Don’t mention the A word

The word starting with A, describing the season after summer and before winter, has been banned in my household for the last month. I realise that for many the approach of the A word is cause for joy, anticipation of mellow fruitfulness, enjoying cosy night in etc.etc., but for me it signals only the unraveling […]

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Farewell to the summer of 2018

  As the sun sets on August, what will be my abiding memories of summer 2018? It goes without saying that the heat and drought that descended on the South East from early May until early August will not be forgotten. Sustained fine weather, with many consecutive days in the high twenties centigrade, provided exceptional […]

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The Rhythm of the Jungle

  There were points during February and March when I thought my garden might never regain its former glory. The Beast from the East had ravaged every plant with any sensitivity to cold, wet or wind. In the ten years since my garden was built I had not experienced such degrees of damage or destruction. […]

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How Does my Garden Grow? August

  My garden has come together rather later than usual, but come together it has. Unburdened by not opening for the National Gardens Scheme, I have been able to take my time rather than diving for the line. On the whole I think the garden is better for it, as are my nerves. Nevertheless, I’ll […]

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Tales from the Gin & Tonic Garden

  As a rule, I don’t sit down, unless it’s to eat a meal or to work. When I make myself a cup of tea I tend to perch for the first sip and then get on with the next job that needs doing. When I read a book, it’s usually for 15 minutes before […]

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The Morning After The Weekend Before

  It did not take long to go to sleep last night. After a weekend of baking, talking, entertaining, watering, meeting, greeting, fetching and carrying we were both absolutely shattered. 180 lovely people came to visit the garden; not a record, but we value quality above quantity and we certainly achieved that. At the final […]

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Opening Pains

  Had we opened our seaside garden on the usual weekend, this is the scene that would have greeted our visitors. Not bad, even if I do say so myself. Instead, we spent the weekend in London, celebrating Him Indoors’ birthday and not worrying about deadheading or watering for a change. At Polegate Cottage, the […]

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Keep Your Summer Garden Looking Lush for Longer

  As mid summer turns into late summer, it’s all too easy to let your garden go to seed, literally. As a child I remember leaving my parents garden in its prime for our annual sojourn in Cornwall. Returning three weeks later the same garden, so perfectly fecund before we departed, was now overstuffed, yellowing […]

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Plan B

  I have a problem. With the garden next door out of action and no immediate prospect of gaining it back, I have grown way too many plants for the space available. First of all I ignored the foliage coming at me from every direction. That worked reasonably well until I started dismembering things. Then, […]

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Daily Flower Candy: Berkheya purpurea

It’s been a hot and thirsty few days in the garden. A plant which takes these conditions in its stride is Berkheya purpurea, a member of the Aster family from South Africa. With its jagged, thistle-like leaves and abundant lilac flowers it’s a superb plant for a dry, sunny spot. Berkheya can easily be grown […]

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