The Bitter End

I’m always surprised by how good the garden looks at the beginning of November. The Gin & Tonic Garden, though lacking the abundance of flowers enjoyed in late summer, is as good as it has ever been, only richer and lusher. Looking down on my tiny courtyard from above, I spy a perfect tapestry of […]

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Autumn Spice

The problem with owning a garden dominated by evergreens and tropicals is that I don’t really get to experience autumn colour at home. My garden morphs quickly from fabulous full summer to winter green, pretty much when I get around making it happen. This year, during one of many moments of impulse, I purchased a […]

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Last Vestiges

¬† I returned from China to a garden clinging valiantly on to the glories of summer. It was a heart-warming homecoming, but the gift was short-lived. Last week the weather cooled significantly, sending some plants into terminal decline. Dahlias are blooming their final blooms and my coleus are starting to look decidedly limp and lacklustre. […]

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Winter Sun

I love it when it’s cold and sunny. I can tolerate the frostiest weather so long as I have the sun’s rays on my back. Unfortunately I got it all wrong this weekend, wasting two cloudless days on shopping, pottering and socialising, and saving an epic number of gardening jobs for Monday, which was dreary, […]

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Preparing The Watch House for Winter

  When I left my garden, in early October, it was still a summer garden. By the time I returned, at the end of the month, it was definitely an autumn one. The change was subtle, yet profound; sad, yet inevitable. The point of no return had been reached and there was nothing for it […]

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When Is Too Late to Plant Spring Bulbs?

If you are reading this post now, in late January, the answer is ‘not yet’, for tulips at least. Originally published in November 2016, ‘When is too late to plant spring bulbs?’ has become one of my most read posts of the last eight years. For the next few weeks I am pinning it to […]

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Homecoming 

  Stepping out into the garden for the first time after a holiday is always an anxious moment. Will everything still be upright? Quite how busy will the snails have been whilst I have been living it up in sunny climes? Will the watering have been done as per my instructions? How many chip wrappers […]

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Holiday Mode

  Our “proper” holiday, by which I mean a holiday where I am looked after rather than being expected to look after others, has not come a moment too soon. I’ve had the busiest fortnight at work I can remember, combined with a paltry amount of sleep. “Breakthrough week”, which involves smashing big holes between […]

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Keep Your Summer Garden Looking Lush for Longer

  As mid summer turns into late summer, it’s all too easy to let your garden go to seed, literally. As a child I remember leaving my parents garden in its prime for our annual sojourn in Cornwall. Returning three weeks later the same garden, so perfectly fecund before we departed, was now overstuffed, yellowing […]

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Last Knockings

As far as flowers are concerned the pickings are fairly slim in our London garden at this time of year. Because of this I am loath to turf out pots of white Begonia semperflorens which are still plodding along outside the French windows. Likewise I am clinging on to Salvia patens, steadfastly sending up new […]

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