In The Garden This Week

Our coastal garden is starting to look really exciting now, with lots of lush growth being encouraged by the warm sunshine.  It’s still very leafy for the time of year, with some flowers a number of weeks behind.   Our Agapanthus africanus are normally on the brink of blooming by now, but the snake-like heads are […]

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Exceptional Evergreens for Coastal Gardens

It’s in the depths of winter, when the wind roars in from the east, that I’m reminded of the value of good evergreen trees and shrubs. They provide shelter from the gales (and for the birds) as well as providing precious structure and attractive glossy foliage throughout the year. Yet many gardeners don’t venture far […]

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A Tale of Two Trees

Our only major loss in the six years we’ve been gardening by the coast was a particularly tragic one.  The original planting focussed on a beautiful standard specimen of Arbutus glandulosa (Mexican Strawberry Tree), known thereafter to us simply as the “Orange drainpipe tree”.  Arbutus glandulosa is a very classy tree, valued primarily for its […]

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The Floating Gardens of Inle Lake

If, like me, you’re accustomed to gardening on dry land, Inle lake in Burma is a bit of an eye-opener. For here the fruits float and the veg ride the ripples of a vast, idyllic lake. The lake itself is situated about 2900ft above sea level, bordered on either side by mountains which bring frequent […]

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Agapanthus – The Pride of Africa

Agapanthus is the signature plant in our coastal garden and deservedly so.  We grow Agapanthus africanus, the largest of the family, hailing from the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa.   In some countries, and even in the UK’s Isles of Scilly, it can “go wild” and become a nuisance.  In our garden (below) it’s […]

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A Moment of Drought

Some things are just not meant to be.  I set off, already late, to visit Eltham Palace.  Once the home of the Courtaulds this famous Art Deco house is now in the capable hands of English Heritage. Within spitting distance of my destination a rear tyre blew out, resulting in very long journey down to […]

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Snails and other pests

Mercifully, our little patch is remarkably immune from attack by plant pests and and diseases.  The last two winters have put paid to the aggressive lily beetle, not so cunningly disguised in its bright red armour.  Many a morning have I ventured into the garden to pick off and squish these highly visible bugs, which […]

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