A year of Garden visiting part 4

Following on from Part 1Part 2

and Part 3

It’s all about the plants.

Following on from the Monsoons at RHS Rosemoor at the end of August 2019 we visited Bicton Park,  a place I was not very familiar with, but we saw a leaflet for it and thought we’d give it a try. We were presented with many acres of parkland-style planting with some quite formal well-planted beds of seasonal and tropical style planting.

We explored the beds and borders with me boring my partner by naming all the plants and informing him how tender each plant is, I repaid his tolerance with a rather splendid Cream Tea in the cafe.

Bicton Park is known for its Glasshouses, in particular, its Palm house which was built in the 1820s in a curvilinear design. Apparently, you can have a civil marriage ceremony inside.

Shortly afterward we went on a bit of an adventure to another location we had seen on a tourist leaflet, The Sidmouth Donkey Sanctuary.

The Sanctuary is open every day of the year with free admission. There are a Cafe and shop, which were both very busy. We spent a couple of happy hours here stroking many Donkeys. I saw the Relocated RHS Chelsea Flower Show Silver Medal-winning garden ‘Donkeys Matter’.   Whilst there we learned that Donkeys are becoming scarce on the African continent due to the Chinese Donkey skin trade,  which is used to manufacture traditional Chinese medicines. this is having a negative impact on Donkey populations and the native people that use the animals in their daily lives.

All very worrying and depressing.

We purchased several items from the shop and donated a few quid. The Donkeys here are the ones that have been rehabilitated well enough to be on public display, we were told there is a second site which is not open to the public where the more unwell and traumatized animals live. The Donkeys we saw were indeed the lucky ones.

A year of Garden visiting part 3

Following on from Part 1 and Part 2

It’s all about the plants.

Following on from a visit to BBC Gardeners World Live 2019, we set our horizons a little further away from home, a short break away for a few days was planned. I set my sights on a few days away Southwards and planned to visit a few gardens whilst there.

Continue reading “A year of Garden visiting part 3”

Thou shall not Grow Brassicas!


I’ve been taught a lesson, quite a bitter lesson. Let me explain.  A few months ago I stood looking at my empty raised veg bed, the last detritus of Autumn had been cleaned away and the soil sat there, looking bare. Right, I thought, what could I be growing over the winter months that could make use of the soil until I need to plant out in the spring, not only what would grow, but what would I like to actually eat.

Continue reading “Thou shall not Grow Brassicas!”

A Year of Garden Visiting Part 2


Following on from Part 1

Late February I made another trip down to London as a guest of the Garden Press Event, it’s an event for the Horticultural trade to show off new products to the press, another associated people in the media including Bloggers.


I was given the opportunity to try out some new compost recipes being released onto the market during 2019, also new seed varieties, and we also got to see new designs of cachepots for houseplants and lots of other new interior planting items. It was also nice to catch up with familiar faces in the blogging world.

Continue reading “A Year of Garden Visiting Part 2”

A Year of Garden Visiting 2019


It’s all about the plants.


Early February this year I felt the need to be in the tropics, not being able to afford the airfare to travel to far-flung exotic locations, I wandered off down to London to visit the annual Kew Gardens Orchid Festival. Held in the Princess of Wales Conservatory, this year’s theme was focused on South America, plants from this part of the world were all on display in formal and informal situations throughout the glasshouse.

Continue reading “A Year of Garden Visiting 2019 Part 1”

A Saturated Pause.

It started raining in October and it’s not really stopped. Monthly rainfall records have been broken, and so has my enthusiasm to a degree. Walking on any paved area in the garden is met with added peril of performing an unintentional skating routine and attempting to walk on any grassy area equally as hazardous as traversing a giant jelly with a bit of turf on it.

Continue reading “A Saturated Pause.”

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