Kaleidoscopic Colours

I am in Cornwall, where the hydrangea is Queen of Shrubs. No seaside garden is complete without at least one; indeed many are packed with dozens of them, punctuated here and there by windswept cordylines. Love them or hate them, hydrangeas are possessed of some of the most unique flower colourings in the plant world. […]

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Trebah Gardens, Cornwall

On the steep sides of the Helford River in Cornwall lie two famous gardens, as similar in style as the two halves of a 1920’s semi. The likeness is not so surprising when you discover that both were influenced by the same family at a crucial point in their development. The Foxes, a large, wealthy quaker dynasty, created […]

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Old Bladbean Stud, Elham, Kent

Joyful and life affirming is how I’d describe the garden at Old Bladbean Stud. Hidden among the labyrinthine lanes of South East Kent, owner Carol Bruce has created a garden of great substance from a site that was utterly derelict as recently as 2003. It’s a rarity these days to come across a new, large garden […]

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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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Glorious Goodnestone, Part I: Mellow Fruitfulness

I have never been a great fan of autumn. All the untidiness and decay just doesn’t work for me. I generally console myself with planning for spring, whilst others are enjoying the glories of this mellow season. But having missed most of September travelling in hot and steamy Asia, I am finding it hard not […]

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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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