Dixter Addiction

I’d missed one too many plant fairs at Great Dixter, so I was not about to forgo another. We made plans, reorganised others, kept an eagle eye on the weather, confirmed that dogs were welcome and set off for Sussex shortly after breakfast on Saturday. A smooth drive took us through some of the prettiest […]

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The Watch House NGS Open Weekend 2019

And relax! After several weeks of intensive preparation, another National Gardens Scheme open weekend lies behind us. Rather like Christmas there’s an almighty build-up and then the event itself is over in the blink of an eyelid. In total we welcomed 440 visitors to The Watch House and raised just over £2000 for NGS charities. […]

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‘Cherry’ Ingram: The Englishman who saved Japan’s Blossoms

If you’ve been reading the newspapers or listening to BBC Radio 4’s Book of the Week programme recently, you will already be acquainted with one of Britain’s most interesting but perhaps least well-known plant collectors, Collingwood ‘Cherry’ Ingram (30 October 1880 – 19 May 1981). Following a genteel and somewhat quirky Edwardian upbringing in Westgate-on-Sea, […]

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Open for the National Garden Scheme: Denne Manor Farm

  I’m taking a short break from my Chelsea reporting to bring you news of a superb new garden opening for the National Garden Scheme here in Kent this weekend. I visited Denne Manor Farm back in late April on what can politely be described as an unseasonably cold and dreary Sunday. Being partially urbanised […]

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Watergate House, Fordwich: A Modern Romantic Garden

The town of Fordwich has the distinction of being the smallest in England. Situated on the River Stour, which connects Canterbury with the English Channel, it was to Fordwich that the Normans shipped tonnes of pale Caen stone to build the city’s cathedral. At Watergate House the precious cargo arrived safely on English soil after […]

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34 Cross Road, Walmer: A Garden For All Senses

Living and gardening by the coast, I find my senses become attuned to a very specific set of sensations: the sound of seagulls, restless wind and tourists dispossessed of their volume control; the smell of seaweed and fish and chips; the feel of salt in my hair and sun on my cheeks. So when I […]

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Garden Appreciation: Sweetbriar, Ash, Kent

  When a new garden opens for the National Garden Scheme it's always exciting, but when that garden has been created by two professional gardeners with a passion for rare and exotic plants it's certain to thrill. As soon as Steve Edney and his partner Louise Dowle begin to talk, their infectious enthusiasm spreads to […]

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The Merry Month of May

O THE month of May, the merry month of May, So frolic, so gay, and so green, so green, so green! O, and then did I unto my true love say, Sweet Peg, thou shalt be my Summer’s Queen. Thomas Dekker (1572-1632)   May is my favourite month, and I always say that if a […]

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The Great Dixter Dozen

  It’s rare that I sacrifice commentary for imagery, but as I look back over the photographs I took at Great Dixter last weekend, I can’t help feeling they speak for themselves. And, being without my laptop, I’m also going to publish them as they were taken, with minimal enhancement and just a brief description. […]

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