Song Shan Sunset

I’ve been away for over two weeks and the novelty is starting to wear off. Although I consider myself a sociable person, spending every waking hour in company, however good, starts to grate and I find myself taking bathroom breaks simply to get some time to myself. Saturday afternoon afforded me an hour and a […]

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Getting Some Air …. Plants

  Inspired by my visit to Steve Edney’s garden at Sweetbriar, where a striped bromeliad sat astride the branches of an old cordyline, I decided to look beyond the terrestrial and think about what I could grow in my own trees at The Watch House. I am accustomed to seeing ferns nestled in the boughs […]

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Spring Comes to Sissinghurst

  How fortunate that my first visit to Sissinghurst this year should coincide with the warmest day of the spring so far. As the car bowled through the Weald of Kent the roads were fringed with sulphur-yellow catkins and golden daffodils, sparking beneath a clear blue sky. The greys and browns of winter had started […]

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Kowloon Park, Hong Kong

I am very fortunate to be able to travel as much as I do, but when I am away from home I miss my gardens and daily contact with my plants. I miss them in the same way I miss my family and friends. I like to imagine they notice my absence too, although frequently I think they quite enjoy […]

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Daily Flower Candy: Rhus typhina

The list of plants I’d like to grow if I had space is endless and trees would make up many of that number. I am increasingly anxious to get on and start planting so that I might one day see them in maturity, but suspect I may already be a little late to achieve such a […]

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Coming Home

There’s nothing like a long spell away from home to remind you of what you take for granted …. and sometimes what you might do differently with your life. I have missed a good strong cup of tea (a cliche, but so true), the cramped comfort of our little country, clean air (even London air is better than […]

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Daily Flower Candy: Crataegus monogyna

Three cheers for the May Day Bank Holiday. Hip hip, hooray! A Sunday night free of work worries, an extra day in the garden and then just four days until the next weekend. What could be wrong with that? Yesterday we walked miles through the East Kent countryside, bounded all the way by high hedgerows frothing with white […]

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Bruges, Venice of the North

Judging by the number of tourists visiting Bruges annually, reckoned at 2 million, this Flemish city needs little introduction. If you are looking for classic Belgian attractions – finely gabled buildings, luxurious chocolates, strong beer, indulgent waffles or moules et frites – then satisfaction is guaranteed. Finding solitude, however, might prove more of a challenge. […]

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A Golden Moment in La Ville-Lumière

We all know about Paris in the spring – the lilacs, pleached limes and cafe society – but few people set out to explore this beautiful city in winter. I have been blessed with fine weather on my travels over the last couple of weeks, but by any standards today was a dreamy day to […]

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Fallen

Mercifully, the St Jude’s Day storm was not a repeat of the Great Storm of 1987.  On that occasion, the UK lost in the region of 15 million trees in winds of up to 122mph.  At the time the devastation was heartbreaking, but in time the opportunity was taken to replant and rejuvenate parks, gardens […]

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