Strange Fruit

After 3 weeks of part self, part snow-induced exile, I returned to the seaside last night during an icy gale that would’ve had an Inuit running for his furs.  I expected to be welcomed by a few mushy looking plants, but immediately I stepped through the gate there was a disgusting squelch, followed quickly by another.  In […]

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The Road to Lampang

Today I’ve been in northern Thailand. The one and a half hour drive between Chiang Mai and Lampang is made easy and pleasant by an immaculate road, which cuts through low forested hills and verdant countryside. The ability of nature to engulf all is nowhere more evident than here, where warm temperatures and plentiful rain […]

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A Touch of Ginger

Bringing a touch of the tropics to our garden this summer are two members of the ginger family – Hedychium densiflorum “Stephen” and Cautleya spicata. The Cautleya has been crammed into a 14″ pot for three or four years. I meant to re-pot it into a much larger container this spring, but by the time […]

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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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Beautiful Stranger – Beschorneria yuccoides

This weird and wonderful creature is Beschorneria yuccoides, a rare but hardy yucca-like plant, flowering in our seaside garden last year. Its bluish-green leaves and 8ft long flower stalk, covered in bright green and red flowers, made it quite a talking point – even if it did take up half the garden for half the […]

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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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Happy Hostas, Rambling Roses

We are lucky enough to have a small garden at our London home, as well as by the seaside in Kent. On rare weekends when we stay put in the capital, the garden gets some much needed attention. The plot is shady, with woefully heavy, wet soil and poor drainage. This is in marked contrast […]

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