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The Gardening Coach

Catharine Howard is the Gardening Coach. Contact her for gardening advice and visit www.thegardeningcoach.co.uk for more information.
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September 15, 2014 | Plants by Post - do I rate them?

When I asked  Tim Milward of PlantMeNow how many lines of seeds they had in their catalogue he looked at me politely and I realised I was a bit of an idiot.  Plant me now, geddit?  Plants arrive as plugs or in 7cm pots and the punter plants them and tends them.

It’s neat for those who do not care for the worry, flutter and bother of germinating and nurturing diddly-squat young plants.

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September 13, 2014 | Aspirational corner: mainly things I want but have no room for Mark 4

Perhaps I am getting steadily more greedy.  Time, on the other hand, could be galloping faster and faster like a runaway bull.  The long and short of it is that this time I am posting four things I want in my virtual and infinite Aspirational Corner.    First, tunnels of evergreen oak, Quercus ilex as pictured left at Villa Cetinale, near Siena.  The spangle-dangle disco look comes from the sharp sunlight piercing through.  I suspect this plant material needs the Tuscan sun.

Then just this past week, I and a friend have been visiting a garden or two of high calibre in Suffolk, with a view to pick up planting inspiration.  Well, I saw a garden of many

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September 9, 2014 | Garden workshops in Suffolk to get your garden looking gorgeous

I am running two workshops soon for any keen gardeners who live in Suffolk:

HARMONIOUS PLANTING – on  Monday 6th October 9.30 – 11.30 at Lilac Thyme, The Station, Woodbridge, IP12 4AU

This is a two hour workshop to get you enthused about where to begin with replanting, or simply dividing up and moving plants around.

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September 8, 2014 | The RHS Dahlia Show - what did we think?

My friend Frenchie of Moat Farm Flowers is big into cut flowers.  She lives up here in Suffolk and is growing and selling beautiful blooms for weddings and the like.  A Dahlia Show at Wisley? We gasped with excitement and made the date to go together. She for the learning and I for the gawping.

Here is a brief resumee  of our day out.  The car-park was a-flurry on arrival at my usual breakfast time – probably because Mary Berry was celebrising the day.  Made mental note not to get distracted by her.  But round the corner, there she was with an

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September 5, 2014 | Close up and personal at Castello di Celsa

Here is a a quick photo-study of Celsa – a castle and grounds near Siena, Italy.  I visited earlier this year, if you want to do the same,   check their website www.castellodicelsa.com to make an appointment.  If anyone gets to the 5th image, I would love to know what that flashy butterfly is called.   Continue reading Close up and personal at Castello di Celsa

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August 14, 2014 | More of these wild and woolly gardens

It is really a write-on from my post of August 7th about the serendipity of visiting two gardens back to back that are in wild contrast.  I just love it when this happens as it is food for thought about what appeals and what style or mood we might want to cultivate in our own garden.  So here is Villa Cetinale, seat of the Lambton family.  Clipped and manicured:

with an axis that runs from a Hermitage perched up on the hill, right through the house to a statue of Hercules at the bottom.

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August 13, 2014 | Aspirational corner: things that I want but have no space for mark 2

A maze

to get lost in.  This one is at Glendurgan Garden in Cornwall.  Oh, and I will have those tree ferns too.

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August 12, 2014 | Black List: Good old Ophiopogon gets a little jazzy

or even snazzy.  Ophiopogon planiscapus ‘nigrescens’ looks great in paving gaps.  Thrown into the limelight by the mullein skeletons.

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August 10, 2014 | A Bad Day in the garden

The hurricane is here.  It  has knocked down the bean tipi, smitten the amaranthus which are flaying their beards all over the place.  Time to retreat to the greenhouse.  No solace in there.

The tomato plants  have gone crazy and limbered all over the cucumbers.  I could hardly get through the door.  The cucumbers in turn have aborted their fruits.  I looked out of the windows to see  the neighbour’s fruit cage has an artillery of blackberries about to spit all over our garden.  And last of all, the bindweed has come into luminous flower.

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August 7, 2014 | Garden visits - the wild and woolly way

A couple of times a year, I put together a list of gardens and a bunch of us pile into a mini-bus and drive off to visit them.  Planning blind,  the aim is to visit two back to back for contrast in a day.  And when we get the contast, it is beautiful.  Take this day in Umbria, a month or two back.

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