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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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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The Watch House NGS Open Day 2018

  Over the weekend we welcomed over 300 visitors to The Watch House, breaking records and surprising us all. At times it was a challenge to fit everyone in whilst offering an enjoyable experience in the garden, but there were no complaints, at least that I heard. On both days the sun shone, the birds […]

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The Final Countdown

Twenty days to go and the countdown to my NGS garden open weekend is well underway. In truth the garden does not need another twenty days to look its best; it’s there already. I am mildly concerned that it will peak too soon, but there’s no holding it back now. Recent weather has been exceptional, […]

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Hampton Court Flower Show 2018: Best in Show – The Bursting Busy Lizzie Garden

  Who would have imagined that a garden jam-packed with common-or-garden Busy Lizzies would win a gold medal the prestigious Hampton Court Palace Flower Show? Or that such a garden would land Best in Show and the ultimate horticultural accolade, The Tudor Rose Award? Well, thanks to talented designer Matthew Childs and a partnership between […]

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Nan Lian Garden, 南蓮園池, Hong Kong

  “A classical garden in a modern city. serenity in the midst of urban hustle and bustle. Ingenious imitation of nature by man” The English language printed guide for Nan Lian Garden is so interesting and comprehensive that I was almost tempted to repeat the text word-for-word rather than describe this lovely place in my […]

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Chi Lin Nunnery 志蓮淨苑, Hong Kong

  Three cheers for British Airways! Why? Because without them charging £1000 more to travel on a Friday night versus a Saturday night, I would not have been able to enjoy a full day off in Hong Kong. And, thanks to a double dose of good luck, I was upgraded to a very swanky hotel […]

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On The Moove

I’m on the road again. Or rather I’m in the skies and generally racking-up the air miles. It’s buying season and there’s no rest for the wicked. In another life I must have been a very bad person! Having departed a red-hot Delhi at 01.10 this morning I’m now in damp and dreary Hong Kong. […]

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Heligan Harvest

  I first started visiting The Lost Gardens of Heligan as a student in the very early 1990s. By then the Tremayne family’s forgotten pleasure grounds had been rediscovered by their descendant, John Willis. Thanks to Tim Smit, later of Eden Project fame, there was already an audacious plan to revive them. As the decade […]

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