Sarah Coles
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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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KEEP HOPING

SOPHORA JAPONICA – THE CHINESE SCHOLAR’S TREE Twelve years ago I planted a Sophora japonica, the Chinese Scholar Tree – I liked to think of writing under its shade, and I’d seen one with pale pink pea flowers. It’s also called the Pagoda Tree. It has pinnate leaves, with leaflets twinning each other giving the whole tree a light airy feel. My tree grew and grew. Its shade soon covered the terrace and much of the garden. Its leaves blocked the gutters in winter, causing Bob aged 86 to climb a ladder and clear them out. What if he slipped? So last winter I got...
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ATHENS – OCTOBER 2018

Greece – the islands, the churches, Athens, the air, the little lanes creeping up the green sides of the Acropolis. ATHENS In the isle of Tinos, Bob is  feeling unwell, he thinks he may have appendicitis. (When we get home, they say it’s gallstones, but it isn’t and the whole thing fades away. I think he feels he can do more than he’s up to, he gets so excited by the thought of all these places, Delos etc). So, I say we’d better skip any idea of Andros, and get home. I buy ferry tickets to Piraeus, and from there we get a taxi to Athens and the Jason Inn, which has no room, but sends...
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