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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Morrab Gardens, Penzance, Cornwall

March can be a wild and windy month, especially in the far south-west of Cornwall. So it was that we turned up at Trewidden to view the magnolias only to find the garden was closed owing to the inclement weather. All Cornish gardens of note rely heavily on shelter created by large trees and shrubs. […]

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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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Hampton Court Flower Show 2018: Best in Show – The Bursting Busy Lizzie Garden

  Who would have imagined that a garden jam-packed with common-or-garden Busy Lizzies would win a gold medal the prestigious Hampton Court Palace Flower Show? Or that such a garden would land Best in Show and the ultimate horticultural accolade, The Tudor Rose Award? Well, thanks to talented designer Matthew Childs and a partnership between […]

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Reflections on a Busy Week

What a rollercoaster ride last week was. It began with visits to two very fine private gardens, open by appointment for the National Garden Scheme, and ended with a frantic day of potting up and bedding out in my own garden at The Watch House. In between came the RHS Chatsworth Flower Show in Derbyshire and […]

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Chatsworth Flower Show 2018: The Show Gardens

  Tuesday in Derbyshire dawned grey and dank. I had only packed my Man from Del Monte outfit, so arrived at Chatsworth looking a trifle too tropical for the tepid conditions. I was not about to carry a Fedora around all day, so on my head it stayed. Perhaps I’m imagining it, but I am […]

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RHS Chatsworth Flower Show 2018: Preview

Liz Patterson, Show Manager for the RHS Chatsworth Flower Show, will have been glued to the weather forecast for the last fourteen days. Last year’s inaugural show, in the magnificent park surrounding the home of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire, was hampered by spiteful weather and lengthy traffic delays. Press Day was a total […]

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Chelsea Flower Show 2018: The Silent Pool Gin Garden

  I love a G&T, so much so that I have an entire garden named after my favourite drink. Naturally I was very happy to discover another garden inspired by the juniper-infused spirit at this year’s Chelsea Flower Show. The Silent Pool Gin Garden was part of a line up in the new Space to […]

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Chelsea Flower Show 2018: The Trailfinders South African Wine Estate

  Same sponsor, different continent …. after a five-year hiatus Trailfinders are back and this time they’ve transported us to South Africa. For eight consecutive years Trailfinders brought us Australian themed gardens, bidding a temporary farewell in 2013 with an epic garden designed by the brilliant Phillip Johnson, one of my garden design heroes. That […]

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Chelsea Flower Show 2018: O-mo-te-na-shi no NIWA – The Hospitality Garden ホスピタリティガーデン

  Three cheers for Kazuyuki Ishihara: another Chelsea gold medal to his name and ‘Best in Show’ for his Artisan Garden entitled O-mo-te-na-shi no NIWA. Although the charismatic Japanese landscape artist is now as much a part of the Chelsea Flower Show as Pimms, the Queen or improbably large delphiniums, we know relatively little about him. […]

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