Chelsea Flower Show 2018: O-mo-te-na-shi no NIWA – The Hospitality Garden ホスピタリティガーデン

  Three cheers for Kazuyuki Ishihara: another Chelsea gold medal to his name and ‘Best in Show’ for his Artisan Garden entitled O-mo-te-na-shi no NIWA. Although the charismatic Japanese landscape artist is now as much a part of the Chelsea Flower Show as Pimms, the Queen or improbably large delphiniums, we know relatively little about him. […]

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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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Planting Containers for Winter Colour

January can be a bleak month for us gardeners, our outdoor spaces painfully devoid of colour and working conditions far from ideal. The less hardened among us find solace pottering in the greenhouse, browsing through seed catalogues or hunting out the pointed tips of emerging spring bulbs. However with a little planning it’s possible to enjoy […]

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Maybe Moss?

Our garden table in Broadstairs has always been graced by central pot or trough of flowers. We opt for hardy cyclamen or violas in winter, followed by narcissi and tulips in spring. These make way for begonias, coleus, felicia or petunias in summer and then the cycle begins again. There’s usually a fresh pot planted up and waiting in […]

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The Very Best of 2014 – A Year In Pictures

I embark on my review of 2014 with a degree of trepidation, as this year did not turn out to be quite as joyful as I hoped it might be. The two preceding years were gloriously packed with exotic travel and big events, so in hindsight 2014 was probably never going to live up to expectations. There have […]

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Alive and Kicking (健在で)

Those of you wondering where The Frustrated Gardener has got to need not worry. I am alive and kicking in China, having just been to a magnificent Japanese teppanyaki restaurant with Taiwanese hosts. Consequently I am feeling thoroughly indulged and very international. There has been no let up in the schedule so, alas, no botanising, which grieves […]

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Gathering Moss

I spent yesterday touring the garden centres of Holland, looking for Christmas inspiration. I found it in spades, from delicious Oliebollen (literally oil-balls, rather like a spherical doughnut spiked with raisins), to magnificent displays of poinsettia, orchids and Christmas trees. What was especially lovely was the range of natural materials for sale – holly berries, […]

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A Floral Cure

Apart from having a hectic work week, I’ve also been struggling with blogger’s block. Lots to write about but just not finding the requisite levels of inspiration. Finally the spell has been broken by the talented florists from Hibya Kadan in Japan, who have staged an exquisite exhibit at the Maison et Objet show in […]

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