Autumn Spice

The problem with owning a garden dominated by evergreens and tropicals is that I don’t really get to experience autumn colour at home. My garden morphs quickly from fabulous full summer to winter green, pretty much when I get around making it happen. This year, during one of many moments of impulse, I purchased a […]

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How to Grow Ornamental Gingers in UK Gardens

  Ornamental gingers – we’ve admired them whilst on holiday in tropical countries, or seen them curated in the glasshouses of botanical gardens, but how many of us have considered growing them in our own gardens? Surely gingers need more heat and sunlight than the British climate can offer? Aren’t they going to be hopelessly […]

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Daily Flower Candy: Hedychium densiflorum ‘Sorung’

    Ginger lilies are disgustingly straightforward to grow, which is satisfying when one considers their fabulously exotic appearance. Hardy gingers from the genus Hedychium produce lush foliage on robust stems, topped by clusters of fragrant flowers during the summer and autumn months. Ginger lilies are not thwarted by our typically cool, damp summers; these […]

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Daily Flower Candy: Asarum delavayi ‘Giant’

  Asarum delavayi ‘Giant’*: Giant Wild Ginger, Panda face ginger As an antidote to my post about Vita Sackville-West’s macabre ‘Box of the Dead’ earlier this week, I thought I’d share a happier tale. Regular readers will know that I often purchase plants without any real idea where I am going to plant them. It’s […]

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The Final Countdown 

  Twelve days to go and preparation for this year’s garden opening feels like one of those bad dreams where, try as one may, one never reach the finishing line. I can usually let go of the reins a little during August, but with the opening happening at the end of the month I have to […]

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Opening Pains

  Had we opened our seaside garden on the usual weekend, this is the scene that would have greeted our visitors. Not bad, even if I do say so myself. Instead, we spent the weekend in London, celebrating Him Indoors’ birthday and not worrying about deadheading or watering for a change. At Polegate Cottage, the […]

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The Stage is Set

The stage is finally set for our open weekend on August 1st and 2nd. Any changes I make from now on will appear too obvious, so it’s simply a case of deadheading, sweeping and watering to maintain the status quo. The pressure is now on the cast – the dahlias, gingers, agapanthus and fuchsias – to […]

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All Systems Go!

Here at The Watch House we are steadily building up to our second annual National Gardens Scheme open weekend on August 1st and 2nd. Unlike last year, when the whole exercise was an unknown, we are approaching this year’s event with a certain amount of surety. The posters are up and the plants are in; our helpers have […]

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Gardening Leave

No, I haven’t quit my job or been given my marching orders, but I have taken a couple of days off to prepare the garden for our National Gardens Scheme open days this weekend. I am fastidious at the best of times, but risk turning a little bit obsessive-compulsive over the next 24 hours. Suddenly […]

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Daily Flower Candy: Hedychium densiflorum ‘Stephen’

Clearing our borders of tender perennials last weekend, I was surprised to see the earth scattered with what appeared to be large pomegranate seeds.  At first I thought they were escaping lily beetles, but looking up I could see they had fallen from the 8ft tall flower stems of Hedychium densiflorum ‘Stephen’.  It seemed such […]

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