Baby steps (towards spring)

Every weekend is pretty much the same during the lockdown. A time to catch up on sleep, to read, phone friends and family, make lists, walk the dogs, eat, drink and do a few jobs outside. There are a great many substantial projects that need to be tackled at The Watch House: fixing the roof, […]

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Relaxing, Riviera Style

I am on holiday and therefore I must relax: at least that’s what Him Indoors keeps telling me. The problem is I don’t find sitting by pools or lounging about in the least bit relaxing. It’s not as if I haven’t tried it. I am a get-up-and-go kind of boy, and will be until my […]

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Agave Aggravation at the Italianate Glasshouse

Little survives of Sir Moses Montefiore’s East Cliff Lodge, a once magnificent mansion and garden straddling the boundary between Broadstairs and Ramsgate in Kent. The grounds of the former Gothic house, demolished in 1954, are now a public park providing valuable green space between the two seaside resorts. The only buildings that remain are a fairly unremarkable […]

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Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens, Cornwall

Cornwall’s great gardens are, by and large, gardens that were created over 100 years ago and that have developed organically ever since. A handful have been rescued from the edge of oblivion in recent years but, with the obvious exception of The Eden Project, newly imagined gardens are a rarity. This is surprising given Cornwall’s exceptional climate and […]

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Triumph Over Adversity – Tresco Abbey Garden

When, in 1834, the handsome Augustus Smith secured the lease for the Isles of Scilly, I wonder if he was aware of the legacy he was to leave behind? The son of a wealthy Hertfordshire family he had the resources and energy required of the newly styled Lord Proprietor. He set about improving employment and education […]

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Return to the Salutation

With both gardens almost locked-down for winter it’s time to start writing about some of the places that have not yet made it on to The Frustrated Gardener. These half-forgotten visits are like blogging hay – sweet, fragrant and reminiscent of a time when the earth was warm and the sun high in the heavens […]

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Butterflies in Birchington – Quex Park, Kent

As is so often the case, the things that are on your own doorstep are the first to be overlooked.  And so, somehow, we have never managed to visit the house and garden which is probably closest to us – Quex Park near Birchington-on-Sea.  After 6 years we thought it was high time, so we […]

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Beautiful Stranger – Beschorneria yuccoides

This weird and wonderful creature is Beschorneria yuccoides, a rare but hardy yucca-like plant, flowering in our seaside garden last year. Its bluish-green leaves and 8ft long flower stalk, covered in bright green and red flowers, made it quite a talking point – even if it did take up half the garden for half the […]

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