How to Grow Ornamental Gingers in UK Gardens

  Ornamental gingers – we’ve admired them whilst on holiday in tropical countries, or seen them curated in the glasshouses of botanical gardens, but how many of us have considered growing them in our own gardens? Surely gingers need more heat and sunlight than the British climate can offer? Aren’t they going to be hopelessly […]

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Eternal Eden

  I can smell Cornwall before I can see it. Driving across the ancient border between Devon and Cornwall at night it’s pitch black, but I know that if I wind the car window down the mingled scent of damp heather, moss, fern and lichen will be forced up my nostrils faster than I can […]

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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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A Tropical Christmas

Just one more flight and I’ll be home for Christmas. Work won’t be over for a while, but in the meantime this unusual, tropical-inspired Christmas tree adorned with birdcages, parrots, stag’s horn ferns, butterflies and beetles got me in the festive mood today. The Frustrated Gardener’s decs go up this weekend and will be white […]

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Daily Flower Candy: Tetrapanax papyrifer ‘Rex’

Gunnera manicata, the giant rhubarb, has very few rivals for the sheer size of its leaves, but among them would be Tetrapanax papyrifer. Used in Asian countries for making paper, it’s more commonly employed in the UK as a dramatic focal point for tropical plantings. Tetrapanax papyrifer dislikes growing in a pot and prefers a […]

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Namaste! A Lazy Sunday in Delhi

For the next two weeks, work brings me to Asia. I’ve been thinking about what to post whilst I am away, as funnily enough gardening is not one the activities on my agenda. However the beauty of plants is that they can be found everywhere, so armed with a field guide to the tropical plants […]

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Agapanthus – The Pride of Africa

Agapanthus is the signature plant in our coastal garden and deservedly so.  We grow Agapanthus africanus, the largest of the family, hailing from the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa.   In some countries, and even in the UK’s Isles of Scilly, it can “go wild” and become a nuisance.  In our garden (below) it’s […]

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A Touch of Ginger

Bringing a touch of the tropics to our garden this summer are two members of the ginger family – Hedychium densiflorum “Stephen” and Cautleya spicata. The Cautleya has been crammed into a 14″ pot for three or four years. I meant to re-pot it into a much larger container this spring, but by the time […]

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Butterflies in Birchington – Quex Park, Kent

As is so often the case, the things that are on your own doorstep are the first to be overlooked.  And so, somehow, we have never managed to visit the house and garden which is probably closest to us – Quex Park near Birchington-on-Sea.  After 6 years we thought it was high time, so we […]

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Shades of Summer

We have been away from our seaside garden for two full weeks.   This always makes me uneasy, especially when the weather is warm and everything is growing so fast.  It’s also heartbreaking to miss some of the wonderful things that are flowering at this time of year.  Still, needs must and we have a […]

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