Watering in the Rain

  “I need to water the garden before it rains!”: I know this sounds ridiculous (it looks even sillier) but rushing to wet the garden before storm-clouds break is surprisingly necessary if you garden, as I do, in containers. The fact is that rain is pretty ineffective when it comes to quenching generously packed pots. […]

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Midsummer’s Day Dreaming

  What an extraordinary spell of weather we have been having. It’s so hot that I am relieved to be returning home to the coast every evening to enjoy a gin and tonic or glass of chilled rose, as far from the capital’s oppressive heat as I can get. There is always a faint breeze […]

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Coughs and Caterpillars: An Hour in the Garden

  It’s all going on in the garden right now. The plants have had a sniff of spring and now they are intoxicated, thrusting out of the ground, sending tendrils hither and thither and scrambling up in search of light and warmth. They’ve discovered the powerful drug that is spring. The energy that was quelled […]

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Polegate Cottage: Three Months On

It’s been three months since we bought the house next door. The idea is to convert The Watch House and Polegate Cottage into one home, giving us a library, an additional bathroom and two more bedrooms for guests. We need to make a good job of it as we might never be able to afford […]

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Plant Portraits: Aeonium arboreum ‘Zwartkop’

Succulent plants are not everyone’s cup of tea, but one which attracted a lot of admiring glances when we opened our garden for the National Gardens Scheme was Aeonium arboreum ‘Zwartkop’. It’s hardly surprising given its height (hence arboreum, meaning ‘tree-like’) and the colour of the fleshy leaves, which are quite unlike the average houseleek. The […]

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Daily Flower Candy – Echeveria lilacina

We’ve spent the last two days on the Isles of Scilly, a tiny archipelago of islands off the southwestern tip of England. The climate is famously mild but occasionally wild. This suits plants that like to bask frost-free in the sun, but which have tough hides when the salt laden winds blow in off the […]

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