Here Comes Ciara! – How To Protect Your Garden From Stormy Weather

Winter thus far has consisted of a handful of slightly chilly nights with a lot of benign, mild, wet weather in between. The garden is bursting with signs of spring, some of which I have captured to illustrate this post. Rosa banksiae ‘Lutea’ is already blooming, at least 2 months earlier than usual. Legions of […]

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The White Stuff

Oh! How we love a ‘snow event’ here in England. The rare instances when the white stuff descends from the heavens used to be referred to as ‘flurries’, ‘snow storms’ or even ‘blizzards’ back in the day, but are now elevated to ‘white-outs’, ‘snowmageddon’ and ‘snowbombs’ alongside other ‘extreme weather events’. Like our celebrities and […]

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How Does my Garden Grow? August

  My garden has come together rather later than usual, but come together it has. Unburdened by not opening for the National Gardens Scheme, I have been able to take my time rather than diving for the line. On the whole I think the garden is better for it, as are my nerves. Nevertheless, I’ll […]

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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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And Relax …..

  It’s here, the moment I have been waiting for all Christmas, the moment when all our visitors have departed, there is no cleaning left to do, the fire is lit and I can lie on the sofa and do nothing ….. well, almost. With my left hand I can just about reach for a […]

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When Is Too Late to Plant Spring Bulbs?

If you are reading this post now, in late January, the answer is ‘not yet’, for tulips at least. Originally published in November 2016, ‘When is too late to plant spring bulbs?’ has become one of my most read posts of the last eight years. For the next few weeks I am pinning it to […]

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Moving Mountains

  You may ask what is interesting about the photograph at the top of this post. It is, after all, a view out of a Chinese factory window. The buildings are of a typically functional, brutal style found all over industrial China, and there’s a small hillock covered in trees in the distance. It is […]

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Standing Room Only

  With the garden at Polegate Cottage temporarily occupied by builders and tradesmen, I am experiencing an explosion in the plant population next door at The Watch House. Having cuttings, seedlings and freshly sprouted dahlias on the terrace and kitchen worktop was tolerable at first, but those tiny seedlings and cuttings are now vigorous young […]

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A Tale of Two Gardens

  Nurturing two gardens eighty eight miles apart is mainly a blessing, but sometimes a curse. The task becomes tricky if we want to take a holiday, spend more time in one place than the other, or if we hit a dry, wet or windy spell, which is all too often. Each scenario comes with […]

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Shipwreck Weather

As we drove across the border between Devon and Cornwall on Friday night it was almost as if the wind were determined to blow us back to London. The car rocked and rolled across Bodmin Moor, forging valiantly ahead towards the westernmost tip of the British Isles.      However rough it gets in the […]

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