Fond Farewells

  If it were not for the soft patter of rain on the skylight above my desk, I might hear a pin drop. My house guests have gone home, tired and happy, to their own beds and their own familiar routines. The sound of my niece shouting “No Dan!” and “Silly Uncle Dan!” is still […]

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The Merry Month of May

O THE month of May, the merry month of May, So frolic, so gay, and so green, so green, so green! O, and then did I unto my true love say, Sweet Peg, thou shalt be my Summer’s Queen. Thomas Dekker (1572-1632)   May is my favourite month, and I always say that if a […]

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Great Dixter Spring Plant Fair 2017

  Every visit to Great Dixter is a treat, but when the additional carrot of a plant fair is dangled in front of my face, that treat becomes an irresistible temptation. And so it was, having hauled myself out of bed at the crack of dawn to complete my domestic duties, I set off towards […]

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Spring at The Salutation

  If I were to win the lottery, The Salutation is the house I’d want to live in. I’d spend every spring and summer there, before overwintering in Capri, or the Caribbean; I can’t decide which. It’s probably not a choice I’ll ever be called on to make, but I like to think about it […]

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Spring Comes to Sissinghurst

  How fortunate that my first visit to Sissinghurst this year should coincide with the warmest day of the spring so far. As the car bowled through the Weald of Kent the roads were fringed with sulphur-yellow catkins and golden daffodils, sparking beneath a clear blue sky. The greys and browns of winter had started […]

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Goodnestone Rising

  It was possibly a little too early to go out snowdrop spotting. In another year it might almost have been too late, but January and February have been cold and the flowers have responded accordingly. We arrived at Goodnestone Park just before midday and found the carpark already half full. A handful of hardy-looking […]

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Singles All The Way

  I love flowering bulbs. I plant thousands of them in pots every autumn and spring, ready to bloom the following season. I plant big ones and small ones, short ones and tall ones, bright ones and white ones, but I almost always plant them separately, one variety per container. I am not sure where […]

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So Far, So Good!

  Day two of our garden opening is always a more relaxed affair and I am thoroughly looking forward to it. On day one the rain absented itself, but the wind did not. At times yesterday it gusted so hard that I got lost in a blizzard of white begonia flowers cascading from the shelves […]

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Waiting and Anticipating

  When preparing for our garden opening, I find I end up doing anything but gardening. Over the last two days I have been painting the front gate, unearthing chairs from the cellar, jet-washing the terrace, scrubbing garden furniture, making beds, stapling leaflets and dashing to the shops for this and that instead of tending […]

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Going to The Chapel

  When a new garden opens for the National Gardens Scheme in Thanet it’s a major event, principally because there are only three others, one of which is my own. And this year’s newcomer, situated in an isolated rural spot known as Thorne Hill, is a beauty. Created by Andrew Montgomery, The Chapel is a […]

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