National Garden Scheme Snowdrop Festival 2019

Galanthophiles rejoice, snowdrop season is upon us once again. In recent years snowdrop appreciation has become a mainstream activity with hundreds of gardens throwing wide their gates outside of normal opening times to welcome eager visitors. Thus we are not only permitted to gaze upon spangled carpets of white blossom, but also to enjoy familiar […]

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The Best Things in Life are Free

        I have largely avoided being drawn into snowdrop mania this year. I have no snowdrops in my garden (which is a pity and ought to be rectified) and have had precious little opportunity to get out and admire others’. Even at the RHS Spring Plant Fair last week I bypassed snowdrops […]

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RHS London Early Spring Plant Fair 2018

One event in my calendar heralds the approach of spring like no other: the RHS London Early Spring Plant Fair. Throughout the first, frozen days of February I have been yearning for Westminster’s Horticultural Halls to throw open their doors and let me feast my eyes on delicate blooms and breath in the sweet scent […]

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RHS London Early Spring Plant Fair 2017

  The RHS London shows ought to be a pleasure for me to visit; they take place just five minutes from my office and are genteel, polite affairs, quite unlike the scrum of Chelsea or the hassle of Hampton Court – just how I like my flower shows. However, they are timed in such a […]

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Three Seagulls

I am not sure how I feel about the new convention of naming winter storms. Is it just me, or could it be that since the Met Office introduced the practice we’ve experienced a lot more severe weather? And did the general public, via social media, genuinely choose the name Desmond for the weather system […]

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Seeing Snowdrops

One of my unwritten New Year’s resolutions is to address my southern bias when it comes to writing this blog. As someone who’s never lived more than three miles north of the M4, with a penchant for tender plants, I have little experience of gardening any closer to the North Pole than Reading. I am, […]

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Chelsea Physic Garden – Nick Bailey’s ‘Best in Snow’

Early in February I went along to the Chelsea Physic Garden for one of their annual snowdrop days. I was lucky enough to bag a ticket for head gardener Nick Bailey’s ‘Best in Snow’ walk, where he described very eloquently a dozen or so of his favourite plants for winter colour. Not many of them can […]

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Snowdrop Week: Be a Galanthus Geek

5 Things You May Not Know About Snowdrops:   US military police stationed in the UK during WWII were known as snowdrops because they wore white caps with their green uniforms. They were also turned out with white webbing belts, white gloves and white gaiters, brightening their otherwise drab attire. Snowdrop bulbs contain an alkaloid called Galantamine, prescribed for people who suffer dementia. Whilst not […]

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Snowdrop Week: Solitary Seagull

I have a love-hate relationship with seagulls. Living by the seaside, as I do, I would not be without the herring gulls’ screeching call to remind me where I am. But they are aggressive, thuggish birds that do not think twice about attacking old ladies and children with chips and ice creams, so I prefer to keep them at arms’ length. Despite […]

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Snowdrop Week: Digging Diggory

Those folk who’d sell their souls for a rare snowdrop have two things in common – a willingness to open their wallet for a small, vulnerable bulb that flowers only briefly once a year, and an eye for detail. I mock not, for man has succumbed to uglier addictions, but one can understand why the uninitiated […]

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