The Watch House in Early May

I’m a little bit stuck at the moment. I don’t so much have writers’ block as writers’ constipation; that is, lots of posts backing up that are part written but not yet ready to publish. Like the unfortunate biological condition, I am finding the situation rather uncomfortable. The proverbial prune in this scenario would be […]

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Gardens of Miami No. 1 – The Kampong

First of all, thank you for your patience whilst I have been away on holiday and taking a short break from blogging. It’s been many years since I’ve had a whole fortnight away from work, and I can heartily recommend it. It’s been almost as long since I’ve travelled long-haul for a holiday, and I […]

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Morrab Gardens, Penzance, Cornwall

March can be a wild and windy month, especially in the far south-west of Cornwall. So it was that we turned up at Trewidden to view the magnolias only to find the garden was closed owing to the inclement weather. All Cornish gardens of note rely heavily on shelter created by large trees and shrubs. […]

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‘Cherry’ Ingram: The Englishman who saved Japan’s Blossoms

If you’ve been reading the newspapers or listening to BBC Radio 4’s Book of the Week programme recently, you will already be acquainted with one of Britain’s most interesting but perhaps least well-known plant collectors, Collingwood ‘Cherry’ Ingram (30 October 1880 – 19 May 1981). Following a genteel and somewhat quirky Edwardian upbringing in Westgate-on-Sea, […]

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Awkward

Some days and some jobs are just awkward. Some days some jobs are awkward and the next day they feel straightforward. Why? I don’t know. Perhaps it’s me, perhaps it’s the job; maybe it’s a combination of both. All I can say is that I have already had my fill of awkward for this week. […]

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Magnolia × veitchii ‘Peter Veitch’

My ‘proper’ camera, a now rather dated DSLR, has been in a cupboard since September. I know it takes better photographs than an iPhone, but when conditions are less than ideal I just can’t be bothered to lug around a camera and a bag full of lenses. Fine spells over weekend, combined with an itinerary […]

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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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New Plants On The Block: Impatiens balansae and Entelea arborescens

Followers of The Frustrated Gardener will already know that I am an inveterate plant collector. If I’ve not seen or heard of a plant and it looks vaguely attractive I’ll want to try growing it. Once I’ve established that I am capable of doing so (normally a quick Internet search will suffice) and I have […]

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Camellias: Harbingers of Spring

Spring arrives a little earlier in Cornwall than elsewhere in England. The far South West is blessed with a mild, maritime climate which ensures the county rarely experiences extremes in temperature, although they are not unheard of. In the summer Cornwall never feels quite as warm as elsewhere and in the winter frosts seldom bother […]

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My Top Tips for Buying a Real Christmas Tree

Part of my day job is buying Christmas trees for British department store John Lewis & Partners. It’s a task I particularly enjoy since I can apply a modicum of horticultural expertise to my decision-making. Over the years, artificial Christmas trees have become increasingly realistic, to the extent that many models now have ‘tips’ that […]

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