Ten Things To Do In The Garden in January

January is a unique month in the year when plants, on the whole, demand very little from gardeners. House plants are an exception, but even these have minimal needs when light levels are low and days are short. January is the perfect month for gardeners to take stock, plan ahead, or simply take a break […]

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Advent Thought for the Day: 2

December 2nd: Cardinals I have never seen a real cardinal bird, and yet they follow me wherever I go. On my buying trips in India and China and I can guarantee that almost every product I select, whether it be a bauble, a snowglobe or an advent calendar, will carry a representation of this handsome […]

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Birthday Bombki

I celebrated The Frustrated Gardener’s second birthday yesterday in one of the farthest corners of Poland, near the city of Wroclaw. The countryside in the south west of the country is pastoral and green, a gently ruffled counterpane of orchards, wildflower meadows, small villages and forests. There are bees and song birds in their trillions, […]

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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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A Tropical Christmas

Just one more flight and I’ll be home for Christmas. Work won’t be over for a while, but in the meantime this unusual, tropical-inspired Christmas tree adorned with birdcages, parrots, stag’s horn ferns, butterflies and beetles got me in the festive mood today. The Frustrated Gardener’s decs go up this weekend and will be white […]

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Welcoming Back the Birds

Over the summer, we removed most of our bird feeders for cleaning and to reduce the amount of spilled seed on the terrace.  I know we should probably keep food out year-round, but our neighbours do a very good job of that.  Now bleached and hanging on the bare branches of the fig tree, the […]

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Daily Flower Candy: Fuller’s Teasel

Last weekend went by like a whirlwind – so much to catch up on whilst September flew away on the breeze.  It was good to reacquaint myself with both both our plots, but also to visit one of our favourite local gardens, Goodnestone Park, where the gravel garden was at its zenith.  Fine grasses towered […]

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Charley Harper’s Backyard Birds

Charley Harper was a genius of a graphic artist. His cheerful, highly-stylised wildlife prints always make me smile inside. So I was very happy to find his festive “Backyard Birds” print on Christmas cards when I went to New York earlier this month. I had to have them! It’s a crisp and wholly fantastic scene, […]

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Pilfering Parakeets

No, I have not been gallivanting around the world again.  This “glamorous oriental stranger”, to employ a description used by the great David Attenborough, is a rose-ringed parakeet and is now a regular visitor to our bird feeders in Broadstairs. Few things give me greater pleasure than sitting in the warmth of our dining room, […]

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