Plant Profile: Lilium ‘Whistler’

This spring I potted up more lilies than ever before. My intention was to bridge that awkward gap between the tulips fading and the first dahlias flowering with their bold, bright, often scented blooms. However, as is so often the case, nature had different ideas, resulting in both lilies and dahlias coming into bloom simultaneously […]

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10 Easy Flowering Bulbs to Plant For Summer Colour

  There are few plants as rewarding and foolproof to grow as those that sprout from bulbs, corms, tubers and rhizomes. Among their number we can count favourites such as gladioli, begonias, lilies, dahlias, amaryllis and nerines, alongside lesser known, exotic beauties such as habranthus (Brazilian copperlily), gloriosa (glory lily), eucomis (pineapple lily), eremurus (foxtail […]

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Midsummer’s Day Dreaming

  What an extraordinary spell of weather we have been having. It’s so hot that I am relieved to be returning home to the coast every evening to enjoy a gin and tonic or glass of chilled rose, as far from the capital’s oppressive heat as I can get. There is always a faint breeze […]

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Daily Flower Candy: Lilium martagon ‘Arabian Knight’

  Phew! What a scorcher the weekend was. Whilst I had the right idea on Saturday, spending much of the day at my friend’s beach hut in Whitstable sipping chilled rosé, on Sunday I needed to crack on with the garden. I went outside early, before the sun arrived in the Gin and Tonic Garden, […]

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Hangers On

One of the challenges when blogging on the subject of gardening is striking a balance between ‘doing’ and writing about ‘doing’. Usually this is a particular issue between April and October when everything is growing like topsy, but this year the ‘doing’ has rolled straight into November with no sign of abating. Like a truculent […]

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Beaded

Its been a sultry week here in London. Moisture has been heavy in the air, reluctant to fall, forming a dull haze over the Thames valley. Reluctantly this afternoon a white sky found the energy to form a thin drizzle. In the garden every leaf and flower is finely beaded with water, deftly poised, waiting for […]

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Daily Flower Candy: Lilium ‘Scheherezade’

The number of occasions during the day when I feel I am starting to lose my marbles is increasing steadily, to a point where I genuinely wonder if senility might be imminent. I have always been a list-writer but have reached a stage where noting down ‘to dos’ has become a necessity rather than a safety […]

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Storm and Pestilence

I should have known better than to mention either of the words in the title of tonight’s post as, lo and behold, we were delivered a month’s rain on Friday and there’s been more of the same today. Both times the wet stuff was accompanied by gale-forced winds, first from the north (noisy, but not too troublesome) […]

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The Winds of Change

I’ve just come in from the garden, where the temperature has dropped dramatically since lunchtime. A brisk, rain-laden breeze has whipped up, carrying away summer’s last whispers. I fear autumn is finally here. This means one thing – it’s time to prepare the garden for winter and spring. Stoic dahlias are plodding on, albeit with slightly smaller flowers […]

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Daily Flower Candy: Lilium ‘Kushi Maya’

‘Lilies in October!?’ I hear you exclaim. Maybe in the southern hemisphere, but not in England, surely? Well yes actually, these wonderful, fragrant flowers are in full bloom in our coastal garden now. The reason? The bulbs were purchased at Hampton Court Palace Flower Show in early July and have taken until now to grow […]

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