Seedy Thoughts

There’s not much that January is good for, apart from cosying-up by the fire, drinking the Christmas drinks cabinet dry and browsing seed catalogues. The minute New Year is over, hot off the press, brochures start to arrive at The Watch House by the sack-load. And since we’ve acquired an allotment, the fruit and vegetable […]

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Plant Profile: Dahlia ‘Nicholas’

  I should have predicted it. I take a holiday, I unwind (sort of), and up creeps the dreaded tonsillitis. It happens every time, without fail. I don’t suffer from many afflictions but this one comes along as regular as clockwork and it’s debilitating. Tonsillitis is one of the few things that changes my cup […]

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My Top Spring Bulbs 2016

For the last two months our seaside garden has been ablaze with spring bulbs. Even if I do say so myself, this year’s display has surpassed all others in terms of longevity and flower-power. I put this down to three things: firstly, the best selection of varieties I have ever made; secondly, a plentiful number […]

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Daily Flower Candy: Tulipa “Brown Sugar”

“Brown sugar how come you taste so good?” So sang the Rolling Stones. I doubt Mick Jagger was referring to this Triumph tulip with its caramel tones and butterscotch highlights. Sugary? Yes. Brown? No. Tasty? Definitely not! There are descriptions that call out the blooms’ earthy tones, but my eyes only see hints of rose-pink, […]

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Hide Your Credit Cards: The 2016 Catalogues Have Landed!

In parallel with the mercury in my thermometer, the spring seed, bulb and plant catalogues are starting to drop, drop, drop onto the doormat. A film of thin, clear plastic is all that stands between me and the treasures proffered within. Even in my Night Nurse-saturated state I feel excited by the prospects for my […]

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Enchanted April

It really has been the most remarkable April. So far not a single drop of rain has fallen on either of our gardens and, although night temperatures have hovered just above freezing, the days have been sunny and warm. The result has been an avalanche of flowers. The daffodils that sat and shivered through March […]

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Book Review – The Plant Lover’s Guide to Dahlias

“I don’t just like dahlias: I love them” asserts Andy Vernon on the opening page of his new book, The Plant Lover’s Guide to Dahlias. Even had he not spelt it out so explicitly, readers would have been left in no doubt of his passion for this most exuberant of garden flowers. Andy’s tone is chipper […]

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Daily Flower Candy: Lilium ‘Pink Flavour’

I have a new favourite lily and it’s called ‘Pink Flavour’. The bulbs were an impulse, end of season purchase from Sarah Raven and I didn’t have a place for them, so into a pot they went.  Within weeks the flower spikes emerged, growing nice and evenly, the foliage subtly tinted bronze. Arriving home late […]

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