Turning Point

The flowering of the magnolia marks a turning point in our London garden. It’s a fleeting moment, the petals falling just as they appear to be reaching their prime, but it’s a magical moment all the same. Through the winter months our secluded plot is plunged into perpetual shade. The soil remains cold and wet, and there is little cheer. […]

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Daily Flower Candy – Magnolia ‘Apollo’

When it comes to magnolias, rhododendrons and camellias there is nowhere in Britain quite like Cornwall. It’s to our most south-westerly county that many of the great plant hunters sent their discoveries from the forests of India, China, Burma and the Himalayas. The young plants revelled in the damp, mild climate which resembled their mountain homes, slowly growing […]

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Sandling Park Open Day 2014

Spring 2013 arrived fashionably late. This was convenient for us, as we’d been travelling in Bhutan during the prime time for camellias, rhododendrons and azaleas at home. One of the highlights on our return was a visit to Sandling Park, Kent, which opens just once a year in aid of Pilgrim’s Hospices.   Sandling’s gardens […]

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A Spring Spectrum – Sandling Park, Kent

There are those that frown upon the lusty delights of rhododendrons, camellias and azaleas. I am not one of them. I expect these naysayers are the same folk who dislike orchids, with their similar flambuoyance and tendencies towards artifice. Yes, rhododendrons are big, bold and brazen, but they offer up colour aplenty in saturated hues […]

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Daily Flower Candy: Double-Flowered Azaleas

Normally, I’d say two doses of Daily Flower Candy in one day would be bad for one’s health, but I couldn’t go to bed without sharing at least one of the sugary delights from today’s visit to Sandling Park. The display of rhododendrons, magnolias and azaleas was absolutely stunning, the late spring sunshine bringing everything […]

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The Savill Garden, Windsor Great Park.

Lysichiton camtschatcensis, The Western Skunk Cabbage. Last weekend the sun came out. For those of you who are not British, sunny weather, even when it’s still cold, means the UK population suddenly feels compelled to wear as little clothing as possible and bare acres of pasty white flesh. It’s not a pretty sight. Happily another […]

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Flowers in the Forest – Over the Dochu La Pass

Much of the driving in Bhutan is tortuous and faintly terrifying. It’s best to pay as little attention as possible to where the car wheels are going and distract yourself with plant spotting instead. Imagine driving along a farm track through one of the great Cornish gardens like Trebah or Glendurgan, add a few dozen […]

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