Aeschynanthus buxifolius

A surprisingly hardy plant from southeast Asia. Aeschynanthus: tropical ‘lipstick plants’ A number of years ago I worked in the Southeast Asia section at Kew Gardens, and took part in several field trips to Borneo. […]

Botanists' Backyards

Botanists’ gardens: Maarten Christenhusz

Join me for a tour of the private London garden of botanist Maarten Christenhusz Botanists gardens What is it about some gardens that makes them particularly special and memorable? A sophisticated or original colour combination? […]


Penthorum sedoides

A marginal pond plant from North America, with pretty red fruits and autumn foliage. Penthorum sedoides is a perennial herb native to the eastern United States where it grows in wet soils or shallow water […]


Bomarea edulis

A hardy, tropical climber from South America Plant collecting in Rio On the 14th November 1768, 79 days after the Endeavour set sail from Plymouth on Captain Cook’s first voyage around the world (the story […]

Garden History

250 years of Endeavour

Captain Cook’s first voyage. Exactly 250 years ago today, on August 26th 1768, the Endeavour departed from Plymouth on Captain Cook’s first voyage around the world, with the botanists Joseph Banks and Daniel Solander on […]

Plants we grow

Anemopsis californica

An ancient and unusual plant from North America The flowers of this unusual aquatic plant, which seems to have become more popular in cultivation in recent years, are held in an inflorescence (flower head) that […]

Our garden

Creating Paradise in Camberwell

Reflections on Monty Don’s Paradise Gardens. I greatly enjoyed the first episode of the new BBC series Monty Don’s Paradise Gardens, charting the history, design and symbolism of the beautiful and tranquil Islamic garden style. […]

Garden History

When in Rome…

Livia’s Garden Fresco Last summer, Rob and I were on a mini-break in Rome with my parents. On the last day, we arrived at the station far too early for our train back to the […]