Sarah Coles

POST MORTEM: CHELSEA 2021

Due to the pandemic, poor old Chelsea Flower Show was switched from its usual May to late September.  Dull!  All these show gardens in drab greens, as though sprayed with a wash of grey, plus the usual unrealistic plashing waterfall here and there.  Why not a flaming forest of dahlias? Better I thought were the balcony gardens, where you would lounge in your eyrie way above the crowds.  Also I liked the container gardens which could travel with your every change of  house – pots, tins, barrels and the like  painted and planted with herbs, bulbs, little shrubs.  The Pop Street garden had red,...
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GARDENING FOR EVER 2 – Happiness? Health? Environment

Happiness?  Health? The concept of happiness as a steady achievable state of being is comparatively modern (look at those meek medieval madonnas, dour Dutch citizens, proud Renaissance magnates,).  Aristotle understood the search for happiness but later it was neither particularly sought or admired, particularly by religions, which state that suffering is humanity’s daily fare.  Then came the eighteenth century and the US declaration that all men have a right to the pursuit of happiness, and Alexander Pope declaring ‘Oh Happiness, our being’s end and aim!’ Today books, CDs, lectures, and...
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GARDENING FOR EVER. 1. Why Garden?

PREFACE When the Hampshire Magazine, for which I wrote a garden column for over thirty years, folded, I spent a few years writing a book about the history of gardening which (amazingly, to me) was accepted and published by In the Garden Publishing (ITG) in the USA.  Fine, and it sold quite well.  Then ITG too folded. Then, I gradually wrote a book about easy gardening – I mean gardening that’s not onerous and doesn’t take too long.  In it I touched on the fact – which I had never been able to discuss in the highly practical  and factual Hampshire Magazine – that...
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SELLING YOUR HOUSE? DO UP THE GARDEN!

Below’s blog is by American blogger, Paul Denikin.  It’s about sprucing up the garden before putting your house on the market.   After all, the garden is the first thing a potential buyer sees, and therefore needs, as he puts it, ‘curb appeal’.  Here are his suggestions! ________________________________________________ How to Create Curb Appeal That Packs a Wallop by Paul Denikin A house that really feels like a home begins with what you see on the outside. In fact, your yard should be a place of pride and joy, since the first thing anyone notices about your home is the...
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PLANT INTELLIGENCE

Do Plants Think? I read an article in the New Scientist (Smarty Plants, 6 December 2014) about the intelligence of plants by Anil Anathaswamy.  (I had already explored this concept in my book LIFE, THE UNIVERSE AND GARDENING.)  Plants respond to touch – mimosa pudica quickly, but others more slowly, heavens a lot more slowly – they respond to light and shade, they can hear (we saw orchids swaying to music in Thailand, yes, I am not joking), they can smell and communicate.  ‘They think, they react, they remember.’ Now it’s being explored scientifically.  With plants, ‘you get...
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