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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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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Winter Heliotrope: Petasites fragrans

What better way to start the New Year at The Frustrated Gardener than with a plant that flowers through the darkest, coldest months. The winter heliotrope, Petasites fragrans, is so called because it produces tiny clusters of flower that are said to smell like cherry pie. I don’t quite make that culinary connection, but it’s […]

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In Search of the Surreal

No visit to Cornwall is complete without a spot of plant shopping. The nurseries in the county I consider home are among the best in the country, particularly for the kinds of plants I am interested in. As a rule, the further south west you go, the more gem-like the nurseries become: there’s Penberth Plants […]

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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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10 Easy Flowering Bulbs to Plant For Summer Colour

  There are few plants as rewarding and foolproof to grow as those that sprout from bulbs, corms, tubers and rhizomes. Among their number we can count favourites such as gladioli, begonias, lilies, dahlias, amaryllis and nerines, alongside lesser known, exotic beauties such as habranthus (Brazilian copperlily), gloriosa (glory lily), eucomis (pineapple lily), eremurus (foxtail […]

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Crazy for Corydalis

  The defining plants of my pre-teen years were those that grew in the garden of my parents’ 1930’s semi-detached house in Plymouth. Climbing the walls were Rosa ‘Masquerade’ and R. ‘Albertine’, a delicious loganberry and a variegated honeysuckle which resolutely failed to flower. In the borders there were African marigolds in summer and crocuses […]

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RHS Botanical Art Show 2017

  Had I not been a landscape architect, gardener or fashion designer – all professions suggested by my school careers advisor, who was largely at a loss with anyone who didn’t want to be a teacher, lawyer or doctor – I might have been a botanical artist. As a student I possessed extraordinary patience and […]

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Beaded

Its been a sultry week here in London. Moisture has been heavy in the air, reluctant to fall, forming a dull haze over the Thames valley. Reluctantly this afternoon a white sky found the energy to form a thin drizzle. In the garden every leaf and flower is finely beaded with water, deftly poised, waiting for […]

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Geranium maderense vs Geranium palmatum

Three years ago when I started The Frustrated Gardener this was my first ‘proper’ post. For some reason it has gone on to be one of the most popular articles I have ever written, so I have taken the liberty of updating and reissuing it. I continue to grow both species alongside one another, sometimes losing […]

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