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The Gardens of Rhs Chelsea 2018

img 5467 1 1 The Gardens of Rhs Chelsea 2018

I was lucky enough to spend the last day at the RHS Chelsea flower show after winning a couple of tickets from Griffin Greenhouses. It was my first visit to Chelsea since 2005 so I was very excited to see the delights the show has to offer. This is always seen as the foremost flowershow in the uk, if not the world, so it a great place not just to see the new trends and thoughts coming though but also the new plants. It is also a great place to meet the growers on the stands in the grand marquee. But things have also changed with the type of sponsors on the garden, with more and more charity’s using the show to highlight their work and the plight of people from around the world. These gardens really do help to bring the work or highlight the issues that they are raising so well and it is amazing to see their message being highlighted by the skill of the designer and the beauty of plants and materials. This was my favourite from all the charity gardens img 5421 The Gardens of Rhs Chelsea 2018img 5419 The Gardens of Rhs Chelsea 2018img 5417 The Gardens of Rhs Chelsea 2018img 5415 The Gardens of Rhs Chelsea 2018

The Supershoes, laced with hope garden. This garden was designed reflecting a child’s cancer journey and of course their family. I thought the winding seat and most wonderful mural painted on the back, all leading to the statues at the back of a child and parent was a excellent idea with the underplanting being a mix of lupins, irises, alliums, geums reflecting the dark and also bright moments of the cancer journey, yes colours could of been done from the darker side of first being told that you have cancer to the lighter moments saying you are cured but every journey is different and child have the ability to find joy in the most darkest of times. Well worth checking out Supershoes charity at www.supershoes.org.uk

The main avenue show gardens were indeed stunning gardens, so well designed and built, they did all however suffer from the same problem at the time of my visit, everyone wanted to see them and it was like a polite rugby scrum to get up close to look at them, with every space made by departing viewers, fought by pushing and elbowing until you got to the front. Even when you got there, you had to contend with the airplane photographers, you all know the ones who stick their elbows out at 45 degree angles to take the pics and you end up with a nice pic of their elbows. Tbh I gave up after 3 goes, found it too much for me and it’s such a shame the RHS couldn’t find a better controlled way to let people admire the gardens, a slow moving line maybe? That way you could see the gardens the full length as they are designed and built to be seen instead of a little segment whilst having an elbow inserted into your side. That said, the ones I did see were rather very good and here’s a selection below of some of the great designs and building I got close too

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This was the first one I saw and it was sponsored by the show sponsors M&G investments, designed by the very talented Sarah Price and but by Crocus. Its Mediterranean style garden, focused on plants that need less water, really well thought out garden that won a gold metal.

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I loved the planting on this garden designed by Jo Thompson, built by Bespoke Outdoor spaces and sponsored by Wedgewood. I felt the garden was a lovely cool space that I certainly could relax and enjoy in. Another gold medal here

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This garden sponsored by Greenlip, designed by Dr Catherine McDonald and built by landform consultants was filled by members of the pea family with the lupins really stealing the main show. I loved the fact that the whole garden was filled by the same family, showing off the whole diverse forms of the pea. Another gold medal garden

img 5463 The Gardens of Rhs Chelsea 2018

This garden designed by Laurie Chapworth and Patrick Collins, sponsored by Creativiersal and built by Tendercare, the Wuhan water garden was designed to be seen from all sides and was inspired by the natural and city environments in the Hubei province in China, I liked the idea but did find it a little bit of a mix for me. It won a bronze medal

img 5467 The Gardens of Rhs Chelsea 2018

Now this was a stand I wanted to play on and I will be honest and say it was the only one I saw, I would love to add to my own little garden, it was designed and built by Architectural Plants, the treehouse garden was just divine, great planting and a stunning well built tree house, just perfect place! Can just imagine my work office up there, sliding down when I ran out of cake and tea!

img 5406 The Gardens of Rhs Chelsea 2018

This garden just bowled me over by its design! Yes it is designed with cricket in mind, sponsored by British Council, designed by Sarah Eberle and build by Belderbos landscapes, it was designed with both India and England’s love of cricket and the dreams of young Indians growing up in India, won a silver gilt medal

img 5400 The Gardens of Rhs Chelsea 2018

I loved this garden by Kazuyuki Ishihara, sponsored by G-Loin. The Japanese hospitality garden is just so full of detail, from the moss right though to the waterfalls and just the natural look of the garden, made it look like it had been there for years, it was the only garden I saw that made me feel it had not just been build, stunning stunning garden, won a gold medal and best Artisian garden

img 5409 The Gardens of Rhs Chelsea 2018

And my last of the gardens I am highlighting, this is my style of garden! Called the A very English Garden, designed by Janine Cribbins, sponsored by The Claim Guys and built by Andrew Louden. Everything about this garden is brilliant, the planting, the very high standard stone work, it is indeed another garden I could see me doing at home. Really really impressive garden won a silver gilt medal and people’s choice of best artsian garden

This is the end of the second part of my 3 part look at Chelsea 2018 show, I hope you enjoyed it

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Six on Saturday- 19th of May 2018

img 2778 Six on Saturday  19th of May 2018

Well happy Saturday one and all and it’s great to be back writing the SoS for the first time in a couple of weeks. This excellent meme helps to focus your mind of 6 things that are happening in your garden, yes at times it can be hard to find them but other times you end up with 10 or so things you could include but have to whittle down to 6. This also allows you time to wander around the garden, relax and enjoy things that are happening in there at the time. I think anything that helps you enjoy the hard work you do in the garden and helps to share the successes and failures, is great in my book.

Anyway a lots happened in the last few weeks and the garden at home is really coming on, the roses are budding up and I managed to get to a great plant sale on bank holiday Monday and I do expect those plants brought will be making an appearance soon. My roses are a little late this year, full of bud with colour occurring, I feel they will be open soon, right mr Stone lets get on with the six!

img 2735 1 Six on Saturday  19th of May 2018

Geranium phaeum Connie Broe is one of those marmite plants, you either love it or hate it, I have a soft spot for her indeed and I love the marbling foliage on this plant and I look forward to seeing the foliage and flowers each year. As soon as she finishes flowering this year, I shall be lifting and dividing and replanting once more.

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One plant I think will feature heavily this week is Allium purple sensation and it is looking wonderful at the moment. It’s big selling point has to be the fact it gives a little bit of height and colour just after the tulips have finished

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About 18months ago, I went to a Niwaki training day held at Architectural Plants and led by the great Jake Hobson and this is the tree I cam back home with. I am still training it and have just given it its first trim up, quite pleased!

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Yes yes another geranium, this time it’s Himalayense Derek Cook, himalayense has a nasty habit of taking over the world, so far Derek has been well behaved, just hope he carries on like this!

img 2777 Six on Saturday  19th of May 2018

Not a rose flower but a close up of the new foliage and buds, just how lovely are the buds and new leaves of this moss rose called little gem, I love the softness and the scent from the mossy growth, soon the flowers will be out and the scent from those will be even better

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The lovely flowers of sea thrifts are slowly appearing and Pride of Düsseldorf is one of my favourites, such an easy to grow plant that loves a free draining site and makes a perfect addition to my Alpine pots.

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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Water logged soils- what to do?

img 0733 1 1 Water logged soils  what to do?

img 0733 1 Water logged soils  what to do?

We have had so much rain recently and I am always being asked what to do in the garden. Well there are so many things you can do and not do in the first place to ensure you don’t damage your garden.

First of all what is water logged soil? Well it’s soil that’s had so much water it can’t take any more, most of the spaces in the soil normally filled with air, have been filled with water and the water is more than likely to be sat on the surface.

Why does it matter? Well all plants need oxygen at their roots, the micro organisms that live in the soil need oxygen within the soil. So basically life within the soil needs oxygen. Without it in the soil, plants and life within the soil dies. The longer the garden is under water, the more chance the roots and life within the soil has of drowning. A few days might be manageable, weeks and weeks will cause problems unless the plant is one that’s adapted to that environment like say Salix, otherwise damage will occur. It is never a case of the plant just dying in a few days, sometimes it can take months for the effects of prolonged water logging to kill a plant, it normally happens when the tree has got all the leaves open in full summer, when the most pressure is being applied to the damaged root system. You can normally tell by the leaves going yellow, growth is stunted or looks like it suffering from lack of water. If you lift it up, you will find the roots have some black and generally speaking it stinks of a sour rotting stagnate smell.

And of course, it effects some soils more than others, sandy soils and thin soils over chalk, tend to dry out quicker, it’s the heavier soils like clay, that are more problematic with heavy spells of rain.

There are somethings you can do to help the garden and Plants recover from a very wet spell

  1. Try to keep off the soil when it is waterlogged, walking, driving over it pushes more air spaces out of the soil, when this happens, it takes longer for the soil to drain but also it also compacts it, causing a hard layer to form within the soil. This may hinder plant growth by limiting the areas the roots can get to, reducing the amount of food and nutrients they can reach in the soil and also stops from water to get down deeper into the ground and not getting to the roots below
  2. Try not working on the soil when it’s wet. Again this can cause the problems as per above. When planting out in very wet weather, you can smear the sides of the hole and this can also slow down the plant from growing out of the hole and into the surrounding site again causing problems to the plant
  3. It also breaks up the natural structure in the soil, effecting the soils natural drainage.
  4. Don’t remove all the stones in the beds, yes they may look messy but they are natural drainage for the soil and are best suited left in the soil, try mulching to cover than remove
  5. It’s worth remembering that the heavy rain washes the nutrients out of the soil, nitrates, potassium and sulphur are particularly effected. So it is well worth giving the beds a good feed of a balanced fertiliser like Vitax Q4 in the spring. It can also be worth testing the soil first, to see if and what it requires.
  6. Organic matter helps to increase the air gaps within the soil so adding well rotted compost to the soil surface will help to add the nutrients that the plants require but also help to increase the air gaps in the soil. It also feeds worms and the movement of worms though the soil adds air to the soil as well, some worm species like lob worms, help to breakdown compacted areas. The organic matter also provides a cushion between the soil and feet, reducing compaction.
  7. Biochar has also been found useful aid to the soil. It helps to reduce leaching of nutrients, increase air spaces and aids colonisation of mycorrhizal in the soil. That is very useful after longer term water logging.
  8. Use boards or add hard surfaces to main walking areas once the ground has become waterlogged to avoid compaction
  9. If it does or is a problem in certain parts of the garden, consider planting plants that are more suited for those conditions like different forms of Salix
  10. img 2471 Water logged soils  what to do?If you have drainage ditches or pipes, check them to make sure they are running effectively. Best weather ironically to check it when it’s pouring down with rain!
  11. Be wary with plants like conifers or indeed other plants from bulbs to trees The damp conditions are suitable for root fungal attacks from one call Phytophthora. It’s hard to tell apart from normal root decay death apart from on some woody plants there maybe a brown/black up side down V shaped at the base of the stem.
  12. If it is a wet area, try an old Victorian trick of planting a tree on a mound

Well I hope that helps a bit to understand what happens in the garden when it’s waterlogged and what to do with it to help Plants recover

design3 Water logged soils  what to do?
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Six on Saturday, 7th of April, 2018

img 0735 Six on Saturday, 7th of April, 2018

Well well well it had to happen, yes we had not one but two and I repeat it two, dry days oh my word!so nice not to get into the house each night as a sodden mess, wet clothes in the armfuls, filling up the house with um a pleasant soily damp smell that’s further enhanced by the following evening when the next load comes in, well I think it is pleasant, my partner will no doubt disagree!

In all seriousness, it has been wonderful to see the sun and the sun has brought out the flowers around the garden. It’s starting to have that spring feeling at last. Last year one of my roses was half open, this year, it’s only just broken into leaf this year and that says a lot doesn’t. But never mind, Mother Nature has a way of catching up with things and I dare say we will be getting a warm dry spell at sometime in the near future.

This weeks six on Saturday comes from my clients gardens. My garden is being rather stubborn and isn’t producing me with any plants of interest and I haven’t had time to do anything in there yet and that’s the keyword yet!

img 2485 Six on Saturday, 7th of April, 2018

I couldn’t resist this photo of Aesculus hippocastrum or horse chestnut of its leaves slowly unfurling, looks to me like it’s shading its eyes from the incoming big yellow ball that it’s not seen for a while or it’s waving to the sun saying hello. Ok ok bear with bear with its been a long cold winter…..

img 2481 Six on Saturday, 7th of April, 2018

Ahh another Ribes sanguineum ‘White Icicle’ now I do love ribes and the white form of the red flowering currant is another I look forward to in the spring months and here it is in the sun looking beautiful

img 2482 Six on Saturday, 7th of April, 2018

Euphorbia myrsinites was the first of this huge family I learnt as a young boy and still is a favourite of mine, I love the foliage effect as well as the acidic yellow flowers

img 2475 Six on Saturday, 7th of April, 2018

Ahh magnolias, once someone told me it was better to be late than to never arrive! Magnolias are living up to this saying this year. The cold spring has certainly put them back and it’s wonderful to see them flowering around the gardens once more, really makes me think spring is here! Oh before I forget it’s a magnolia stellata not sure on form, it’s under investigation, now where’s my magnolia book!

img 2483 2 Six on Saturday, 7th of April, 2018

The stinking hellebores look so majestic at this time of the year, helleborus foetidus is it’s botanical name, loves a bit of shade but again I love the green flowers, dipped in a little bit of purple around the edges

img 2490 Six on Saturday, 7th of April, 2018

Full apologies for the crap photo, the little bugger wouldn’t say still! I have a feeling this comma didn’t want to appear on six on Saturday, bad form I say, bad form. Seriously it was wonderful to see the sun brining out the butterflies. I saw so many brimstones (they didn’t want to be photographed either!) fluttering around the gardens and also one peacock and this one battered comma!

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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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!

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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

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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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Six on Saturday: 17.02.2018

img 2083 Six on Saturday: 17.02.2018

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

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

img 2075 Six on Saturday: 17.02.2018

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

img 2070 Six on Saturday: 17.02.2018

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

img 2074 Six on Saturday: 17.02.2018

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

img 2073 Six on Saturday: 17.02.2018

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

img 2078 Six on Saturday: 17.02.2018

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

img 2083 Six on Saturday: 17.02.2018

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

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

Until next week, have fun in the garden

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Snowdrops of Hodsock Priory

img 4029 Snowdrops of Hodsock Priory

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

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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

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

img 4075 Snowdrops of Hodsock Priory

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

img 4089 Snowdrops of Hodsock Priory

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

img 4094 Snowdrops of Hodsock Priory

The formal parterre area has standard roses planted in there

img 4086 Snowdrops of Hodsock Priory

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

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

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

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

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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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Six on Saturday 10-02-2018

img 2031 Six on Saturday 10 02 2018

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

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

img 2029 Six on Saturday 10 02 2018

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

img 2015 Six on Saturday 10 02 2018

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

img 2019 Six on Saturday 10 02 2018

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

img 2031 Six on Saturday 10 02 2018

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

img 2027 Six on Saturday 10 02 2018

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

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

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

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

Until next week, have fun in the garden

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Plant of the week-Phyllostachys aureosulcata f. spectabilis

phyllostachys aureosulcata f spectabilis 1 Plant of the week Phyllostachys aureosulcata f. spectabilis

phyllostachys aureosulcata f spectabilis 3 Plant of the week Phyllostachys aureosulcata f. spectabilis

Well it’s time for another large group of plants I haven’t featured before, bamboos. They are a very useful group of plants as well, even more so at this time of year, as their bright canes help to enhance the winter garden and there is no bamboo that can do this better than Phyllostachys aureosulcata f. spectablis.

phyllostachys aureosulcata f spectabilis Plant of the week Phyllostachys aureosulcata f. spectabilis

Phyllostachys aureosulcata is also know as the yellow-groove bamboo. It is a native of Zhejiang Province, Eastern China and was introduced in the USA in around 1901. In its native sites, it grows on the edges of woodlands and into woodland glades. Bamboos are normally divided up into clump forming and runners. Phyllostachys aureosulcata f. spectablis is a clump forming bamboo and can make a very big plant up to 7m in height and well over 3m wide. Phyllostachys aureosulcata f. spectablis has stunning yellow stems, that unlike others in the family, has a green strip in the distinctive groove in the back of the canes, hence the common name. They also sometimes make Zig Zag shape kinks in the canes as well. When the new canes emerge from the ground they are called Colms. With Phyllostachys aureosulcata f. spectablis they emerge with a pinkish tinge to them and are quite beautiful indeed. The name Phyllostachys is derived from the Greek phyllon meaning ‘leaf’ and stachys meaning ‘spike’. Aureosulcata is derived from the Latin aurea meaning ‘golden’ and sulcus meaning ‘furrow’.

phyllostachys aureosulcata specabilis 4 Plant of the week Phyllostachys aureosulcata f. spectabilis

Phyllostachys aureosulcata f. spectablis is a pretty tough bamboo, it will grow in most soils but it does prefer to be in sun or semishade. Even though it is a clump forming bamboo, it still can send out underground stems called rhizomes that help it spread into new areas. It is best to encase the bamboo in a root barrier, leaving enough room for the plant to grow. These clump forming bamboos tend to spread if they run out of food and water, so the best idea to keep them from spreading is to mulch once per year in the spring with garden compost, green waste and ensure that it has enough water during the dry spells. Each cane or colm, grows to its maximum height within 1 year. It is a good idea in each spring to remove a few of the older weaker canes from the clump to keep the clump looking young. It also give the new colms room to grow within the clump. The worse thing you can do is try and control the spread by removing the new canes, this will make the plant want to spread even more as it feels it’s under threat in this space. In the autumn it is also worth removing the lower leaves on the stems up to 5ft to let the stems shine though. Only other maintenance required is cutting back any rhizomes that spread from the plant. It is pretty disease free and is only propagated by dividing up the main clump.

It’s height and size makes it prefect to block off not so pleasant views from the garden so is excellent as either a specimen plant or as a screening plant.

It can be found at Both Sir Harold Hillier Gardens and round RHS Wisley. It can be brought from many Nurseries including The Big Plant Nursery and Burncoose of Southdown.

phyllostachys aureosulcata specabilis Plant of the week Phyllostachys aureosulcata f. spectabilis

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