The Frustrated Gardener

The life and loves of a time-poor plantsman

Spring arrives a little earlier in Cornwall than elsewhere in England. The far South West is blessed with a mild, maritime climate which ensures the county rarely experiences extremes in temperature, although they are not unheard of. In the summer Cornwall never feels quite as…

Camellias: Harbingers of Spring



January is a unique month in the year when plants, on the whole, demand very little from gardeners. House plants are an exception, but even these have minimal needs when light levels are low and days are short. January is the perfect month for gardeners…

Ten Things To Do In The Garden in January



Since my new fella has been on the scene, I have been enjoying an activity that I have rarely experienced before – gardening ‘à deux’. It’s an activity that I have never thought myself capable of participating in, so sure am I that I could…




What better way to start the New Year at The Frustrated Gardener than with a plant that flowers through the darkest, coldest months. The winter heliotrope, Petasites fragrans, is so called because it produces tiny clusters of flower that are said to smell like cherry…

Winter Heliotrope: Petasites fragrans



December 24th: Christmas Eve When I set out on my advent blogging adventure I didn’t have a plan for what I’d write the next day, let alone on Christmas Eve. Yet here I am, twenty four days later, having navigated topics as diverse (some might…

Advent Thought For The Day: 24



December 23rd: Step Into Christmas Christmas can be a testing time for families. We come together with open hearts and great intentions, but sometimes find it difficult to get along. It’s hardly surprising when we live such full-on, switched-on lives. Stepping into Christmas can be…

Advent Thought For The Day: 23



December 22nd: Small Town Boy For me, the run up to Christmas feels impossibly long and drawn out. Why is it then that the closer I get to December 25th the faster the time goes? I spent all morning and all day yesterday washing, ironing,…

Advent Thought For The Day: 22



December 21st: It’s a Wrap Being Mr Christmas, most people assume that my preparations for the big day run like clockwork. I can tell you they don’t. I have been known to be wrapping presents at midnight on Christmas Eve in a mad rush to…

Advent Thought For The Day: 21



December 20th: A Grim Getaway I am on the 06.52am train from Broadstairs to London’s St Pancras Station, en route to Lincolnshire for a business meeting. Despite there being five days remaining until Christmas Day, the train is already discernibly quieter than on a normal…

Advent Thought For The Day: 20



December 19th: Who will buy my lovely mistletoe? On three Tuesdays leading up to Christmas, an auction of holly, mistletoe and freshly-made wreaths is held in the ancient town of Tenbury Wells in Worcestershire. For this brief time the town becomes the mistletoe capital of…

Advent Thought For The Day: 19