Pretty in Pink: Podranea ricasoliana 

Draped elegantly over the high walls surrounding Marrakech’s wealthier villas and riads is an elegant climber known variously as pink trumpet vine, Queen of Sheba, Port St. John’s creeper and Zimbabwe creeper. As the latter suggests, Podranea ricasoliana, as it’s less attractively known in latin, hails from Southern Africa. I naturally assumed that there would be […]

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Daily Flower Candy: Magnolia doltsopa

Magnolia doltsopa: Michelia doltsopa, sweet michelia There are trees and then there are trees. Queens among their ranks are the magnolias; strong, majestic, ebullient beauties that grace our gardens with buxom, florid flowers each spring. A well-grown magnolia in full bloom is a thing of breathtaking beauty, so ravishing that one can scarcely believe such […]

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Hide Your Credit Cards: The 2016 Catalogues Have Landed!

In parallel with the mercury in my thermometer, the spring seed, bulb and plant catalogues are starting to drop, drop, drop onto the doormat. A film of thin, clear plastic is all that stands between me and the treasures proffered within. Even in my Night Nurse-saturated state I feel excited by the prospects for my […]

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Daily Flower Candy: Olearia phloggopappa ‘Combers Pink’

Nestled deep in the Ashdown Forest, East Sussex, was the location for one of our Christmas photo shoots. It may sound strange, but I live and breath Christmas all year round; it’s my job. Somehow I’ve become immune to the absurdity of untangling fairy lights in warm spring sunshine and to trimming trees in sweltering heat. […]

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Daily Flower Candy – Magnolia ‘Apollo’

When it comes to magnolias, rhododendrons and camellias there is nowhere in Britain quite like Cornwall. It’s to our most south-westerly county that many of the great plant hunters sent their discoveries from the forests of India, China, Burma and the Himalayas. The young plants revelled in the damp, mild climate which resembled their mountain homes, slowly growing […]

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Daily Flower Candy – Leptospermum scoparium ‘Coral Candy’

What is marvellous about gardening is that one is always discovering new things. Last weekend I spotted this pretty Leptospermum, flowering its socks off by the war memorial in St Ives, Cornwall. The fine foliage and delicate blossoms were a welcome sight beneath the leaden sky. The flowers of L. scoparium ‘Coral Candy’ are double, […]

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Chelsea 2013: Let the Show Begin!

The shop windows of Sloane Square are decorated with flowers, Alan Titchmarsh has been applying the Grecian 2000 and the weather’s set to be cool and wet. It can only be time for The Chelsea Flower Show. The Queen kicks off proceedings tomorrow for the 49th time and clearly loves every minute of her annual […]

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Paradise Found – Bumthang to Punakha

First off, meet these cheeky grey langurs we met steeling bags of salt near the pass at Pele La. They’re not rare, but they were very amusing to watch and better equipped for the chilly climate than we were. And, at the very top of the post, the fortress-like Dzong at Trongsa, historically a powerful […]

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