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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A Sight for Sore Eyes

  I’ve been back from China for 6 days and still the jet-lag drags on. At about 3pm every day my vision starts to blur and I begin to feel overwhelmingly tired. It’s because my body thinks it’s 11pm, which is almost past my bedtime. Then in the morning I am wide awake at about […]

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Pretty in Pink: Podranea ricasoliana 

Draped elegantly over the high walls surrounding Marrakech’s wealthier villas and riads is an elegant climber known variously as pink trumpet vine, Queen of Sheba, Port St. John’s creeper and Zimbabwe creeper. As the latter suggests, Podranea ricasoliana, as it’s less attractively known in latin, hails from Southern Africa. I naturally assumed that there would be […]

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Daily Flower Candy: Colchicum ‘Waterlily’

These flowers may faintly resemble those of a Nymphaea, but here the resemblance of Colchicum ‘Waterlily’ to an aquatic plant ends. Like other colchicums, the flowers of C. ‘Waterlily’ emerge naked, buxom and blushing from fecund, cinnamon-coloured bulbs each autumn. They prefer a well-drained soil, which remains moist rather than wet in summer, and full sun or light shade. […]

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Daily Flower Candy: Amaryllis belladonna

Whether it’s candy floss, baby, lipstick or rose, when it comes to autumn flowering bulbs, shades of pink are decidedly de rigueur. Right now there are colchicums, schizostylis, crinums, cyclamen and nerines, all emerging blushing and bright when earlier flowers are starting to fade. Queen amongst these rubicund beauties is Amaryllis belladonna, a slightly tender bulb native to South Africa but […]

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Daily Flower Candy: Crocus tomassinianus ‘Roseus’

Many of us will be familiar with diminutive Crocus tomassinianus, which pops up through lawns and borders in early spring, leaping from the sward like flames from a gas hob. The species seeds itself freely, but is easily trounced by heavy weather. This weekend I’ve been introduced to a more robust pink form, Crocus tomassinianus ‘Roseus’. […]

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Daily Flower Candy: Camellia ‘Cornish Spring’

So often winter flowering shrubs are big on fragrance but lacking in flower power. The likes of Lonicera x purpusii, Viburnum x bodnantense and Sarcococca confusa are all very well at close quarters, but their small, pale flowers would render them unremarkable if it were not for their potent scent. Camellias largely eschew fragrance in […]

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Daily Flower Candy: Geranium maderense

The last plant I expected to be blooming over the New Year was Geranium maderense, the Maderia Cranesbill.  Clearly confused, a few shocking-pink flowers are braving the elements, sheltered below an umbrella of huge glossy leaves.  The foliage is faring less well.  Nestled in a gap by the front steps the leaves are in the […]

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Goodnestone Park in Spring

Those of you who have been following The Frustrated Gardener for a while will recall that I wrote about Goodnestone Park shortly after starting out on my blogging adventure.  Down here in East Kent there’s a shortage of good gardens to visit, so when we feel the need to get out, it’s often here that […]

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Pretty in Pink

In spite of the biting wind, these fragile pink blossoms of Prunus and Camellia put on a brave show this weekend at Goodnestone Park, Kent. Surely spring can only be days away now?

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