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Six on Saturday: 17.02.2018

img 2083 Six on Saturday: 17.02.2018

February is disappearing rather fast now with only one more Saturday left before we hit March. The mornings are certainly much lighter and as for the evenings,it’s almost light until 6pm now. Another month and the clocks will change and spring forward, at last we will be able to do a little more in the garden at home after finishing work. I still can’t believe the amount of rain we had, everywhere seems so water logged and it’s a surprise for us this Saturday, it’s the first one in 6weeks when I shouldn’t be raining, that is going to be so nice indeed.

Well it’s confession time, I was planning to do a six from a clients garden this week but I got caught up in the rose pruning so umm I didn’t get around to it sadly, so somehow I managed to get another six from my own garden, helped with a bit of sun I may add!

img 2075 Six on Saturday: 17.02.2018

Primroses to me signal the start of spring and even though this is a large flowering hybrid, it just looks full of promise and very delightful as well

img 2070 Six on Saturday: 17.02.2018

Ahh yes there will be a couple of snowdrops I think this one is called Sibbertorf white and it’s one of the pure white forms with only a tiny bit of green on the flower

img 2074 Six on Saturday: 17.02.2018

And then there’s Rosemary Burnham, one of my all time favourites, I love theses forms with green veining on the petals

img 2073 Six on Saturday: 17.02.2018

My paper white daffodils are nearly flowering, a tad earlier that I planned as they are under planted with some crocus, that Um where supposed to come up first and the paperwhites in end of April, oh well that’s gardening!

img 2078 Six on Saturday: 17.02.2018

My prostrate rosemary is just starting to flower once more I love having this in an old chimney pot, I think it really enhances the flowers and foliage,

img 2083 Six on Saturday: 17.02.2018

My beautiful Edgeworthii is now open and in full flower, the courtyard garden is filled with its stunning scent but it was totally amazing to see my first butterfly of 2018, a red admiral, land on it and feed on its nectar. Wow took my breathe way!

I hope you enjoyed my 6 on Saturday from My garden. If you did please checkout other people’s 6 on the memes founder website https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com/ I love seeing other people’s plants and what’s happening in their gardens. Why not give it ago yourself next week and give me a shout so I can take a look

Until next week, have fun in the garden

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Snowdrops of Hodsock Priory

img 4029 Snowdrops of Hodsock Priory

Though my blogging, I sometimes get invited to some special open days and it was a lovely surprise to be invited up to Nottinghamshire to visit the place that really ignited the winter opening of gardens for snowdrops, Hodsock priory. They have been opening for snowdrops here since 1991 and currently welcomes over 20,000 people to enjoy the 4 million snowdrops on this privately owned 800 acre family estate. It has been in the safe keeping of the Buchanan family for over 200yrs, with Sir Andrew Buchanan handing the management reigns over to George Buchanan in 2006.

img 4045 Snowdrops of Hodsock Priory

George Buchanan looking over the parkland

The snowdrops themselves grow in two main areas of the estate namely the garden that is 5 acres and the 12 acre Horsepasture Wood.

Horsepasture Wood is well over 400yrs old with some stunning 400yr old oaks and great beech’s trees mixed it. It is within this setting the snowdrops really carpet the woodland floor, followed by the slowly emerging bluebells, set in amongst the woods are some great tree stumps, used architectural within the settings, making a great back drop for the snowdrops. There is also an open fire, where everyday when the garden is open for the snowdrops, George meets people at 2pm and explains the estate and family history. As for the carpet of snowdrops, words in any form can not give justice to the spectacular display, so I won’t even both and let the photos do the talking

img 4027 Snowdrops of Hodsock Priory

The walk into the woods

img 4029 Snowdrops of Hodsock Prioryimg 4032 Snowdrops of Hodsock Prioryimg 4042 Snowdrops of Hodsock Prioryimg 4043 Snowdrops of Hodsock Prioryimg 4053 Snowdrops of Hodsock Priory

img 4035 Snowdrops of Hodsock Priory

The great warming fire! I think every garden should have one!

Over the past years they have moved the snowdrops from the fringe areas of the woodland into the middle areas where they can be enjoyed. This superb setting if the back drop for an outdoor theatre group, The Whispering wood Folk preforming the Snowdrop Queen over the 16th-18th of February.

The walk though to the main garden area from Horsepasture Wood is a walk of pleasure as you are flanked by sweet smelling Winter Honeysuckle Lonicera fragrantissima.

img 4125 Snowdrops of Hodsock Priory

The main gardens are set in about 5 acres of land surrounding the main house, the use of water has been cleverly done so it reflects views of the house and garden. On your way into the main garden you follow this delightful stream, flanked with winter colour, provided by of course snowdrops, dogwoods and Salix all playing a part too.

img 4123 Snowdrops of Hodsock Prioryimg 4122 Snowdrops of Hodsock Priory

The main pond used to be part of the old mote in past times and on a still day catches the house perfectly

img 4073 Snowdrops of Hodsock Priory

The scent of winter catches you as you wander around the gardens with Sarcococca and Hamamelis providing the overtures. The garden is home to lots of other spring flowering plants like Iris reticulata, winter aconites, cyclamen, crocus and of course the Snowdrops! They have over 17 different forms of snowdrops in the garden including Lady Beatrix Stanley who happened to be Sir Andrews grandmother!  Snowdrops of Hodsock Priory Snowdrops of Hodsock Priory Snowdrops of Hodsock Priory Snowdrops of Hodsock Priory Snowdrops of Hodsock Priory Snowdrops of Hodsock Priory Snowdrops of Hodsock Priory

img 4075 Snowdrops of Hodsock Priory

There’s also a huge fan of snowdrops in the main lawn, that sadly wasn’t out fully but will look amazing when it is!

img 4089 Snowdrops of Hodsock Priory

The site of one of the old glasshouses was used to great effect,

img 4094 Snowdrops of Hodsock Priory

The formal parterre area has standard roses planted in there

img 4086 Snowdrops of Hodsock Priory

The gardens themselves are indeed full of little horticultural gems and the whole garden is a delight! It’s surprising to hear the main gardens and Horsepasture Wood are managed with just 6 part time workers including Sir Andrew and Lady Belinda. George did say this may change this year as 4 of them maybe retiring.

The gardens are a true delight of Nottinghamshire, they have a real family feel about them and it’s clear Sir Andrew and George Buchanan care deeply about the estate and its long term survival, long term plans include extending the woodland, producing cricket bat willow for production of cricket bats and expanding the wedding venue experience. This family pride really shines though on the estate and for me the 31/2hr journey seemed well worth it to see somewhere so special.

Hodsock priory is open for the snowdrops every day 10am-4pm until the 4th of March with the Whispering Woodfolk preforming this 16th-18th of February. There is also a couple of excellent eating points, the large heated marquee that produces rather excellent bacon rolls and another watery in the woods near the wood fire. Adults cost £5.00 and Children £1. Theres a £2.50 surcharge for the evening performance of the Snowdrop Queen.

For more information please see their website which is http://www.hodsockpriory.com/snowdrops/plan-your-visit/

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Plant of the week: Garrya elliptica ‘James Roof’

img 1990 1 Plant of the week: Garrya elliptica ‘James Roof’

img 1900 Plant of the week: Garrya elliptica ‘James Roof’

The plant of the week this week is a widely planted shrub that’s really starting to look great at this time of the year. And it rightly deserves this wide planting for its a tough plant

Garrya elliptica ‘James Roof’ is a evergreen shrub that sometimes is called Silk tassel bush or Quinine bush. It is a native of USA where it grows in a couple of different areas, the first one is on the coast of South Oregon and into California very near the coast well within 20miles of it. The other place it can be found growing on the mountains around the Pacific coastline in areas like Montana and San Bruno mountain ranges. It tends to grow 200m above sea level in the more damper spots along the coast.

img 1990 Plant of the week: Garrya elliptica ‘James Roof’

It was first discovered by one of the greatest plant collectors of all America, David Douglas in 1828. Garrya was named after Garry Nichols. Garry Nichols was the deputy governor of the Hudson Bay company and managed the merger between them and North West Company. Hudson Bay Company controlled the fur trade throughout North America and is still going as a trading company selling anything from clothes to digital space. The cultivar James Roof was named after the director of Tilden botanical gardens, California where this form was found growing in amongst some seedlings.

img 1993 Plant of the week: Garrya elliptica ‘James Roof’

Garrya elliptica ‘James Roof’ is an evergreen shrub with a sea green foliage. It makes a shrub that will reach 4m in height and width and makes both a great free standing shrub as well as a wall Plant. Garrya elliptica ‘James Roof’ makes a Great Wall shrub thriving on a north facing wall. It’s grown for its very beautiful greenish/grey catkins at start showing early winter and then open up around now to their full length of 20-35cm in the case of the male form James Roof. These catkins are really what this stunning shrub is grown for. Once they have finished flowering, they can stay on the shrubs for months after they have finished. It is pretty tough shrub, Hardy down to -15c but it will suffer a bit of browning on the leaves and some dieback at these temperatures. It prefers a soil that is pretty damp but is free draining, it will survive in drier soils but never does as well. It will quite take slightly acidic and alkaline soils, ideally in the PH range of 6-8. I have grown it on shallow soils over chalk without too many problems. It’s prefect for poor soils and coastal areas. Pruning wise it just needs a little shaping in April cutting the growth from last year down to a couple of buds on established plants and trim new growth on plants in training, down by half. Feeding is down using a compost mulch and vitax Q4 in around March time. Propagation is best done by semi-ripe cuttings taken in late summer. It is pretty disease and pest free, rabbits and deer don’t really like eating them!

Garrya elliptica ‘James Roof’ is available in most good garden centres and can be seen in most public gardens and in a lot of private gardens as well

img 1879 Plant of the week: Garrya elliptica ‘James Roof’

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Six on Saturday 10-02-2018

img 2031 Six on Saturday 10 02 2018

Well that was more like it! A cold week with plenty of frosty mornings. It’s wonderful seeing the plants covered in a fine dusting of frozen tiny water particles, adding a glittery shine to all that is touched. It is so nice also seeing the big round yellow think up in the sky, it just seems to turn the day around lifting not only our spirts but those of the wildlife we share the garden with. My highlight of the week was watching a red kite flying low over a field with a Kesteral in the forefront and 3 buzzards circling behind. Times like that, I find I have to just stop what I am doing and watch nature happening in front of me. This closeness with nature is one reason I just love what I do

Anyway moving back to topic and that’s of course 6 on Saturday and for the 3rd week in a row, it comes from my little patch in Hampshire. Not too sure how I managed it but I did!

img 2029 Six on Saturday 10 02 2018

Let’s start with a Heuchura and their beautiful foliage, they can really add a depth of colour and interest into the garden at any time of the year but even more so now, I love some of the names as well, this ones called Sugar frosting. Just look at that shade of purple underneath the leaves, just stunning purely stunning

img 2015 Six on Saturday 10 02 2018

So pleased with this galanthus called Spindlestone surprise, it’s really bulked up well in the pot and I am enjoying the 4 flowers I have, hoping to get a few more soon!

img 2019 Six on Saturday 10 02 2018

One of the first ones I brought a couple of years ago called Chedworth, makes a fine specimen in a pot, one of my little jobs this weekend is to feed them all with liquid seaweed to give them a boast, also tempted to repot a few of the ones that have finished flowering adding a bit of blood, fish and bonemeal to them

img 2031 Six on Saturday 10 02 2018

A little dwarf iris now one called iris danfordiae, it’s a lovely little scented plant on the verge of flowering! It belongs to the iris reticulata group (although I have heard horror stories they are not iris any more but Iridodyctium, but let’s only say that name after the 9pm watershed Mark!) Whatever the name, it’s still just lovely

img 2027 Six on Saturday 10 02 2018

And now for a dwarf evergreen shrub that is way underrated, it’s tough, it’s beautiful, it’s Eurya japonica ‘Moutiers’! This shade loving shrub can be pruned and shaped but it’s the stunning leaves and stems that turn bright red in the cold winter that sets it apart from many other shrubs, hard to find but well worth it

img 2035 Six on Saturday 10 02 2018img 2034 Six on Saturday 10 02 2018

A late addition to six on Saturday but I so wanted to feature this beautiful small climber, it’s Ribes laurifolium Amy Doncaster, it’s lovely member of the current family that flowering at the moment, Amy Doncaster is a form with red stems, selected by the great plants woman Amy Doncaster from her garden in chandlers ford. I only planted this out last year and is already proving me with its beauty.

I hope you enjoyed my 6 on Saturday from My garden. If you did please checkout other people’s 6 on the memes founder website https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com/ I love seeing other people’s plants and what’s happening in their gardens. Why not give it ago yourself next week and give me a shout so I can take a look

Until next week, have fun in the garden

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Six on Saturday 3-02-2018

img 1849 Six on Saturday 3 02 2018

Where did it go? January I mean! Doesn’t seem like yesterday it was the end of Christmas and we were looking forward to the new year, now we are the second month in already! Spring is really slowly coming apon us, daffodils are poking their heads up, bluebells again, just poking their green shoots out, teasing us even more. Even more so, the spring work is slowly starting to pick up momentum. Most of my fruits trees I manage are now all pruned bar a couple and I have moved on to wisterias and roses, a real sign for me that spring is just around the corner!

My six on Saturday this week is from my own little patch in chandlers ford, Hampshire for the second week in the row, some kind of miracle there but I hope you enjoy my 6 things happening in my garden this weekend

img 1913 Six on Saturday 3 02 2018

Yes yes even us professionals get things wrong! Iris George is a beautiful little purple iris that ummm has disappeared amongst the purple and yellow pansies, yes yes I know I should of put a pale pansy underneath but I wasn’t thinking ok, but never mind, I still love these dwarf irises !

img 1914 Six on Saturday 3 02 2018

Finally after 3 wet Saturdays I have managed to finish off the tiling on the front of our children’s new playhouse! All I need to do now is fix the flooring in, add the plastic to the window and build a shelves of their toys and we shall be all done until I start doing the green alpine roof! It’s getting there!

img 1777 Six on Saturday 3 02 2018

Haha fooled you all! I bet you hoped there would be no snowdrops in this one but there is and this one is called green brush and I love theses ones with green on their petals, can’t wait for this one to bulk up!

img 1916 Six on Saturday 3 02 2018

My Edgeworthii is slowly opening and my tiny space is full of its beautiful scent! It’s one of my little treasures in the garden but that said they are all my little treasures really! Can’t wait until it’s all fully open.

img 1849 Six on Saturday 3 02 2018

Another new dwarf iris for me, this ones called painted lady. It goes look rather stunning but did come up rather weird, rather twisted and odd, wasn’t too sure about it but now it’s fully opened I love it!

img 1779 Six on Saturday 3 02 2018

Well it’s not exactly my garden but spotted this clump in the middle of another massive clump of G.nivilis near a road the other day, just stood out, not sure on name or indeed if it has one, looked nice so I grabbed a couple of bulbs to see what

I hope you enjoyed my 6 on Saturday from My garden. If you did please checkout other people’s 6 on the memes founder website https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com/ I love seeing other people’s plants and what’s happening in their gardens. Why not give it ago yourself next week and give me a shout so I can take a look

Until next week, have fun in the garden

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Plant of the week-Helleborus x hybridus Walberton’s Rosemary ‘Walhero’

helleborus walbertons rosemary walhero Plant of the week Helleborus x hybridus Walbertons Rosemary Walhero

helleborus walbertons rosemary walhero Plant of the week Helleborus x hybridus Walbertons Rosemary Walhero

Well it’s been just about a year since I started Plant of the week and there are so many plants left to feature and some that surprise me I haven’t featured before and hellebores fall into that. It surprises me as I do love love hellebores and this one has become a firm favourite during the past few years since I first saw it.

helleborus walbertons rosemary walhero 3 Plant of the week Helleborus x hybridus Walbertons Rosemary Walhero

Normally a this stage I would tell you about the plant and where in the world it came from but this hellebore is a cross between H.niger and H.x hybridus. It’s not often these 2 hybridised, indeed it was only the second time it happened. This hybrid was found here in the uk by David Tristram, Walberton Nursery, West Sussex in 2000 but wasn’t released until 2009. It was named for his wife Rosemary. Helleborus niger and helleborus x hybridus hybrids have been hybridised in Japan before but have never really been commercially available until this form was bred. The name helleborus comes from Ancient Greek words, Helen meaning to injure and bora meaning food.

helleborus walbarton rosemary1 2 Plant of the week Helleborus x hybridus Walbertons Rosemary Walhero

Helleborus x hybridus Walberton’s Rosemary ‘Walhero’ makes a excellent garden plant. It needs a good fertile soil with some moisture retention, it’s quite happy to grow on most Ph soils as long as it doesn’t dry out or get too waterlogged. But unlike most hellebores, Helleborus x hybridus Walberton’s Rosemary ‘Walhero’ is more happy in light semi shade and full sun than shady spots. Helleborus x hybridus Walberton’s Rosemary ‘Walhero’ starts flowering about now and will flower for a good 4-8 weeks depending on the weather. The flowers themselves are sterile meaning they don’t set seed, the best way to propagate them is by division. This is best carried out in the autumn or after they have finished flowering. Here’s my blog on dividing perennial plants. The wonderful this about hellebores is that deer and rabbits don’t like them at all and will leave them alone. They do suffer from a few other pests as well like hellebore aphids, hellebore Black Death, hellebore leaf miner and hellebore leaf spot. It does seem a lot of problems but they are pretty easy to look after and don’t often suffer with many problems. The only maintenance they need is their old leaves and finished flowers to be removed. More information about how to do that can be found here. It is worth giving them a feed of Vitax Q4 after they have finished flowering and also a good mulch of garden compost or recycled green waste.

Helleborus x hybridus Walberton’s Rosemary ‘Walhero’ can be seen growing well at RHS Wisley as it is here and many other gardens. It can be brought from the great hellebore nursery Ashwood Nurseries and Hardys Cottage Plants

helleborus walbertons rosemary walhero 4 Plant of the week Helleborus x hybridus Walbertons Rosemary Walhero

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Six on Saturday 13/01/2018

img 1662 2 Six on Saturday 13/01/2018

It doesn’t seem possible does it? Already 2 weeks into January, almost halfway though the month! But what a mild week it has been, the grass seems to be growing, certainly put on a bit of growth in the weeks between my visit to one site, hoping we get a little bit of colder weather to slow it down! One thing I hate is those winter days where it’s just dull all day, makes me feel very inclosed and we had a week of those, only day it was bright and cheerful was on Wednesday when I had the pleasure of taking a pruning workshop for a small group at Waterperrys in Oxford, the gardens there are always wonderful and it was lovely taking time to spend basically talking about a job I love doing, pruning roses. Taking about pruning let’s delve into my sin on Saturday for this week, again coming from a clients garden in the new forest.

img 1657 Six on Saturday 13/01/2018

img 1662 1 Six on Saturday 13/01/2018

First one of the 6 this week has to be pruning these beautiful espalier apple trees, not had much pruning done for a few years, had to do a little corrective works on them to get them into a little more of a shape but very happy for the finished works, will be summer pruning them next time.

img 1679 Six on Saturday 13/01/2018

Ahh yes a simple pot marigold or calendula, been flowering non stop since the summer! A massive ray of sunlight on a dull January day and also the first time I have seen on flowering this late in the season

img 1677 Six on Saturday 13/01/2018

Ahh still some rose hips about, almost like Christmas baubles left on the Plants, forgotten by all, for some reason the birds have left these alone but how lovely is it to see them on the plant this late on in the season. No idea on the rose yet, not seen it flower properly,

img 1686 Six on Saturday 13/01/2018

Rosemary and I am guessing this form is Miss Jessop upright, well the straight upright stems are a little bit of a giveaway! One plant we never think about using as a wall shrub, it makes a great espalier if grown on a sunny wall or 6ft fence panel! Takes a few years to get there, but well worth it, sorry got lost on another line of thought! Yes flowering remarkably early this year.

img 1675 Six on Saturday 13/01/2018

I just had to add this Sarcococca into the mix, the smell from its tiny white flowers just filled the whole garden with its scent, again without the planting plan, the size of the shrub along with the leave shape leads me to believe its hookeriana var Humilis. Great for a small garden and the scent is just out of the world!

img 1669 Six on Saturday 13/01/2018img 1685 Six on Saturday 13/01/2018

Another pruning shot, this time of a pear tree that’s been fan trained, not seen many fan trained pear trees, normally it’s the stone type fruit trees that get fan trained, once again though these trees need a bit of work to get them back into a little bit of shape, felt happy with them now I am done, will summer prune umm in the summer 🙂

I hope you enjoyed my 6 on Saturday from My clients gardens. If you did please checkout other people’s 6 on the memes founder website https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com/ I love seeing other people’s plants and what’s happening in their gardens. Why not give it ago yourself next week and give me a shout so I can take a look

Until next week, have fun in the garden

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6 on Saturday 30/12/17

img 1543 6 on Saturday 30/12/17

Well I hope you all had a great Christmas and enjoying a well earnt break from just doing life, maybe your turkeys now all been eaten or maybe not!

Not had much time in the garden in the last week, spent a bit of time on the kids playhouse but still have bulbs to plant and plants to prune back but that will wait for a few days I think………

The end of the year for me is a time to look back and enjoy what’s happened in the last year and look forward to next year and that’s exactly what I am doing with my 6 on Saturday this week, taking a look back though a few months of this excellent meme and putting my favourite 6 back up for you to enjoy. Just feels right too me for some reason

So here’s the first

img 1542 6 on Saturday 30/12/17

Geranium wlassovianum ‘Lakwijk Star’ another new plant for me, I love wlassovianum anyway, I find it such a great performer in gardens, the foliage is so attractive appearing in the spring, followed by a summer of flowers ended with a great display of autumn colour on the foliage, can’t wait to see this plant mature from 12/08/2017

img 1543 6 on Saturday 30/12/17

Rosa ‘Louis XIV’ well for those who have followed my blog for a while, will remember this one from my rose watch and it’s still going so strongly now, must be on 5th flowering now, such a beautiful rich colour and brilliant scent and who said heritage roses only flowered once! From 22/7/2017

img 1544 6 on Saturday 30/12/17

Tricyrtis formosana. This unusual perennial plant from Taiwan is to me the real sign that autumn has us in her grip! One of the latest plants the flower in our borders, the road lily doesn’t disappoint, holding these unusual shape flowers upright. It is at home in the soil here as well as loving the deep shade. The toad or snake lily certainly makes a talking point in any garden from 9/09/2017

img 1545 6 on Saturday 30/12/17

My patio is finished! We always forget what a difference the hard landscaping can make to our garden, this has transformed the space into a more courtyard feel, with the pacing bringing out the best of the plants surrounding it. From 2/09/2017

img 1190 6 on Saturday 30/12/17

We always think of roses worth growing just for their flowers but look at the autumn foliage! Rosa rugosa is a wonderful rose that colours up so well and if you are lucky, can have some massive hips as well from 18/11/2017

img 1546 6 on Saturday 30/12/17

I love my alpines and also my fossils and mixing the two together in one beautiful pot is just ideal, more importantly, the fossils were collected on our holidays and will remind us about the time away and my 2 girls helped me to plant it up. From 4/11/2017

I hope you enjoyed my trip back though memory lane for my 6 on Saturday from both mine and a clients garden. If you did please checkout other people’s 6 on the memes founder website https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com/ I love seeing other people’s plants and what’s happening in their gardens. Why not give it ago yourself next week and give me a shout so I can take a look

And if I don’t see you before next weeks, I hope you have a very happy new year

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Plant of the week- Vinca difformis ‘Jenny Pym’

vinca difformis jenny pym 2 Plant of the week  Vinca difformis ‘Jenny Pym’

vinca difformis jenny pym 4 Plant of the week  Vinca difformis ‘Jenny Pym’

The plant of the week this week is from a group of Plants I am not too keen on, I just find most of the vincas a bit too, well something of nothing, yes they provide good groundcover in the case of V.minor but what on earth does V.major do? So yes I was hard on this group of Plants until I saw this one in flower a few weeks ago! And Jenny Pym changed my views of this plant in a few seconds, Why you may ask, Just look at the flower! How stunning is that! It’s amazing you can change your view of Plants by just seeing one particular good form.

vinca difformis jenny pym Plant of the week  Vinca difformis ‘Jenny Pym’

Vinca difformis or the intermediate periwinkle as it is more commonly know as, is a native of Southern Europe, countries like Italy, Sardinia and Iberia where it is found growing in damp woodland areas. As it comes from the more warm parts of Europe, it’s thought to be semi tender in some parts of the uk with the Hilliers manual of trees and shrubs stating it may become herbaceous in more colder areas with the plant dying to the ground and coming back in the spring. however it’s certainly doing well in most areas without any real damage to the plant. It does prefer a shady spot in the garden but will quite happily grow in some sun as well, it does take most soils rather well, apart from very water logged soils. Like all vincas (depending on view of thought!) it makes very good groundcover, producing a dense growth up to around 30cm tall and spread can be about 60cm+ over time, something that makes it great ground cover. Growth wise, unlike other forms of Vinca, difformis puts on 2 forms of growth, a long arching form for growth and spreading about and a shorter growth of about 30cm which is from where the beautiful flowers are borne. It starts it’s main flowering in October but keeps on flowering right up to February/March but also will throw out flowers all year around. The name Vinca comes from Ancient Greek word Vinco meaning to bind, whether that’s the roots binding the soil together or the stems being used to tie things together, no one is sure which one it is, same with difformis, some thinking it means the odd shape of the flowers, other schools of thought, think it’s the 2 different types of growth from where the name comes from. Not managed to find out where the name Jenny Pym came from… anyone out there who can advise me

vinca difformis jenny pym 2 Plant of the week  Vinca difformis ‘Jenny Pym’

Planting is simple, plant into a well prepared bed, I now prefer to fork the bed over removing all weeds as possible and then add a planting mulch of composted green waste on top, nice square hole with a handful of Vitax Q4 added and that’s it. For good groundcover, try and plant about 6 of these per m2. They don’t need too much aftercare, trimming to shape in early summer if needed, reducing the long stems if they start becoming a problem. If it starts spreading too much a sharp spade is all that’s needed to reshape it, cut around the shape you require, leave the middle bit and carefully remove the rest using a fork. Pest wise, not much causes it problems, deer and rabbit proof.

You can but this plant from Dorset Perennials and Botanica. It can be found growing in many different gardens including Sir Harold Hillier Gardens where it can be found in the winter garden

2YnoBk1500924993 Plant of the week  Vinca difformis ‘Jenny Pym’
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Plant of the week Camellia sasanqua ‘Crimson King’ 

camellia sasanqua crimson king Plant of the week Camellia sasanqua ‘Crimson King’ 

camellia sasanqua crimson king 2 Plant of the week Camellia sasanqua ‘Crimson King’ 
Well after a couple of weeks of autumn colour through foliage and berries, it’s time for a few flowers that are blooming at this time of year. We always think of Camellias flowering in the spring but the gorgeous sasanqua is an autumn and into early winter flowering type. My plant of the week is indeed a hybrid called ‘Crimson King’ which is one of the best hybrids. It’s large single mainly red  flowers open in late October into November and are indeed so beautiful at this time of year.

camellia sasanqua crimson king 3 Plant of the week Camellia sasanqua ‘Crimson King’ 
They are native to Japan, where they are indeed one of the most popular of all Camellias grown and bred there. Camellia was named after Georg Kamel, a 17th century Jesuit missionary while sasanqua comes from the Japanese name for this plant, Sazanka. It is not only grown for the beautiful flowers but the young foliage is used to make a special tea and seeds are used to make the best camellia oil. Camellia oil has a wide variety of uses in Japan including being used to heat cooking and tea equipment and lighting. It also has lots of health benefits to the skin and hair, it was used by the Geisha girls to produce their famous soft skin and also sumo wrestlers in their hair. I also use it to keep my hand tools free of rust just like the Samurai warriors of old did on their swords.

camellia sasanqua crimson king Plant of the week Camellia sasanqua ‘Crimson King’ 
It is hardy here in the uk and is one tough plant, the only problem being that the first frosts can effect the flowers making it an ideal plant to grow in a sheltered part of a garden or against a wall or even a in heated glasshouse or orangery.  It makes a pretty open plant floppy at times but can be pruned after flowering to help keep its shape. Soilwise it does like a nice water retentive fee draining acidic soil in full sun. A mulch of organic material and a feed of Vitax Q4 is helpful to the plant in the spring. It is also well worth making sure it doesn’t dry out in the early summer as it is at this time the flower buds for the autumn months are formed. If they dry out they will fail to form properly and fall off the plant. It will make a large shrub overtime in the right spot but don’t let that put you off as regular pruning can keep it in shape. It also does grow very well in pots as long as it is watered enough for the above reasons. Thankfully it’s pretty pest and disease free.

It can be found growing in a lot of gardens like Sir Harold Hillier Gardens, RHS Wisley and Kew. This form is widely for sale but Camellia specialist nurseries like Trehane are good places to try for mail order

2YnoBk1500924993 Plant of the week Camellia sasanqua ‘Crimson King’ 
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Six on Saturday 28/10/17

img 0920 Six on Saturday 28/10/17

Well it doesn’t seem like a week since I was writing the one for last week, the weather that effects us gardeners more than others, ended up being pretty wet but so warm this week thankfully drying out a little towards the end of the week, with that strange yellow thing in the sky appearing for one day. The rumour is Jack Frost could be arriving this week, I wonder how tough he will be, need to get the rest of my tender plants in overcome this weekend, hopefully to save them for next years enjoyment. Anyway here are this weeks 6 highlights from my own and my clients gardens.

img 0930 Six on Saturday 28/10/17
This lovely hydrangea has decided it’s time to flower again for some reason, seems a common occurrence amongst hydrangeas this year, never mind, we get to enjoy their beautiful flowers for a little longer!
img 0919 Six on Saturday 28/10/17
Acer palmatum Dissectum Atropurpureum delights us in this garden with its purple foliage during the summer months and then turns this wonderful colour in the autumn supposed to be a slow growing shrub, it loves the clay soil on this site and is now putting on about a foot of growth every year
img 0920 Six on Saturday 28/10/17
Time for some hips and Rosa glauca is having one last throw of the delight dice, after thrilling is all summer with its grey foliage and small but perfectly formed pink flowers, it finishes the season with some great hips and I love great hips!
img 0932 Six on Saturday 28/10/17
Iris foetidissima is better known as the stinking iris mainly as the flowers and to a lesser degree the foliage just stink! It’s a horrid cat wee smell and for me the only saving graces are it is a british native, the leaves are evergreen and the seed pods are stunning,
img 0924 Six on Saturday 28/10/17
Leaf piles! Nothing and I repeat nothing says autumn more than a pile of leaves and no matter how long it takes me to produce a huge leaf ruck I can not help myself going through it and kicking some into the air, grabbing a handful and just smelling them, only to be done with fresh dry leaves I may add! Fallen leaves are the sign summer is over and the naked trees a sign winter is here
img 1040 Six on Saturday 28/10/17
Spiders spiders everywhere! Wherever you look at this time of year the evidence of spiders can be found in hedges, grass and borders. Their cobwebs are like natures own deadly decorations bringing in winter, really luck to get this one after a heavy mist the other day!
I hope you enjoyed my 6 on Saturday from both mine and a clients garden. If you did please checkout other people’s 6 on the memes founder website https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com/ I love seeing other people’s plants and what’s happening in their gardens. Why not give it ago yourself next week and give me a shout so I can take a look

Until next week, have fun in the garden

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Plant of the week- Sternbergia lutea

sternbergia lutea 3 1 Plant of the week  Sternbergia lutea

This weeks Plant of the week is a small bulb that delights us at this time of the year, with its bright yellow flowers. It’s also known as yellow autumn crocus, Autumn daffodil and lily of the field.

sternbergia lutea 2 Plant of the week  Sternbergia lutea
It is a native plant of Western Mediterranean though into Central Asia where it can be found growing on grassy and stoney banks on limestone hills and mountain sides, both in full sun or slight shade. Sterbergia produces its glossy narrow green leaves in early autumn and will remain though the winter before dying off in the spring.  The crocus like 15cm tall flowers appear a few weeks after the foliage appears and depending on the time of the year flower until later autumn. Although it looks like a crocus, it differs from crocuses as crocus have 3 stamens but sternbergia has 6. 

sternbergia lutea 3 Plant of the week  Sternbergia lutea
It can be grown outside in most of the uk although it does need a well sheltered and drained site ideally in alkaline soil, that will  get sun during the summer to really bake the bulbs. That’s the key to getting the flowers, a period of dry hot weather. It makes an ideal plant to grow in pots again remembering the above. As it is a autumn flowering bulb, it’s best to plant the bulbs in late summer or divide after it finishes flowering.

It can be found growing in most major botanical gardens like Sir Harold Hilliers Garden and can be be brought from most good bulb suppliers like Bloms Bulbs