The Very Best of 2015 – A Year in Pictures

The moment I sit down to write my review of the year my mind goes completely blank. How do I sum up the year that was 2015? What happened of any note? Nothing there. A gardener’s optimistic outlook means I am always looking ahead, not back, which in this instance is unhelpful. Thank goodness I […]

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Chelsea Physic Garden – Nick Bailey’s ‘Best in Snow’

Early in February I went along to the Chelsea Physic Garden for one of their annual snowdrop days. I was lucky enough to bag a ticket for head gardener Nick Bailey’s ‘Best in Snow’ walk, where he described very eloquently a dozen or so of his favourite plants for winter colour. Not many of them can […]

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Duty

I have been particularly dutiful this week, even if I do say myself. I began the week in Cornwall, entertaining my beautiful, happy, intelligent niece. As duties go, this was an absolute joy. Martha has taken to walking like a duck takes to water, and is now in proud possession of her first pair of […]

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Bewitched

No winter garden is complete without at least one witch hazel (Hamamelis spp.). These superb shrubs flower reliably during the harshest, bleakest of winters, scenting the air with their uniquely spicy fragrance. I featured this lovely yellow cultivar in a recent post, and remarked how the feathery, crinkled flowers reminded me of lemon zest. They smell equally […]

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Hellebore Heaven

The weather forecast for Saturday was not promising – heavy rain and hail showers – but, as is often the case in Cornwall, the elements refused to conform. Instead we enjoyed sunshine, punctuated by the occasional, monumental downpour. We arrived at Bosvigo Hellebore Day slightly later than planned (there’s no hope of keeping to schedule with […]

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Snowdrop Week: Be a Galanthus Geek

5 Things You May Not Know About Snowdrops:   US military police stationed in the UK during WWII were known as snowdrops because they wore white caps with their green uniforms. They were also turned out with white webbing belts, white gloves and white gaiters, brightening their otherwise drab attire. Snowdrop bulbs contain an alkaloid called Galantamine, prescribed for people who suffer dementia. Whilst not […]

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Snowdrop Week: Solitary Seagull

I have a love-hate relationship with seagulls. Living by the seaside, as I do, I would not be without the herring gulls’ screeching call to remind me where I am. But they are aggressive, thuggish birds that do not think twice about attacking old ladies and children with chips and ice creams, so I prefer to keep them at arms’ length. Despite […]

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Snowdrop Week: Digging Diggory

Those folk who’d sell their souls for a rare snowdrop have two things in common – a willingness to open their wallet for a small, vulnerable bulb that flowers only briefly once a year, and an eye for detail. I mock not, for man has succumbed to uglier addictions, but one can understand why the uninitiated […]

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Snowdrop Week: Japanese Kokedama

If they didn’t literally smack you full in the face, the sheer ingenuity of the hanging snowdrop decorations at the Chelsea Physic Garden last week would have stopped you in your tracks. One of the garden’s team was inspired to create them for the special snowdrop days following a recent visit to Japan. Here, trees, shrubs […]

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Snowdrop Week: Galanthus ‘John Gray’

This week is snowdrop week here at The Frustrated Gardener. I’ll be celebrating the glories of the alluring genus Galanthus in all its virginal whiteness. Never fear, I am not about to succumb to galanthophilia – I can neither afford another addiction nor understand the acute fascination with such minute floral variations – but surely there is nothing in the garden during February more […]

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