How to Grow Ornamental Gingers in UK Gardens

  Ornamental gingers – we’ve admired them whilst on holiday in tropical countries, or seen them curated in the glasshouses of botanical gardens, but how many of us have considered growing them in our own gardens? Surely gingers need more heat and sunlight than the British climate can offer? Aren’t they going to be hopelessly […]

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RHS London Early Spring Plant Fair 2018

One event in my calendar heralds the approach of spring like no other: the RHS London Early Spring Plant Fair. Throughout the first, frozen days of February I have been yearning for Westminster’s Horticultural Halls to throw open their doors and let me feast my eyes on delicate blooms and breath in the sweet scent […]

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Daily Flower Candy: Mirabilis longiflora ‘Angels’ Trumpets’

  Although I find growing from seed one of the most rewarding aspects of gardening, I have done so less and less in recent years. It’s partly down to space, and partly down to the requirement to be present during those critical days when tender seedlings are emerging from the soil – my life just […]

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In Praise of Nemesias

  When something you like grows well in your garden it makes sense to grow more of it. I count agapanthus, zantedeschia, trachelospermum and osteospermum amongst the plants that more than make themselves at home – they positively take possession. We all need carefree plants like this, otherwise gardening would be a slog. They look […]

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Daily Flower Candy: Nemesia “Wisley Vanilla”

I like to experiment and try new things in my two tiny gardens; hence I rarely grow the same summer annuals twice. I make a few exceptions, and they are all white-flowered: Begonia semperflorens, bog-standard busy lizzies and Nemesia “Wisley Vanilla”. Asked which of these I would take to my desert island I would answer, […]

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Daily Flower Candy: Pelargonium papilionaceum

pelargonium papilionaceum: geranium papilionaceum, butterfly geranium, Rambossie Geranium as a perfume and flavouring is very much in vogue. Its complex, warming, astringent notes are being employed by enlightened artisans to infuse everything from chocolate to gin. My favourite summer scent, “Geranium pour Monsieur” by Frederick Malle, combines the eponymous ingredient with cloves, cinnamon, white musk, […]

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My Own Private Keukenhof

Tulips are a special passion of mine. They are inexpensive, easy to grow, endlessly colourful and, most importantly, good to look at. I am not the first to be enamoured of the tulip’s elegant, silken blooms and I certainly won’t be the last. Their appeal was first recognised by the Turks in about 1,000 AD […]

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Birthday Blues

This may not be an especially significant birthday (there are no 0’s or 5’s involved) but I still hadn’t planned to spend it at home in bed with a cold. It looks like I am swapping Bollinger for Benylin, dressing up for a dressing gown and a night on the town for a night in […]

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