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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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Yesterday I fell in love with the hop hornbeam

Ostraya carpinifolia. It was dancing in the wind at Cambridge Botanic:

Shaking hop dangly earrings in the sunny breeze.

My visit was a quick, lopping one but round a few corners it was a surprise to see the dreaded Fallopia sachalinensis, AKA Japanese Knotweed romping delightedly under a massy fir.  In the same area Ricinis Communis, the caster oil plant, with its poisonous association with umbrella tips, was lolling in a bed.  Dead lovely.  No doubt I was in the toxic zone.

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