The Frustrated Gardener

The life and loves of a time-poor plantsman

Not a square inch of my tiny garden goes uncultivated. Over the years I’ve found plants that enjoy, or at least tolerate, every environment I have to offer, from bright sunshine to deep shade, and from exposed to sheltered. It’s involved a process of trial…

Kitchen Sink Drama



One aspect of gardening in a small space that I enjoy most is that no detail goes unnoticed. Whilst this counts equally for annoying flaws and moments of near-perfection, there is as much joy for me in the emergence of a new leaf or the…

Plants In Detail – Dahlia ‘Akita’



Both gardens were overflowing with plants long before August arrived. There was a point at which getting from the garden gate to the front door was such an ordeal that even The Beau started to lose patience with me. At the end of July I…

New Plants At The Watch House: August 2019



And relax! After several weeks of intensive preparation, another National Gardens Scheme open weekend lies behind us. Rather like Christmas there’s an almighty build-up and then the event itself is over in the blink of an eyelid. In total we welcomed 440 visitors to The…

The Watch House NGS Open Weekend 2019



For the last three summers I have been growing airplants outside in the Jungle Garden. Secured to the branches of a tree in dappled shade, they’ve added texture and interest where otherwise there was little else to amuse. In spite of their small size they…

Growing My Own Tree of Life



If I had to sum up the business ethic in Thanet, I would describe it as entrepreneurial. Everywhere one looks someone is opening a cool new shop or niche restaurant, starting a micro brewery or launching an innovative new service. It’s one of the advantages…

In Print: Broadstairs Beacon



I won’t lie, my job takes me to some fascinating places. I don’t always get to see a great deal of the cities and countries on my itinerary, but I generally experience enough to decide whether I’d want to return under my own steam. This…

Trovare Verde Venezia (Finding Green Venice)



This spring I potted up more lilies than ever before. My intention was to bridge that awkward gap between the tulips fading and the first dahlias flowering with their bold, bright, often scented blooms. However, as is so often the case, nature had different ideas,…

Plant Profile: Lilium ‘Whistler’



Since the last time I wrote about my garden, my sole purpose has been to prepare it for summer. I’ve been potting, repotting, feeding, staking, tying-in and mulching, whilst at the same time doing battle with an army of voracious slugs and snails. All the…

Sumer Is Icumen In … Or Is It Agoin Out Again?