Sumer Is Icumen In … Or Is It Agoin Out Again?

Since the last time I wrote about my garden, my sole purpose has been to prepare it for summer. I’ve been potting, repotting, feeding, staking, tying-in and mulching, whilst at the same time doing battle with an army of voracious slugs and snails. All the lifting, shifting, arranging and rearranging has taken its toll on […]

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The Watch House NGS Open Day 2018

  Over the weekend we welcomed over 300 visitors to The Watch House, breaking records and surprising us all. At times it was a challenge to fit everyone in whilst offering an enjoyable experience in the garden, but there were no complaints, at least that I heard. On both days the sun shone, the birds […]

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Living in the Moment

  The changing of the clocks makes an enormous difference to my enjoyment of the garden. Although the mornings have temporarily descended back into darkness, there is still light in the sky when I arrive home in the evening. Soon this will increase to broad daylight and by midsummer I’ll be able to enjoy the […]

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The Big Apple Beckons

Although I live and breath Christmas year-round, it’s an annual business trip to New York that really marks the beginning of my festivities.  I attempt to have both gardens put to bed, cards written and most gifts bought before I go.  Then I can work and party through December knowing Christmas is in the bag. […]

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The Evening Crowns The Day

‘The evening crowns the day’ was one of my grandmother’s favourite sayings.  As is so often the case in Cornwall where she lived, a dank, drizzly day has ended with blue skies and warm, dappled sunshine.  The clear light reveals a garden at the height of its powers.  Bright dahlias vie for attention and the […]

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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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Inspiring Irises

A punishing week at work, now followed by a debilitating bout of tonsillitis, has left me feeling less than enthused about the arrival of February and yet more chilly weather. Having decided to be officially grumpy today, I had to quickly change my mind after spotting a pot of cheerful Iris reticulata “Gordon” (above) when […]

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A Tale of Two Trees

Our only major loss in the six years we’ve been gardening by the coast was a particularly tragic one.  The original planting focussed on a beautiful standard specimen of Arbutus glandulosa (Mexican Strawberry Tree), known thereafter to us simply as the “Orange drainpipe tree”.  Arbutus glandulosa is a very classy tree, valued primarily for its […]

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Coming in from the cold

With the first properly cold weather now on the horizon, a small gardener’s conundrum is what to save from the frost and what to leave to a chilly fate. Those lucky people with a conservatory, small greenhouse or generous windowsills are in the best position to overwinter tender plants. Sadly we have none of these, […]

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Pothead Bulbs

Right on cue, the lovely people from Avon Bulbs delivered my order yesterday – a box packed with lilies, tulips, crocuses, Narcissus, Iris, and Alliums.  With it came the promise of new varieties and exciting colour combinations to experiment with.  The timing could not have been better, leaving me four weekends over which to plant them before […]

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