National Garden Scheme Snowdrop Festival 2019

Galanthophiles rejoice, snowdrop season is upon us once again. In recent years snowdrop appreciation has become a mainstream activity with hundreds of gardens throwing wide their gates outside of normal opening times to welcome eager visitors. Thus we are not only permitted to gaze upon spangled carpets of white blossom, but also to enjoy familiar […]

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The Best Things in Life are Free

        I have largely avoided being drawn into snowdrop mania this year. I have no snowdrops in my garden (which is a pity and ought to be rectified) and have had precious little opportunity to get out and admire others’. Even at the RHS Spring Plant Fair last week I bypassed snowdrops […]

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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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RHS London Early Spring Plant Fair 2017

  The RHS London shows ought to be a pleasure for me to visit; they take place just five minutes from my office and are genteel, polite affairs, quite unlike the scrum of Chelsea or the hassle of Hampton Court – just how I like my flower shows. However, they are timed in such a […]

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Goodnestone Rising

  It was possibly a little too early to go out snowdrop spotting. In another year it might almost have been too late, but January and February have been cold and the flowers have responded accordingly. We arrived at Goodnestone Park just before midday and found the carpark already half full. A handful of hardy-looking […]

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Singles All The Way

  I love flowering bulbs. I plant thousands of them in pots every autumn and spring, ready to bloom the following season. I plant big ones and small ones, short ones and tall ones, bright ones and white ones, but I almost always plant them separately, one variety per container. I am not sure where […]

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Changing of the Guard at Goodnestone

Great gardens to visit in East Kent are rarer than hens’ teeth. Those that open during the winter months even scarcer. So, as soon as Goodnestone Park reopens in spring I am there, with bells on. Well a bobble hat anyway. The red brick and sandstone mansion at Goodnestone (correctly pronounced ‘Gunston’), well-beloved of Jane […]

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RHS London Early Spring Plant Fair 2016

The first rule of visiting a flower show is not to go on the last day, unless you’re hoping to bag a bargain. The displays will invariably look worse for wear, and all the best plants will be sold. The second rule is not to leave yourself short of time to soak up the atmosphere […]

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Three Seagulls

I am not sure how I feel about the new convention of naming winter storms. Is it just me, or could it be that since the Met Office introduced the practice we’ve experienced a lot more severe weather? And did the general public, via social media, genuinely choose the name Desmond for the weather system […]

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Seeing Snowdrops

One of my unwritten New Year’s resolutions is to address my southern bias when it comes to writing this blog. As someone who’s never lived more than three miles north of the M4, with a penchant for tender plants, I have little experience of gardening any closer to the North Pole than Reading. I am, […]

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