Daily Flower Candy: Crithmum maritimum

Crithmum maritimum: rock samphire, sea fennel, sea asparagus, sea bean, sea pickle, crest marine “There is a cliff whose high and bending head looks fearfully in the confined deep… The crows and choughs that wing the midway air scarce so gross as beetles; halfway down hangs one that gathers samphire, dreadful trade!” William Shakespeare Revelling […]

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Daily Flower Candy: Clematis vitalba

Clematis vitalba: Old man’s beard, traveller’s joy, virgin’s bower, ladies’ bower, love vine, traveller’s ivy. When the feathery seed heads of Clematis vitalba start to appear in the hedgerows, one knows autumn can’t be far away. Walking along the clifftops yesterday I observed this rampant climber piling over railings and smothering less vigorous neighbours. In folklore, old man’s […]

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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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Hangers-On

It’s midweek and already my brain has turned to blancmange.  So for everyone’s sake, I’ll keep today’s post simple. Living by the seaside, we need not stray very far to marvel at nature’s resourcefulness.  Occupying a variety of precarious positions, chalk-loving wild flowers punctuate the white cliffs around Broadstairs from spring until late autumn.  Pictured […]

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The Pines Garden, St Margaret’s at Cliffe

At long last the weekend offered some semi-decent weather, so off we set down the East Kent coast to the well-to-do village of St Margaret’s at Cliffe, near Dover. St Margaret’s has always charmed, with its white cliffs, wooded valley and sheltered shingle beach. Beneath the gleeming cliffs there are two Art Deco cottages once […]

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Good Earth

‘No occupation is so delightful to me as the culture of the earth … and no culture comparable to that of the garden … But though an old man, I am but a young gardener.” Thomas Jefferson (1743 – 1826) In my first year at Reading University, all the Landscape Management students were required to […]

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Longstock Park Water Garden, Hampshire

The River Test in Hampshire is one of the world’s finest chalk streams, renowned for the quality of its dry fly fishing. I am no angler, but it doesn’t take an expert to see that the water is as fresh and clear as anything that ever came out of a tap – probably cleaner too. […]

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