Oh I do Like to be Beside the Seaside

  The weather this weekend has been far too nice for sitting in front of a computer writing. Instead I’ve been watering the garden, paddling in the sea and drinking Aperol Spritz whilst people-watching on the sea front. Weekends like this are precious commodities, not to be wasted indoors. Cleaning, tidying, answering e-mails and paying […]

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Daily Flower Candy: Osteospermum

  As indispensable plants for seaside gardens go, ostespermums are high on the list, and most certainly in the top ten. They are low-growing, sun-loving sub-shrubs which produce a profusion of large, daisy-like flowers in spring. Modern varieties continue to bloom throughout the summer and autumn, but lack the poise and elegance of plain old […]

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Daily Flower Candy: Acacia longifolia

Acacia longifolia: long-leaved wattle, acacia trinervis, aroma doble, golden wattle, coast wattle, sallow wattle, Sydney golden wattle   Winter has returned for its last hurrah this week, bestowing cold gales, hail and sleet upon us poor gardeners. As I set off across London’s Hanover Square yesterday, umbrella clenched in hand, I spotted, between the spokes, […]

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Daily Flower Candy: Crithmum maritimum

Crithmum maritimum: rock samphire, sea fennel, sea asparagus, sea bean, sea pickle, crest marine “There is a cliff whose high and bending head looks fearfully in the confined deep… The crows and choughs that wing the midway air scarce so gross as beetles; halfway down hangs one that gathers samphire, dreadful trade!” William Shakespeare Revelling […]

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Daily Flower Candy: Smyrnium olusatrum

We have much to thank the Romans for – libraries, hot baths, straight roads, aqueducts and stinging nettles among them – but over time we have forgotten the delights of Smyrnium olusatrum, otherwise known as Alexanders. A native of the Mediterranean, Alexanders arrived on our shores with the Romans. The invaders used this versatile plant, with a flavour hovering somewhere […]

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Getting the Heebie-jeebies

It’s easy to overlook the humble hebe; it’s tough, resilient and goes about its business without any fuss or bother. That’s why idle landscapers and cash-strapped parks departments love it, unwittingly rendering the whole genus ‘uncool’ in gardening circles. But when the chips are down, hebes can be relied upon to do their stuff, tolerating salt-laden winds, pollution and unpromising soils. […]

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Daily Flower Candy: Echium candicans

Travel agents report that the second week in January is the peak week for holiday bookings. This is hardly surprising given the short days, miserable weather and deflating prospect of returning to work after the Christmas holidays. Tomorrow, January 19th, has been named ‘Blue Monday’ – officially the most depressing day of the year. To beat […]

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