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The life and loves of a time-poor plantsman
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  • 08/12/12--05:15: A Touch of Ginger
  • Bringing a touch of the tropics to our garden this summer are two members of the ginger family – Hedychium densiflorum “Stephen” and Cautleya spicata. The Cautleya has been crammed into a 14″ pot for three or four years. I meant to re-pot it into a much larger container this spring, but by the time […]

    Cautleya spicata and friends, August 2012frustratedgardenerCautleya spicata and friends, August 2012Hedychium densiflorum Cautleya spicata and friends, August 2012frustratedgardenerCautleya spicata and friends, August 2012Hedychium densiflorum "Stephen", August 2012

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    This curious little fella is Curcuma aromatica, or wild turmeric. We discovered it today, growing amongst the pine needles at the side of the Mo Chhu, or Mother River, a couple of miles up from Punakha’s mighty Dzong. It’s a member of the ginger family and has rhizomes with a strange fragrance and attractive deep […]

    frustratedgardener20130409-164828.jpgfrustratedgardener20130409-164828.jpg

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    Clearing our borders of tender perennials last weekend, I was surprised to see the earth scattered with what appeared to be large pomegranate seeds.  At first I thought they were escaping lily beetles, but looking up I could see they had fallen from the 8ft tall flower stems of Hedychium densiflorum ‘Stephen’.  It seemed such […]

    frustratedgardenerSeeds of Hedychium 'Stephen', November 2013frustratedgardenerSeeds of Hedychium 'Stephen', November 2013

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  • 08/01/14--01:45: Gardening Leave
  • No, I haven’t quit my job or been given my marching orders, but I have taken a couple of days off to prepare the garden for our National Gardens Scheme open days this weekend. I am fastidious at the best of times, but risk turning a little bit obsessive-compulsive over the next 24 hours. Suddenly […]

    The Watch House garden, late July 2014frustratedgardenerWelcome to our jungle!Hedychium 'Stephen' sparklesAgapanthus africanus and Dahlia 'Amercian Dawn'The Watch House garden, late July 2014frustratedgardenerWelcome to our jungle!Hedychium 'Stephen' sparklesAgapanthus africanus and Dahlia 'Amercian Dawn'

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  • 07/12/15--02:37: All Systems Go!
  • Here at The Watch House we are steadily building up to our second annual National Gardens Scheme open weekend on August 1st and 2nd. Unlike last year, when the whole exercise was an unknown, we are approaching this year’s event with a certain amount of surety. The posters are up and the plants are in; our helpers have […]

    The Watch House Open Weekend, 2014frustratedgardenerAfter last weekend's heavy rainDigitalis sceptrum and Digitalis canariensis putting on a spectacular double actNew garden furniture arrived this June, a reclaimed teak table surrounded by 'Air' chairs by Magis.Welcome to our jungle!This year I've chosen trailing white begonias and Fuchsia 'Tom West' to adorn the outdoor kitchen shelvesThe Watch House Open Weekend, 2014frustratedgardenerAfter last weekend's heavy rainDigitalis sceptrum and Digitalis canariensis putting on a spectacular double actNew garden furniture arrived this June, a reclaimed teak table surrounded by 'Air' chairs by Magis.Welcome to our jungle!This year I've chosen trailing white begonias and Fuchsia 'Tom West' to adorn the outdoor kitchen shelves

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  • 07/19/15--14:07: The Stage is Set
  • The stage is finally set for our open weekend on August 1st and 2nd. Any changes I make from now on will appear too obvious, so it’s simply a case of deadheading, sweeping and watering to maintain the status quo. The pressure is now on the cast – the dahlias, gingers, agapanthus and fuchsias – to […]

    Our Coastal Garden, The Watch House, July 2015frustratedgardenerPlenty of green in the garden this weekendHedychium yunnanense has powerfully scented flowersHedychium densiflorum 'Sorung' (Photo: The Exotic Plant Co.)The leaves of Colocasia esculenta 'Illustris' can reach 3ft in lengthDigitalis sceptrum and Crocosmia 'Hellfire'Our Coastal Garden, The Watch House, July 2015frustratedgardenerPlenty of green in the garden this weekendHedychium yunnanense has powerfully scented flowersHedychium densiflorum 'Sorung' (Photo: The Exotic Plant Co.)The leaves of Colocasia esculenta 'Illustris' can reach 3ft in lengthDigitalis sceptrum and Crocosmia 'Hellfire'

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    This curious little fella is Curcuma aromatica, or wild turmeric. We discovered it today, growing amongst the pine needles at the side of the Mo Chhu, or Mother River, a couple of miles up from […]

    frustratedgardener20130409-164828.jpgfrustratedgardener20130409-164828.jpg

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  • 08/02/16--11:35: Opening Pains
  •   Had we opened our seaside garden on the usual weekend, this is the scene that would have greeted our visitors. Not bad, even if I do say so myself. Instead, we spent the weekend […]

    The Watch House garden, panorama, July 2016frustratedgardenerPolegate Cottage building site, July 2016Hedychium yunnanense, The Watch House, July 2016Gloriosas, The Watch House, July 2016The Watch House garden, panorama, July 2016The Watch House garden, panorama, July 2016frustratedgardenerPolegate Cottage building site, July 2016Hedychium yunnanense, The Watch House, July 2016Gloriosas, The Watch House, July 2016The Watch House garden, panorama, July 2016

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  • 08/08/16--12:42: The Final Countdown 
  •   Twelve days to go and preparation for this year’s garden opening feels like one of those bad dreams where, try as one may, one never reach the finishing line. I can usually let go of […]

    Calibrachoa, The Watch House, August 2016frustratedgardenerDahlia 'Firepot'Dahlia 'Darkarin' - more blanc than burgundy!Still not quite what I was expecting.Dahlia 'Mambo'Potted plants by the kitchen sinkAnd still it grows....Calibrachoa, The Watch House, August 2016frustratedgardenerDahlia 'Firepot'Dahlia 'Darkarin' - more blanc than burgundy!Still not quite what I was expecting.Dahlia 'Mambo'Potted plants by the kitchen sinkAnd still it grows....

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      Asarum delavayi ‘Giant’*: Giant Wild Ginger, Panda face ginger As an antidote to my post about Vita Sackville-West’s macabre ‘Box of the Dead’ earlier this week, I thought I’d share a happier tale. Regular […]

    Asarum delavayi 'Giant', LondonfrustratedgardenerAsarum delavayi 'Giant', LondonAsarum delavayi 'Giant', LondonAsarum delavayi 'Giant', LondonAsarum delavayi 'Giant', LondonfrustratedgardenerAsarum delavayi 'Giant', LondonAsarum delavayi 'Giant', LondonAsarum delavayi 'Giant', London