Gold Medal Gardens – North America

As the “Golden Games” draw to a close there is a sense of great pride and celebration in the UK.  We have diving and the 5,000 metres to look forward to tonight, so perhaps Team GB has time for a final gold medal flourish.  I for one will be feeling just a little bit bereft […]

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Butterflies in Birchington – Quex Park, Kent

As is so often the case, the things that are on your own doorstep are the first to be overlooked.  And so, somehow, we have never managed to visit the house and garden which is probably closest to us – Quex Park near Birchington-on-Sea.  After 6 years we thought it was high time, so we […]

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The Perfect Cure for a Hangover? Easton Walled Gardens, Lincolnshire

Having partied until the small hours, and feeling just a little bit hung over, we weren’t exactly sure if we were up to getting out of bed today, let alone visiting gardens. However, the sun was out and there was a nice warm breeze, so we stopped half way home to blow the remaining cobwebs […]

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Felley Priory, Nottinghamshire

It’s always good to get away from the big smoke and better still to have the opportunity to visit new gardens in unfamiliar places. So on our way up to Yorkshire for our friends’ wedding we took a very short detour off the M1 to visit Felley Priory, a garden of about 2.5 acres. The […]

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The Salutation, Sandwich (Part 2)

In amongst the exuberant herbaceous borders and hot, tropical plantings of The Salutation in Kent there were also some carefully considered planting combinations to be found. I particularly liked this very photogenic pairing of Echinacea “Fatal Attraction” and an undentified ornamental grass, perhaps a species of Stipa. The dark stems and blood-red flowers of the […]

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Sensational Sissinghurst (Part 2 – White Heat)

The White Garden at Sissinghurst is arguably one of the most admired and imitated gardens in the world.  It began as an idea in 1939, all thoughts of which were sadly overshadowed by the War.  Then in 1949 Vita resurrected her vision for a white and silver planting, including santolina, cineraria and rabbit’s ears, with regal lilies […]

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Sensational Sissinghurst (Part 1 – Wall Flowers)

The gardens of Sissinghurst Castle in Kent must be amond the best known in England, if not the whole of Europe.  They are the creation of two people, Vita Sackville-West and her husband Harold Nicholson, who arrived at the property in 1930.  Over a period of 32 years they worked together on this gentle masterpiece, […]

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Other People’s Gardens No.2 – Goodnestone Park, Kent (Part 2)

One thing all this rain and cool weather has been good for is prolonging the flowering period of spring and early summer plants.  Back in March my daffodils seemed to go on for weeks, when in other years a hot spell has sent them over in a matter of days.  So it was a nice surprise […]

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Other People’s Gardens No.2 – Goodnestone Park, Kent (Part 1)

Despite the showers, we set off after lunch for one of east Kent’s finest gardens.  That could be read as faint praise, given east Kent has a complete dearth of good gardens open to the public.  However, Goodnestone is a fabulous, intimate garden which is at its absolute best this month.   It’s a garden that steers a happy […]

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Other People’s Gardens No.1 – Wasserburg Anholt, Germany

This week, work took me to the border between Holland and Germany, and the magnificent Wasserburg Anholt in Isselburg. The castle, which appears to float in its expansive moat and is approached by drawbridge, is everything fairytales are made of. Partly destroyed at the end of the Second World War, the restoration took 30 years. […]

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