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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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April 29, 2010 | Stalking my Cottage Garden

The cottage garden is just that  - a bit of everything from vegetables, to dahlias through ponds and roses.  It is an undesigned sort of place,  but practical can be beautiful.  I have been on the hunt for one to visit and photograph  so that the gardening chores  can become a monthly subject.   Accompanied [...]

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April 29, 2010 | Marauding chickens

I met Lyn for the first time a week or two back.  She was standing in Woodbridge’s Market Square and literally wringing her hands about the neighbour’s chickens.  She had taken down a fence to expose the country view and the poultry, from next door’s small holding had taken to swarming [...]

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April 28, 2010 | Pattern of the DAY

Cosmati floor, S. Crisogono, Rome

Part of the  13th century Cosmati pavement in San Crisogono, Trastevere, Rome

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April 27, 2010 | Plantaholic Post

Tulipa Antraciet

Tulupa Antraciet, a double late flowering tulip, is in flower right now.  It looks particularly fine in lead planters, or surrounded by a slate mulch or, as in this garden, planted in clumps through mounds of cranesbills.  Repeat it over again in groups of 15 to 20 bulbs and keep bright colours [...]

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April 25, 2010 | Celebrity pin-up of the Month

WHO?  Dan Pearson

WHY?  Because he is articulate, a  top notch plantsman and  good looking too.  He walks quietly through the landscape and takes what he sees in nature as the inspiration for his garden making.

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April 25, 2010 | I have to tell you a little bit more

Tudor courtyard of Okenhill Hall, Suffolk

about Okenhill Hall, near the castled town of Framlingham.  Well, the oracle – Nikolaus Pevsner – in “The Buildings of England” – Suffolk volume –  is dustily dry:   ” with a stepped gable and dated 1552.  Two polygonal angle buttresses with polygonal finials.  (are you still with me?) [...]

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April 24, 2010 | Pattern of the DAY

patterned brickwork at Okenhill Hall

A swatch of magnificent Tudor brickwork at Okenhill Hall – this is where I went today instead of tending and tilling the vegetable  plot.

The house is fabulous – apparantly in the Domesday book, the garden and woods tasteful and superb and the sandwiches and cakes, the stuff of dreams.

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April 24, 2010 | Travelling about Suffolk on a sunny, sunny Friday

Yesterday was balmy – sunlight and blossom and the unfurling of new leaves.   I met my friend Georgina for a walk down in the Stour valley by the clear waters of the River Box.  We parked  up beside a dour bearded man launching a coracle with magpie lurcher on a lead.  Climbing the hill [...]

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April 22, 2010 | Pattern of the DAY

Has to be this trunk spotted in Botanic Gardens, Rome

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April 22, 2010 | That proves it

DON’T do what I did and choose your flowers from the pictures in the catalogue.  The colours will be totally wrong, the scale misleading and you get a frozen snap-shot of a fragment of time.  I have landed up with 3 large pots full of outlandish hard yellow and red tulips that even look   [...]

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