Kitchen Sink Drama

Not a square inch of my tiny garden goes uncultivated. Over the years I’ve found plants that enjoy, or at least tolerate, every environment I have to offer, from bright sunshine to deep shade, and from exposed to sheltered. It’s involved a process of trial and error that will be familiar to every gardener. There […]

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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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Growing My Own Tree of Life

For the last three summers I have been growing airplants outside in the Jungle Garden. Secured to the branches of a tree in dappled shade, they’ve added texture and interest where otherwise there was little else to amuse. In spite of their small size they have always attracted comment: few people expect to see these […]

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In Print: Broadstairs Beacon

If I had to sum up the business ethic in Thanet, I would describe it as entrepreneurial. Everywhere one looks someone is opening a cool new shop or niche restaurant, starting a micro brewery or launching an innovative new service. It’s one of the advantages of living in an area that’s still relatively affordable: things […]

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Perfect Partners: Lobelia tupa & Lilium regale ‘Album’

The beauty of growing plants in pots is that they can be shuffled around endlessly until the most pleasing associations are made. I do this regularly, moving plants to the front, a little to the left or right, hiding them at the back or removing them from the picture altogether. Although occasionally tough on one’s […]

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Plant Profile: Lilium ‘Whistler’

This spring I potted up more lilies than ever before. My intention was to bridge that awkward gap between the tulips fading and the first dahlias flowering with their bold, bright, often scented blooms. However, as is so often the case, nature had different ideas, resulting in both lilies and dahlias coming into bloom simultaneously […]

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Sumer Is Icumen In … Or Is It Agoin Out Again?

Since the last time I wrote about my garden, my sole purpose has been to prepare it for summer. I’ve been potting, repotting, feeding, staking, tying-in and mulching, whilst at the same time doing battle with an army of voracious slugs and snails. All the lifting, shifting, arranging and rearranging has taken its toll on […]

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The Watch House in Early May

I’m a little bit stuck at the moment. I don’t so much have writers’ block as writers’ constipation; that is, lots of posts backing up that are part written but not yet ready to publish. Like the unfortunate biological condition, I am finding the situation rather uncomfortable. The proverbial prune in this scenario would be […]

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April Showers

Unpredictability is the name of the game when it comes to British weather, but one old proverb certainly promises to ring true in 2019: ‘March winds and April showers bring forth May flowers.’ Whilst the warmth and vitality of May still feel a long way off, March and April are fulfilling their time-honoured roles as […]

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Awkward

Some days and some jobs are just awkward. Some days some jobs are awkward and the next day they feel straightforward. Why? I don’t know. Perhaps it’s me, perhaps it’s the job; maybe it’s a combination of both. All I can say is that I have already had my fill of awkward for this week. […]

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