Getting to Grips with Hardy Orchids

I can see a new addiction coming from a mile off, so on the whole I steer well clear of orchids. Over the ages thousands of plant collectors have been consumed, even broken, by their passion for orchids and I do not wish to join their ranks. Hence they are the only family of plants […]

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Homeward Bound

Before I left England for my trip to India and China I took the bold decision not to attempt blogging whilst I was away. It’s been the longest gap between two posts in six years, but it was the right decision for me and my sanity. Blogging whilst on buying trips is tough, not only […]

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Nan Lian Garden, 南蓮園池, Hong Kong

  “A classical garden in a modern city. serenity in the midst of urban hustle and bustle. Ingenious imitation of nature by man” The English language printed guide for Nan Lian Garden is so interesting and comprehensive that I was almost tempted to repeat the text word-for-word rather than describe this lovely place in my […]

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Chi Lin Nunnery 志蓮淨苑, Hong Kong

  Three cheers for British Airways! Why? Because without them charging £1000 more to travel on a Friday night versus a Saturday night, I would not have been able to enjoy a full day off in Hong Kong. And, thanks to a double dose of good luck, I was upgraded to a very swanky hotel […]

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Song Shan Sunset

I’ve been away for over two weeks and the novelty is starting to wear off. Although I consider myself a sociable person, spending every waking hour in company, however good, starts to grate and I find myself taking bathroom breaks simply to get some time to myself. Saturday afternoon afforded me an hour and a […]

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Daily Flower Candy: Zephyranthes carinata 

  Zephyranthes carinata : rosepink zephyr lily, pink rain lily, Indian crocus The parts of China I’m required to visit on my buying trips are not what I would describe as attractive. However, there has been an appreciable greening in some areas which has begun to mask some of the brutal and unsympathetic architecture so […]

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Chelsea Flower Show 2017: Chengdu Silk Road Garden

  When I go to the Chelsea Flower Show, I want to see flowers. Whilst in the Great Pavilion this expectation is met in spades, occasionally some of the garden designers forget and start getting a bit too green, or worse, brown. This is fine, but don’t expect me to like it. For all its […]

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Chelsea Flower Show 2017 Preview

  I am taking a different approach to my Chelsea Flower Show coverage this year. Recent events and the amount of time I am able to spend at the show have persuaded me to devote more time to enjoying the exhibits and less time casting a critic’s eye over them. Added to which, I have […]

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Daily Flower Candy: Epimedium zhushanense ‘Zhushan Fairy Wings’

  I’ve reached that point in the year when the number of posts I have time to write is overtaken by the number of subjects there is to write about. It happens every spring and causes me a rising sense of panic and frustration. There’s only one thing to do: take a deep breath and […]

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Crazy for Corydalis

  The defining plants of my pre-teen years were those that grew in the garden of my parents’ 1930’s semi-detached house in Plymouth. Climbing the walls were Rosa ‘Masquerade’ and R. ‘Albertine’, a delicious loganberry and a variegated honeysuckle which resolutely failed to flower. In the borders there were African marigolds in summer and crocuses […]

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