Getting Away From It All

Like many folk, we’ve barely spent a night away from home since the New Year. I love The Watch House with all my heart, but being there is not a holiday. Everywhere I look there’s a job to be done: a plant to be watered, a bulb to be planted, a wall to be painted […]

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True Blue

  There is nothing more irritating for a gardener than to strive unsuccessfully to cultivate a plant, only to discover that someone who apparently makes no effort whatsoever is able to grow that plant to perfection.  It happens all the time, which is even more exasperating. This frustrating phenomenon is nothing to do with plants […]

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In Praise of Foliage

Gardeners the world over are obsessed with flowers. I am no exception. As well as being beautiful to look at, flowers are a sign of success, something one can measure a garden and its gardener by. Along with fruit and vegetables, flowers are part of the horticultutal triumvirate we choose to judge competitively, always striving […]

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All Change!

They say a change is as good as a rest. Normally I’d agree with that, but the amount of turmoil we’ve had through June has left me not so much in need of a rest but intensive care. It would not have been so bad had it not been for the silly amount I’ve been […]

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Bursting Forth on Boxing Day

This Christmas our friends Travis and Beth at Trevoole sent us a copy of ‘Dear Friend and Gardener’, a collection of correspondence between distinguished gardeners Beth Chatto and the late, great Christopher Lloyd.  I got stuck in immediately, relishing the robust exchange of opinions on such matters as organic gardening, whether to water during a […]

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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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Hampton Court Flower Show 2013: My Top 10 Plants

Like a horticultural fashion show, Britain’s flower shows provide the launch pad for new ideas in gardening and the latest introductions from breeders and plant hunters. The Hampton Court Palace Flower Show is the world’s biggest, and after Chelsea one of the most prestigious. Unlike Chelsea, exhibitors can sell their wares direct to the general […]

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Daily Flower Candy: Hydrangea arborescens ‘Annabelle’

I’ve been away for a couple of days in Germany, enjoying the leafy surroundings of Bad Driburg, a pretty, rural spa town. Perfectly suited to the bucolic setting was Hydrangea arborescens ‘Annabelle’, planted in abundance around my hotel and in neighbouring gardens. The leaves are wonderfully soft and felty, providing the perfect foil for the […]

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The Very Best of 2012 – A Year In Pictures

Where has 2012 gone? Despite so many memorable occasions – the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, the Olympics, our trip to beautiful Burma, the birth of this blog (!?) – the year has flown by and is almost at an end.  Reflecting on 2012 provides a precious reminder of how lucky we are to have our health […]

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Counting Down to Christmas

Hallelujah! With only 10 days to go until Christmas, the scaffolding is down and we have light in the flat again. The garden is, however, a disaster area, strewn with windblown carrier bags, stray coffee cups and other builders’ flotsam and jetsam. The lawn, which is normally a quagmire, defies any kind of positive description. […]

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