A Feast for the Eyes: Terrain, USA & Oogenlust, The Netherlands

  Among the many perks of my job is the opportunity to travel. In the last fortnight I have been to the USA, Germany and The Netherlands, during which time my feet have hardly touched the ground. Whilst I am travelling, I just ‘have’ to visit any garden-orientated shops that happen to be en route. […]

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Daily Flower Candy: Euonymus japonicus

Euonymus japonicus: evergreen spindle, Japanese spindle On days like these, when we’d all rather be indoors, wrapped in a blanket with a glass of something red, those of us with seaside gardens are grateful for a small but indispensable cohort of tough shrubs capable of creating shelter quickly and reliably. They include tamarisk (Tamarix tetranda […]

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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: Phytolacca polyandra

One of the joys of writing this blog is having the incentive to seek out and learn about new plants. Today, on a training course at our company conference centre, I took some time out to explore the grounds. In the otherwise flagging herbaceous borders I spied these curious fruits and lush leaves, which belonged to a […]

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Between the Storms

To call this winter a wash-out would be something of an understatement. Parts of the country have experienced double the average amount of rainfall and vast swathes of countryside are still under water. When the rain stops and the sun comes out, as it did last Sunday afternoon, it is cause for much celebration. We […]

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Bursting Forth on Boxing Day

This Christmas our friends Travis and Beth at Trevoole sent us a copy of ‘Dear Friend and Gardener’, a collection of correspondence between distinguished gardeners Beth Chatto and the late, great Christopher Lloyd.  I got stuck in immediately, relishing the robust exchange of opinions on such matters as organic gardening, whether to water during a […]

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Going Dutch

In an unusual turn of events, I am sitting still today even though there are more important things I should be doing. I am not poorly, but I am out of steam after two weeks of globetrotting.  Today is an essential recovery day before the final Christmas push. Happily the sun in shining into the […]

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Gathering Moss

I spent yesterday touring the garden centres of Holland, looking for Christmas inspiration. I found it in spades, from delicious Oliebollen (literally oil-balls, rather like a spherical doughnut spiked with raisins), to magnificent displays of poinsettia, orchids and Christmas trees. What was especially lovely was the range of natural materials for sale – holly berries, […]

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Good Enough to Eat

No trip to New York is complete without a browse around one of the world’s most appetising shops, Dean & DeLuca on Broadway.  Here one can find the finest foods from all around the world in dazzling variety.  I dare you not to salivate within seconds of crossing the threshold. This week, mingling with the […]

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Boxing Day Brights

Despite vowing to stay indoors for two days and do nothing but eat, drink, read and be generally indulgent, I was persuaded to get off my backside today for a Boxing Day walk. Typically, the skies have been leaden since Christmas Eve and yesterday it rained pretty much all day. Yet whilst we languish indoors, […]

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