Looking back and so looking forward!

So here we are, we’ve reached Christmas again, and despite our very best efforts, our gardens are STILL not perfect…(for perfect look at Louise’s wonderful photo of her Great Plant this Month) As we systematically run out of options in the Brexit quagmire and England’s bowling attack in Australia, I think we should all turn joyfully to studying our gardens with a clear eye as to what ‘worked’ last year, and what didn’t. The wonderful series The Detectorists has just finished and it got me thinking about why a programme about metal detectors has struck such a chord with...

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Chimonanthus praecox

The name translates from the Greek as precocious (or early) winter flower, and it is without doubt the most striking plant in our garden this month. Striking, not only because it is so heavily laden with flower this year (and I am wondering how this happened after such a mediocre summer), but also because its fragrance is pure heaven. Planted in 1990, it was one of the best choices we made, even though initially I began to doubt this, as several winters passed before the unusual waxy flowers started to appear, along with their intoxicating scent. For the rest...

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All the Growbags want for Christmas……

Now what could you as a bona fide paid-up member of Gardeners Anonymous possibly want for Christmas?  You already have the greatest hobby in the world; five trillion small plastic pots, and a jacket-pocket full of handy bits of twine. And yet perhaps there ARE one of two items for your Christmas list, that could help to take your mind off your endless contemplation of which hat to wear to Harry and Meghan’s wedding. How about an ingenious device for locating the secateurs or trowel that you have yet again lost in the border? Having previously slapped a small...

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Echeveria rosea

Almost all echeveria will succumb to winter wet and cold in the UK, but not this one … not unless we have a particularly extreme season. It is easily the most able to cope with whatever weather is thrown at it. So I was very excited to come across this stunning succulent (bought from Bob Brown at Cotswold Garden Flowers) which positively gives of its best, the colder it gets. From now until late winter the whole plant will gradually turn an eye-catching red, at which point the flower buds will start to form. The flowers are yellow/coral red....

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