Garden Diary: February 2020

I have decided to start a garden diary. It’s been over 30 years since I last kept any form of journal so I can’t be certain whether I’ll stick with it. I guess there’s only one way to find out. Now we have an allotment I feel I should keep better records of our gardening […]

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The Rhythm of the Jungle

  There were points during February and March when I thought my garden might never regain its former glory. The Beast from the East had ravaged every plant with any sensitivity to cold, wet or wind. In the ten years since my garden was built I had not experienced such degrees of damage or destruction. […]

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Daily Flower Candy: Clematis ‘Forever Friends’

    Back in April I ordered a clutch of new clematis for my garden, all from Thorncroft Nursery. They were destined to cover a shabby stretch of fence leading from the street to my new back door. The plants arrived in good health and were stashed in the greenhouse until I was ready to […]

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Tales from the Gin & Tonic Garden

  As a rule, I don’t sit down, unless it’s to eat a meal or to work. When I make myself a cup of tea I tend to perch for the first sip and then get on with the next job that needs doing. When I read a book, it’s usually for 15 minutes before […]

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Daily Flower Candy: Clematis ‘Inspiration’

  In recent years both gardeners and florists have become better acquainted with non-twining, ‘herbaceous’ clematis. They make excellent border plants, especially in situations where a little height is required, and elegant, long-lasting cut flowers. The main distinction between herbaceous and climbing clematis is that the former do not produce twining leaves and are therefore […]

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Daily Flower Candy: Clematis “Étoile Violette” AGM

  The only plant of any value that came with the purchase of Polegate Cottage was a clematis. Squeezed into an impossibly tight gap between paving slabs it scrambles over a wrought iron arch above the garden gate. It has withstood all the builders’ toings and froings and is now covered in a rude quantity […]

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Daily Flower Candy: Clematis ‘Madame Julia Correvon’ AGM

It’s been a vintage year for clematis, in our London garden especially. Plants that have previously performed well but never shone have been turbo-charged by a cool, damp start to the year. They have veritably raced up columns, walls and trees, treating us to lush, unblemished displays of colourful flowers. Non climbing Clematis heracleifolia has almost […]

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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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The Very Best of 2014 – A Year In Pictures

I embark on my review of 2014 with a degree of trepidation, as this year did not turn out to be quite as joyful as I hoped it might be. The two preceding years were gloriously packed with exotic travel and big events, so in hindsight 2014 was probably never going to live up to expectations. There have […]

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Last Knockings

As far as flowers are concerned the pickings are fairly slim in our London garden at this time of year. Because of this I am loath to turf out pots of white Begonia semperflorens which are still plodding along outside the French windows. Likewise I am clinging on to Salvia patens, steadfastly sending up new […]

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