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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Daily Flower Candy: Zephyranthes carinata 

  Zephyranthes carinata : rosepink zephyr lily, pink rain lily, Indian crocus The parts of China I’m required to visit on my buying trips are not what I would describe as attractive. However, there has been an appreciable greening in some areas which has begun to mask some of the brutal and unsympathetic architecture so […]

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Watering in the Rain

  “I need to water the garden before it rains!”: I know this sounds ridiculous (it looks even sillier) but rushing to wet the garden before storm-clouds break is surprisingly necessary if you garden, as I do, in containers. The fact is that rain is pretty ineffective when it comes to quenching generously packed pots. […]

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Soaked

  “It never rains, but it pours” is an English expression which means that when troubles come, they all come together. This week the phrase might have been applied literally to the deluge we experienced in East Kent. Dramatic thunder storms on Monday night were followed by almost 24 hours of persistent, but very welcome […]

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Tears

“Don’t be ashamed to weep; ’tis right to grieve. Tears are only water, and flowers, trees, and fruit cannot grow without water. But there must be sunlight also. A wounded heart will heal in time, and when it does, the memory and love of our lost ones is sealed inside to comfort us.” ― Brian […]

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Signs of Spring

  I’ve been out of town this weekend, enjoying the delights of Surrey’s innumerable hostelries in the company of my university friends. It’s the 19th year on the trot we’ve held a spring reunion. The occasion took place on Good Friday until we grew up and family commitments started to take precedence. Now we are […]

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Omens

  “I laugh because I must not cry. That is all. That is all.” Abraham Lincoln To say our current travails with the building project have taken their toll would be an understatement. At times over the last few weeks I have just caught myself before having an attack of the vapours. After taking a […]

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Daily Flower Candy: Hosta “Halcyon” AGM

Alright, enough now, all this wet stuff has been marvellous but where’s the sun? This time last year it was scorching – so scorching in fact that my day at Hampton Court Palace Flower Show was made bearable only by copious ice-cold Laurent Perrier and the good humour of my heat-hardened Aussie friend Helen. Happily, […]

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Standing Room Only

  With the garden at Polegate Cottage temporarily occupied by builders and tradesmen, I am experiencing an explosion in the plant population next door at The Watch House. Having cuttings, seedlings and freshly sprouted dahlias on the terrace and kitchen worktop was tolerable at first, but those tiny seedlings and cuttings are now vigorous young […]

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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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