Arctic April

It has been the strangest month; cold – indeed the frostiest April in sixty years – and desert-dry. Although we’ve escaped spring frosts here on the East Kent coast, it has been bitter day-in, day-out, with desiccating winds blowing in from the north and east. Most days I have returned from walking the dogs feeling […]

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Hurrah! the Ides of March

Our garden is at its lowest ebb from early February until the Ides of March, on the 15th of the month. Battered by gales laden with salt and sand, scorched by snow and starved of light, everything but the eternal evergreens* is pale, frazzled or mushy. I try to like what I see, but I […]

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Easter Extravaganza

Oh the irony. For the last three years our National Gardens Scheme area organiser has been asking if we’d open the garden for a spring viewing and this year we thought we might just take the plunge. It’s always been such a guessing game, anticipating when the daffodils and tulips might be at their best, […]

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Plant Profile: Tulipa fosteriana ‘Zombie’

Tulipa 'Zombie' in bud

Do you remember, several months ago, when we were all potting up our spring bulbs …. each and every one of us full of excitement at the promise of the floral display that would follow? Well, here we are in springtime, confined to our homes and gardens (I refuse to mention the ‘c word’) which […]

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The Watch House in Early May

I’m a little bit stuck at the moment. I don’t so much have writers’ block as writers’ constipation; that is, lots of posts backing up that are part written but not yet ready to publish. Like the unfortunate biological condition, I am finding the situation rather uncomfortable. The proverbial prune in this scenario would be […]

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April Showers

Unpredictability is the name of the game when it comes to British weather, but one old proverb certainly promises to ring true in 2019: ‘March winds and April showers bring forth May flowers.’ Whilst the warmth and vitality of May still feel a long way off, March and April are fulfilling their time-honoured roles as […]

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Togetherness

Since my new fella has been on the scene, I have been enjoying an activity that I have rarely experienced before – gardening ‘à deux’. It’s an activity that I have never thought myself capable of participating in, so sure am I that I could not be compatible with another in the garden as well […]

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Bulb Porn

Each year, ‘order bulbs’ goes on my to-do list in July and each year it is still there in early September. By then there will be an asterisk placed either side of the entry to emphasise the urgency of the task. Yet for some reason I never get around to ordering when I should and […]

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The Magical Landscapes of Disneyland Paris

  There is something especially delightful about going on a holiday that one hasn’t organised. Perhaps it’s the element of surprise, or the ability to shirk responsibility for anything that goes awry. Either way one can sit back and – quite literally in the case of my recent holiday – enjoy the ride. I am […]

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Watergate House, Fordwich: A Modern Romantic Garden

The town of Fordwich has the distinction of being the smallest in England. Situated on the River Stour, which connects Canterbury with the English Channel, it was to Fordwich that the Normans shipped tonnes of pale Caen stone to build the city’s cathedral. At Watergate House the precious cargo arrived safely on English soil after […]

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