Polegate Cottage: Three Months On

It’s been three months since we bought the house next door. The idea is to convert The Watch House and Polegate Cottage into one home, giving us a library, an additional bathroom and two more bedrooms for guests. We need to make a good job of it as we might never be able to afford […]

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In Praise of Foliage

Gardeners the world over are obsessed with flowers. I am no exception. As well as being beautiful to look at, flowers are a sign of success, something one can measure a garden and its gardener by. Along with fruit and vegetables, flowers are part of the horticultutal triumvirate we choose to judge competitively, always striving […]

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Stars of the Solstice

The winter solstice is the longest night and shortest day of the year, this year falling on Sunday December 21st. The Earth’s axis tilts the furthest away from the sun at 23-and-a-half degrees, giving all locations north of the equator less than 12 hours of daylight. This pivotal moment in the calendar has been marked by […]

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Deck the Halls

One of the things I love most about Christmas is festooning our London flat with greenery and flowers. I adore the smell of fresh-cut pine and white lilies, and the idea of bringing the outdoors in. Decorating our open-plan space is a much-anticipated event. To get it all done I like to start as advent gets underway with a few simple, not […]

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Daily Flower Candy: Begonia ‘Glowing Embers’

Begonias are such stalwarts of the summer garden that they are often overlooked, even sniffed at, by so-called fashionable gardeners. I’m not attracted by the enormous, dinner-plate sized blooms of most tuberous begonias, but find single flowered hybrids essential for colour in my partially-shaded garden. They do not demand day-long sun and look all the better […]

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Happy Hostas

A cool, wet start to May has been just what the hostas ordered. Plants in our London garden are emerging lush and leafy, so far untroubled by slugs and snails. The latter are notable by their absence, but I refrain from commenting too loudly lest they hear me and come slithering back. I believe it […]

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A Floral Cure

Apart from having a hectic work week, I’ve also been struggling with blogger’s block. Lots to write about but just not finding the requisite levels of inspiration. Finally the spell has been broken by the talented florists from Hibya Kadan in Japan, who have staged an exquisite exhibit at the Maison et Objet show in […]

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Daily Flower Candy: Rhododendron macabeanum AGM

No, it’s not an exotic ginger or some new discovery from the steamy rainforests of Vietnam, it’s the detail of the bud scales of Rhododendron macabeanum . One of the easiest of the large-leaved rhododendrons to grow, it has a lot to offer if you have a sheltered spot with acidic, well drained soil. Huge […]

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