Our conservatory is no hothouse; we only keep the frost out. But such a relatively warm autumn, with endless sunny days, kept it on the boil week after week until a score of things were flowering at once. We rarely get a chance like this to play with colours in winter. One group of pots worked specially well: the golden yellow flower of Allamanda cathartica, like a big jasmine without the scent, the lemon yellow spike of Salvia madrensis and the cool lime-yellow bells of Correa backhouseana. The pinky red C. pulchella is a Christmas cliché; its cousin a much cooler plant in every sense. A tall Camellia, the early-flowering C. sasanqua ‘Narumigata’, with white lowers 10cm wide, framed the picture. Scent is not normally a feature of camellias. But sniffing ‘Narumigata’ makes me think it’s just as well.
Snug under glass Posted on February 1, 2007
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Trad? Who’s he?
Trad’s Diary started as the editorial column of the RHS Journal when it was remodelled and relaunched as The Garden in 1975. I was responsible for the changes, wrote the column then, and still do when I have an idea, 45 years later. I am Hugh Johnson, author of Trees, The Principles of Gardening, and lots of stuff about wine.
Trad borrows his name from John Tradescant, gardener to Lord Cecil at Hatfield and to King James I, one of the first to introduce plants from abroad to England. His family name, having become extinct, seemed a fitting label for a column of garden jottings. It was adopted in 1977 by the new Trust for the Garden Museum in Lambeth, where John Tradescant (the accent is on the second syllable) lived and is buried. Today the museum is in full and exciting expansion mode. I urge you to visit its website, visit it personally, and support it as much as you can.
Trad took to the ether as a blog in 2008. There have been two anthologies, in 1993 and 2009, and since 2008 the text has been published quarterly in Hortus magazine. Scroll back, if you have time to waste, over hundreds of earlier entries. Better, use the Search button to look up things that might interest you. This index facility is priceless to the diarist; now he can see how often he repeats himself. Thanks to Simon Appleby and Bookswarm for making this happen.
Hugh’s Gardening Books
This is the third anthology of Trad’s Diary, cherry-picking the past ten years. The previous two covered the years 1975…
Hugh’s Wine Books
I wrote my first Pocket Wine Book in 1977, was quite surprised to be asked to revise it in 1978,…