Wonder Walls Part II

  Each time I return to the West Country I am reminded just how damp it is compared to Kent. A crude comparison of averages would tell you that twice as much rain falls in Devon or Cornwall versus Kent or East Anglia. On the surface, the impact of rainfall on landscape and nature is […]

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Daily Flower Candy: Asarum delavayi ‘Giant’

  Asarum delavayi ‘Giant’*: Giant Wild Ginger, Panda face ginger As an antidote to my post about Vita Sackville-West’s macabre ‘Box of the Dead’ earlier this week, I thought I’d share a happier tale. Regular readers will know that I often purchase plants without any real idea where I am going to plant them. It’s […]

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Daily Flower Candy: Iris confusa

Iris confusa: bamboo iris, 扁竹蘭 As the fig, olive and bay have matured, our seaside garden has become partly shaded. Where once plants basked in full sun, there are now spots that remain in cool shadow for most of the day. Having fought against the prevailing conditions for a few seasons, I have seen sense […]

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First Timers

The longer one has to wait for something (apart from death, visits from the mother-in-law and tax return forms) the more exciting it is when it finally happens. This certainly applies to gardening. Happily, several plants at The Watch House have chosen 2014 for their floral debut, and there has been much anticipation as the unfamiliar buds emerge and […]

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Daily Flower Candy: Sarcococca ruscifolia

Venturing out of the terrace doors this morning I am hit, full frontal, by the scent of Christmas Box, Sarcococca ruscifolia. The fragrance coming from the feathery white flowers is sweet, honeyed, almost sickly. Just one tiny sprig in the kitchen is filling the house with its delicious scent as I write this post. Unassuming […]

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Other People’s Gardens No.2 – Goodnestone Park, Kent (Part 2)

One thing all this rain and cool weather has been good for is prolonging the flowering period of spring and early summer plants.  Back in March my daffodils seemed to go on for weeks, when in other years a hot spell has sent them over in a matter of days.  So it was a nice surprise […]

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Aromatic Arums

One of my favourite flowers at this time of the year is the timeless arum lily, Zantedeschia aethiopica. Not actually a lily at all, this is an aroid, with a brilliant white spathe surrounding a pale yellow spadix (the pointy-uppy bit!). The latin name might also suggest origins in Ethiopia but, whilst African, it actually […]

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The Colour Green

Nothing brings me greater pleasure in May and early June than all the beautiful shades of green in the garden.  Those precious moments before the colours darken are normally fleeting, but this year’s cooler weather seems to have preserved them a little longer. For me, translucent beech leaves emerging in the sunlight are the ultimate […]

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