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Cabbage Patch Commentary


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Cabbage Patch Commentary

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A Different View

I woke up this morning convinced that it was late. The light was grey behind the curtains and the room was silent. Reluctantly, I looked at my phone and discovered that it was in fact early.

It has been a busy few weeks, but walking up the road, the magnolia buds are suddenly swelling in furry promise, and lilacs pertly tipped with green; Crocus tommasinianus have appeared where there were none. Acer griseum and white-barked birches stand bold, in full knowledge that their spare charms will soon be overwhelmed with spring. Time has passed while I was not looking.

So as the season creeps forward - and faster it does, when ignored - I am looking back, with a kind of regret. The thing is, that although gardens are considered 'off peak' in winter, there is often no better time to see them. This is the point where they show their true colours and strengths.

As a visitor, you can read their geometry and detail without interruption. Enjoyably crisp angles. Reflections in shape or in…

Sparkling Snowdrops, Batman!

I was talking to my botanical uncle about snowdrops the other day, in the context of bigging up our welsh garden. Turns out that my paternal grandmother put in all sorts of exciting things but he reckons that quite a lot have faded away – and anything that has any susceptibility to slugs just gets munched and won’t bulk up.

Anyway, we have a niceish spread of Galanthus nivalis ,and some others which I have been told are probably G. elwesii (they have bigger, greyer leaves, apparently) although my uncle suggested they could just be from a different population of G nivalis, snowdrops being a heterogeneous bunch. I will go and have a closer look in the spring, but the flowering times are certainly different. I would like to get some interesting ones, but at the same time it would be a bit daft to splash out on slug food. We shall see.

I had quite a party week last week, with the annual Garden Media Guild Awards in London. It has been blogged to death, so I will sum it up as glittering c…

Scissors Paper Stone

I have a bit of a bee in my bonnet about municipal planting and garden design in public spaces. It is an opportunity to bring style, excitement or just a bit of beauty to the masses; and one that is usually left to languish in unkempt evergreen scrub.
This is somewhere that a little planning and creativity could reap dividends, but the norm is either uninspired, high maintenance and wasteful, or both.
Just up the road from me is a long curved flowerbed in a small public garden adjacent to a roundabout. It used to be fun, it really did. When I first met it, someone had put in some thought and the late summer display looked so good in a soft morning mist that I went home and came back with a camera.
It wasn’t a challenging or intellectual display, the plants are all quite ordinary but it had a cheerful flair and pizzazz. And then they dug the whole lot up a fortnight later to put in spring bulbs.*
Since then I have observed that that an astonishing amount of money seems to be spent on …