Spring at The Salutation

  If I were to win the lottery, The Salutation is the house I’d want to live in. I’d spend every spring and summer there, before overwintering in Capri, or the Caribbean; I can’t decide which. It’s probably not a choice I’ll ever be called on to make, but I like to think about it […]

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Running to Stand Still

  With April bright on the horizon I am already having to get a wiggle on to keep up with what needs doing in our garden. Within a fortnight that wiggle will have become a jog, and by early May I’ll be sprinting just to stand still. I feel exhausted just thinking about it. At […]

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Coughs and Caterpillars: An Hour in the Garden

  It’s all going on in the garden right now. The plants have had a sniff of spring and now they are intoxicated, thrusting out of the ground, sending tendrils hither and thither and scrambling up in search of light and warmth. They’ve discovered the powerful drug that is spring. The energy that was quelled […]

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Signs of Spring

  I’ve been out of town this weekend, enjoying the delights of Surrey’s innumerable hostelries in the company of my university friends. It’s the 19th year on the trot we’ve held a spring reunion. The occasion took place on Good Friday until we grew up and family commitments started to take precedence. Now we are […]

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Goodnestone Rising

  It was possibly a little too early to go out snowdrop spotting. In another year it might almost have been too late, but January and February have been cold and the flowers have responded accordingly. We arrived at Goodnestone Park just before midday and found the carpark already half full. A handful of hardy-looking […]

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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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Getting to Grips – Part 2

Weather wise, the start of 2016 is beginning to feel like a re-run of 2015 – a mild winter followed by a chilly spring that refuses to get going. A number of false starts and we are back to cold nights and cool days again, today combined with squally showers. It is April after all. […]

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How to Create a Spring Bulb Theatre

One can never plant too many spring-flowering bulbs. However tedious the chore may seem in late summer and autumn, planting spring bulbs is one of the most reliably rewarding gardening activities I know. Bulbs are, by-and-large, inexpensive, readily obtainable, easy to grow and pest free. Chosen with a little care one can enjoy colourful flowers […]

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Daily Flower Candy: Narcissus ‘Elka’ AGM

Narcissus: daffodil, daffadowndilly, jonquil, Lenten lily Daffodils are synonymous with Easter. In England they are associated with Lent and occasionally referred to as Lenten lilies. Legend has it that the first daffodil bloomed on the night of The Last Supper in the Garden of Gethsemane to comfort Jesus in his hour of sorrow. Whether one […]

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Hidden Talent

I have always thought of my paternal grandfather as a practical, gentleman gardener. When I was a child he was head gardener on a country estate in Buckinghamshire, playing his part in the steady decline of a once great walled garden and its modest range of glasshouses. It was the end of an era, a […]

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