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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Daily Flower Candy: Mirabilis longiflora ‘Angels’ Trumpets’

  Although I find growing from seed one of the most rewarding aspects of gardening, I have done so less and less in recent years. It’s partly down to space, and partly down to the requirement to be present during those critical days when tender seedlings are emerging from the soil – my life just […]

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Daily Flower Candy: Cobaea scandens

  The last time I wrote about Cobaea scandens was at Christmas and I make no apology for featuring it again so soon. Barring a few chilly days in February and March, this vigorous climber has not stopped flowering since the New Year. Having scrambled 15ft into the trees on our eastern boundary during year one, it […]

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Daily Flower Candy: Euphorbia mellifera AGM*

Euphorbia mellifera: canary spurge, honey spurge To have taken so long to feature Euphorbia mellifera in my regular Flower Candy spot is an unforgivable oversight. Perhaps it’s because the flowers produced by this statuesque Canary Islands shrub are curious rather than pretty. They emit an intense, heady, honeyed scent, which gives rise to the species name ‘mellifera‘, derived from […]

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Christmas Flower Candy: Cobaea scandens

If you live in the Northern hemisphere, you may consider Cobaea scandens, otherwise known as cup and saucer vine, an odd choice of Christmas Flower Candy. But in our coastal garden, high up in the canopy of the bay tree, this rampant climber is still flowering for all its life is worth. Our cup and saucer […]

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What’s in Store for 2016? Chiltern Seeds

In a series of posts over the coming weeks I’m going to be looking at what the seed merchants and nurseries have in store for gardeners in 2016. Usually by late November I have put both gardens to bed and venture outside only to clear up after rough weather or check on frost damage: the […]

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Daily Flower Candy: Mirabilis jalapa

Mirabilis jalapa: marvel of Peru, four o’clock flower, tea-time plant It’s been an extraordinary weekend for gardening. The weather has been warm, dry and still; not a cloud in the sky from when the sun rose on Saturday morning until it set on Sunday evening. Feeling the sun on my face and back, I reflected […]

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Daily Flower Candy: Chorizema ilicifolium

Yesterday, after several abortive attempts, I finally managed to drag Him Indoors to Derry Watkins’ Special Plants Nursery at Cold Ashton, near my home town of Bath. Although Derry’s nursery is tucked half way down a steep hill below the village it’s evident that the settlement was aptly named. The view out towards the Severn Estuary […]

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RHS Seed Scheme

How often do we subscribe to organisations or take out memberships and yet fail to take full advantage of them? I have been signed up to the Royal Horticultural Society for almost 20 years, and the National Trust for longer (having joined at birth, obviously), but take advantage of little that they offer, very rarely. For […]

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