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. All

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The Growbags…..total bird-brains

Growing up in an isolated rural setting we three young Growbags had to make our own entertainment. One of our innocent pastimes was making bird traps by propping up our father’s shrimping net with a stick, tied to a long piece of string, and baiting the trap with breadcrumbs. When an unsuspecting blue tit ventured under the net we would yank the string, pull the stick away, and drop the net on the bird. It was then duly caught and ringed with a coil of fuse wire for future identification. Please don’t try this at home as nowadays you would

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Malus hupehensis AGM

I have a confession. The tree in the photo above is not actually in our garden. About 25 years ago, our neighbour, who grew it from seed, planted it on the verge in our lane, so I watch its progress through the seasons from the kitchen window. This tree gives us pleasure on so many fronts. The show starts in April/May when the delicate pink buds open to a profusion of white flowers which have a subtle musky scent; it makes a simply stunning display, and passing walkers often stop by to ask its name. Ernest Wilson discovered it in

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