Kitchen Sink Drama

Not a square inch of my tiny garden goes uncultivated. Over the years I’ve found plants that enjoy, or at least tolerate, every environment I have to offer, from bright sunshine to deep shade, and from exposed to sheltered. It’s involved a process of trial and error that will be familiar to every gardener. There […]

Read More

My Top 10 Indoor / Outdoor Foliage Plants

  So I forgot. Today’s the day that the London Evening Standard publishes a feature on neon-coloured foliage and I am not even in London to pick up a copy. They say that if you want a job doing, give it to a busy person, but it you want something remembering, definitely don’t. I have […]

Read More

Last Vestiges

  I returned from China to a garden clinging valiantly on to the glories of summer. It was a heart-warming homecoming, but the gift was short-lived. Last week the weather cooled significantly, sending some plants into terminal decline. Dahlias are blooming their final blooms and my coleus are starting to look decidedly limp and lacklustre. […]

Read More

Plant Profile: Solenostemon ‘Henna’

  My garden is so jam-packed with plants by early autumn that I can barely move around outside. Far from holding plants back, a spell of cooler, duller weather has encouraged exuberant growth and the appearance of lashings of fresh foliage. Flowers are in shorter supply, but there are enough to give the garden interest […]

Read More

The Watch House NGS Open Day 2018

  Over the weekend we welcomed over 300 visitors to The Watch House, breaking records and surprising us all. At times it was a challenge to fit everyone in whilst offering an enjoyable experience in the garden, but there were no complaints, at least that I heard. On both days the sun shone, the birds […]

Read More

Where Have All The Coleus Gone?

  When a plant does well in my garden, I want to grow more of it. As a gardening strategy, this makes perfect sense. So often we struggle on, trying to grow things that are not best suited to our conditions. Then we ask ourselves why we fail. I wonder how many people have abandoned […]

Read More

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. […]

Read More

Wallington Hall, Cambo, Northumberland

Northumberland is a wonderful, wild, unspoilt county in the north of England, once the frontier between rampaging Celts and civilised Romans. The region is noted for its landscape of high moorland and forests, and is mostly protected as a National Park. Northumberland is also the most sparsely populated county in England, with only 62 people […]

Read More

Beguiled by Begonias

I expect it’s desperately unfashionable to say so, but I do love a nice Begonia. They are easy on the eye, diverse and sometimes dramatic, but normally easy to grow, appreciating a little bit of shade. So I was instantly drawn to Dibleys’ magnificent display of Begonias and Coleus at last week’s Hampton Court Flower […]

Read More