A Little Solstice Solace

Perhaps it’s just me, but 2021 has felt like a serious test of our endurance both in general and as gardeners. We started the year in strict lockdown, having had our Christmas plans curtailed at the eleventh hour. Now it seems not impossible that 2022 might begin the same way. At times we have allowed […]

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A Change Is As Good As A Rest

‘A change is as good as a rest’, or so the proverb goes. As one who is ill at ease when relaxing and always on the go, I can only hope this Victorian sagacity continues to prove correct as I embark upon the greatest challenge of my life. For the last 26 years, I have […]

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Has The Chelsea Flower Show Lost Its Mojo?

I’ve grown a little bored of the Chelsea Flower Show. There, I’ve said it. Once upon a time I used to love the anticipation, researching the show gardens, planning my visit, watching the television coverage and reviewing the event afterwards. Now I find I that I can scarcely be bothered. Could it be that I’ve […]

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A Moment In The Gin & Tonic Garden

Once in a while one’s garden has a ‘moment’, a brief period of time when everything comes together to create a picture-perfect scene and an exhilarating feeling. ‘Moments’ can be planned, but never guaranteed: nature and serendipity play far too great a part. A garden’s finest hour can be elevated to new levels by a […]

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Arctic April

It has been the strangest month; cold – indeed the frostiest April in sixty years – and desert-dry. Although we’ve escaped spring frosts here on the East Kent coast, it has been bitter day-in, day-out, with desiccating winds blowing in from the north and east. Most days I have returned from walking the dogs feeling […]

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A Bookish Birthday

You might well assume that I’d had enough of being busy doing nothing over the Christmas holidays. That’s certainly not the case. Over the last year I have embraced ‘down time’ like never before. Perhaps it’s my age, or The Beau’s positive influence; maybe it’s simply having the time to entertain periods of relaxation instead […]

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BITTERSWEET MEMORIES OF 2020

The year 2020. Where to begin? It’s tempting to dive straight into the obvious negatives – and let’s face it that would be rich territory – but I’m prepared to stick my neck out and say that in many respects it has been a good year, for us at least. I hope you won’t think […]

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SEASON’S GREETINGS FROM THE WATCH HOUSE

Hello One and All! It’s been a while. Like everyone else, The Beau and I have been ducking and diving, trying to tackle this crazy year unscathed. Arriving at the eve of Christmas feels like an achievement in itself, although it’s not come a moment too soon for our sanity. That said, we are all […]

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The House by the Lane

‘Chyanvounder’: ‘Chy’ meaning house and ‘vounder’ meaning lane in the Cornish language. We have made three attempts to visit Cornwall this year. The first was thwarted by the untimely demise of The Beau‘s ill fated Mini Cooper. Dreams of a second sojourn were ended by lockdown. Thankfully it was to be third time lucky this […]

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Silence Fills The Void

It’s awfully peaceful outside. You must have noticed? Since Monday there’ve been no bellowing workmen, no reversing delivery lorries, no aeroplanes, no taxis using our lane as a rat run, no catterwauling teenagers on a night out, no gabbling foreign language students, no empty cages being hauled out the back of shops, no trains pulling […]

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