Perfect Partners: Lobelia tupa & Lilium regale ‘Album’

The beauty of growing plants in pots is that they can be shuffled around endlessly until the most pleasing associations are made. I do this regularly, moving plants to the front, a little to the left or right, hiding them at the back or removing them from the picture altogether. Although occasionally tough on one’s […]

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The Late Late April Show

Spring is arriving in slow motion at The Watch House. I’ve been watching a single bud of Narcissus ‘Golden Ducat’ striving to open for ten days, willing it to reveal the acid-yellow petals tightly furled within. My clematis have been held in suspended animation since early February, their tender shoots primed and raring to go. […]

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Daily Flower Candy: Jasminum nudiflorum

Jasminum nudiflorum: winter jasmine Most plants when translated from their native habitat into gardens adapt quite nicely. Some run riot, others curl up and die, whilst a few just don’t fit in. One such oddball, in my humble opinion, is the winter jasmine, Jasminum nudiflorum. Gardeners put up with this gawky, sprawling shrub for one […]

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Daily Flower Candy: Hedychium densiflorum ‘Sorung’

    Ginger lilies are disgustingly straightforward to grow, which is satisfying when one considers their fabulously exotic appearance. Hardy gingers from the genus Hedychium produce lush foliage on robust stems, topped by clusters of fragrant flowers during the summer and autumn months. Ginger lilies are not thwarted by our typically cool, damp summers; these […]

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Scented flowers for the midwinter garden

  During the winter months, every flower in the garden is cherished like a precious gemstone. Once spring arrives, we’ll enjoy an elegant sufficiency of tissue-fine blooms, followed by an embarrassment of floral riches in the summer. Autumn offers an equal abundance of bright colour, before being swallowed up by the dull browns and frosted […]

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Scents of Christmas

  It’s been a sensory Christmas here at The Watch House. The pain of concluding the building project and clearing up afterwards, the pleasure of decorating our new rooms for Christmas, and the joy of inviting friends and family to share time with us has made for fortnight of mixed feelings and heightened emotions. There has […]

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Daily Flower Candy: Mirabilis jalapa

Mirabilis jalapa: marvel of Peru, four o’clock flower, tea-time plant It’s been an extraordinary weekend for gardening. The weather has been warm, dry and still; not a cloud in the sky from when the sun rose on Saturday morning until it set on Sunday evening. Feeling the sun on my face and back, I reflected […]

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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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Daily Flower Candies: Helleborus foetidus & Iris foetidissima

One might consider it wise to steer well clear of any plant with a latin name ending foetidus or foetidissima. After all the epithet means bad-smelling, or having a fetid odour; something most of us could live without in our gardens. Anyone with dry shade should think again, as this would exclude two terrific plants which […]

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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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