Sarah Coles
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OTHER PEOPLE’S GARDENS

JUNE The gardens in our village are open today. Broad Street is lined with sedate Georgian houses all built within decades of each other because two massive 18th century fires burnt their predecessors down. Their gardens extend behind, some as far as 75 yards. Every house, in fact the whole area, is listed, which means the owners can’t alter the front facades but behind they can erect garden sheds or summer houses or conservatories. The backs are a contrast, relaxed and higgledy piggledy. You enter a garden, via a gate or garage which was formerly a coach house. Delphiniums and roses are the order of...
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CHELSEA FLOWER SHOW 2019

CHELSEA FLOWER SHOW! 2019 Yes, it’s over. I’m critical but I love it, the vibes, the brief excitement in this tiny area of plants, gardens, pop up shops, food vans, stalls selling Pimms, uplifting mottoes all over the place, furniture, gazebos, and sculpture, naff and ok. I went on the final day, and hardly bothered with the show gardens, because they’ve been on TV and they’re about spectacle not reality – they look stunning for a week before being slung into refuse vans. What has a Yorkshire canal lock to do with gardening? It’s about getting the tourists to Yorkshire. And it was...
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Lazy Gardener?

No seeds this year.  Sheer laziness, no, just lack of time.  And so, Plants!  Container annuals from Sarah Raven, and leeks, golden beetroot and a variety of lettuce from Mr Fothergills.  Handy research for Gardening Forever.
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GHOST FLOWERS AND OTHER APPARITIONS

Overnight ghost stag horn ferns and clouds sprout on the windows of the freezing greenhouse.  But as it warms by one degree they vanish as quickly as they came, leaving smeary glass.  But while they are here, the freezing tiles on the barn opposite are outlined in white, grass is crisp and wiry, everything is still, and beautiful.  Twigs and leaves sparkle with a myriad brilliant spots, as though each were a pinhole to paradise.  Which they are.  Today it’s warmer and everywhere is flat, wet, dark.  Tiny balloons from last night’s rain hang on branches, each a microcosm of...
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WINTER SCENT

JANUARY 3RD 2017 Bright  and freezing.  Nothing in the way of flowers but, wait!  I never noticed Christmas Box, Sarcocca confusa, its slight creamy flowers are barely visible among the shiny leaves and last year’s black berries, but boy … from two pots either side the door its scent now wafts over everyone who enters.  A welcome, a Please Enter. They’ve been there over ten years, and come from self sown seedlings, and all I do is occasionally top dress them, scraping off some soil and replacing it with fresh compost, and giving a bucket of water when there’s a summer...
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