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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Plant Profile: Strophanthus boivinii

I started this blog with a clear personal ambition to preserve what I already knew about plants and to encourage further learning. It was as simple as that. Looking back this sounds like a selfish mission, but there was always an intention to share that knowledge, otherwise I may as well have written my thoughts […]

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Plant Profile: Ivy-leaved toadflax

Cymbalaria muralis: Ivy-leaved toadflax, ivywort, Kenilworth ivy, coliseum ivy, Oxford ivy, mother of thousands, mother of millions, thousand flower, pennywort, wandering sailor, Aaron’s beard, pedlar’s basket, rabbits, ruine-de-Rome (French), zimbelkraut (German), muurleeuwenbek (Dutch). “Cymbalaria ….. runneth and spreadeth on the ground and clymeth and hangeth on walls even as Ivie or Chickweed doth, the branches […]

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Plant Profile: Sophora ‘Sun King’ AGM

In June this year I will have been blogging for seven years. I have completely forgotten most of the posts I wrote at the beginning of my blogging career, occasionally stumbling upon them when researching other topics I am writing about. When this happens it is rather like bumping into an old friend. I put […]

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How to Grow Ornamental Gingers in UK Gardens

  Ornamental gingers – we’ve admired them whilst on holiday in tropical countries, or seen them curated in the glasshouses of botanical gardens, but how many of us have considered growing them in our own gardens? Surely gingers need more heat and sunlight than the British climate can offer? Aren’t they going to be hopelessly […]

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Plant Profile: Dahlia ‘Nicholas’

  I should have predicted it. I take a holiday, I unwind (sort of), and up creeps the dreaded tonsillitis. It happens every time, without fail. I don’t suffer from many afflictions but this one comes along as regular as clockwork and it’s debilitating. Tonsillitis is one of the few things that changes my cup […]

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Plant Profile: Buddleja speciosissima

I am a sucker for a rare or unusual plant. Give me a packed table at a plant fair and I will spot the rare treasure from a mile off. The plant may not be pretty, cheap, or suitable for my garden, but I shall probably buy it; not simply because I can, but because […]

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Where Have All The Coleus Gone?

  When a plant does well in my garden, I want to grow more of it. As a gardening strategy, this makes perfect sense. So often we struggle on, trying to grow things that are not best suited to our conditions. Then we ask ourselves why we fail. I wonder how many people have abandoned […]

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In Praise of Nemesias

  When something you like grows well in your garden it makes sense to grow more of it. I count agapanthus, zantedeschia, trachelospermum and osteospermum amongst the plants that more than make themselves at home – they positively take possession. We all need carefree plants like this, otherwise gardening would be a slog. They look […]

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