Colombia - no snowdrops

Gran Colombia

I think I’ve been in Colombia for six months, though it’s impossible to be sure. I know I left London as the first daffodils were blooming at Chiswick House, but here on the equator we’re cut off from the vegetable… Read More ›

Recent Posts

  • Days of Rage

    An Audacious Felon

    This January Britain’s Gardens are bright with fury, our usually dull winter beds blazing with burst blood vessels and blue language, wisteria-pruning substituted for days of rage and wall-punching. My knuckles are weeping. You see, a water lily has been… Read More ›

  • Breaking the Mould

    The Author in Search of New Plants

    At university I lived with a man who had three-quarters learnt how to wash clothes. He could load a machine, choose a detergent, select a cycle (the hard bit) and press the go button, but never remembered to go back… Read More ›

  • 10 gardening books

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    When a TV production company invites you in to chat about becoming a sexy celebrity gardener, the first thing they ask is “so, what’s your thing?” I told them my thing was gardening, and they never called me back. Turns… Read More ›

  • A Song of Sulfosulfuron

    Scaffolders and Wisteria - Chiswick House 2013

    Before I became a gardener I lived in a world where the plants seemed ever in bloom. They rolled into my consciousness only while in flower, materializing from the fuzz of green and fading back when the petals dropped. Now,… Read More ›

  • Adventures in Silviculture

    The Adventurous Gardener

    Once, in a life before horticulture, I spent twelve months selling second hand books from a market stall in Bristol. Eight hours a day, six days a week of sitting on a chair drinking tea and reading. It was blissful… Read More ›

  • The Day Digested

    Coyolxauhqui

    Tuesday the twelth of February 2013 An exciting start to the morning; Atlas the Titan, that famous bearer of celestial spheres, has a namesake in our garden who can’t hold up cold water, half an hour’s snow and our Cedris… Read More ›

  • In Search of Lost Camellias

    The Flyer

    The peony flowered camellias are opening in our North London garden, and as always they have set me on edge. One becomes emotionally entangled with certain plants, odd species that over the years come to carry strange sentimental heft. Each… Read More ›

  • The Imperative of the Mundane

    Extroverts and Aucubas

    My greatest horticultural regret of 2012 was that I spent far too much time gardening, nearly thirteen thousand minutes all told, and so never got round to reading Fifty Shades of Grey. Regret yes, but resent? No, because somewhere over… Read More ›

  • The Unbearable Leafness of Being

    Wanton Autumn

    Just as those who consume large quantities of waxed Californian pornography often grow to be revolted by pubic hair, so those who dwell mainly in sky-scraping penthouses often fear the natural world. It’s only to be expected; for them plants… Read More ›

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