Hello from The Beau

Dan, in a moment of madness, has decided that he would like me to contribute now and again to his Frustrated Gardener blog. As I am also a keen gardener, I decided to accept his kind offer, and so here I am. For me, gardening has always been a pleasure and a joy, unless my […]

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Ten Top Tips for Small, Shady Urban Gardens

Do you live in a town or city centre? Is your garden small, overlooked or in shadow for part of the day? Is digging your soil like cutting bricks or carrying out an archaeological dig? If the answer to any of these questions is ‘yes’ and you’re attempting to make a successful urban garden, then […]

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Chelsea Flower Show 2016-2017: The Morgan Stanley Gardens

  Given the paucity of show gardens at this year’s Chelsea Flower Show, I regret not having written more about last year’s crop, which had a different pedigree altogether. I hope to correct one such oversight now, by comparing and contrasting Morgan Stanley’s two most recent Chelsea gardens, both designed by Chris Beardshaw. This year’s […]

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Daily Flower Candy: Acacia longifolia

Acacia longifolia: long-leaved wattle, acacia trinervis, aroma doble, golden wattle, coast wattle, sallow wattle, Sydney golden wattle   Winter has returned for its last hurrah this week, bestowing cold gales, hail and sleet upon us poor gardeners. As I set off across London’s Hanover Square yesterday, umbrella clenched in hand, I spotted, between the spokes, […]

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Daily Flower Candy: Caltha palustris ssp. polypetala

Caltha palustris ssp. polypetala:  giant marsh marigold, kingcup Forsythia, crocus, narcissus, mahonia, acacia, kerria: have you ever pondered why so many early flowering plants have predominantly yellow flowers? It’s because the colour yellow, whether it be primrose, golden, saffron or lemon, is highly effective in attracting pollinating insects, especially in the low light levels we experience […]

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Getting to Grips – Part 1

For the last couple of days I have been getting to grips with our two gardens. Like time and tide, nature waits for no man when spring arrives. We’ve not experienced a frost yet in either London or Broadstairs so many plants are racing ahead. Curiously, I still have hundreds of narcissi and tulips left […]

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Back on the Bridge

This week a landmark project that I have been following for over two years came one step closer to becoming reality. So close in fact that work on The Garden Bridge over the London’s River Thames could commence as early as this summer. Much has been written about The Garden Bridge during the intervening months […]

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Daily Flower Candy: Iris histrioides ‘George’ AGM

I don’t know about you, but my green fingers fail me when it comes to keeping early spring irises flowering from one season to the next. The tiny bulbs, mainly cultivars and hybrids of Iris reticulata and Iris histrioides, are about the size, shape and colour of a garlic clove (‘reticulata’ refers the the protective […]

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The Atolls of Acton

As well as the lovely parts of London, I get to frequent some pretty grotty ones too. The area around North Acton station is what one might call post-industrial, a soulless collection of cheaply constructed, thoughtlessly designed warehouses with an unloveable countenance. Those that have not already been demolished to make way for bland new […]

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The Very Best of 2015 – A Year in Pictures

The moment I sit down to write my review of the year my mind goes completely blank. How do I sum up the year that was 2015? What happened of any note? Nothing there. A gardener’s optimistic outlook means I am always looking ahead, not back, which in this instance is unhelpful. Thank goodness I […]

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