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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Hurrah! the Ides of March

Our garden is at its lowest ebb from early February until the Ides of March, on the 15th of the month. Battered by gales laden with salt and sand, scorched by snow and starved of light, everything but the eternal evergreens* is pale, frazzled or mushy. I try to like what I see, but I […]

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The Beast Is Back

Our garden is not designed for snow. In the fifteen years I’ve lived at The Watch House, I can only recall it snowing four times. The first occasion was during the build in 2008, when it snowed in April. This struck me as unusual. Perhaps it was a sign that I should choose my plants […]

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Baby steps (towards spring)

Every weekend is pretty much the same during the lockdown. A time to catch up on sleep, to read, phone friends and family, make lists, walk the dogs, eat, drink and do a few jobs outside. There are a great many substantial projects that need to be tackled at The Watch House: fixing the roof, […]

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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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planting ahead

The first draft of this post began with a rather gloomy assessment of the year’s events. By the time I reached the third paragraph I had bored myself, which is never a good start. Besides, who really needs reminding of 2020’s shortcomings? Shortly after beginning again I learned of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris’ victory […]

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Beginning with Brugmansias

I’ve been getting increasingly frustrated with myself for posting so infrequently. Okay, so I no longer have a long commute to London and I can’t wait to get out from behind my laptop at the end of each working day, but surely there must be time to draft a post or two? Seemingly not. Then […]

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Garden Diary: April 2020

April was a bittersweet month. Among many positives were the beautiful weather and being able to spend extra time in the garden with The Beau, Max and Millie. It is hard to conceive of going back to work as I did only six weeks ago, commuting five hours a day. I am achieving so much […]

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Easter Extravaganza

Oh the irony. For the last three years our National Gardens Scheme area organiser has been asking if we’d open the garden for a spring viewing and this year we thought we might just take the plunge. It’s always been such a guessing game, anticipating when the daffodils and tulips might be at their best, […]

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Garden Diary: March 2020

Who could have predicted that the Month of March would end as it did? Over the course of two weeks our daily routines changed in ways we never imagined possible and there is more of this to come for sure. We are living in a new reality, in the short term at least. We must […]

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