Goodnestone Rising

  It was possibly a little too early to go out snowdrop spotting. In another year it might almost have been too late, but January and February have been cold and the flowers have responded accordingly. We arrived at Goodnestone Park just before midday and found the carpark already half full. A handful of hardy-looking […]

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Scented flowers for the midwinter garden

  During the winter months, every flower in the garden is cherished like a precious gemstone. Once spring arrives, we’ll enjoy an elegant sufficiency of tissue-fine blooms, followed by an embarrassment of floral riches in the summer. Autumn offers an equal abundance of bright colour, before being swallowed up by the dull browns and frosted […]

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Changing of the Guard at Goodnestone

Great gardens to visit in East Kent are rarer than hens’ teeth. Those that open during the winter months even scarcer. So, as soon as Goodnestone Park reopens in spring I am there, with bells on. Well a bobble hat anyway. The red brick and sandstone mansion at Goodnestone (correctly pronounced ‘Gunston’), well-beloved of Jane […]

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Bewitched, Bothered and Bewintered

As winter draws to a close, I can sum it up in one word: soggy. Dreams of bracing walks along the beach beneath clear, blue skies have been denied, replaced by nightmare navigations along muddy paths and through swampy fields.  I promise myself every year that I will visit more gardens during the winter (Anglesey […]

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Bewitched

No winter garden is complete without at least one witch hazel (Hamamelis spp.). These superb shrubs flower reliably during the harshest, bleakest of winters, scenting the air with their uniquely spicy fragrance. I featured this lovely yellow cultivar in a recent post, and remarked how the feathery, crinkled flowers reminded me of lemon zest. They smell equally […]

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Hellebore Heaven

The weather forecast for Saturday was not promising – heavy rain and hail showers – but, as is often the case in Cornwall, the elements refused to conform. Instead we enjoyed sunshine, punctuated by the occasional, monumental downpour. We arrived at Bosvigo Hellebore Day slightly later than planned (there’s no hope of keeping to schedule with […]

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