Allot of Social Distancing

If there can be any positive from the current worldwide situation it is the time that we now have at our disposal. We can catch up on household jobs, tidy and beautify the garden, and spend as much time at the allotment as is humanly possible – and that is exactly what we have done […]

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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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Ten Things To Do In The Garden in January

January is a unique month in the year when plants, on the whole, demand very little from gardeners. House plants are an exception, but even these have minimal needs when light levels are low and days are short. January is the perfect month for gardeners to take stock, plan ahead, or simply take a break […]

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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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What’s in Store for 2016? Chiltern Seeds

In a series of posts over the coming weeks I’m going to be looking at what the seed merchants and nurseries have in store for gardeners in 2016. Usually by late November I have put both gardens to bed and venture outside only to clear up after rough weather or check on frost damage: the […]

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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: Chorizema ilicifolium

Yesterday, after several abortive attempts, I finally managed to drag Him Indoors to Derry Watkins’ Special Plants Nursery at Cold Ashton, near my home town of Bath. Although Derry’s nursery is tucked half way down a steep hill below the village it’s evident that the settlement was aptly named. The view out towards the Severn Estuary […]

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Daily Flower Candy: Canarina canariensis

Regular readers may already have noticed that I am sucker for a subtropical plant. On a cold Sunday in February, whilst visiting London’s Chelsea Physic Garden, I found myself drawn in by the the scented warmth of one particular glasshouse, that which holds the garden’s collection of rare and threatened species from the Canary Islands and Madeira. Scrambling towards the […]

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RHS Seed Scheme

How often do we subscribe to organisations or take out memberships and yet fail to take full advantage of them? I have been signed up to the Royal Horticultural Society for almost 20 years, and the National Trust for longer (having joined at birth, obviously), but take advantage of little that they offer, very rarely. For […]

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On The Beach

Just after Christmas we popped over to Whitstable for a spot of Champagne and shopping with our friend Karen. Situated on the Thames estuary, Whitstable’s beaches are shingly rather than sandy, their tide-rounded bounty stoutly defended by rank after rank of sturdy groynes. As the sun lowered we stumbled towards The Neptune (above far left) for a postprandial […]

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