Hampton Court Flower Show 2018: Best in Show – The Bursting Busy Lizzie Garden

  Who would have imagined that a garden jam-packed with common-or-garden Busy Lizzies would win a gold medal the prestigious Hampton Court Palace Flower Show? Or that such a garden would land Best in Show and the ultimate horticultural accolade, The Tudor Rose Award? Well, thanks to talented designer Matthew Childs and a partnership between […]

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Chelsea Flower Show 2018: The Silent Pool Gin Garden

  I love a G&T, so much so that I have an entire garden named after my favourite drink. Naturally I was very happy to discover another garden inspired by the juniper-infused spirit at this year’s Chelsea Flower Show. The Silent Pool Gin Garden was part of a line up in the new Space to […]

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Chelsea Flower Show 2018: O-mo-te-na-shi no NIWA – The Hospitality Garden ホスピタリティガーデン

  Three cheers for Kazuyuki Ishihara: another Chelsea gold medal to his name and ‘Best in Show’ for his Artisan Garden entitled O-mo-te-na-shi no NIWA. Although the charismatic Japanese landscape artist is now as much a part of the Chelsea Flower Show as Pimms, the Queen or improbably large delphiniums, we know relatively little about him. […]

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On The Moove

I’m on the road again. Or rather I’m in the skies and generally racking-up the air miles. It’s buying season and there’s no rest for the wicked. In another life I must have been a very bad person! Having departed a red-hot Delhi at 01.10 this morning I’m now in damp and dreary Hong Kong. […]

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Chatsworth Flower Show 2017: The Wedgwood Garden – A Classic Re-imagined

  I can scarcely believe it’s over a week since that fateful press day at Chatsworth Flower Show where we all got drenched and muddy in the name of flora. I was able to hand back the coat I borrowed, but still haven’t tackled my boots, which may never be the same again: the Derbyshire […]

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Chatsworth Flower Show 2017: The IQ Quarry Garden

  What is it about the appeal of quarry-inspired gardens this year? Is because as a nation we seem determined to dig ourselves into the deepest hole possible? Is it because we feel stuck between a rock and hard place? Or have we suddenly discovered our inner Stone Age selves? Whatever it is, a second […]

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A Case for Daydreaming

  There is a great deal to recommend letting your mind wander aimlessly, and yet how often do we allow ourselves to daydream? At school in the 1980’s I was actively discouraged from daydreaming, not that I was especially guilty of doing so. Freud believed daydreamers were infantile and neurotic, while psychology textbooks warned teachers […]

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Chelsea Flower Show 2016 Preview: Royal Bank of Canada Garden

This will be my final post before the lucky few (who include HM The Queen, but not me this year) are granted early admittance to The Chelsea Flower Show. The weather has taken a distinctly Chelsea turn, reverting from warm, dry and sunny to cool, showery and unpredictable. As I write, Tuesday and Wednesday look […]

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Chelsea Flower Show 2016 Preview: The Cloudy Bay Garden

In just 11 days the Chelsea Flower Show will fling open its gates to an expectant crowd of RHS members and their guests. Until now my Chelsea 2016 coverage has been rather lacking, so over the next few days I aim to put that right with a series of posts describing some of the most interesting gardens […]

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Chelsea Flower Show 2015 – Stars of the Show: World Vision and Dark Matter

Big budget show gardens are all well and good, but it was two of Chelsea’s smaller gardens that really impressed me on Tuesday. The ‘Fresh’ category is where the RHS loosens its corset and affords designers a little more freedom, provided they remain on the right side of good horticulture. Designers are permitted to choose the shape and size […]

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