The Very Best of 2013 – A Year In Pictures

When I wrote my equivalent post this time last year, I thought 2012 was a momentous year, but reflecting on 2013 I find the last twelve months have more than measured up.  I celebrated my 40th Birthday and over the course of the year visited 10 countries, including Nepal, India, China and Bhutan, the Land of the Thunder Dragon. […]

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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 Evening Crowns The Day

‘The evening crowns the day’ was one of my grandmother’s favourite sayings.  As is so often the case in Cornwall where she lived, a dank, drizzly day has ended with blue skies and warm, dappled sunshine.  The clear light reveals a garden at the height of its powers.  Bright dahlias vie for attention and the […]

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Windy Ridge, St Margaret’s at Cliffe

The National Gardens Scheme is an absolutely wonderful charity, allowing gardeners and garden lovers access to thousands of private gardens across the country every year. Participating gardens come in all shapes and sizes, offering everything from high horticulture to naturalistic and ecological styles. What all the gardens offer is a rare glimpse into a nation’s […]

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Having A Moment

All gardens have special moments when they look their best. For many it happens in May or early June when new growth is still fresh and green, and before anything has started to flop, yellow or require dead-heading. Our seaside garden is having a moment right now, alive with the bright pink flowers of Geranium […]

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Exceptional Evergreens for Coastal Gardens

It’s in the depths of winter, when the wind roars in from the east, that I’m reminded of the value of good evergreen trees and shrubs. They provide shelter from the gales (and for the birds) as well as providing precious structure and attractive glossy foliage throughout the year. Yet many gardeners don’t venture far […]

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Strange Fruit

After 3 weeks of part self, part snow-induced exile, I returned to the seaside last night during an icy gale that would’ve had an Inuit running for his furs.  I expected to be welcomed by a few mushy looking plants, but immediately I stepped through the gate there was a disgusting squelch, followed quickly by another.  In […]

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A Tale of Two Trees

Our only major loss in the six years we’ve been gardening by the coast was a particularly tragic one.  The original planting focussed on a beautiful standard specimen of Arbutus glandulosa (Mexican Strawberry Tree), known thereafter to us simply as the “Orange drainpipe tree”.  Arbutus glandulosa is a very classy tree, valued primarily for its […]

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New Year’s Resolutions

Well, that was 2012.  It was, in a word, wet, although it gave us some wonderful moments to remember.  2013 started in the normal post-party haze, but the sun shone all through New Year’s Day, so perhaps that augers well for the year ahead.  This weekend feels like the ultimate come-down – sleepy, wet and […]

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The Very Best of 2012 – A Year In Pictures

Where has 2012 gone? Despite so many memorable occasions – the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, the Olympics, our trip to beautiful Burma, the birth of this blog (!?) – the year has flown by and is almost at an end.  Reflecting on 2012 provides a precious reminder of how lucky we are to have our health […]

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