10 Easy Flowering Bulbs to Plant For Summer Colour

  There are few plants as rewarding and foolproof to grow as those that sprout from bulbs, corms, tubers and rhizomes. Among their number we can count favourites such as gladioli, begonias, lilies, dahlias, amaryllis and nerines, alongside lesser known, exotic beauties such as habranthus (Brazilian copperlily), gloriosa (glory lily), eucomis (pineapple lily), eremurus (foxtail […]

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Running Late

  As someone who usually extols the virtues of timeliness, I have been letting myself down rather a lot lately. I planted my spring-flowering bulbs late (some just a fortnight ago) and now I am behind with ordering my summer-flowering bulbs too. Between October and late March my work / life balance tips firmly in favour […]

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Photo Opportunity

I love anything to do with flowers; studying them, gazing at them, talking about them, growing them and photographing them. I don’t believe I could ever tire of their innumerable colours, shapes and forms. I find flowers both endlessly captivating and indescribably beautiful, even the ones most people consider too plain and simple to worry […]

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Bella Donnas

Amaryllis belladonna: Jersey lily, naked lady, belladonna amaryllis    We gardeners spend so much time and energy trying to cultivate plants which aren’t 100% suited to our gardens. We slave away, attending to our tender treasures’ every need, hoping and praying that we might be rewarded by a precious bloom, two if we are lucky. […]

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Simply Red

For that essential splash of Christmas red there is nothing quite like amaryllis. Poinsettias are passé and carnations a cliché, so I like to be bold and plump for ostentatious amaryllis when decorating for the festive season. Botanical correctness (of which I am fond but frequently uncertain) requires me to point out that these sizzling South American sirens […]

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Deck the Halls

One of the things I love most about Christmas is festooning our London flat with greenery and flowers. I adore the smell of fresh-cut pine and white lilies, and the idea of bringing the outdoors in. Decorating our open-plan space is a much-anticipated event. To get it all done I like to start as advent gets underway with a few simple, not […]

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Daily Flower Candy: Hippeastrum (Amaryllis)

They are big, brash, uncompromising flowers, but I love them. Hailing from South America, Hippeastrums are often confused with their South African cousins the Amaryllis. Quite how these stunning bulbs found their way to the remote valley in Bhutan where I took this photograph I don’t know. They seemed very much at home, forming clumps around […]

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The Big Apple Beckons

Although I live and breath Christmas year-round, it’s an annual business trip to New York that really marks the beginning of my festivities.  I attempt to have both gardens put to bed, cards written and most gifts bought before I go.  Then I can work and party through December knowing Christmas is in the bag. […]

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Wallington Hall, Cambo, Northumberland

Northumberland is a wonderful, wild, unspoilt county in the north of England, once the frontier between rampaging Celts and civilised Romans. The region is noted for its landscape of high moorland and forests, and is mostly protected as a National Park. Northumberland is also the most sparsely populated county in England, with only 62 people […]

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Party Flowers

Apart from the anticipation of seeing all my wonderful friends, one of the highlights of preparing for my 4oth birthday party was arranging the flowers.  It’s a difficult time of year to know what to do in the floral department.  There’s the risk of making arrangements look too Christmassy, but at the same time I […]

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