Doddington Place Gardens

Near Sittingbourne, Kent.

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,…

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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…

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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,…

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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…

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Juniper and Bliss

Posted: November 26th, 2018

Who would have thought that woollen baby blankets hand-dyed with daffodil heads could be so beguiling? ‘These days this is what luxury is all about,’ says Yasmin Hossain of Juniper and Bliss, producers of the Baby Bliss blankets, part of a range of products for the home using natural plant…

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Flora Roberts, muralist and wallpaper and fabric designer.

Posted: February 16th, 2018

  Flora Roberts, her first name entirely apt as an example of nominative determinism, paints exquisite floral murals as well as designing handsome wallpapers and fabrics. The majority of contemporary murals are often woefully badly painted, but not so Flora’s. Her work is imbued with a sensitive delicacy which lends…

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Arvensis, a new wholesale plant nursery.

Posted: November 13th, 2017

If you are an avid garden Instagrammer, you will have no doubt come across the striking crisp images posted by Arvensis, a new wholesale trade plant nursery. Intrigued to find out more, I set off for Bradford-on-Avon, eager to see if the nursery lives up to its online profile. I…

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Green’s of Devon – Edible Flowers

Posted: March 20th, 2017

Edible flowers are not used nearly enough. Hurrah for Green’s of Devon, who sell herbs, edible flowers and garnishes online, offering a next day delivery service anywhere in the country. A quick glance at Green’s Instagram makes one want to place an order immediately. Each image is a beguiling visual…

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Petal and Pen

Posted: October 25th, 2016

Artificial flowers: the very phrase conjures up tired dusty arrangements adorning a National Trust drawing room. Who in their right minds would ever opt for ‘artificial’? The delightfully named Petal and Pen will make you reconsider ‘fake’ flowers. In fact, I defy anyone not to be entranced by the exquisite…

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Tom Brown, Head Gardener of Parham House, West Sussex

Posted: September 23rd, 2016

Tom Brown, Head Gardener at Parham House, West Sussex, is surely destined to become a luminary of the horticultural world. As one steps into the four acre walled garden it is immediately apparent that here is an exhilarating garden steered by a consummate plantsman. At every turn there is something…

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