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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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October 4, 2013 | Plantaholic Post: A Sweet pea for Show and Tell

I have been badgering Tony for the name of this sweet pea all summer and now, October in, he tells me.  It is called April in Paris.  It is exquisite white with feint purple tracings.  It has flowered and flowered and not done the usual pea thing of shrinking in flower size and stem length [...]

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March 13, 2013 | Plantaholic Post

This is an eyeball view of Corylus avellana ‘Contorta’.  I visited two nurseries last week and at both it  threatened to jump off the shelves and run after me.  Waiting to see whether I still love it in high summer when it hides twisty gyrations behind large but oddly drab leaves.  A cracker of a [...]

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February 11, 2013 | Plantaholic POST

Eranthus hyemalis:   I would not be so in love with this little plant if the weather had sulked less this February.  By now a gasping need to look at colour is upon me.  The  winter aconites, oh so yellow with  shiny pierrot ruffs,   are  strewing themselves  round the moss mound under the oaks. [...]

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June 28, 2012 | Plantaholic POST:

Rosa moyesii ‘Geranium’ is a brilliant rose for wild bits of the garden.  It is splays out like a fountain and needs space for this.  Say 2 and a half metres tall by nearly as wide.  It is the dog rose of the hedgerow with a heavy dose of cochineal.  The winter hips add gaudy [...]

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June 6, 2012 | A plant to drool over

Nigella damascena ‘ Miss Jekyll Alba’.   A real jewel of an annual.  Free seeding with filigree leaves and seed heads like pop eyes.

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April 18, 2012 | I cannot speak a word of Turkish

but I know that these are the seeds of desire:

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January 29, 2012 | Plantaholic POST:

Salix ‘Erythroflexuosa’. Willow seen in stark nudity by water.  At its best in the low light of winter afternoon sun.

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December 14, 2011 | Plantaholic POST:

Look  up into the hoary upper reaches of Platanus orientalis var. insularis.  A doughty specimen from Crete.  Tall as a house in Edinburgh Botanic Gardens.

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November 28, 2011 | Plantaholic POST:

The only drawback to this juicy green and practically white flower is the name.  Schizostylis coccinea ‘Pink Marge’.

It has never grown well for me  but looks dreamy right now in a customer’s free-draining garden.   Cohabiting with the black grass Ophiopogon planascapus ‘Nigrescens’ and a shimmery grass Molinia caerulea ‘Edith Dudszus‘.

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October 13, 2010 | Plantaholic Post

Geranium psiliostemon is shocking magenta with a black eye.  The colour looks particularly good in a little bit of dappled shade.  It is tall – over a metre and arching, curving around in a wirey way with no need for staking.  I cut mine back in mid summer and it has come back and will [...]

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