Getting to Grips with Hardy Orchids

I can see a new addiction coming from a mile off, so on the whole I steer well clear of orchids. Over the ages thousands of plant collectors have been consumed, even broken, by their passion for orchids and I do not wish to join their ranks. Hence they are the only family of plants […]

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April Showers

Unpredictability is the name of the game when it comes to British weather, but one old proverb certainly promises to ring true in 2019: ‘March winds and April showers bring forth May flowers.’ Whilst the warmth and vitality of May still feel a long way off, March and April are fulfilling their time-honoured roles as […]

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RHS London Orchid Show & Plant Fair 2018

Orchids are extraordinary flowers. They display remarkable diversity in colour, size and form. Some are scented, some are designed to entrap insects and few, like vanilla (Vanilla planifolia), produce edible seed pods. Among the 28,000 currently known and accepted orchid species, many are cultivated and inevitably there are still new species to be found in […]

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Golden Wonder

  This solitary, banana-shaped bud belongs to the one and only yellow pleione species, P. forrestii, just one of which has found its way into my fledgling collection. It’s a wonder that it’s there at all. The first pseudobulb I ordered got lost in the post; hardly surprising given its diminutive size. The second almost […]

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Dazzling Disas

  Being a man of the world, it takes quite a lot to impress me. Yet Dave Parkinson’s display of South African disa orchids at the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show never fails to take my breath away. The shocking vitality of the shades displayed in the flowers of these remarkable little plants is off […]

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Chelsea Flower Show 2016: The Viking Cruises Mekong Garden

  For some reason the woodland ride that connects the Chelsea Flower Show’s Artisan Gardens seemed particularly quiet this year. On previous visits this pleasantly shaded route has been thronged with visitors, to the extent that the grass bank opposite has needed to be reinforced to protect it from wear and tear. This year there […]

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Plants and Peace on The Peak

One of the many wonderful things about writing this blog is that I am slowly building up an invaulable record of what I did and when. Before I set off this morning for Hong Kong’s highest point, I looked back at my post ‘A Walk Around The Peak’ published in October 2013. I recalled then […]

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Chelsea Flower Show 2015 – The Hidden Beauty of Kranji

In 2005, Singapore announced plans to distinguish itself as a ‘City in a Garden’. The projects that followed, such as The Gardens by the Bay, have attracted global attention, rivalling our very own Eden Project in terms of scale and ambition. The city’s long established botanical gardens have always been one of my favourites, brimming with lush […]

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Spring Flower Candy: Pleione formosana

I will be devoting a post to a different spring flower each day this week, and they don’t come much more special than Pleione formosana. I had always presumed these to be tricky customers, reserved for the kind of gardeners that keep pristine alpine houses, but after picking up three plants for a song at a car boot […]

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Trevoole Farm – National Gardens Festival Weekend 2014

This weekend over five hundred gardens participating in the National Gardens Scheme opened their gates to raise money for nursing and caring charities, including Macmillan Cancer Support, Marie Curie Cancer Care and Carers Trust. One of those was Trevoole Farm, Cornwall, fast becoming my adopted home in the South West. I was there to help out and […]

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