Plants In Detail – Dahlia ‘Akita’

One aspect of gardening in a small space that I enjoy most is that no detail goes unnoticed. Whilst this counts equally for annoying flaws and moments of near-perfection, there is as much joy for me in the emergence of a new leaf or the opening of a single flower bud as there is in […]

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New Plants At The Watch House: August 2019

Both gardens were overflowing with plants long before August arrived. There was a point at which getting from the garden gate to the front door was such an ordeal that even The Beau started to lose patience with me. At the end of July I reluctantly declared that I was going on plant diet, or, […]

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Last Vestiges

  I returned from China to a garden clinging valiantly on to the glories of summer. It was a heart-warming homecoming, but the gift was short-lived. Last week the weather cooled significantly, sending some plants into terminal decline. Dahlias are blooming their final blooms and my coleus are starting to look decidedly limp and lacklustre. […]

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An Extraordinary Autumn

There comes a moment every autumn when I leave home and return again under the cover of darkness. Since I have been living full time at The Watch House that moment has arrived earlier in the season. On Friday I experienced dawn in the garden for the last time, on a weekday at least. The […]

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Farewell to the summer of 2018

  As the sun sets on August, what will be my abiding memories of summer 2018? It goes without saying that the heat and drought that descended on the South East from early May until early August will not be forgotten. Sustained fine weather, with many consecutive days in the high twenties centigrade, provided exceptional […]

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TALES FROM THE GIN & TONIC GARDEN, Part II

It’s almost 15 months since the Gin & Tonic Garden first came into being. My compact, 20ft x 20ft courtyard is still occasionally referred to as ‘the other garden’, ‘the new garden’ or ‘the back garden’, even though my house has no definitive front or back. When visitors come to The Watch House, the Gin […]

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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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