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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

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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.

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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

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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

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Changing world of plant names, confusion or clarity

aster little carlow 2 Changing world of plant names, confusion or clarity

img 0736 Changing world of plant names, confusion or clarity

The plant commonly known as the Iceplant, former Latin name sedum spectabilis ‘Autumn Joy’ now Hylotelephium Herbstfreude

Now we all need names for the plants and we all need to know what plant is meant by that name. Common names can vary so much not only from county to county but also country to country so it was very important to have a name form that everyone commonly understand. I can remember as a young trainee being told that Latin was the only name to learn and I have kept that up up today, nearly some 30 odd years ago.

img 0855 Changing world of plant names, confusion or clarity

Mexican feathergrass is the common name of is Nassella tenuissima formally know as Stipa tenuissima

The use of Latin names as we know it, was set up by the great botanist Carl Linnaeus, who is know as the Father of taxonomy. In 1735, he published the first addition of his famous works, Systema Naturae, which laid out his system of categorising plants into various family’s and groups. These where all named by their reproduction systems, Both in numbers and arrangements. This system has been used ever since. In 1867 the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature (ICBN) was first set up to carry on writing the guide lines for nomenclature and carried on this work until 2011 when it went under a big change and became International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi, and plants (ICN). The guidelines are used by botanists to write papers on why a particular plant should be changed, reasons including older names from which with Plant as first named but never caught one. International Association for Plant Taxonomy is the group that agrees the Plant name changes, these changes are written by botanists and have to have all the information and supporting documents explaining why the plants should change and now with the use of DNA, it can be proved beyond any reasonable doubt that the plant should be in its own family or indeed moved to another family. And it this DNA technology that is the reason we have so many plant changes happening over the past few years and I am afraid to say will be happening a lot more in the future.

Now I agree it’s right that plants should be known by the correct Latin name and like a true professional I will do my best to learn the new name, how ever difficult it is to say! A lot of these changes I can totally understand, Sedum speciblis ‘Autumn Joy’ so different from the smaller alpine forms so it does make sense to change it to Hylotelephium Herbstfreude but my gripe isn’t about it changing for me but the fact it causes so much confusion to the trade and general public that may of known this plant under that name for 20 odd years and suddenly it’s not there in one Nursery under that name but in another under its old name, magazines add to the confusion, taking ProLandscaper as a example, last year in one magazine, it had Stipa tenuissima Both as it’s old name of Stipa and it’s new one Nassellatenuissima again adding to the confusion. With more changes on the horizon like Iris possibly being spilt into 18 different names, this confusion is going to happen more and more. What we need if possible is some sort of agreement with trade, press and public gardens that each part of our industry agrees to put these new names in place within a certain timescale of say maybe 5 years during which the old name maybe is in brackets after the new one? Maybe better signage on sites would also let people know and get used to the new name. Changing anything let alone labels does cost so there’s always a cost involved, one well know Nursery told me they had a 60% drop in sales on the from aster family members that changed too Symphyotrichum and Eurybia.k

aster little carlow 2 Changing world of plant names, confusion or clarity

Was Aster little Carlow now Symphyotrichum ‘little Carlow’

But I suppose my biggest problem with it, is my internal one, we advise people to learn the Latin names as that’s the name that everyone knows it as worldwide, common names differ in different areas of the uk let alone around the world. It also the most stable name for the plant, one that explains how it grows, who discovered it etc. But by changing in as big away as is currently happening, aren’t we just adding more confusion into the world of gardening? Plant names are hard enough to remember without changing. Seeing bits and pieces on social media and talking to people as well, it seems to me there’s a 3rd level of plant names occurring, botanical latin is the first, common names the second and the new one gardeners Latin. Gardeners Latin is the form when the old name is used instead of the new one. Whether you agree or disagree, that to me seems to be happening, maybe until it’s all sorted out a little more and the names become more we’ll known, that’s what is going to have to be done and let’s be honest, changing a name from a simple one to a more complex name is going to take a long time to catch on, we need to give it time and for everyone one supplying and growing the plant in the public domain to be on board, let’s be honest, that sadly won’t happen but let hope!

049 Changing world of plant names, confusion or clarity

Bleeding Hearts used to be called Dicentra spectabilis but is now Lamprocapnos spectabilis

Whatever the name or indeed how difficult it is to say or learn, don’t forget it is still an amazing form of life on our planet and the beauty is there no matter what tag with give it or call it. And names are just tags, given to plants so we can identify them, if you want to enjoy their beauty just as nature intended without boxing it in, well there’s no harm in that what so ever.

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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

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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!

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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!

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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

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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

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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 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- Cornus Alba ‘Sibirica Ruby’

cornus alba sibrica ruby 2 Plant of the week  Cornus Alba ‘Sibirica Ruby’

cornus alba sibrica ruby Plant of the week  Cornus Alba ‘Sibirica Ruby’

Ahh another week returns and this plant of the week is surprisingly one of a group of plants that haven’t featured yet, so there’s no time like the present is there!

Cornus alba ‘Sibirica’ is as its name suggests is a form that came from Siberia. Cornus alba itself does have a wide range, growing from Siberia into Russia and China. These forms of C.alba also grow in thickets up to 3m tall while ‘Sibirica’ is slightly smaller growing up to 2.4m tall, which is some of the reasons it makes it a good plant for the smaller gardens. This form Ruby was selected from a batch of seedlings for having the most brightest red stems. Sibirica was first introduced into the uk though Westonbirt arboretum in around 1838.

cornus alba sibrica ruby 2 Plant of the week  Cornus Alba ‘Sibirica Ruby’

Cornus alba ‘Sibirica Ruby’ is mainly grown for its bright red stems that give us so much delight during the winter months. If left unpruned, it will make a shrub up to just over 2.4m in height that produces while flowers in May and June which are followed by white flushed with purple fruits. The dark green leaves turn a stunning dark red colour before falling off to expose the red stems.

cornus alba sibirca 4 Plant of the week  Cornus Alba ‘Sibirica Ruby’

Growing wise, it prefers a nice damp soil but will grow away quite happily in alkaline or acidic soils. It prefers a sunny or semi shady spot in your garden. When planting, it is best to add plenty of organic material. It can be left to form a medium sized shrub but if you do this, you lose The intense redness of the stems. To get the best stem colour, you have to prune hard back down to 150mm each spring around the end of March, you can prune the whole plant like this or if you would like flowers, thin out half the plant as per above and leave half, next winter it is these 2yr old stems you cut down and leave the 1yr stems alone. After pruning, I tend to mulch with garden compost and feed with Vitax Q4. It doesn’t suffer from too many pests and diseases. Propagation wise, it is pretty easy to grow from either layering a stem onto the ground or from hardwood cuttings taken in early November and left in a cold frame until the spring

Best place to see it, is indeed RHS Wisley where it can be found near the big pond. Buying wise this form can be a bit tricky! Last in the plant finder in 2015!

cornus alba sibrica ruby 3 Plant of the week  Cornus Alba ‘Sibirica Ruby’

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Plant of the week- Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Orange Peel’

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Yes after a couple of weeks break the plant of the week is back and opening up 2018 with a really special plant indeed and one of my favourites. Hamamelis have been one of my favourite group of plants since I was 18 and caught their scent on a cold January day, then I saw their tiny spider like flowers in such a wide of colours and I was even more hooked, even now 27yrs on, they have never lost their appeal to me.

hamamelis x intermedia orange peel 6 Plant of the week  Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Orange Peel’

Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Orange Peel’ isn’t my favourite of all the witch hazels but it’s close too it and one that has such an adapt name! Every time I see I, I imagine Jamie Oliver with a zester, peeling off line thin lines of orange zest. It is a hybrid between H. Japonica and H. Mollis and this particular form was bred by one of the most famous of Hamamelis breeders, a Dutchman named de Belder. Unlike a lot of the hybrids, it does have a stunning spicy scent, thought to be like marmalade by many. As well as great scented flowers, this is also a good form to grow for autumn colour, with its leaves turning a brilliant orange colour during this time. The name Hamamelis comes from the Greek words, Hama means at the same time and Melon meaning apple or fruit, the earlier flowering autumn forms quite often have the fruits on the branches at the same time as the flowers

hamamelis x intermedia orange peel Plant of the week  Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Orange Peel’

It grows ideally in a moisture retentive soil that doesn’t dry out or get too wet, it dislikes Both greatly, almost as much as it dislikes thin chalky soils, it will tolerate alkaline soils as long as they are deep and loamy. That said it is well worth growing in a big container as long as it doesn’t dry out. When planting, it is worth adding lots of organic matter into the soil as well as some Vitax Q4 so the plant gets off to the best start it can. Once growing, it requires very little care, some formative shaping and removal of crossing branches etc is all that is required for the plant to reach its maximum size of around 3mx3m. There are no pests or diseases that target this plant apart from the normal ones like aphids etc and to make matters even better it’s pretty deer proof as well.

It can be seen at various gardens but the RHS at Wisley has a cracking specimen that is looking beautiful at the moment. Again it is stocked by a few nurseries with pan global plants being a good place to start

hamamelis x intermedia orange peel 2 Plant of the week  Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Orange Peel’

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Plant of the year in 2017 was………

Well I have done the maths, crunched the numbers and had a recount, yes it was just 1 vote in it, that was all! Before announcing the winner, I would like to thank you all for taking part in this fun vote, there was nearly 1000 votes placed, Thank you all very much!

Right and now the winner of the Plant of the 2017 from the plant of the week is……………..

Betula albosinensis ‘Bowling Green’

betula albosinensis bowling green 3 Plant of the year in 2017 was.........betula albosinensis bowling green 2 Plant of the year in 2017 was.........

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Six on Saturday- 23/12/17

img 1433 Six on Saturday  23/12/17

Ahh the last six on Saturday before Christmas, I hope you have got all your presents brought and wrapped ready for the big day? Enjoyed my last few days at work, got a few things finished off, Plants planted, bulbs well finished (apart the last few for home, 150 is just a few isn’t) and now ready for Christmas. Now talking about the big C, I spent a while thinking about what to do for the Six this Saturday, wanted to do something different, so here’s the 6 on Saturday featuring 6 Plants that help to make Christmas a special time of year for us!


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One of the old favourites to decorate the house with and also part of the famous Christmas carol, The Holly and the Ivy. This uk native. In Pagan traditional, it was unlucky to bring it into the house before Christmas Eve but after Christmas, if male Holly was brought in first, the male would be rumoured to rule the house for the next year, if it was female, then the lady of the house would. Within the Christian faith, the prickles of Holly where thought to represent the thorny crown placed on his head and the berries, the blood of Christ. No matter the truth behind the name, it still makes a great winter plant


img 1372 Six on Saturday  23/12/17

The next one has to be its companion within the Christmas song, Ivy! It is again another British native and used to decorate our homes for thousands of years. In Germany it is supposed to warn off a lighting strike! It’s also so important for wildlife in our gardens


img 1447 Six on Saturday  23/12/17

Ahh where would we be without mistletoe at Christmas, no renditions of Cliff Richards Mistletoe and wine or no where to kiss under for a start! Mistletoe has been used for thousands of years, druids rated mistletoe as one of their most sacred of all plants for its mystic powers some of which ward off evil spirits from our homes. It is thought the Vikings are the first people to start the tradition of kissing under the mistletoe.

Yew taxus baccata lutea 3 Six on Saturday  23/12/17

Again another British native plant and one that’s got its roots firmly in our ancient history. Thought to ward off evil spirts and have been planted around churchyards for that reason or the churches were build near old yew trees to fit in to the old beliefs maybe. Yew trees are also the first Christmas trees here in the uk, brought over from Germany by Queen Charlotte when she married king George around 1800.

Pine cones

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Pine cones have become a big part of Christmas, mainly started as homemade decorations on trees and around the house and again have become popular once more. Pines also have been used for Christmas trees since early 1820s

Hellebores or Christmas rose

helleborus walbarton rosemary1 Six on Saturday  23/12/17

What more can I say about this beautiful plant, we need some flowers at this time of the year and these are just so beautiful!

I hope you enjoyed my Christmas 6 on Saturday! It’s a little different from my normal one and I have cheated and used photos from my library, just hoping I won’t get sent to the naughty step for 44minutes by the propagator.

If you did please checkout other people’s 6 on the memes founder website 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

Have a wonderful Christmas!

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Plant of the week- Luma apiculata

luma apiculata 2 Plant of the week  Luma apiculata

luma apiculata Plant of the week  Luma apiculata

This weeks Plant of the week is again one of those most beautiful of plants that isn’t sadly widely grown here in the uk but it has so much to offer us.

Luma apiculata is a native of South America, mainly around the Andes mountain range that encompasses Chile and Argentina. In its native counties, it mainly grows in temperate forests like Valdivana in Chile and Los Arrayanes National Park in Argentina, where there is a complete forest of Luma. Although it is from these areas, it is completely hardy in most parts of the uk, although it will struggle in the colder areas. It is one of the taller members of the Myrtle family, reaching 10-15m in its native areas but a lot smaller here in the uk making it an ideal tree for a small garden. It has also naturalised in some parts of The uk, mainly in the west and also in parts of Ireland as well as some parts of the USA.

luma apiculata 2 Plant of the week  Luma apiculata

It is mainly grown for its stunning cinnamon and cream coloured bark that really shines out during the winter months but the summer borne flowers are also highly fragrant and well worth growing for the scent alone. The honey produced by the bees from luma, is very much sort after. An edible black/blue berry about 1cm across then follows the flowers. The leaves themselves are quite small and delicate around 2x1cm in size, a lovely dark brown colour and like most other members of the Myrtle family, have a slight scent to them. It is also happy to grow on all types of soil including clay and chalk as long as it is free draining but also doesn’t dry out too much. It is pretty easy going without any major pest and diseases and requires very little pruning other than removing dead wood and crossing wood. It does make a good bonsai subject and is on my want list for pruning in the Japanese Niwaki style. It is quite easily propagated by either sowing seed or taking hard wood cuttings of it at this time of year.

There is another form available called ‘Glanleam Gold’ which is a delightful variegated version and is a little more widely sold.

It can be seen again at the Sir Harold Hillier Gardens and can be brought from my reliable sources at Pan Global Plants and Botanica

luma apiculata 4 Plant of the week  Luma apiculata

2YnoBk1500924993 Plant of the week  Luma apiculata
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6 on Saturday- 16/12/17

img 1403 1 6 on Saturday  16/12/17

Can’t believe it’s been a week since the last 6 on Saturday but what a week! Some of you lucky people had snow while down here all we had was rain and well a few flakes of snow and then more rain and then frost, lots of frost but that said I like a good frost. But it has well and truly marked the main start of winter and this is does make finding 6 things on Saturday a little harder to find. But like anything the harder you look the more you shall find!

img 1396 6 on Saturday  16/12/17

1) Pittosporum ‘Tom Thumb’ I love pittosporums one of my favourite evergreen shrubs, this form is slow growing form and makes a great plant of winter interest

img 1398 6 on Saturday  16/12/17

2) Rudbeckia seed heads just turn this stunning black colour after they have finished flowering, just how stunning it this !

img 1403 6 on Saturday  16/12/17

3) nature is wonderful isn’t, this crumbling section of wall is being dripped on from a leaking gully above had led this brilliant spot for mosses and ferns to thrive, harts tongue fern and maiden hair spleenwort are just two that have made home here

img 1400 6 on Saturday  16/12/17

4) The common snowberry, Symphoricarpus alba to give it’s real name and to be honest I do not like this plant at all, it’s a bit spreading, gets everywhere but just look at the berries, like winter pearls!

img 1432 6 on Saturday  16/12/17

5) Pampas grasses are such big plants that do need a bit of space to really work, indeed some of the best planting’s I have seen were planted on a roundabout, looked beautiful as does this clump in the early evening light, I love the large plumes of them, catching the first rays of sunshine or the last few moments before darkness appears

img 1425 3 6 on Saturday  16/12/17

6) ok will be a bit cheeky this week and feature a job I have done another blog on, cutting back the old leaves on Hellebores but it’s a prefect job to do this week so take a look and see how easy it is. It can be found here

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 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- 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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Six on Saturday 25-11-2017

img 1220 Six on Saturday 25 11 2017

Well happy Saturday one and all. Me and my partner went out last night for the first time since the youngest was born and it was a surprise to come out and see the cars frozen at 11pm, winter is now finally here and as I sit down writing this, it’s getting lighter outside and the normal brown tiles on the surrounding houses are white and shining from the frost, kinda wishing I had put my Salvias in the garage last night. The week has been good! Spent a wonderful afternoon at the GMG awards this week and many congratulations to Jack Wallington for winning the blogger of the year, very well deserved!

This weeks six things happening in the gardens this Saturday again mainly comes from my clients gardens once more. Mine is getting slightly neglected at the moment, have still got a few bulbs to plant and also the materials ordered up for playhouse I am building for the kids, maybe it will be here for next weekend….

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Love the leaf effect of Fatsia japonica but the flowers are also so beautiful, the ivy on steroids flowers are borne in the autumn and early winter and bring a touch of architecture into your garden

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The common beech tree, one of the most underrated trees we grow anywhere in our gardens, look good for 12 months of the year and with half the leaves missing and oh believe me there may had been over half!, they still look stately, I love driving around and seeing the golden colour they turn in the autumn. They to me, are the trees of the autumn

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Couldn’t make my mine up on which picture to use for this hydrangea so I decided to use them both, often under rated for their autumn colour but how brilliant is that mix of colours and to have the flower there as well was the added bonus indeed

img 1220 Six on Saturday 25 11 2017

One of my favourite hellebores, argutifolia has some of the most attractive dark green leaves and a bit spiky around the edges but it’s the green flowers that normally appear in February, makes them even more special. Such a great plant

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Mahonia x media ‘Charity’ is one of the most commonly planted of all mahonia and with its spikey large leaves and in the autumn, these large highly scented flowers really makes it’s a plant well worth adding to your garden if you have the space!

img 1223 Six on Saturday 25 11 2017

Compost turning! Redoing a couple of beds for a client and it means I have to use some of great home produced compost, once I emptied one bin, I turn the next oldest in to the bay, good job too and it was pretty dry at the moment, should be ready for the spring I hope

I hope you enjoyed my 6 on Saturday from my clients garden. If you did please checkout other people’s 6 on the memes founder website 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