Counting the Cost

  I’ve been out in the garden this morning assessing the havoc wreaked by The Beast from The East and Storm Emma. It is not a pretty picture, as you will see from the photographs below. Leaves and twigs have been ripped from the trees, semi-hardy plants are flattened and more tender ones have been […]

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Spick and Span

“Every day is a fresh beginning, Listen my soul to the glad refrain. And, spite of old sorrows And older sinning, Troubles forecasted And possible pain, Take heart with the day and begin again.” Susan Coolidge   I went to bed last night with an ominous tickle at the back of my nose and throat, […]

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Preparing The Watch House for Winter

  When I left my garden, in early October, it was still a summer garden. By the time I returned, at the end of the month, it was definitely an autumn one. The change was subtle, yet profound; sad, yet inevitable. The point of no return had been reached and there was nothing for it […]

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Midnight Blooms

  I have a new torch and I don’t mind admitting I am rather taken with it. The last one was indestructible but about as useful as a chocolate teapot, emitting a feeble yellow light even at close quarters. It consumed batteries at an alarming rate, going flat at precisely the moment it was needed. […]

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The Very Best of 2015 – A Year in Pictures

The moment I sit down to write my review of the year my mind goes completely blank. How do I sum up the year that was 2015? What happened of any note? Nothing there. A gardener’s optimistic outlook means I am always looking ahead, not back, which in this instance is unhelpful. Thank goodness I […]

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Sick As A Parrot

This is Percy, one of our neighbourhood parakeets. He’s far from sick, in fact he’s in rude health, preparing to overwinter in sunny Broadstairs. His shrieking call will replace the herring gulls’ squeals until the New Year. It’s me that’s sick as a parrot, having taken a turn for the worst in New York. I don’t […]

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Top Tips: Preparing Your Garden for a Summer Holiday

The school summer break is over and the kids are back for the autumn term, which means it must be time to take our holidays. I love September: the hazy light, the gentle warmth that seems to radiate from the ground and the ebullience of the garden. For me, this is my last hurrah before work becomes too chaotic […]

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Uncouth Cats and Kamikaze Kisses

On Saturday we a had a visitation from the Assistant County Organiser for the Kent National Gardens Scheme. So naturally, what could go wrong promptly went wrong. Eager to impress I was up at the crack of dawn to prepare for our inspection. The weather was a dream – sunny and breezy with the morning […]

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The Problem With Lilies

Lilium regale – the ultimate lily? Lilies are, without question, one of the most elegant summer flowering bulbs. Gertrude Jekyll, the renowned garden designer and plantswoman, would frequently plant large clumps of Lilium regale in strategic spots, creating height and drama at pivotal points in her schemes. In addition to stature, the lilies also contributed […]

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A Feast of Foliage

Whether it’s the sun, too much water or too much food I don’t know, but the garden in going nuts at the moment. The foliage is coming so fast that even the snails can’t keep up. The leaf-cutter bees think it’s Christmas and are busy sawing out neat little notches to furnish their solitary nests. […]

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