Doddington Place Gardens

Near Sittingbourne, Kent.

Lida Kindersley and Steven Coghill at King’s College, Cambridge

Posted: July 3rd, 2021

King’s College, Cambridge, has a new energy-efficient development  on Cranmer Road, designed by Allies and Morrison and built to Passivhaus standard, to provide new accommodation for the College’s graduate students.It is a haven of floriferous joy:  an exquisite slate memorial frieze, brimming with flowers designed and carved by the renowned Cardozo Kindersley Workshop, complements the

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Herbival, a new festival at the Garden Museum

Posted: May 20th, 2021

The last year has witnessed a national surge of interest in gardening and nature and the powerfully therapeutic effect both have on us. Two veritable beacons of joy, amongst all the angst and tribulations of the dreadful Pandemic. Capitalizing on these trends, the enterprising curator and writer Natasha Goodfellow is organising Herbival, an exciting new

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Maude Smith celebrates the natural world in tea towels and tiles.

Posted: January 20th, 2021

Of the many imaginative creative projects that have sprung out of Covid, Maude Smith’s range of tea towels and tiles celebrating the natural world have jumped out at me from Instagram. (@maude_made) The beguiling tea towels have a naïve charm with a particularly English sensibility. Butterflies, grasses, leaves, mushrooms, sheep, birds eggs, British birds, British

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The Glasshouse Botanic

Posted: December 17th, 2020

The Glasshouse Botanic Design is an inspiring new social enterprise initiative launched earlier this year, at East Sutton Park, an open women’s prison in Kent. The brainchild of social entrepreneur Melissa Murdoch, and Kali Hamerton-Stove, the Project Director, the idea is to utilise the abandoned glasshouses that these days are to be found languishing at

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Legendary plantsman, Maurice Foster

Posted: November 9th, 2020

Over the years, White House Farm, near Sevenoaks, has become a mecca for plantsmen the world over. Home to more than 200 different kinds of magnolia, hundreds of hydrangeas (many of them bred by Maurice), an outstanding collection of climbing roses, a fine arboretum of more than 3000 trees and shrubs, masses of viburnums, over

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Flowers delivered to the door during the Coronavirus emergency

Posted: April 2nd, 2020

What could be more cheering than receiving a bunch of English flowers during this horrid Coronavirus emergency? Luckily a few plucky wholesalers and growers are battling on. I have talked to a wholesaler and a florist who both specialise in British grown flowers: ‘Flowers don’t know there is a lockdown,’ says Ben Cross, the renowned

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Liz Bradley

Posted: September 25th, 2019

Liz Bradley’s exuberant paintings of flowers are marvellously uplifting. Her sheer delight in bright colours coupled with a meticulous eye for botanical detail makes her pictures a joy to behold. In a way they are the 21st century equivalent of the Dutch Old Master flower painters of the 17th centuries, who depicted compositions of flowers,

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The Secret Art of Vegetable Judging

Posted: July 25th, 2019

‘It is very addictive; in fact, it is an obsession,’ says Caddy Wilmot-Sitwell describing her new found role as a professional judge of vegetables at horticultural shows up and down the country. If you, like me, have gazed with wonderment on exquisite onions replete with an opalescent gleam at your village show, it is gripping

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Faversham Open Gardens 2019

Posted: June 18th, 2019

If you love visiting gardens you are in for a treat on Sunday 30th June, when an astonishing tally of 30 gardens are taking part in Faversham Open Gardens Day. The attractive ancient market town in East Kent has much to offer – fine architecture, good eateries, a fascinating history -but above all it is

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Edibleculture

Posted: April 12th, 2019

Hurrah for the nursery Edibleculture, whose aim is ‘to never let a plastic pot leave the premises.’ As all gardeners know this an ambitious statement to make – don’t we all have large piles of old plastic plant pots? The advent of the POSIpot is set to revolutionize horticulture retailing. Resembling a noodle pot, the

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