designers and foreign finds in small niches […]

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Tales from the Garden Room

  “If one is going to tell a story with plants, it may as well be an adventure story.”     I love all the rooms in my ‘new’ house: the bedrooms for their modernity, the bathroom for its extravagantly patterned floor, the library for its beautifully painted panelling and the garden room for being […]

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A Feast for the Eyes: Terrain, USA & Oogenlust, The Netherlands

  Among the many perks of my job is the opportunity to travel. In the last fortnight I have been to the USA, Germany and The Netherlands, during which time my feet have hardly touched the ground. Whilst I am travelling, I just ‘have’ to visit any garden-orientated shops that happen to be en route. […]

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Daily Flower Candy: Streptocarpus saxorum 

Streptocarpus saxorum: False African violet, Cape primrose. Streptocarpus and I have an on/off love affair. I buy them from the garden centre looking fresh and full of promise; sometimes they stay that way until the fatal day when I give them a drop more water than they would like. Then, taking no account of the […]

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