Dentists and Indulgences: The Return from Chelsea

  There is nothing quite like a visit to the Chelsea Flower Show to galvanise one into action vis-à-vis one’s own garden. I returned home on Tuesday night brimming with ideas but with an ominous stuffed-up feeling. I assumed this was related to the notorious Chelsea cough, only to find that by Wednesday morning I […]

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Waste not, want not

  I don’t have many dislikes. Of those I do, chief among them is waste. Rather ambitiously, one might say naively, I spent £300 on spring-flowering bulbs in September. A lucky few were planted in early October or early November between business trips, whilst the rest were stored safely; cool and dry under dust sheets […]

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The Big Apple Beckons

Although I live and breath Christmas year-round, it’s an annual business trip to New York that really marks the beginning of my festivities.  I attempt to have both gardens put to bed, cards written and most gifts bought before I go.  Then I can work and party through December knowing Christmas is in the bag. […]

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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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Inspiring Irises

A punishing week at work, now followed by a debilitating bout of tonsillitis, has left me feeling less than enthused about the arrival of February and yet more chilly weather. Having decided to be officially grumpy today, I had to quickly change my mind after spotting a pot of cheerful Iris reticulata “Gordon” (above) when […]

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Planting Spring Bulbs in Containers

It’s now or never for me in terms of planting spring-flowering bulbs. As with most things in gardening there is the text book time to do it and the way things really happen. I’m a bit late for planting daffodils (Narcissus) and a tad early for tulips, but come rain or shine (currently rain), the […]

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Pothead Bulbs

Right on cue, the lovely people from Avon Bulbs delivered my order yesterday – a box packed with lilies, tulips, crocuses, Narcissus, Iris, and Alliums.  With it came the promise of new varieties and exciting colour combinations to experiment with.  The timing could not have been better, leaving me four weekends over which to plant them before […]

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Agapanthus – The Pride of Africa

Agapanthus is the signature plant in our coastal garden and deservedly so.  We grow Agapanthus africanus, the largest of the family, hailing from the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa.   In some countries, and even in the UK’s Isles of Scilly, it can “go wild” and become a nuisance.  In our garden (below) it’s […]

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A Moment of Drought

Some things are just not meant to be.  I set off, already late, to visit Eltham Palace.  Once the home of the Courtaulds this famous Art Deco house is now in the capable hands of English Heritage. Within spitting distance of my destination a rear tyre blew out, resulting in very long journey down to […]

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A Touch of Ginger

Bringing a touch of the tropics to our garden this summer are two members of the ginger family – Hedychium densiflorum “Stephen” and Cautleya spicata. The Cautleya has been crammed into a 14″ pot for three or four years. I meant to re-pot it into a much larger container this spring, but by the time […]

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