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 […]

Read More

My Top 10 Indoor / Outdoor Foliage Plants

  So I forgot. Today’s the day that the London Evening Standard publishes a feature on neon-coloured foliage and I am not even in London to pick up a copy. They say that if you want a job doing, give it to a busy person, but it you want something remembering, definitely don’t. I have […]

Read More

Last Vestiges

¬† I returned from China to a garden clinging valiantly on to the glories of summer. It was a heart-warming homecoming, but the gift was short-lived. Last week the weather cooled significantly, sending some plants into terminal decline. Dahlias are blooming their final blooms and my coleus are starting to look decidedly limp and lacklustre. […]

Read More

An Extraordinary Autumn

There comes a moment every autumn when I leave home and return again under the cover of darkness. Since I have been living full time at The Watch House that moment has arrived earlier in the season. On Friday I experienced dawn in the garden for the last time, on a weekday at least. The […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

The Final Countdown

Twenty days to go and the countdown to my NGS garden open weekend is well underway. In truth the garden does not need another twenty days to look its best; it’s there already. I am mildly concerned that it will peak too soon, but there’s no holding it back now. Recent weather has been exceptional, […]

Read More

Winter Sun

I love it when it’s cold and sunny. I can tolerate the frostiest weather so long as I have the sun’s rays on my back. Unfortunately I got it all wrong this weekend, wasting two cloudless days on shopping, pottering and socialising, and saving an epic number of gardening jobs for Monday, which was dreary, […]

Read More

Daily Flower Candy: Hedychium gardnerianum AGM

    August is turning out to be something of a damp squib. As soon as the kids broke up for the summer holidays the rain moved in and the weather turned decidedly cool. Flowering plants such as dahlias and marguerites responded quickly by producing fewer flowers, hanging back for the next blast of heat […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More