Hampton Court Flower Show 2014: Vestra Wealth’s Vista

I had never heard of Vestra Wealth before this year’s Hampton Court Palace Flower Show and that’s for one very good reason – I have no wealth to manage. Should I come up trumps in the lottery, I would have no hesitation in beating a path to Vestra’s door, based purely on the strength of […]

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Amsterdam Open Gardens Weekend 2014

We all know Amsterdam as a city arranged along tree-lined canals. Some are fronted with fine houses, others modest ones, but all share similar characteristics – lofty edifices, punctuated by vast windows and topped by fanciful gables. Less well known are the gardens, which linger in the long shadows of the buildings to which they belong. On […]

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Chelsea Flower Show 2014 – My Top 10 Plants

Despite the inevitable fuss over the show gardens, the highlight of my visit to Chelsea Flower Show is always the Great Pavilion. At 12,000 square metres, about the same size as two football pitches, it dominates the show ground. It’s here that many of the greatest nurserymen and horticultural organisations showcase their latest discoveries and cutting-edge projects; […]

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Happy Hostas

A cool, wet start to May has been just what the hostas ordered. Plants in our London garden are emerging lush and leafy, so far untroubled by slugs and snails. The latter are notable by their absence, but I refrain from commenting too loudly lest they hear me and come slithering back. I believe it […]

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A Green Moment

The British Isles are defined by the colour green. It should really be represented on our national flag, or at the least extolled by our national anthem. Perhaps if Scotland goes its own way the country can adopt green in place of the white-on-blue cross of St Andrew. If green was the national colour, our London garden might be deemed […]

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Undecided

The plants in our two gardens seem divided on the question of whether autumn has arrived or not.  The majority are getting a bit too big for their boots, which will cost them dearly when the cold weather finally arrives.  November’s weather has been wet and mild, which has really slowed the onset of any […]

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Satisfaction

I am, quite simply, chuffed to bits with our London garden right now. At times the transformation of our boggy, heavily shaded ‘lawn’ into a woodland garden, complete with winding gravel path, almost defeated us. There was sweat, there was toil and there were tamtrums. Removing sack after sack of clay subsoil laced with lumps […]

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Wallington Hall, Cambo, Northumberland

Northumberland is a wonderful, wild, unspoilt county in the north of England, once the frontier between rampaging Celts and civilised Romans. The region is noted for its landscape of high moorland and forests, and is mostly protected as a National Park. Northumberland is also the most sparsely populated county in England, with only 62 people […]

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Summer Serendipity

The English language is full of wonderful words, if only one can find the opportunity to use them. Thought to be one of the hardest words to translate into other tongues is ‘serendipity’, meaning ‘the accident of finding something good or useful while not specifically searching for it’. And so it was, by taking a […]

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Hampton Court Flower Show 2013: Cool Gardens

It was a hot, dry and dusty Hampton Court Flower Show this year.  I returned home with my blue suede shoes looking more like I had crossed the Sahara than the City of London.  The summer sun made recording the show gardens on camera hard work, everything looking more or less bleached out. A bit […]

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