Plant Portraits: Aeonium arboreum ‘Zwartkop’

Succulent plants are not everyone’s cup of tea, but one which attracted a lot of admiring glances when we opened our garden for the National Gardens Scheme was Aeonium arboreum ‘Zwartkop’. It’s hardly surprising given its height (hence arboreum, meaning ‘tree-like’) and the colour of the fleshy leaves, which are quite unlike the average houseleek. The […]

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Triumph Over Adversity – Tresco Abbey Garden

When, in 1834, the handsome Augustus Smith secured the lease for the Isles of Scilly, I wonder if he was aware of the legacy he was to leave behind? The son of a wealthy Hertfordshire family he had the resources and energy required of the newly styled Lord Proprietor. He set about improving employment and education […]

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Wild Tresco

Twenty eight miles from mainland Britain, the Isles of Scilly offer migrant birds first landfall on their arduous journeys across the Atlantic. The Isles have been divorced from the rest of Cornwall since the last Ice Age, and from one another since Roman times. Of the 145 islands and islets only five are currently inhabited, […]

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Daily Flower Candy – Echeveria lilacina

We’ve spent the last two days on the Isles of Scilly, a tiny archipelago of islands off the southwestern tip of England. The climate is famously mild but occasionally wild. This suits plants that like to bask frost-free in the sun, but which have tough hides when the salt laden winds blow in off the […]

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Daily Flower Candy: Narcissus ‘Soleil d’Or’

I am used to grim weather on my birthday, but today’s meteorological maelstrom has been especially miserable. Yet out in the Atlantic on the Isles of Scilly delicate, highly-scented narcissi have been blooming since November. They begin with the multi-headed Tazettas, including these cheerful Narcissus ‘Soleil d’Or’ which I sent to my sister on the […]

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