The American Garden, Saltwood, Kent

Primped and polished gardens are all very well (we’ll be seeing a lot of them at Chelsea in a few days’ time) but for those of us who work and can’t afford help they can be a little intimidating. Small imperfections are natural and larger ones excusable. They render a garden approachable and understandable, revealing […]

Read More

Plants in Detail – Gunnera manicata AGM

You may have picked up on my recent fascination with large, jungly-looking plants. I don’t really have room for such colossi in either garden, but I can still admire them when visiting others’. My first encounter with giant rhubarb, Gunnera manicata, was as a child at Glendurgan in Cornwall, where one can still walk beneath the roughly corrugated, spiny […]

Read More

Daily Flower Candy: Tetrapanax papyrifer ‘Rex’

Gunnera manicata, the giant rhubarb, has very few rivals for the sheer size of its leaves, but among them would be Tetrapanax papyrifer. Used in Asian countries for making paper, it’s more commonly employed in the UK as a dramatic focal point for tropical plantings. Tetrapanax papyrifer dislikes growing in a pot and prefers a […]

Read More

Whitstable Castle Gardens, Kent

On our frequent visits to Whitstable, we’ve often been intrigued by a glinting weather vane, perched high above the trees at the Tankerton end of the beach. It turns out that the weather vane rises from the battlements of Whitstable Castle, originally Tankerton Towers, a former gentlemen’s residence of the Regency period. The house started […]

Read More