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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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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The Magical Landscapes of Disneyland Paris

  There is something especially delightful about going on a holiday that one hasn’t organised. Perhaps it’s the element of surprise, or the ability to shirk responsibility for anything that goes awry. Either way one can sit back and – quite literally in the case of my recent holiday – enjoy the ride. I am […]

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Nan Lian Garden, 南蓮園池, Hong Kong

  “A classical garden in a modern city. serenity in the midst of urban hustle and bustle. Ingenious imitation of nature by man” The English language printed guide for Nan Lian Garden is so interesting and comprehensive that I was almost tempted to repeat the text word-for-word rather than describe this lovely place in my […]

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Chi Lin Nunnery 志蓮淨苑, Hong Kong

  Three cheers for British Airways! Why? Because without them charging £1000 more to travel on a Friday night versus a Saturday night, I would not have been able to enjoy a full day off in Hong Kong. And, thanks to a double dose of good luck, I was upgraded to a very swanky hotel […]

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On The Moove

I’m on the road again. Or rather I’m in the skies and generally racking-up the air miles. It’s buying season and there’s no rest for the wicked. In another life I must have been a very bad person! Having departed a red-hot Delhi at 01.10 this morning I’m now in damp and dreary Hong Kong. […]

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Great Dixter Autumn Plant Fair 2017

  My last hurrah before departing for India was a trip aross Kent to the Great Dixter Autumn Plant Fair. I neither had the time nor the need to buy more plants, but I went anyway, prepared to be abstemious: I was feeling brave. I have never visited Great Dixter as late in the year […]

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Heligan Harvest

  I first started visiting The Lost Gardens of Heligan as a student in the very early 1990s. By then the Tremayne family’s forgotten pleasure grounds had been rediscovered by their descendant, John Willis. Thanks to Tim Smit, later of Eden Project fame, there was already an audacious plan to revive them. As the decade […]

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Why Good Gardening is a Risky Business

  Whilst you won’t find it on a list of extreme pursuits, gardening is all about taking risks. Tending a garden is one of the most thrilling things one can do in life and is not for the faint hearted. Forget those images of grand ladies tiptoeing along their herbaceous borders with a trug over […]

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