Hampton Court Flower Show 2014: Vestra Wealth’s Vista

I had never heard of Vestra Wealth before this year’s Hampton Court Palace Flower Show and that’s for one very good reason – I have no wealth to manage. Should I come up trumps in the lottery, I would have no hesitation in beating a path to Vestra’s door, based purely on the strength of […]

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The Watch House Awaits….

In just less than two weeks, we open our garden at The Watch House in Broadstairs for the National Gardens Scheme. It has not been a long held ambition to let the public in, in fact it still seems a little absurd to me when you consider the garden measures just 20x30ft. However we were persuaded, quite […]

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National Garden Scheme Opening Dates

It’s official, our garden at The Watch House will be open as part of the National Gardens Scheme on Saturday August 2nd and Sunday August 3rd 2014.  If the weather is kind we’ll be displaying awesome agapanthus, exciting echiums and cavorting cautleyas, all in a sheltered, sunny, subtropical courtyard setting. We’re breaking with the tradition […]

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Daily Flower Candy: Agapanthus africanus

Those of you who check in to The Frustrated Gardener regularly will know I’m a big fan of Agapanthus. Our majestic Agapanthus africanus come into bloom in late July. The seed heads that follow look magnificent well into autumn. Avoid the temptation to keep them intact through the winter, as they will seed prolifically and […]

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The Gardens of Constantine, Cornwall

The National Gardens Scheme (NGS) is a fantastic charity, started in 1927 and now orchestrating access to thousands of private and public UK gardens each year. The publication advertising the opening dates, fondly known as the yellow book, is eagerly awaited each February. This year we’ve been trying harder than usual to get out to […]

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Uncouth Cats and Kamikaze Kisses

On Saturday we a had a visitation from the Assistant County Organiser for the Kent National Gardens Scheme. So naturally, what could go wrong promptly went wrong. Eager to impress I was up at the crack of dawn to prepare for our inspection. The weather was a dream – sunny and breezy with the morning […]

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Castle Drogo, Devon

My favourite architect by a country mile is Edwin Lutyens. Often described as a genius, he is most lauded for his Surrey country houses, war memorials and his masterplan for Imperial New Delhi. Castle Drogo in Devon is one of Lutyen’s lesser known and farthest flung masterpieces, and one I could never tire of visiting. […]

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The Evening Crowns The Day

‘The evening crowns the day’ was one of my grandmother’s favourite sayings.  As is so often the case in Cornwall where she lived, a dank, drizzly day has ended with blue skies and warm, dappled sunshine.  The clear light reveals a garden at the height of its powers.  Bright dahlias vie for attention and the […]

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Hampton Court Flower Show 2013: Cool Gardens

It was a hot, dry and dusty Hampton Court Flower Show this year.  I returned home with my blue suede shoes looking more like I had crossed the Sahara than the City of London.  The summer sun made recording the show gardens on camera hard work, everything looking more or less bleached out. A bit […]

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Let the Show Begin!

After almost four weeks away from our coastal garden I am back in the driving seat. For a fleeting moment this morning it felt like spring was really here – warm sun on my back and birds singing in the trees. The warmth brings out the foxy odour of Fritillaria imperialis, which I find strangely […]

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