Braving the elements reaps sweet smell of success

I can’t believe my sisters sometimes….! When I proposed our next blog should be about winter scented shrubs there was palpable apathy from the pair of them: ‘nothing much smelling in my garden at the moment’, ‘ it’s too windy for me to go and check if anything’s got a scent’. True, Elaine has finally succumbed to Aussie flu, so has probably lost all sense of smell anyway, and Caroline’s Scottish fiefdom has been the subject of several named storms in recent weeks, but honestly – what lightweights! – they are both missing out on one of the highlights of

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Arum italicum subsp. italicum ‘Marmoratum’ AGM syn. Arum italicum ‘Pictum’

Straight off I need to state that my subject this week is not for gardeners who like to be in control, for it is a great self seeder, and is further helped on its way by blackbirds. I wouldn’t go so far as to call it invasive but thought I had better sound the alert! Interestingly, until I started to write this piece, I had no idea that it had earned the prestigious Award of Garden Merit by the RHS. This tuberous perennial is summer dormant; its bold, spear-shaped leaves emerge in the autumn and are glossy deep green, patterned

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To plant, perchance to dream

  I have been in quarantine for a couple of weeks now with an impressively wheezy chest and have had to experience Christmas and New Year vicariously through E and C’s slightly competitive WhatsApp messages ‘We had 53 people to lunch on Christmas Day and danced till 2 am’ (E) ‘ it’s so hot here on Cyprus we spent Christmas Day on sun loungers round the pool’ (C) Grrrrrrr – they didn’t seem the least bit interested when I told them how handy my new Christmas hot water bottle cover had come in. During a bout of paracetamol fuelled delirium

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