Creating An Autumn Pumpkin Arrangement

It’s mid-October. The nights are drawing in and Halloween is fast approaching. Farmers here in East Kent are already opening their field gates for local folk to go and pick their own pumpkins. Provided you’ve got a fine day and decent wellies, choosing you own pumpkin is great fun to do …. and why stop […]

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Dahlia Disaster Averted – The National Dahlia Collection Finds A New Home

When the National Dahlia Collection announced its closure in September 2020 The Beau and I were bereft. This little patch of dahlia heaven was not only what brought us together, but was also the home of a dahlia The Beau had named after his late husband, the beautiful white ‘Johnnie Ellis’. Apart from that, it […]

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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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The Watch House Awaits

The pots are all planted and in position, their arrangements have been checked from every angle, adjusted and appraised again. Happy with the result, we finally feel ready for our garden opening this weekend. It’s been a long and winding road to get here. A cold, harsh winter and very late spring put us on […]

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A Stroll Around The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh

Work brought me to Edinburgh this week. I could not pay a visit to one of my favourite cities in the world without a visit to ‘The Botanics’, as they are known locally. Situated just north of the city centre, the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh extends over 70 acres of gently undulating terrain around Inverleith […]

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Here Comes Summer!

The title of of this post is tongue-in-cheek given I’m sat at my desk with rain pattering on the skylight and a brisk draught whipping around my ankles. Three weeks of ‘too-good-to-be-true’ weather ended, here in the South East of England at least, with an almighty thunder storm last Wednesday. More storms on Thursday were […]

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The Late, Late Tulip Show

Cold weather in spring can only hold our gardens back for so long. It’s like a catapult, the further the sling is pulled back – i.e the longer the cold days continue – the faster the shot flies when conditions improve. For the last week, every night has been over 5ºC and daytime temperatures have […]

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The Late, Late Daffodil Show

In a normal year, I’d consider myself lucky to have one or two daffodils blooming in May. By May Day their dominion is over and tulips reign supreme. This year is an exception; I have more daffodils in flower now than at any time previously. An Entente Cordiale has been reached between the two exalted […]

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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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Discovering Daffodils

It’s a little known fact – so little known that one might almost call it a secret – that the first job I ever applied for was with the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. As a Landscape Architect I would be travelling the world, recommending how to look after these historically important sites. The main attraction […]

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