When The Wind Blows

I am not a cold person, temperature or temperament wise, but when the wind blows from the north, as it did this weekend, I want to be indoors, with a jumper on and a fire blazing. A penetrating wind blew down from the Arctic on Sunday morning, building to a crescendo by evening. Sitting in […]

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True Blue

  There is nothing more irritating for a gardener than to strive unsuccessfully to cultivate a plant, only to discover that someone who apparently makes no effort whatsoever is able to grow that plant to perfection.  It happens all the time, which is even more exasperating. This frustrating phenomenon is nothing to do with plants […]

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Daily Flower Candy: Osteospermum

  As indispensable plants for seaside gardens go, ostespermums are high on the list, and most certainly in the top ten. They are low-growing, sun-loving sub-shrubs which produce a profusion of large, daisy-like flowers in spring. Modern varieties continue to bloom throughout the summer and autumn, but lack the poise and elegance of plain old […]

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Wonder Walls Part II

  Each time I return to the West Country I am reminded just how damp it is compared to Kent. A crude comparison of averages would tell you that twice as much rain falls in Devon or Cornwall versus Kent or East Anglia. On the surface, the impact of rainfall on landscape and nature is […]

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Daily Flower Candy: Correa ‘Marian’s Marvel’

  My sweetie jar has been a little empty of late, so I think it’s high time I resumed my occasional Daily Flower Candy series, highlighting some of my favourite garden-worthy plants. Today’s sweet treat is Correa ‘Marian’s Marvel’, a shrub that had passed me by until I stumbled over it three times in the space […]

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Daily Flower Candy: Euonymus japonicus

Euonymus japonicus: evergreen spindle, Japanese spindle On days like these, when we’d all rather be indoors, wrapped in a blanket with a glass of something red, those of us with seaside gardens are grateful for a small but indispensable cohort of tough shrubs capable of creating shelter quickly and reliably. They include tamarisk (Tamarix tetranda […]

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Gardening on the Edge: Foamlea, North Devon

The most inspiring gardens are not always those on which huge funds are lavished or indeed the better known ones. Often they are the gardens where the visitor finds something or someone that they can relate to. Such was the case for me with Foamlea, an extraordinary coastal garden in North Devon. In 2002 Beth […]

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Daily Flower Candy: Erigeron glaucus (beach aster)

The recipe for a classic seaside garden is as tried and tested as that for the most British of cakes, a Victoria Sandwich. Take a sheet of tightly mown lawn, add a fringe of hydrangeas (preferably blue) and spike with a handful of cordylines (Cordyline australis). Add phormiums (a modern twist) or agapanthus to taste and then […]

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Bravery

I had ideas about going to the Great Dixter Spring Plant Fair this weekend, but it dawned on me that I should spend more time worrying about the plants I already have rather than acquiring new ones. This was something of an revelation for a confirmed plantaholic like myself, and one which I hope doesn’t occur too […]

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Aeonium Envy

I have loved a great many aeoniums, and lost a few too. Not to frost, which is is their main enemy in UK gardens, but to lack of sunshine and a mysterious, munching caterpillar. Back at home in Broadstairs they demand some winter protection indoors, which invariably results in pale, anaemic leaves. These are quickly […]

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