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Six on Saturday 30th of June

img 3123 Six on Saturday 30th of June

Good morning folks, what a dry week that has been! Everywhere I look the grass is a shade of brown, pots seem to dry out within minutes of being watered, it’s more like late August than the last few days of June. The rain they forecast is always on the move isn’t, one day it’s forecast for Sunday and the next it’s been changed for the following Thursday. God knows we need it!

Anyway enough of me moaning about the lack of rain it’s the high temps that have got me, it’s made a pretty horrid week at work I can tell you but now I am away for a few days, down at Butlins at Bognor Regis and that my dear friends is where my six comes from this week, I hope you enjoy them taken from the landscape around this world famous holiday park

img 3112 Six on Saturday 30th of June

The reedmace is just starting it awesome flowering, I love the flower and soon to be seed spikes on this beautiful and stately Reed. From our hotel, we have a semi circular water feature that has groups of these around the edges

img 3118 Six on Saturday 30th of June

And of course it has water lilies there as well and these are flowering their little hearts out at the moment, loving the heat

img 3115 Six on Saturday 30th of June

There is loads of lavender growing around the resort, most being Hidcote I think and the site of this purple/blue is a great distraction from the brown of the grass. It also full of the sites and sounds of bees

img 3116 Six on Saturday 30th of June

As is the Hebe albicans, again in full flower all around the resort, giving the visitors a delight to see. It’s also full of bees as well

img 3117 Six on Saturday 30th of June

The stunning grass Calamagrotis x acutiflora ‘Karl Foerster’ is making itself seen, there are small beds of this stunning grass just scattered around the site and in the light sea breeze, the flowerheads are almost shimmering in the sun

img 3123 Six on Saturday 30th of June

The little petunias are one plant that loves this summer sun and heat, they preform best when the weather is like this and how delightful does this little one look in the evening glow

Well that’s just some of the highlights of the flower world here at Butlins, I hope you enjoy them a little and I will catch up with you all soon, maybe Monday when we return! Until then, take a look at other peoples sixes via the hosts site

 Six on Saturday 30th of June
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Six on Saturday 23rd of June.

Well well good morning one and all and we are back to the weekend once more! Thankfully it’s a weekend I am seeing again, confused? Well last Saturday I did something rather silly but does show how dangerous gardening can be and how whatever you are doing, you need to think about it at all times, what did I do? Well I was replacing a fence at the in laws, which involved using a 6ft solid iron bar that weights about 25kgs and is about 11/2″ thick to help lever out lumps of concrete. Normally I am good with it pulling it down to either side of me, this time I pulled it towards me, for some reason I pulled it towards me, it came free of the concrete and smacked me on the head with some force, lucky for me I escaped with just concussion but it really could of been a lot lot worse! It did take me up to yesterday to feel back to normal, just left with a lump and a slight dip in my skull. It just shows that gardening isn’t just a carefree hobby or Job but one that in milliseconds, can turn into one that can have life changing repercussions, so be safe this week in the garden

Anyway enough of the be careful stuff and onto the the plants

img 0839 Six on Saturday 23rd of June.

One of my first salvias to flower and one of my favourites, I love the dark rich flowers offset with the dark flower stems on Salvia Bordeaux, one of two bargain rescues at £3 last year

img 0838 Six on Saturday 23rd of June.

Rosa falstaff and me have some history which sadly I can’t say in public but never less she is a stunner and one of the best Austin roses I think!

img 0835 Six on Saturday 23rd of June.

My clematis last year were crap to put it lightly, first year after planting and they were mildewed rubbish, this year is another matter and Rosalyn is the first one to flower for me

img 0834 Six on Saturday 23rd of June.

And she is growing though one of my last roses to flower, the rare blushing lucy, this once flowering rambler is Just starting to open now

img 0841 Six on Saturday 23rd of June.

This Geranium is a total stunner! But also a total pain in the backside to over winter, it the 4th time I have tried to grow geranium joy and you can see why I want too, let’s hope I am lucky this time

img 0837 Six on Saturday 23rd of June.

Let’s finish with another geranium, this ones called brook side and is a great geranium, flowers all summer long and so easy to grow and look after

That’s my six for the week, I hope you enjoyed them and don’t forget to pop over to the memes host, the wonderful, the king of the cuttings himself, The propagator!

 Six on Saturday 23rd of June.
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Six on Saturday, 5th of May 2018

img 2721 Six on Saturday, 5th of May 2018

Well that was another funny week, the start of May saw in a couple of frosts, temperatures rising to low 20s and a morning of heavy rain followed by a sunny bright afternoon. It’s certainly been playing havoc with work and the poor plants, seen a few plants with singled tops, mainly clematis and Macleya. Let’s hope that was the last of the frosts for this summer, these late frosts do cause a lot of damage don’t they. It’s also been my birthday this week, some how I have reached 45, but I managed to break one of my all time rules of not working on my birthday, still it was a sunny day and I did do a little bit of planting! Hoping to make up for that in a few weeks time by enjoying a trip to a lovely garden!

Anyway onto this six, and for a change I managed to do a little bit of work in my own garden this week and so some of the six will cover this fun work

img 2725 Six on Saturday, 5th of May 2018

I got these great pots last week when I went to provender Nurseries, just for my bay trees, this week I managed to get them planted up with John Innes no3 compost this week and will leave them for a few weeks before trimming up and shaping

img 2724 Six on Saturday, 5th of May 2018

Ahh wanted to grow blueberries for ages, brought some this winter and now they are flowering, can’t wait for the fruit to form, won’t last long though sadly as I suspect the kids will strip them bare in a few hours,

img 2721 Six on Saturday, 5th of May 2018

Had to add this pansy just because I find it in some way, very fierce looking! I am not sure what it is but it is certainly a scared plant, it could be the intense lines leading to a almost mouth like centre, they could be whiskers as well?

img 2720 Six on Saturday, 5th of May 2018

I did show you a few weeks ago my front garden with the spotted laurel being removed, well it’s all out now and had the planting mix added and now some roses I brought from Peter Beales and some Geraniums added, with a couple of spaces left to fill, good job there’s a Plant heritage plant sale at longstock nursery on Monday morning!

img 2723 Six on Saturday, 5th of May 2018

And lastly a special plant is flowering once more in my garden, one I discovered a few years ago and named after my granddad, George Stone and now doing well in mine and my Dads garden, so lovely to have it back once more

Well that’s my six done from my garden this week, so many plants now are starting to wake up and start delighting us with their beauty. I hope you have a great weekend and check out the other six on Saturday over at the hosts site https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com

Until next week, have fun in the garden or indeed just admiring plants

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Six on Saturday 24-02-2018

img 2176 Six on Saturday 24 02 2018

I do not believe it!!! A totally dry week here in Hampshire, one that’s flown by but still a totally dry week and what a difference seeing the sun has made. The soil is slowly drying out, as are all my work clothes and nature is springing into life so much quicker. The daffodils that line the roads near my house are showing more and more colour now, the cherry tree buds are swelling and wherever you go, new fresh leaves are slowing pushing out of their buds. Downside is that I did my first lawn mow this week, looked beautiful afterwards but I still hate mowing!

My six this week are of my garden, mainly as I fear my dear readers are getting a little bored of my humble patch. I am also away this weekend so please excuse the lack of responses, I will as ever respond in the end, I just maybe a little slower than normal!

So without any more playing around I give you (drum roll please) my six on Saturday!

img 2188 Six on Saturday 24 02 2018

Yes my daughters Venus fly plant is now flowering! The flowers aren’t that massive just the camera angle but still quite beautiful, never seen one flower before, I am guessing it will die after flowering but I maybe wrong

img 2177 Six on Saturday 24 02 2018

Started my rose pruning at home as well, got all the ones I wanted pruned and looking smart for the new year

img 2176 Six on Saturday 24 02 2018

Iris Rhapsody has just started flowering, it’s the last of my regticulata types to flower for me at home. I have fallen for these and I think my collection maybe growing even more next year!

img 2131 Six on Saturday 24 02 2018img 2130 Six on Saturday 24 02 2018img 2128 Six on Saturday 24 02 2018img 2129 Six on Saturday 24 02 2018

The playhouse is done!!!!! Well apart from the roof but that’s a job for a few weeks time, all the inside is done and ready for the kids to enjoy

img 2175 Six on Saturday 24 02 2018

Yes at last all my paper white narcissus are opening and the scent is a delight to the senses, really enjoying having them in the garden

img 2197 Six on Saturday 24 02 2018

img 2199 1 Six on Saturday 24 02 2018

Ok this isn’t my garden or a clients garden although I did find this carpet of snowdrops while off to look at a job, I am hoping the the stunningness of the pic will allow Jon to forgive me!

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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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 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….

img 1211 Six on Saturday 25 11 2017

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

img 1216 Six on Saturday 25 11 2017

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

img 1214 Six on Saturday 25 11 2017img 1213 Six on Saturday 25 11 2017

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

img 1215 Six on Saturday 25 11 2017

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 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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October, the neither month!

img 1071 October, the neither month!
Rhus in full autumn glory
I feel sorry for October, it’s an odd month I find, its neither summer or autumn, it’s main purpose is to be the change month. That doesn’t mean it’s dull month, indeed it’s far from it, giving us delights of both summer with plants like Salvias and Asters flowering at their best and still at the same time, early autumn colour starts to appear, things like Rosa rugosa with their beautiful hips, Euonymus with its jewel like multicoloured seeds and seed cases to the early foliage performers turning, liquidambers slowly going from green to a deep red, Euonymus alatus turning its burning red. There is indeed no other month like it! By the time November appears, Jack Frost is about finishing off the last remaining Salvias and Asters, some of the scented flowering shrubs start appearing, by the end of the month, all but the last stubborn oak and beech tree would of dropped their leaves and we will be left with the clear up and the fun of kicking the leaves, smelling the last of the sugars in the crisp cold morning.

img 0972 October, the neither month!
Salvias will keep flowering until the first frosts
 October, the neither month!
img 08451 October, the neither month!
As will beautiful asters

img 0735 October, the neither month!
Rosa glauca has great hips!
October was a busy month for me once more, carried on my current project in Botley, Hampshire. The new foundations of the garden are almost in place, the new fence line is, the steps and pathway from the main part of the house to the orangery area is now done and we are hoping to start on the river fence and decking this week, should be fun, using cleft sweet chestnut and chestnut palling. Have also started sorting out the beds on another site, we have 3 large beds to redo with one being reduced in size a little and the plants being spread into the other two. All this while carrying on my normal regular garden works. Been around a bit too, with 6 talks at different gardening and plant groups from Buckinghamshire to Dorset. I love traveling the country and meeting many other gardeners who all share a love of plants with me. Only managed one garden visit around Harold Hillier Gardens towards the end of the month, ended up being a little wet but still fun and enjoyable walking around, looking at the wonders from the world. It’s also the month I started my Master of Horticulture through the RHS, a day spent at Wisley, trying to get my head around it and straight into the first assessment and somehow I managed to get it done and a day earlier, just waiting for the marking now, quite nervous about the whole thing, never done anything like it but it’s given me a drive to learn even more about this wonderful trade we call horticulture. Next ones now started, 100 words is a start, isn’t?

img 0922 October, the neither month!
Piles of leaves to pick up!
img 0253 1 October, the neither month!
Leaving some herbaceous Plants like this Echinops is a great way of attracting birds into your garden as well as looking good in the winters frost

Next month will be spent clearing up the leaves and start cutting back the herbaceous Plants, well not all of them, I like to leave the leaves on the beds for as long as I can, I feel the leaves are nature’s own food, the plants drop them off near by to allow the goodness that they hold back into the soil and re fertilise the soil. All the micro organisms in the soil will help to break down the leaves and release the goodness back into the soil and really help to keep it healthy. I also like to leave the sturdier stems on the herbaceous Plants to give a bit of interest during the winter, I love the effect the frost, sow and even a heavy dew has on them, turning them into something else, with all the fine detail being shown up with the help of the weather. The compost heaps will also be growing quite well during this time of year and if you have the space, a bonfires will soon be lit, I do love a good bonfire, I think it’s the cave man in me, just something about the flames, the heat and the smoke that I think takes me back to childhood days. One thing I try and do is stack up the material to burn to one side of the fire area and then move it onto the fire, this is partly to do with having a more controlled blaze but also so any animal like a hedgehog, who fancies my big piles to hibernate into, won’t be burned alive. I forget how many times I have started to move stuff and there’s a rustling sound soon after as a hedgehog disappears the other way. Bulb planting is another job that’s underway this month, I don’t have too many to plant but there’s enough to do, my ones at home are nearly done but I still have a few at clients houses to do. It’s something to look forward to next spring, when the fruits of you labour start to appear and delight you with their colours

Well that’s it from my monthly review, I hope you enjoyed it and see you around!

Until then

Thomas

img 1061 October, the neither month!
And bulbs to plant!
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Six on Saturday 14/10/17

img 0880 Six on Saturday 14/10/17

Sometimes you just get one of those weeks when you are glad it’s the weekend, it was one of those weeks this week! Well to be fair, it was only one day, rest of the week was very enjoyable. Plants and gardens are so much areas for us to enjoy and relax in, to get away from the stressful things in life. Hopefully a spell weeding (yes yes I do have weeds in my garden)  and cutting back the odd plant, will recharge the old batteries ready for another wonderful varied job that is my work. 

Well this week, my six on Saturday comes from my own garden, that I will be honest and say it’s looking a little shabby at the moment, some plants still flowering well, just needs a good tidy up and sort out. Hoping to start on the kids playhouse next weekend but we will see what happens. So anyway I hope you enjoy them 

img 0886 Six on Saturday 14/10/17
Gaura ‘Rosy Jane’ I think I have featured this plant before earlier in the year but she is still flowering very well and adding a bit of colour into the area it’s growing
img 0885 Six on Saturday 14/10/17
Did a feature a while ago about propagating semperviens and here they are growing away pretty strongly and looking good to be planted out once the green roof is all set up
img 0884 Six on Saturday 14/10/17
Rosa ‘Iceberg’ this is one of the only remaining plants from the garden when we moved in 7yrs ago nearly, it’s still going strong and flowering well.
img 0887 Six on Saturday 14/10/17
Well yes this may look like a cardboard box filled with paper but it is indeed a box of flowers that will delight me from January to May/June with floral delights. Yep you guessed it, it’s my bulb order! Must get planting!
img 0881 Six on Saturday 14/10/17
Geranium ‘Nimbus’ still flowering and looking good in my front garden, love this geranium it’s just brilliant value for money!
img 0880 Six on Saturday 14/10/17
Aster I mean Symphyotrichum ‘Jenny’ a great compact plant that’s in its 2nd year and its beautiful, gives my border a little boast at this time of year

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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Around the world in 90 minutes- Lullingston Castle

img 2779 Around the world in 90 minutes  Lullingston Castle

Well that may not be true, it may of been more than 2hrs, could of been all day as the pull of the garden and it’s beautiful Plants certainly could trap you for a good day at least! But how did I find myself on the edge of the world set out in Plants many many miles from home, on a sunny September day? Well it was my first Garden Media Guild meeting and I have to admit I felt rather nervous to say the least, shouldn’t of been as they were indeed a very friendly bunch, meeting up with tea and biscuits being served by the incredible modern plant hunter Tom Hart Dyke, who returned from Cornwall that morning after giving a talk down there. What a chap he is, had a great plant chat with him whilst drinking my tea as well as photography chats with a few others. After tea, we went towards the walled garden, where Tom explained that the house had been in his family since the 15th century, the walled garden, where the world garden is set, was his grandma’s herb garden. The idea of the world garden came to him during a plant hunting expedition into Columbia looking for orchids, when they were captured by an armed gang and held prisoner for 9 months! During this time, they were told they were going to be shot in 5 hours and in this life and death moment, the idea of the world garden started in his head, months of drawing making notes they were finally released and sent home only to return once more after getting lost, the gang soon helped them back on the right path and they got back in time for Christmas 2000. Once home, the ideas became reality with him taking over his grandma’s old herb garden, cleared in a few days with help from friends and the garden started to become reality.

img 2779 Around the world in 90 minutes  Lullingston Castle
Tom talking to the group
It’s not set as as per the world, with the microclimate of the walled garden being used to great advantage with warmer areas being home to the plants who need warmer areas and vice versa. The growth of these plants is quite incredible, only planted up in 2005, all plants have grown away strongly possibly helped with the fertile soil of the old vegetable and herb garden

img 2798 Around the world in 90 minutes  Lullingston Castle

As for the planting, it’s just a plantspersons dream! So many plants are only found growing here aren’t found growing anywhere else in the uk. Beautiful specimens are everywhere, from the world beds into the glasshouses and poly tunnels. Yes there’s the odd bit of quirkiness like flags flying from trees, trees painted and the odd volcano model, but that just adds to the fun of the garden, we are all guilty about taking gardens too seriously and this is Toms way of adding a bit of fun to the garden and it works.

Now about some of the plants we saw on the day!

img 2790 Around the world in 90 minutes  Lullingston Castle
Very rarely seen Pinus patula or Mexican weeping pine, native to highlands of Mexico
img 2806 Around the world in 90 minutes  Lullingston Castle
Cosmos atrosanguineaus the chocolate cosmos from Mexico
img 2831 Around the world in 90 minutes  Lullingston Castle
A blast from my past, Agave parryi, the first Agave i grew from seed,
 

img 2845 Around the world in 90 minutes  Lullingston Castle
The cactus house is home to over 1000 plants, all from the deserts of the world
img 2866 Around the world in 90 minutes  Lullingston Castle
Ferocactus cylindraceus or the red spined barrel cactus, native to California
 

img 2865 Around the world in 90 minutes  Lullingston Castle
The volcano blows!

img 2877 Around the world in 90 minutes  Lullingston Castle
Orbea variegata or the dog pooh plant from South Africa and believe me it does smell like dog poo!

img 2893 Around the world in 90 minutes  Lullingston Castle
Not seen many proteas in flower since I was last at Tresco Gardens but here in the nursery at Lullingstone, was Protea cynaroides ‘Little Prince’ flowering away!

img 2897 Around the world in 90 minutes  Lullingston Castle
The very very hard to grow Welwitschia mirabilis from Namibia. Pure honour to see this unusual plant

img 2918 Around the world in 90 minutes  Lullingston Castle
Passiflora ‘Anastasia’ what a beautiful passiflora!

img 2935 Around the world in 90 minutes  Lullingston Castle
The garden was red hot! Well these are red hot pokers, hybrid of kniphofia caulscens

In all this garden can’t help to inspire and enthuse you, Toms endless amount of energy, enthusiasm and drive both for the garden and the plants is incredible, wish I could bottle it and open it up for days when mine sometimes needs a boast, came away from the garden just wishing I could move it closer to hampshire so I could visit more often and take in the amount of plants growing happily away in world garden over a period of months with Toms knowledge of everyone coming though!

From here, we moved on to Great Comp gardens just down the road but that’s for another blog! 

The garden is open sundays only now during the winter months and can be found  near Eynsford, Kent 

The website is. Www. Lullingstonecastle.co.uk