The Horticultural Games

A beautiful sunny June morning finds me at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park (QEOP). Waiting outside the aquatics centre a raucous bunch of fellow horticulturists formed. Excited not by also the pub meal but the tour of the park by Dr. Phil Askew, Project Sponsor Parklands and Public Realm at QEOP. Over thirty of us…

West Dean, a play in two acts

‘Ah ha, a piece of bindweed!’ That is what a lady said during the morning tour of West Dean gardens. Exactly where, and if it did exist I do not know, as I was too busy engrossed in all the garden theatre in the walled kitchen garden.  I say if too because these gardens are…

The Working Garden

During April I was very lucky to able to visit a private garden in West Sussex. It was The Working Garden cared for by head gardener Benjamin Pope and team.    On arrival, the raked gravel drive to the house meanders via woody shady planting with shrubby structural greens and seasonal winter colour. The plant of…

El Brujo de Trinidad, Cuba

Across  the railway by the cemetery were the directions I received from the Brujo. That was where he sold most of his plants. Pushed in his wheelbarrow through the cobbled streets of Trinidad, Cuba was his mobile market offering his latest rosemary, basil and guava plants. Wandering off the tourist radar, as per norm, I encountered…

Machete and rum.

Rum. Cigars. Salsa. These are three of the main words people associate with the country Cuba. I like to indulge in all three but as a whole, Cuba is so much more. It and its people have so much more to give. I dare you to venture out of Havana or the beach resorts of…