Garden Diary: March 2020

Who could have predicted that the Month of March would end as it did? Over the course of two weeks our daily routines changed in ways we never imagined possible and there is more of this to come for sure. We are living in a new reality, in the short term at least. We must […]

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Plant Profile: Tulipa fosteriana ‘Zombie’

Tulipa 'Zombie' in bud

Do you remember, several months ago, when we were all potting up our spring bulbs …. each and every one of us full of excitement at the promise of the floral display that would follow? Well, here we are in springtime, confined to our homes and gardens (I refuse to mention the ‘c word’) which […]

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Sumer Is Icumen In … Or Is It Agoin Out Again?

Since the last time I wrote about my garden, my sole purpose has been to prepare it for summer. I’ve been potting, repotting, feeding, staking, tying-in and mulching, whilst at the same time doing battle with an army of voracious slugs and snails. All the lifting, shifting, arranging and rearranging has taken its toll on […]

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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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The Diary of a Plant Addict

If my blog did not already have a title, ‘The Diary of a Plant Addict’ would be a strong candidate. I’ve had the most horticulturally indulgent week one could imagine, starting with the Chelsea Flower Show and ending with a three day stretch getting my own garden in shape for summer. In the middle came […]

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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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Open for the National Garden Scheme: Denne Manor Farm

  I’m taking a short break from my Chelsea reporting to bring you news of a superb new garden opening for the National Garden Scheme here in Kent this weekend. I visited Denne Manor Farm back in late April on what can politely be described as an unseasonably cold and dreary Sunday. Being partially urbanised […]

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Watergate House, Fordwich: A Modern Romantic Garden

The town of Fordwich has the distinction of being the smallest in England. Situated on the River Stour, which connects Canterbury with the English Channel, it was to Fordwich that the Normans shipped tonnes of pale Caen stone to build the city’s cathedral. At Watergate House the precious cargo arrived safely on English soil after […]

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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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Garden Appreciation: Sweetbriar, Ash, Kent

  When a new garden opens for the National Garden Scheme it's always exciting, but when that garden has been created by two professional gardeners with a passion for rare and exotic plants it's certain to thrill. As soon as Steve Edney and his partner Louise Dowle begin to talk, their infectious enthusiasm spreads to […]

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