Il Giardino di Boboli, Florence

  The Medici of Florence were not only one of the richest families in Europe for a time, but also phenomenal garden makers. They laid out the grounds of their multitudinous palaces and villas to demonstrate power and control, making extensive use of precious water, shading trees, citrus fruits and fragrant roses. The Medici gardens […]

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Castle Park Physic Garden, Bristol

  As I alighted from the train at Bristol Temple Meads station on Saturday, I worked out that it had been 25 years since I had last set foot in the city. Whilst it’s a fine place, and not without its allurements, I have never really warmed to Bristol. I was born in Bath, so there […]

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Back on the Bridge

This week a landmark project that I have been following for over two years came one step closer to becoming reality. So close in fact that work on The Garden Bridge over the London’s River Thames could commence as early as this summer. Much has been written about The Garden Bridge during the intervening months […]

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Seeing Snowdrops

One of my unwritten New Year’s resolutions is to address my southern bias when it comes to writing this blog. As someone who’s never lived more than three miles north of the M4, with a penchant for tender plants, I have little experience of gardening any closer to the North Pole than Reading. I am, […]

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Kowloon Park, Hong Kong

I am very fortunate to be able to travel as much as I do, but when I am away from home I miss my gardens and daily contact with my plants. I miss them in the same way I miss my family and friends. I like to imagine they notice my absence too, although frequently I think they quite enjoy […]

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Beautiful Dreamer

I took this photograph today in Kowloon Park, Hong Kong. A girl sat artfully at the edge of the water, shaded by a graceful Chinese pavilion. She gazed nonchalantly, sometimes at her magazine, sometimes at the carp gliding beneath her. The picture was serenity itself. A modern-day willow pattern scene.

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Orto Botanico di Palermo

The botanical gardens in Sicily’s first city, Palermo, are among the oldest and most important in Europe. Conceived in the late 1700’s no expense was spared on their construction. As today, early visitors were greeted by a triumphal neo-classical Gymnasium (intended for exercising the mind rather than the body), flanked by symmetrical buildings housing tropical […]

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Relaxing, Riviera Style

I am on holiday and therefore I must relax: at least that’s what Him Indoors keeps telling me. The problem is I don’t find sitting by pools or lounging about in the least bit relaxing. It’s not as if I haven’t tried it. I am a get-up-and-go kind of boy, and will be until my […]

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Bella Donnas

Amaryllis belladonna: Jersey lily, naked lady, belladonna amaryllis    We gardeners spend so much time and energy trying to cultivate plants which aren’t 100% suited to our gardens. We slave away, attending to our tender treasures’ every need, hoping and praying that we might be rewarded by a precious bloom, two if we are lucky. […]

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Agave Agony

A sun-soaked stroll along the beach between Broadstairs and Ramsgate, picking up chalk pebbles and gnarled flints, ultimately leads us back to The Italianate Glasshouse in King George VI park. Through the delicate structure the solitary panicle of canary yellow blossom belonging to Agave americana still lurches defiantly into the sky. A thick blanket of white cloud now obscures the heavens. […]

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