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Posts from the ‘Our garden: Herbaceous borders’ Category


I don’t think a gardener ever likes to lose a plant. Certainly not one that is well-established, and part of the scheme of things in the garden. But there are times when, absence chemical spraying, there is no alternative but to uproot.

Calliandra 9.18Our powder puff tree, Calliandra haematocephala, is in a terrible mess. Covered in sticky white fluff, with honeydew all around and – as a result – also swarming with ants, it is an utterly depressing sight.

What to do? Read more

Nursery Times

I love pottering around plant nurseries. Not garden centres, with their underwhelming supermarket rows of same-ish plants and overpriced packets of seeds and shelves of useless stuff for adding trendy touches to conservatory and garden.

No, I mean the kind you meander through, never knowing what plant you might encounter in the next section or under a pergola or tucked away in a corner. Places where serendipitous finds enthral, appearing when least expected.

Nursery plants 8.18

My latest haul from just such a treasure-hunt: Moringa (tallest, at back), Justicia (a little less tall, with few leaves), Sedum – oh, and a couple of surprise seedlings too. And I’ve had such fun rooting them out. Read more


The summer this year has taken some strange turns, with brown and parched parks and gardens in London, green and abundant growth in Cairo. How odd!

Above left is the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew in west London. At right: Our garden in New Cairo. Both views were taken within a week of each other in July. Read more