Agave Agony

A sun-soaked stroll along the beach between Broadstairs and Ramsgate, picking up chalk pebbles and gnarled flints, ultimately leads us back to The Italianate Glasshouse in King George VI park. Through the delicate structure the solitary panicle of canary yellow blossom belonging to Agave americana still lurches defiantly into the sky. A thick blanket of white cloud now obscures the heavens. […]

Read More

Summer Lovin’

There have been precious few moments over the last week for composing wise words on gardening matters. I am not about to fob you off with something I’ve rushed, so will instead treat you to a vision of what a hot summer day looks like in this neck of the woods. In nine years of […]

Read More

On Course

I am on a course this week in the salubrious environs of Hunton Park in Hertfordshire. Sadly the once magnificent grounds leave much to be desired, but I am not here to learn about gardens. The course is teaching me to be a hot-shot negotiator and, despite grave misgivings, I am really rather enjoying myself. […]

Read More

In The Garden This Week: Clashing Colours

Royal blue and orange, canary yellow and purple, candy pink and red, fresh lime and magenta – our coastal garden is packed with clashing colours during August. I love, cherish and celebrate them all. Whether the combinations are technically right or a little bit wrong, who cares? They are fleeting moments that perhaps only I […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

Daily Flower Candy: Lilium ‘Scheherezade’

The number of occasions during the day when I feel I am starting to lose my marbles is increasing steadily, to a point where I genuinely wonder if senility might be imminent. I have always been a list-writer but have reached a stage where noting down ‘to dos’ has become a necessity rather than a safety […]

Read More

Daily Flower Candy: Viper’s Bugloss

Regular readers of this blog will know that I am a big fan of echiums. I love their jewel-coloured flowers, the way they attract bees to the garden and their incredible range of stature; from sprawling Echium tuberculatum to sky rocketing Echium pininana. Slowly but surely I am increasing my collection in our coastal garden, […]

Read More

Agave Aggravation at the Italianate Glasshouse

Little survives of Sir Moses Montefiore’s East Cliff Lodge, a once magnificent mansion and garden straddling the boundary between Broadstairs and Ramsgate in Kent. The grounds of the former Gothic house, demolished in 1954, are now a public park providing valuable green space between the two seaside resorts. The only buildings that remain are a fairly unremarkable […]

Read More

The Watch House NGS Open Weekend 2015

I must have done something very good in a previous life (heaven knows I am struggling to be good in this one) to deserve the weather we enjoyed this weekend. I would describe it as nigh-on perfect: temperatures in the early twenties, a pleasant breeze and just a few wisps of cloud high in the sky. […]

Read More

Que Sera Sera ….

… Whatever will be will be, as the song goes. I have reached a point now where all I can do is clean and tidy in preparation for our house guests. The garden is in good shape, although we could have done with warmer weather to coax some of the flowers into bloom. The forecast for […]

Read More