Fond Farewells

  If it were not for the soft patter of rain on the skylight above my desk, I might hear a pin drop. My house guests have gone home, tired and happy, to their own beds and their own familiar routines. The sound of my niece shouting “No Dan!” and “Silly Uncle Dan!” is still […]

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Daily Flower Candy: Chorizema ilicifolium

Yesterday, after several abortive attempts, I finally managed to drag Him Indoors to Derry Watkins’ Special Plants Nursery at Cold Ashton, near my home town of Bath. Although Derry’s nursery is tucked half way down a steep hill below the village it’s evident that the settlement was aptly named. The view out towards the Severn Estuary […]

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Trickery

There’s a day or two every February when the sun shines, the air feels warm, the wind drops, and one could be fooled into thinking spring has arrived. Today was one of those days. I will not be duped, as all too often these balmy interludes are followed by bitter, cruel cold. The buzzing bees and […]

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Daily Flower Candy: Kangaroo Apple

One of my surprise survivors from last year Solanum laciniatum, the Kangaroo Apple, may finally have outgrown its welcome. The plants were bought from Sissinghurst in 2012 and despite being pruned to 18″ in spring have grown back to 6ft tall. For much of the year the foliage has been deformed by the same unknown […]

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Preparing for Spring

Last weekend it was time to get my potted bulbs into the ground before I went on my travels. Because we have a lot of tender perennials that sometimes last well into the winter, I avoid disturbing them by planting spring bulbs such as alliums and tulips in black pots. Then I can bed them […]

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