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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Dixter Addiction

I’d missed one too many plant fairs at Great Dixter, so I was not about to forgo another. We made plans, reorganised others, kept an eagle eye on the weather, confirmed that dogs were welcome and set off for Sussex shortly after breakfast on Saturday. A smooth drive took us through some of the prettiest […]

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The Watch House NGS Open Weekend 2019

And relax! After several weeks of intensive preparation, another National Gardens Scheme open weekend lies behind us. Rather like Christmas there’s an almighty build-up and then the event itself is over in the blink of an eyelid. In total we welcomed 440 visitors to The Watch House and raised just over £2000 for NGS charities. […]

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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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Gardens of Miami No. 1 – The Kampong

First of all, thank you for your patience whilst I have been away on holiday and taking a short break from blogging. It’s been many years since I’ve had a whole fortnight away from work, and I can heartily recommend it. It’s been almost as long since I’ve travelled long-haul for a holiday, and I […]

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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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‘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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Magnolia × veitchii ‘Peter Veitch’

My ‘proper’ camera, a now rather dated DSLR, has been in a cupboard since September. I know it takes better photographs than an iPhone, but when conditions are less than ideal I just can’t be bothered to lug around a camera and a bag full of lenses. Fine spells over weekend, combined with an itinerary […]

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National Garden Scheme Snowdrop Festival 2019

Galanthophiles rejoice, snowdrop season is upon us once again. In recent years snowdrop appreciation has become a mainstream activity with hundreds of gardens throwing wide their gates outside of normal opening times to welcome eager visitors. Thus we are not only permitted to gaze upon spangled carpets of white blossom, but also to enjoy familiar […]

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