New Plants At The Watch House: August 2019

Both gardens were overflowing with plants long before August arrived. There was a point at which getting from the garden gate to the front door was such an ordeal that even The Beau started to lose patience with me. At the end of July I reluctantly declared that I was going on plant diet, or, […]

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Story of Flowers – Azuma Makoto

  If you have delved into my essential reading list, you will already know that I find the work of floral artist Azuma Makoto breathtaking, to the point of being moved to tears by it. In a world where one frequently feels one has seen it all before, his work is a revelation, encouraging us […]

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A Growing Obsession

The promise of a new library has fuelled my growing obsession with books related to gardens and gardening. My Christmas list is a roll call of titles old and new, including Richard Mabey’s “The Cabaret of Plants“, Frank Lawley and Val Cobbins’ “Herterton House” and the late, great Will Giles’ “Encyclopaedia of Exotic Plants for Temperate Climates“. The […]

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Polegate Cottage: Three Months On

It’s been three months since we bought the house next door. The idea is to convert The Watch House and Polegate Cottage into one home, giving us a library, an additional bathroom and two more bedrooms for guests. We need to make a good job of it as we might never be able to afford […]

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Daily Flower Candy: Clematis vitalba

Clematis vitalba: Old man’s beard, traveller’s joy, virgin’s bower, ladies’ bower, love vine, traveller’s ivy. When the feathery seed heads of Clematis vitalba start to appear in the hedgerows, one knows autumn can’t be far away. Walking along the clifftops yesterday I observed this rampant climber piling over railings and smothering less vigorous neighbours. In folklore, old man’s […]

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New Look, Same Frustrated Gardener

I began The Frustrated Gardener as an experiment. I wanted to challenge myself to keep up with technology, rekindle my deep-seated love of plants and create something beautiful and interesting for others to enjoy. Unintentionally it’s become a record of what I did when, and a means of connecting with hundreds of talented gardeners and plant lovers. Since 2012 I’ve […]

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Walmer Castle Gardens

Like fry through the holes in a fisherman’s net, certain gardens I visit manage to escape being written about on my blog. It’s not that these gardens are too small, simply that the day’s catch is so large that I can’t get to them in a timely manner. The gardens at Walmer Castle are a case […]

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Summer Lovin’

There have been precious few moments over the last week for composing wise words on gardening matters. I am not about to fob you off with something I’ve rushed, so will instead treat you to a vision of what a hot summer day looks like in this neck of the woods. In nine years of […]

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In The Garden This Week: Clashing Colours

Royal blue and orange, canary yellow and purple, candy pink and red, fresh lime and magenta – our coastal garden is packed with clashing colours during August. I love, cherish and celebrate them all. Whether the combinations are technically right or a little bit wrong, who cares? They are fleeting moments that perhaps only I […]

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Beaded

Its been a sultry week here in London. Moisture has been heavy in the air, reluctant to fall, forming a dull haze over the Thames valley. Reluctantly this afternoon a white sky found the energy to form a thin drizzle. In the garden every leaf and flower is finely beaded with water, deftly poised, waiting for […]

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