The Frustrated Gardener

The life and loves of a time-poor plantsman

Unpredictability is the name of the game when it comes to British weather, but one old proverb certainly promises to ring true in 2019: ‘March winds and April showers bring forth May flowers.’ Whilst the warmth and vitality of May still feel a long way…

April Showers



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…

Morrab Gardens, Penzance, Cornwall



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).…

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



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…




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…

Magnolia × veitchii ‘Peter Veitch’



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…

Plant Profile: Sophora ‘Sun King’ AGM



Before I begin, a heartfelt thank you to everyone who posted a comment following the garden’s appearance on Gardeners’ World last Friday. It’s been uplifting reading the many kind, appreciative messages that have popped up here and on other forms of social media. I am…

BBC Gardeners’ World – Your Questions Answered



Friday March 8th 2019, 8.30-9.00pm, BBC2 When I look at my garden this evening, as it takes a battering from Storm Freya, I find it hard to recall how it looked that warm August day when BBC Gardeners’ World came to film. The outdoor kitchen…

BBC Gardeners’ World comes to The Watch House



Despite still feeling grotty, the opportunities presented by a weekend of unbroken sunshine were too good to miss. I had been waiting months for a spell of fine weather to start repainting my exterior woodwork, and here it was, in mid February, just when I…

Spick and Span*



One of the many frustrations of having flu is that everything tastes and smells odd. Apparently viral particles linger longer in the nose and mouth than they do in the blood, altering and inhibiting the recognition of flavours and fragrances long after one’s physical recovery…

Violet Time