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Opening of the first one!

cbefb2d9 9c32 4281 b017 ccba742a11fd 1855 0000005f6988bf09 file 1 Opening of the first one!

This time of year, to me is very special. I love the starting of life that this time of year brings, whether it’s the bright fresh green foliage at is now covering the countryside, in all its different shades of green or the sound of young hatched birds squeaking in their nest. For me it is the real time of change, spring becomes early summer and there’s 3 things that to me, herald in the start of summer, the first is the swallows arriving back from Africa, with their chatter filling the gardens with joy, next is the ear drum bursting sound of screeching as the swifts appear once more over ahead. Their short term stay is far too short but to me is the true sound of summer.

95555351 a8f7 4813 abd4 4ba97fa51093 1855 0000005f4e1736f9 file 1 Opening of the first one!

The last thing for me is the opening of the first rose in my own garden, yes I have seen a few early roses out in other peoples garden it the opening of the first rose in my own garden is always a special occasion and that final part of the summer jigsaw arrived for me yesterday with the opening of a very special rose!

cbefb2d9 9c32 4281 b017 ccba742a11fd 1855 0000005f6988bf09 file Opening of the first one!

We came back home yesterday after a day at the seaside, to be welcomed in by Climbing Lady Hillingdon flowering away in our back garden. She is always an early rose but it is a rose I have long loved and it has been a special rose in our family, for it was this rose that brought about my dads love of roses back in the 70’s and one that has been grown in every family garden since, including mine now in chandlers ford. For those who don’t know her, here’s a blog from last year Climbing lady Hillingdon that dwells on her history. She is one of the finest apricot roses you can grow and it was wonderful to have her lady ship welcome in the summer by adding the last piece of the jigsaw to my summer jigsaw. Now at last, the rose season will start up once more and the scented delights will fill our gardens with colour and scent once more.

20180226 202933 Opening of the first one!
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Under planting roses part 1, the reasoning behind its

2015k Under planting roses part 1, the reasoning behind its

2015k Under planting roses part 1, the reasoning behind its

There’s so many titles I could use instead of underplanting roses, mutual enhancing planting could be one or companion planting could be another but that said it could also be just mixed border planting with roses as the main shrubs. This style isn’t new, it was started but the great Irish gardener William Robinson, who loved the English Cottage garden style, picked up by the great Gertrude Jekyll but it was the Graham Stuart Thomas that really brought this style to modern British gardens, Graham was influenced by Gertrude and William and used the walled gardens at Mottisfont to produce his finest works helped as all great artists are, by a talented young (at the time) head gardener called David Stone. These gardens do show what can be achieved by careful planing over time. Now I will get one thing straight, this blog is about how to achieve the effect, the benefits of it and how to manage the feeding of the soil. I could spend ages listing plants that go well with certain roses but that may not be your tastes and not work well in your garden.

011 Under planting roses part 1, the reasoning behind its

So why firstly go to the trouble of mixing it all up, why not just have rose beds? Very good question just need to try and answer it. Personally I am not a fan of monoculture or growing one thing in a large bed on its own, I feel it doesn’t look right for me personally but there’s other more detailed reasons other than my personal options. Mixing up the planting helps to bring in different foliage and flower shapes that help to break up the roundness of the rose flowers and shapes. These can add spikes, bells, indeed any form and shape to the pattern of the Rose and help to enhance both. Even larger flowered plants like peonies can be used with great effect with the roses. The key to whatever flower you are using is to differ from the rose in some way whether it’s size, shape or colour. Going back to the peonies for a minute, a large single Peonia works well with a semi double or a double roses as the simple ness of the peonia makes up for the complexity of the Rose and vice verse. Same with colour, matching the colours is the most important side, img 6694 Under planting roses part 1, the reasoning behind itsusing sliver foliage thoughout the bed helps to enhance most Rose flower colours but using darker coloured foliage doesn’t enhance as wide a colour spectrum. It takes time to learn what colours work well together with the roses and other underplanting and the best way is to workout what works with you in your settings, personal taste and soil type. Same again with the heights, a lot of the roses tend to grow to certain heights, Bush roses are around 2-3ft in height and shrub roses are around 3-5ft in height so it’s being careful not to have plants that are too powerful growers to take over the roses and of course vice versa.

img 1104 Under planting roses part 1, the reasoning behind itsI have seen it done with Nepeta ‘Six Hills Giant’ used as a mass underplanting of Rosa Rugosa ‘Hansa’. The ideal was beautiful, a massive of slivery blue under the darkish red of the rose but it failed as the Nepeta form was just too strong and powerful for the roses. A much smaller form like N.fassinni would of worked well. And also with Geranium macrophyllum used as an underplanting on Bush roses, once established, there was about 10cm difference in height between the two and it looked wrong, changed it to Geranium x cantbridgense hybrids and it worked well, with this form much more smaller growing. It is a tricky job to match them up but the results can be well worth it and once you start to get your eye in, you can start evaluating most of other plants on how they will work well with roses. They can then be planted up and trailed, it works well that’s good, if not well, starting again can be the fun part. It’s also working out what will work well with your soil and local conditions as well.

bed d 05b Under planting roses part 1, the reasoning behind itsOf course it’s not just getting both the underplanting and roses flowering at the same time, underplanting can be used to extend to seasons of interest from much before the roses open and to well after they have finished, using plants like spring bulbs like tulips, alliums, asters (in the various new names of course) clematis and of course topiary! Adding plants like dahlias and late flowering salvias can be done as a more modern twist in the borders. Plants like Helleborus argufoloius, flower early in the year but the foliage adds something to the borders during the summer months too. Again it’s just a case of playing with plants and see if it works. I have found the helleborus x hybridus forms difficult to add to roses, until I tried them with Rosa rugosa hybrids and found they worked well with the different foliage of the rugosa.

img 5123 Under planting roses part 1, the reasoning behind itsunderplanting roses can also do so much more than just enhancing the roses, it can also help the health of the roses. How? Well in various different ways, take Blackspot for an example, the spores from the fungus are transported from the infected rose by water droplets. These hit the rose, pickup the fugal spores, splash down onto the ground and then up onto the next rose, infecting that one as well. Underplanting slows down the droplet speed once it’s hit the rose and cushions the fall of the water onto the ground, reducing the splash effect and other plants then also stop this splash from hitting the next rose. Powdery mildew is spread by wind, catching hold of the spores and spreading it to the next rose, underplanting between the roses, adds another small barrier to help reduce this spread.

img 0975 Under planting roses part 1, the reasoning behind itsThen there’s the insect pests like aphids, just as in organic growing, a sacrificial plant can be grown to attract them to it and then this plant will attract in aphid eating machines like ladybird larvae to feast on them. Growing a wide range of flowers will also attract in a wide range of beneficial insects like hover-flies that again will feed on the any pests around, the seedpods left late until the season attract in birds to feed on them, these birds normally come in large mixed flocks and they will also look for insects hidden on the roses.

2006c Under planting roses part 1, the reasoning behind itshow to feed the roses is one of the big questions I am normally asked in concern with underplanting roses. The answer is a little more complex, I don’t believe in feeding just for one plant, I believe we should be feeding the soil and producing a heathy soil, one that can support a wide range of plants easily. Once the soil is healthy, the plants growing will be stronger and more able to fight diseases and pests. So I tend to add a fairly organic fertiliser to the soil in early spring, covering the whole area not just around the plants and then mulch with a garden compost or composted green waste. This I find is enough to keep both the roses and underplanting happy.

img 1091 Under planting roses part 1, the reasoning behind itsIn all mixing up the planting with roses is indeed hard work but it is a way of growing them that is both pleasing to the eye and one that does have good health benefits for the roses too.

In the next part, I shall have a closer look at some of the underplanting that can be the most overall use for underplanting through roses, it won’t be a complete list but just some of the ideas of combinations to try

global blogging feature Under planting roses part 1, the reasoning behind its
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6 on Saturday 9/12/2017s

img 1320 6 on Saturday 9/12/2017s

Well what a mixed bag weather wise, rain and more rain and then bloody cold! That said I do like the cold and even more at this time of year, heading into deepest winter, it does feel a lot like winter now. In the past week I have been on a little working trip down to Cornwall, mainly to speak to the Cornish Garden Society but I decided to use my time wisely and spent a glorious day at the Eden Project on the Tuesday and then around Burncoose of Southdown Nursery on Wednesday and these are where my 6 on Saturday are indeed coming from! Would also like to say it was great to meet a fellow blogger and 6 on Saturday contributer Jim Stevens, wonderful to meet you at last fella!

img 3412 1 6 on Saturday 9/12/2017s

Ahh the tree dahlia, Dahlia imperialis, is indeed the mightiest of all the dahlias and one that also flowers very late in the year, at well over 15ft tall, it is indeed tree like and these ones just outside the Mediterranean biodomes are the first ones I have seen in flower and did they look gorgeous, well worth the wait to see them in their full glory!

img 3475 1 6 on Saturday 9/12/2017s

The Mediterranean dome is my favourite of them both, I think mainly as I can relate more to the plants that grow in there more than the tropical plants in the other dome, but also I think it’s more than that, it’s the bird sound echoing around the dome, love the olives, love the vines, just love the place!

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Ahh the parakeet flower (Heliconia psittacorum) from the tropical dome, a dash of paradise!

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Now for a plant that just doesn’t look real does! Looks like it’s been made from China and highly glazed, well it’s the pineapple ginger, tapeinochilos ananasse, so beautiful isn’t

img 3382 6 on Saturday 9/12/2017s

Had to add this handknitted jersey for a tree fern outside, they have added these to the weaker tree ferns to protect them more from the winter cold and damp, Just loved them!!

img 3633 1 6 on Saturday 9/12/2017s

To me the winter is over when the daffodils come out and umm I am going to have to change that thought! This early form called Rijinvelds early sensation is the earliest I have ever seen out in flower within the uk quite strange seeing it out in flower in early December, with the worse of the winter to

I hope you enjoyed my 6 on Saturday from The Eden Project. 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- Betula albosinensis ‘Bowling Green’

betula albosinensis bowling green 3 Plant of the week  Betula albosinensis ‘Bowling Green’

betula albosinensis bowling green 3 Plant of the week  Betula albosinensis ‘Bowling Green’

This is the first time I have featured a family of Plants twice in the plant of the week but as it is the Betula I hope you will all let me off! At this time of year, bark effect is coming to the forefront. As the leaves unveil the delights they have hidden away for the summer months, the stems, seemingly polished, appear from underneath. Their stems shine out on all our winters days, from those wet, dull horrid days when they seemly glow in the dark, shining out like lighthouses in the fog to the crisp sunny ones there they shine like polished metal in the sun.

betula albosinensis bowling green 2 Plant of the week  Betula albosinensis ‘Bowling Green’

This tree is not native to the uk, indeed as the sinensis part of the name suggests, it is native to Western China where it grows between 1000-4400m above sea level in the temperate broadleaved forests. The Chinese red birch was first of all described from material collected by the French missionary Père Farges in 1899. It wasn’t introduced into Europe until one of the greatest plant hunters of all time, Ernest Wilson collected the seed and sent it back in 1901. His plant trips were sponsored by nurseries and also wealthy landowners, who would have a share of the seeds of plants collected on the trip and indeed the owners of Werrington Park in Cornwall, did just that and many years later, this form called Bowling Green was introduced. That tree grew to almost champion size and was also worthily of the great WJ Bean to include it in his great reference books ‘Trees and Shrubs Hardy in the British Isles’. A few of you may also recognise the plant featured in this blog as the one on the front cover o the Hilliers Guide to tress and shrubs.

What makes Betula albosinensis so special is the colour of its bark, while most other birches are a mix of white, this one is a mix of pinks, bright orange and red, indeed into brown with a slight hint of cream, these different colours really do shine out in the winter light. In Latin, albo means white and it’s always confusing with this tree as nothing appears white apart from the sheets of thin bark has a whitish glaucous bloom underneath. It makes a smallish tree up to 10m in height and 6m wide. The leaves are a dark green colour on top and have a slight greyish underside, they turn a lovely yellow colour in the autumn. The catkins, borne in April are quite stunning and can reach about 10cm in length.

betula albosinensis bowling green Plant of the week  Betula albosinensis ‘Bowling Green’

It can take most soils types from chalk to clay and unlike other forms of birches, it doesn’t mind drying out a little during the summer. When planting a young tree, it’s well worth adding lots of good well rotten compost with both mycorrhizal rubbed into the roots and Vitax Q4 fertiliser around the planting hole. It requires very little pruning just a little shaping. Pest wise, the worse one is the damn sawfly, who’s horrid little caterpillar will strip the tree of all the leaves within days, so watch out for it!

Betula albosinensis ‘Bowling Green, can be brought from PanGlobalPlants and BlueBell Nurseries. Gardenwise, I have only seen it at Sir Harold Hillier Gardens but would also think it would be at Wakehurst As part of the National Collection of Birch that currently grow there.

2YnoBk1500924993 Plant of the week  Betula albosinensis ‘Bowling Green’
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National tree week-celebrating trees

apple william crump 2 National tree week celebrating trees

img 2219 National tree week celebrating trees

This week is national tree week, it’s a whole week celebrating the tallest, the biggest living thing on this glorious planet of ours. We all walk by a tree everyday but how many of you take a second to stop and think about how much these beautiful plants give us each day? Yes they give us oxygen and help to store carbon but what else? Of course there’s wood for building houses, furniture, fences, tools, clothing, money and millions of other day to day objects. For thousands of years, well until coal was discovered, it was the only thing that we used to keep warm and cook with, no hang on, coal is indeed fossilised wood, so it wasn’t until we started using oil and gas, that the role of trees, was reduced to keep us warm. But even that is changing, the use of wood as a fuel to make power is coming back, with bio burners, run on chipped trees and plants are starting to make an impact within the electricity market. And of course where would we be without matches and paper to start a fire in the first place!

img 8590 National tree week celebrating trees

It’s not only to use that trees give so much, but the wildlife surrounding us, from the flora and fauna that use trees as a place to live and feed above ground, to the life they support underground both still alive and also when they die and the wood is slowly decomposed back into the ground, helping with the support of a wide range of insects, bacteria, plants and fungi, to give more life to the soil and helping the next generation of trees and plants to grow away.

apple william crump 2 National tree week celebrating trees

And of course they provide us with food and medicine, indeed in some trees it’s the whole plant that helps us in the every day struggles to stay healthy and our bellies full. In the city environment they help to reduce our toxins that we produce in our day to day living, both by absorbing them into their foliage as in some gases but also trapping the large particles on the leaves, helping those people who suffer from breathing problems, better air to breathe. They also lift our spirits and help to reduce stress and depression just by providing something natural in an urban environment but also by attracting in wildlife again helping us to take a few minutes out and enjoy nature in our busy day to day live. Indeed in japan, they encourage you to spend at least 2.5hrs a week, walking though a forest and inhaling the air, this air they have found contains the essential oils released from the trees that also have a positive effect on the body, they call it forest bathing. They also provide (for some of the lucky ones amongst us) work! From growing trees, planting them, caring for them and of course making things from them. I have had a lifetime working around trees and plants and it has been a lifetime well spent

img 8634 National tree week celebrating trees

But trees also help to put us into our place! They remind us how short of a time we have on this planet, while we maybe lucky to live until we are over a hundred, trees can go on for much longer, indeed the oldest tree is thought to be a bristlecone pine tree that’s lived to over 5500years old. They also are a legacy for our children and great grandchildren children to enjoy as whenever we plant a tree, it is for them to enjoy and not for ourselves and that to me is one of the greatest joys of trees, planting something that will be there a long time after I have gone.

Indeed the trees have so many other uses in our lives and planet, far to many for me to list here, indeed more than likely more than I know and understand. So as you walk by them on your way to work, take a look at the trees with a little more respect and yes Sheffield council that does mean you as well!

img 3259 National tree week celebrating trees

The first tree I ever planted, still growing strong at Mottisfont Abbey Gardens

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Six on Saturday, 4/11/17

img 1095 Six on Saturday, 4/11/17

Well well well welcome November! With its gun powder and plot! I love this time of year, to the non gardener, it seems the the start of the end of the gardening year, to the gardeners, they know it’s the start of next years display, with bulbs being planted, plants divided, seeds being sourced and sown and evergreens shaped. It’s these things that shaping my six on Saturdays for the next few weeks. 

img 1092 Six on Saturday, 4/11/17
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
img 1091 Six on Saturday, 4/11/17
Bulbs bulbs bulbs don’t you just love them! These are some of my new snowdrops, dwarf irises and specie tulips I have brought, love having pots of bulbs to bring out and display with their beauty, tried a simple lasagne with specie tulips and iris reticulate types. Can’t wait to see them in flower
img 1089 Six on Saturday, 4/11/17
img 1090 Six on Saturday, 4/11/17
Well managed to get my winter and spring pots all planted up with my middle daughter helping me, planted up with all winter interest (I hope!) and with a mix of tulips, dwarf iris and hyacinths to give a burst of colour and scent next to our front door
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I love Sedums for 12 months of the years, whatever the weather, there’s something to enjoy with them and at this time of year, it’s the flower skeletons that give us enjoy in the garden, won’t be until February before I cut them back to show off the purple buds underneath
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This unknown pyracantha by my front door is and I will be honest a right pain in the backside tbh in the summer, it needs cutting back every 2-3weeks to stop it hiding our front door, but this is worth it, it makes a tightly clipped bush that shows off the berries so well! A few weeks time the blackbirds would of stripped them off and it will be bare for the winter
img 1095 Six on Saturday, 4/11/17
Not from my garden but I had to include it on this weeks 6, just so beautiful isn’t, it’s sorbus Sargentii in full autumn glory in a clients garden on Thursday. It’s faulty become one of my favourite Sorbus.

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 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


img 1061 October, the neither month!
And bulbs to plant!
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Six on Saturday- 7/10/17

Another week has flown by, a week that’s been mainly dry but with the odd shower , just at the wrong time normally! But autumn is really starting to kick in now, with all types of plants slowly putting on their autumn clothes and showing off their berries. All this change will slowly appear over the next few weeks of six on Saturday.

This weeks selection again comes from one of my clients garden, one that I manage the aftercare on after it was redesigned a few years ago, it’s matured into a beautiful garden

img 08511 Six on Saturday  7/10/17
Euonymus alatus or the winged spindle and it’s one of the first to turn in the autumn and it is one of my favourite shrubs for all sizes of gardens, looks beautiful doesn’t
 Six on Saturday  7/10/17

img 0852 Six on Saturday  7/10/17
Sisyrinchium stratum is normally grown for its light yellow flower heads borne over the iris like foliage but to me the seed heads are almost as nice, either as they are now or with an early morning dew spread over them with a spider web draped over it or indeed after Jack Frost has been by, seed heads are such an important architectural part of the garden

img 0845 Six on Saturday  7/10/17
Well we know this as Aster Little Carlow but now it’s a much more simpler easier to remember name Symphyotrichum! See easy isn’t. What ever the name it is a beautiful little umm Symphyotrichum and adds such a great touch of blue to the border

img 0848 Six on Saturday  7/10/17
Stipa gignatea or the golden oat is at its best now on this site, it does need a bit of shelter from the wind to keep its golden seed heads going but on this exposed area they don’t last much longer, still a beauty waving in the autumn sunshine

img 0847 Six on Saturday  7/10/17
Viburnum plicatum f. tomentosum ‘Mariesii’ another mouthful but this wedding cake viburnum is again one of my favourite shrubs for autumn colour, again one of the first plants to change into its dark red coat
img 0857 1 Six on Saturday  7/10/17
Melianthus major is a semi tender shrub that has these massive silver leaves that are so beautiful! It is semi tender and in a cold winter the stems above ground will be frosted off but the bad below ground will send up new shoots in the spring. Just adds so much to the border with its leave shape

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

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Six on Saturday- 30/09/2017

img 0778 Six on Saturday  30/09/2017

Another week has flown by, with it, it seems so has the summer. More and more plants are slowly putting their autumn clothing on  and getting ready for the winter. It’s been a odd week weather wise, a bit rain, heavy at times but also so mild and humid. The plants and gardens are still producing some beautiful moments

Well I hope you enjoy my 6 on Saturday this week, all the plants are from my garden again this week

img 0830 Six on Saturday  30/09/2017
Edgeworthii has now produced its flower buds for early spring and it looks like I am going to have a cracking display on my plant this year! Just need to add a child protection zone around it and enjoy the beautiful flowers and scent. Love watching the buds develop and slowly open up. Something to look forward to enjoying this winter
img 0824 Six on Saturday  30/09/2017
Unknown Pyracantha, it was here on the house we rent in chandlers ford when we arrived here and the great looking berries are the reason it’s still here, pain in the backside to prune it back and shape it every 3 weeks, the flowers are beautiful but stink but the berries oh the berries!
img 0829 Six on Saturday  30/09/2017
Rose climbing lady Hillingdon, one of my favourite roses and I think it’s second time up on the 6 on Saturday, but she is still flowering so well even now, at least 30 blooms on a small plant, going to be a big show for the last show of the year
img 0825 Six on Saturday  30/09/2017
Now I know The Propagator loves his bargain plants and so do I! I couldn’t resist this stunning salvia microphylla Bordeaux for only £3, hoping to over winter it and enjoy its stunning flowers all of next year
img 0832 Six on Saturday  30/09/2017
Ok ok not a brilliant photo of a stunning plant but pelargonium sidoides has really dark flowers finished off with lovely silver foliage, looks great on my patio table, certainly will try and sneak this into the kitchen windowsill for this winter
img 0778 Six on Saturday  30/09/2017
Rosa falstaff is one of my top David Austin hybrids, the flowers shape and scent remind me so much of an Heritage rose, this one was planted in the spring and really struggled to get going, then about 6 weeks ago it started growing and rewarded me with three flowers! Growing it as a low climber on my wall but makes a good shrub rose.

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- Kniphofia rooperi

kniphofia rooperi 3 Plant of the week  Kniphofia rooperi

kniphofia rooperi 2 Plant of the week  Kniphofia rooperi
This weeks plant of the week, is one of the last flowering red hot pokers and for me it is one of the best as well, I love the shape and the colour of this special red hot poker that really light up the border like a torch! The 3-4ft flower spikes are borne over the evergreen foliage from about now up until the first hard frosts hit, they just add a delightful torch of light into our borders, just in time to darken up our sometimes dull autumn days. Even when not in flower, the leaves, add a great architectural element into any garden.

kniphofia rooperi 3 Plant of the week  Kniphofia rooperi
It is a South African plant that loves to live in the damp valleys and that’s one thing to remember when looking after it. Kniphofia rooperi loves to grow into a dampish humus rich soil, in a sunny area but it will grow in drier soil as long as it is well mulched and looked after. It’s very easy to propagate as well, either from seed sown and left over winter in a cold frame, from dividing up the plant in the spring, using a carefully aimed spade to divide up the clump or indeed from cutting the new growth in the spring and potting on into compost. It was named after the great German botanist Johann Hieronymus Kniphof. He wrote one of the greatest books of the 1700, Botanica in originali.

kniphofia rooperi 4 Plant of the week  Kniphofia rooperi
This beautiful clump is at Sir Harold Hillier Gardens but is used in so many more beautiful gardens around the country. Again it’s pretty easy to buy from various nurseries like Hardys Cottage plants