Chelsea Flower Show 2016-2017: The Morgan Stanley Gardens

  Given the paucity of show gardens at this year’s Chelsea Flower Show, I regret not having written more about last year’s crop, which had a different pedigree altogether. I hope to correct one such oversight now, by comparing and contrasting Morgan Stanley’s two most recent Chelsea gardens, both designed by Chris Beardshaw. This year’s […]

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Chelsea Flower Show 2017: Chengdu Silk Road Garden

  When I go to the Chelsea Flower Show, I want to see flowers. Whilst in the Great Pavilion this expectation is met in spades, occasionally some of the garden designers forget and start getting a bit too green, or worse, brown. This is fine, but don’t expect me to like it. For all its […]

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Chelsea Flower Show 2017: Best in Show – The M&G Garden

  Well slap my thigh and call me Mildred, James Basson won gold and landed this year’s Best in Show for his monumental Maltese quarry garden. Gold was, as I predicted, inevitable, and Best in Show a strong likelihood given the brazen ambition of this project. When James Basson commits to an idea, he sees […]

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Chelsea Flower Show 2017: Beneath a Mexican Sky

  Ah, the vagaries of the British weather. Last week: wind and torrential rain, this week: clear skies and temperatures in the twenties centigrade. I’ve veered from wearing boots and a winter coat to shorts and flip-flops in the space of four days. I’ve attended some very chilly Chelsea Flower Shows in the past, but […]

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RHS Botanical Art Show 2017

  Had I not been a landscape architect, gardener or fashion designer – all professions suggested by my school careers advisor, who was largely at a loss with anyone who didn’t want to be a teacher, lawyer or doctor – I might have been a botanical artist. As a student I possessed extraordinary patience and […]

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RHS London Early Spring Plant Fair 2017

  The RHS London shows ought to be a pleasure for me to visit; they take place just five minutes from my office and are genteel, polite affairs, quite unlike the scrum of Chelsea or the hassle of Hampton Court – just how I like my flower shows. However, they are timed in such a […]

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RHS London Harvest Festival 2016

  Autumn has truly arrived when it’s time for the RHS London Harvest Festival show. This annual event comes at a busy time for me, falling just before I embark on my annual buying trip to India and China. But it’s a good opportunity to reconnect with my inner kitchen gardener and stock up on apples, garlic […]

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Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2016: Show Gardens – Part I

  I am not a negative individual by nature, but I had misgivings about this year’s Hampton Court Palace Flower Show. Some of the design drawings on the RHS website looked positively ghastly and I am still scarred (or should that be scorched?), by the furnace-like temperatures Helen of Oz and I had to endure […]

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Daily Flower Candy: Clematis ‘Madame Julia Correvon’ AGM

It’s been a vintage year for clematis, in our London garden especially. Plants that have previously performed well but never shone have been turbo-charged by a cool, damp start to the year. They have veritably raced up columns, walls and trees, treating us to lush, unblemished displays of colourful flowers. Non climbing Clematis heracleifolia has almost […]

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RHS London Rose Show 2016

  It’s a good sign when the Royal Horticultural Society show schedule is growing rather than shrinking. Last year an early summer London Rose Show was added to the programme; this November the inaugural London Urban Garden Show will introduce gardeners to a host of tropical and subtropical plant growers; and next year we have […]

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