Magnolia × veitchii ‘Peter Veitch’

My ‘proper’ camera, a now rather dated DSLR, has been in a cupboard since September. I know it takes better photographs than an iPhone, but when conditions are less than ideal I just can’t be bothered to lug around a camera and a bag full of lenses. Fine spells over weekend, combined with an itinerary […]

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Dentists and Indulgences: The Return from Chelsea

  There is nothing quite like a visit to the Chelsea Flower Show to galvanise one into action vis-à-vis one’s own garden. I returned home on Tuesday night brimming with ideas but with an ominous stuffed-up feeling. I assumed this was related to the notorious Chelsea cough, only to find that by Wednesday morning I […]

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Trewidden, Cornwall: Anything But Magnolia

It’s been a cruel winter for spring flowering shrubs and trees. Today at Trewidden in Cornwall we witnessed the impact of subzero temperatures and six inches of snow on gardens that rarely experience such harshness. Rhodendron buds and tree fern fronds stood blackened and lifeless against a benign blue sky. Yet beneath the burnt and […]

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Running to Stand Still

  With April bright on the horizon I am already having to get a wiggle on to keep up with what needs doing in our garden. Within a fortnight that wiggle will have become a jog, and by early May I’ll be sprinting just to stand still. I feel exhausted just thinking about it. At […]

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Running Late

  As someone who usually extols the virtues of timeliness, I have been letting myself down rather a lot lately. I planted my spring-flowering bulbs late (some just a fortnight ago) and now I am behind with ordering my summer-flowering bulbs too. Between October and late March my work / life balance tips firmly in favour […]

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Daily Flower Candy: Magnolia doltsopa

Magnolia doltsopa: Michelia doltsopa, sweet michelia There are trees and then there are trees. Queens among their ranks are the magnolias; strong, majestic, ebullient beauties that grace our gardens with buxom, florid flowers each spring. A well-grown magnolia in full bloom is a thing of breathtaking beauty, so ravishing that one can scarcely believe such […]

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Deck the Halls

One of the things I love most about Christmas is festooning our London flat with greenery and flowers. I adore the smell of fresh-cut pine and white lilies, and the idea of bringing the outdoors in. Decorating our open-plan space is a much-anticipated event. To get it all done I like to start as advent gets underway with a few simple, not […]

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Blooming Bosvigo

Very little trumps the romanticism of a well-made woodland garden. Lush, informal and unbridled it will capture the heart in its quest to mimic nature. Every spring, plants which might never find themselves partnered in the wild mingle effortlessly in dappled shade, enjoying a fleeting glimpse of the heavens. To my mind the creation of a woodland garden is a […]

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Castle Drogo, Devon

My favourite architect by a country mile is Edwin Lutyens. Often described as a genius, he is most lauded for his Surrey country houses, war memorials and his masterplan for Imperial New Delhi. Castle Drogo in Devon is one of Lutyen’s lesser known and farthest flung masterpieces, and one I could never tire of visiting. […]

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Daily Flower Candy: Magnolia x soulangeana

Say what you like about suburbia, but when it comes to spring, it beats the city hands down. Across the country, in avenues, closes and crescents Magnolia x soulangeana is doing its thing. The otherwise naked branches plastered in blush white flowers, this tree only disappoints if frosts come very late. Generally considered to prefer […]

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