34 Cross Road, Walmer: A Garden For All Senses

Living and gardening by the coast, I find my senses become attuned to a very specific set of sensations: the sound of seagulls, restless wind and tourists dispossessed of their volume control; the smell of seaweed and fish and chips; the feel of salt in my hair and sun on my cheeks. So when I […]

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Last Hurrah

  Slowly but surely the petals are falling from my tulips, one by one, leaving skinny seed pods where yesterday hovered fat balloons of shot silk. The first to fade were ‘Christmas Orange’ and ‘Portland’, followed by ‘Brown Sugar’ and ‘Dom Pedro’. In general I don’t enjoy looking at flowers when they go over, but […]

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Daily Flower Candy: Euphorbia mellifera AGM*

Euphorbia mellifera: canary spurge, honey spurge To have taken so long to feature Euphorbia mellifera in my regular Flower Candy spot is an unforgivable oversight. Perhaps it’s because the flowers produced by this statuesque Canary Islands shrub are curious rather than pretty. They emit an intense, heady, honeyed scent, which gives rise to the species name ‘mellifera‘, derived from […]

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Beaded

Its been a sultry week here in London. Moisture has been heavy in the air, reluctant to fall, forming a dull haze over the Thames valley. Reluctantly this afternoon a white sky found the energy to form a thin drizzle. In the garden every leaf and flower is finely beaded with water, deftly poised, waiting for […]

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Chelsea Flower Show 2014 – Stars of the Show: The Telegraph Garden

I was right about some things concerning this year’s Chelsea Flower Show; the weather was better; most designers defaulted to the tried and tested formula of multi-stemmed trees underplanted with tight-knit perennials; and Alan Titchmarsh’s garden was far from cutting edge – more of a blunt axe one might say. However I was wrong about one […]

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2014 RHS London Plant and Design Show – Highlights

Those of you who look in on The Frustrated Gardener regularly will know that I treasure my little jaunts from my place of work to the RHS London shows. I rarely break for lunch, let alone horticultural indulgence, so these occasions are indelibly inked into my diary with clear instructions to ‘KEEP CLEAR!’ This year’s […]

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Daily Flower Candy: Euphorbia characias subsp. wulfenii

Euphorbia characias subsp. wulfenii has featured once already in Daily Flower Candy, but I couldn’t resist including a photograph taken this weekend in our local park, where it has formed rolling mounds of acid-green flowers almost as tall as I am. In bright sunlight the effect is dazzling; brighter and zestier than any host of golden […]

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Daily Flower Candy: Euphorbia characias subsp. wulfenii

Whilst the wretched winter weather continues to dowse and drown us, there are signs of spring in the garden if one looks hard enough for them. Truly a plant for all seasons, the acid-yellow flowers of Euphorbia characias subsp. wulfenii (Mediterranean spurge) are already beginning to unfurl from their protective layer of glaucous blue leaves.  It will […]

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Daily Flower Candy: Euphorbia rigida ‘Chris Brickell’

The Euphorbias are a wonderful group of plants – varied, yet unmistakable with their leafy stems and typically acid-yellow flower heads. A new discovery for me last year was this low growing form of Euphorbia rigida named ‘Chris Brickell’. It’s similar to Euphorbia myrsinities but with pointed, glaucous blue leaves flushed maroon at the tips. […]

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Daily Flower Candy: Smilacina racemosa AGM

We’ve been searching for sturdy, shade loving-plants for our London garden, and where better to look than among the flora of North Amercia. Smilacina racemosa, the false Solomon’s seal, is a clump-forming perennial which produces fluffy plumes of creamy white flowers in spring. The flowers are followed by yellowish-green berries which turn to deep red […]

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