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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Sunshine and Showers at Saltwood

I have met some Americans who believe all us Brits live in quaint thatched cottages and are intimately acquainted with The Queen. We might also happen to know a distant relative they might have in Kettering, Peterborough or Cumbernauld. It’s a small country after all. As a proud Englishman I am more than happy to […]

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My Own Private Keukenhof

Tulips are a special passion of mine. They are inexpensive, easy to grow, endlessly colourful and, most importantly, good to look at. I am not the first to be enamoured of the tulip’s elegant, silken blooms and I certainly won’t be the last. Their appeal was first recognised by the Turks in about 1,000 AD […]

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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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Enchanted April

It really has been the most remarkable April. So far not a single drop of rain has fallen on either of our gardens and, although night temperatures have hovered just above freezing, the days have been sunny and warm. The result has been an avalanche of flowers. The daffodils that sat and shivered through March […]

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Blooming Bosvigo

Very little trumps the romanticism of a well-made woodland garden. Lush, informal and unbridled it will capture the heart in its quest to mimic nature. Every spring, plants which might never find themselves partnered in the wild mingle effortlessly in dappled shade, enjoying a fleeting glimpse of the heavens. To my mind the creation of a woodland garden is a […]

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Easter Excess

Unlike our London garden, which is having an unscheduled green moment, our coastal garden is a riot of colour this Easter. For the first time this year I feel that everything is coming good, the investment in all that arduous autumn bulb planting finally paying dividends. A mild winter and even milder start to spring has ensured that plants normally battered and […]

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After Dark – The RHS Spring Fair Late

Even for London it’s been a strange evening. The temperature in the city is not much below 20 degrees, which would be remarkable for a summer night, let alone the first in April. As I strolled home between the darkened mansion blocks of Victoria the air was filled with the heady aroma of cherry blossom and wallflowers; it […]

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Ready, Steady, Grow!

Every day something new is happening in the garden. I’ve promised myself a five minute scout around each morning before work, bringing me closer to the action. I can see nature starting to accelerate, fueled by every ray of sunshine and extra degree of warmth. Even the plants that are not quite off the starting […]

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The Problem With Lilies

Lilium regale – the ultimate lily? Lilies are, without question, one of the most elegant summer flowering bulbs. Gertrude Jekyll, the renowned garden designer and plantswoman, would frequently plant large clumps of Lilium regale in strategic spots, creating height and drama at pivotal points in her schemes. In addition to stature, the lilies also contributed […]

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