Windy Ridge, St Margaret’s at Cliffe

The National Gardens Scheme is an absolutely wonderful charity, allowing gardeners and garden lovers access to thousands of private gardens across the country every year. Participating gardens come in all shapes and sizes, offering everything from high horticulture to naturalistic and ecological styles. What all the gardens offer is a rare glimpse into a nation’s […]

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Daily Flower Candy: Deutzia

Like Philadelphus, Deutzia is a genus of about 60 species which produce goblet-shaped clumps of cane-like growths bearing fragrant flowers in summer. I have always found them a bit unkempt and leggy, plus I can’t bear the slightly sour scent. But at a distance they make excellent shrubs for the back of a border or […]

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Daily Flower Candy: Clematis alpina

You know spring has sprung when the pale, stringy stems of Clematis alpina burst into leaf. An incredibly hardy climber, Clematis alpina can manage without pruning, will tolerate a north facing wall and leap like a mountain goat across low growing shrubs. The purple, pink or white flowers emerge immediately after the leaves and are […]

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A New Look for Spring

Yes, The Frustrated Gardener has had a little spring make-over. I hope you like my new look. Please let me know what you think. Tonight I embark on another business trip to India and Asia, but I hope to keeping adding lots of new posts over the coming weeks. Meanwhile, this weekend there was a […]

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Jobs for October and Early November

I always think good gardening calls for a certain type of ruthlessness. Never is that quality more needed than at this time of year when almost everything has become overblown and top heavy. It’s fine to sedately mow and deadhead your way through summer, but there’s no room for sentimentality when it comes to autumn […]

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Landscaping, the Chinese way

For the most part, the Southern China I know is a continuum of ugly buildings and expressways, devoid of any hint of what the original landscape must have been like. This is industrial China where beauty, if it exists, is normally shrouded by smog. On numerous visits here I have rarely seen the sun or […]

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Hydrangea macrophylla “Merveille Sanguine”

Hydrangeas are something of a staple plant in Cornish gardens, where the moist but mild climate suits them perfectly. My grandmother grew them to perfection, watering them regularly with used washing-up water (complete with stray teaspoons), encouraging them to produce flowers of the clearest, brightest cornflower blue. Used inappropriately hydrangeas can be coarse, clashy and […]

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