The Late, Late Daffodil Show

In a normal year, I’d consider myself lucky to have one or two daffodils blooming in May. By May Day their dominion is over and tulips reign supreme. This year is an exception; I have more daffodils in flower now than at any time previously. An Entente Cordiale has been reached between the two exalted […]

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Arctic April

It has been the strangest month; cold – indeed the frostiest April in sixty years – and desert-dry. Although we’ve escaped spring frosts here on the East Kent coast, it has been bitter day-in, day-out, with desiccating winds blowing in from the north and east. Most days I have returned from walking the dogs feeling […]

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Discovering Daffodils

It’s a little known fact – so little known that one might almost call it a secret – that the first job I ever applied for was with the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. As a Landscape Architect I would be travelling the world, recommending how to look after these historically important sites. The main attraction […]

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Hurrah! the Ides of March

Our garden is at its lowest ebb from early February until the Ides of March, on the 15th of the month. Battered by gales laden with salt and sand, scorched by snow and starved of light, everything but the eternal evergreens* is pale, frazzled or mushy. I try to like what I see, but I […]

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Easter Extravaganza

Oh the irony. For the last three years our National Gardens Scheme area organiser has been asking if we’d open the garden for a spring viewing and this year we thought we might just take the plunge. It’s always been such a guessing game, anticipating when the daffodils and tulips might be at their best, […]

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Cornwall Spring Flower Show 2018

As great days out go, I rank a visit to the Cornwall Spring Flower Show up there with Chelsea and Sissinghurst. It’s a special day for many reasons. The setting alone, deep in rolling parkland at Boconnoc near Lostwithiel, makes it worth a trip from near or far. The Boconnoc Estate has been at the […]

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The Late Late April Show

Spring is arriving in slow motion at The Watch House. I’ve been watching a single bud of Narcissus ‘Golden Ducat’ striving to open for ten days, willing it to reveal the acid-yellow petals tightly furled within. My clematis have been held in suspended animation since early February, their tender shoots primed and raring to go. […]

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A week is a long time in gardening

  It was British Prime Minister Harold Wilson who first said ‘a week is a long time in politics’. Almost sixty years later, his words have proved as sage now as then. Had Harold Wilson been a keen gardener, and I can find no evidence that he was, he would have found gardening no less […]

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Great Dixter: Pots of Plenty

  The recent chilly weather has had its pros and cons. The downside for eager gardeners who have been nurturing seedlings and planting out bedding is that these tender charges now need protection to save them from harm. The upside, for those of us who love spring bulbs, is that the cold has prolonged the […]

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The Great Dixter Dozen

  It’s rare that I sacrifice commentary for imagery, but as I look back over the photographs I took at Great Dixter last weekend, I can’t help feeling they speak for themselves. And, being without my laptop, I’m also going to publish them as they were taken, with minimal enhancement and just a brief description. […]

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