The Diary of a Plant Addict

If my blog did not already have a title, ‘The Diary of a Plant Addict’ would be a strong candidate. I’ve had the most horticulturally indulgent week one could imagine, starting with the Chelsea Flower Show and ending with a three day stretch getting my own garden in shape for summer. In the middle came […]

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Garden Appreciation: Sweetbriar, Ash, Kent

  When a new garden opens for the National Garden Scheme it's always exciting, but when that garden has been created by two professional gardeners with a passion for rare and exotic plants it's certain to thrill. As soon as Steve Edney and his partner Louise Dowle begin to talk, their infectious enthusiasm spreads to […]

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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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Spring at The Salutation

  If I were to win the lottery, The Salutation is the house I’d want to live in. I’d spend every spring and summer there, before overwintering in Capri, or the Caribbean; I can’t decide which. It’s probably not a choice I’ll ever be called on to make, but I like to think about it […]

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Saluting the Salutation

It was fitting that Gardeners’ World, in the first programme of the new series, chose to highlight the miraculous resurrection of the gardens at The Salutation in Kent. In December 2013 a freak tidal surge in the English Channel inundated the grounds of Lutyens’ superlative Queen Anne style house, leaving up to 5ft of standing […]

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Dahlia Week: Tips from the Top

Last Saturday we were lucky enough to hear from two of the dahlia world’s greatest enthusiasts as part of a Dahlia Festival at The Salutation in Sandwich. As well as being the garden’s full time Head Gardener, local lad Steven Edney is also an RHS trial judge and dahlia committee member. He gleefully describes dahlias as […]

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Dahlia Week: Classy Collerettes

Dahlias come in all shapes and sizes. This is why, like other extensively hybridised flowers, dahlias are classified by flower type. There are waterlilies, stars, fimbriated (fringed) and cactus types; orchids, anemones, pompons and paeonies. Just don’t ask me to tell them all apart. Carving out a niche between the singles and the decorative doubles, […]

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Dahlia Week: Big and Beautiful

When I was a boy, most dahlias looked a little like D. ‘Lady Darlene’. They were bold and brazen, not afraid to be bi-coloured or brassy. Their flowers were either big, top-heavy confections or perfectly pert little pom-poms perfectly designed to hide earwigs. The dahlias of my childhood were the drag queens of the floral world, […]

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New Year’s Resolutions

It was with some trepidation that I searched this blog for my last batch of New Year’s resolutions. Naturally I have been observing them fastidiously, reviewing my performance at regular intervals and setting new, higher targets. Alas, only in my dreams. As it happens, I have not done too shamefully. My plant kleptomania was curbed, […]

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Devastation

It’s a sad irony that after waxing lyrical about The Salutation earlier this week, the gardens are now under water, drowned by this week’s tidal storm surge.  Naturally, head gardener Steven Edney is devastated, sharing images of waist-high water around his precious glasshouses and prize specimens via his Twitter feed.  I find it hard to […]

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