Garden Diary: April 2020

April was a bittersweet month. Among many positives were the beautiful weather and being able to spend extra time in the garden with The Beau, Max and Millie. It is hard to conceive of going back to work as I did only six weeks ago, commuting five hours a day. I am achieving so much […]

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In Search of the Surreal

No visit to Cornwall is complete without a spot of plant shopping. The nurseries in the county I consider home are among the best in the country, particularly for the kinds of plants I am interested in. As a rule, the further south west you go, the more gem-like the nurseries become: there’s Penberth Plants […]

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Anything Fauxs

  I have just returned from my annual pilgrimage to Christmas World, Europe’s biggest Christmas trade fair. Had I not known where I was, I might have been forgiven for thinking I had stumbled into Europe’s biggest plant fair, such was the dominance of flowers, floristry and foliage, real and artificial. If you had not […]

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Plant Portraits: Aeonium arboreum ‘Zwartkop’

Succulent plants are not everyone’s cup of tea, but one which attracted a lot of admiring glances when we opened our garden for the National Gardens Scheme was Aeonium arboreum ‘Zwartkop’. It’s hardly surprising given its height (hence arboreum, meaning ‘tree-like’) and the colour of the fleshy leaves, which are quite unlike the average houseleek. The […]

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Daily Flower Candy – Echeveria lilacina

We’ve spent the last two days on the Isles of Scilly, a tiny archipelago of islands off the southwestern tip of England. The climate is famously mild but occasionally wild. This suits plants that like to bask frost-free in the sun, but which have tough hides when the salt laden winds blow in off the […]

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Aeonium Envy

I have loved a great many aeoniums, and lost a few too. Not to frost, which is is their main enemy in UK gardens, but to lack of sunshine and a mysterious, munching caterpillar. Back at home in Broadstairs they demand some winter protection indoors, which invariably results in pale, anaemic leaves. These are quickly […]

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A Moment of Drought

Some things are just not meant to be.  I set off, already late, to visit Eltham Palace.  Once the home of the Courtaulds this famous Art Deco house is now in the capable hands of English Heritage. Within spitting distance of my destination a rear tyre blew out, resulting in very long journey down to […]

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