Little Miracle

  With the exception of bringing a child into the world, there is nothing in life so rewarding as growing a plant from seed. The emergence of a single vulnerable seedling from a tough, dry husk is nothing short of miraculous, a tiny incident of creation, evolution and the continuation of life on Earth. The […]

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Daily Flower Candy: Euphorbia mellifera AGM*

Euphorbia mellifera: canary spurge, honey spurge To have taken so long to feature Euphorbia mellifera in my regular Flower Candy spot is an unforgivable oversight. Perhaps it’s because the flowers produced by this statuesque Canary Islands shrub are curious rather than pretty. They emit an intense, heady, honeyed scent, which gives rise to the species name ‘mellifera‘, derived from […]

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Daily Flower Candy: Echium wildpretii

Native to the Canary Islands, echiums are sky-rocketing giants of the plant world. But, like an unfortunate child star, they reach their peak early before burning themselves out. Many of the them are monocarpic, flowering only once before dying. But what flowers! The good news is that echiums set seed freely so that the following […]

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Daily Flower Candy: Canarina canariensis

Regular readers may already have noticed that I am sucker for a subtropical plant. On a cold Sunday in February, whilst visiting London’s Chelsea Physic Garden, I found myself drawn in by the the scented warmth of one particular glasshouse, that which holds the garden’s collection of rare and threatened species from the Canary Islands and Madeira. Scrambling towards the […]

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Daily Flower Candy: Lotus berthelotii

In case you haven’t noticed I am a sucker for anything colourful, exotic and expensive looking. This goes for food, cocktails, shirts, wallpaper and yes, plants too. I am a dreadful magpie, unable to resist the lure of anything bright or shiny. Hence it’s no wonder that the flame-like flowers of Lotus berthelotii, otherwise known […]

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Plant Portraits: Digitalis sceptrum

For the most part, the experience of gardening is a succession of small triumphs and minor failures, all of which make us stronger people and better gardeners.  Of course our patience is sometimes tried by storm and pestilence, then just occasionally we get to enjoy a major achievement. It may not be a big deal […]

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