It doesn’t seem possible does it? Already 2 weeks into January, almost halfway though the month! But what a mild week it has been, the grass seems to be growing, certainly put on a bit of growth in the weeks between my visit to one site, hoping we get a little bit of colder weather to slow it down! One thing I hate is those winter days where it’s just dull all day, makes me feel very inclosed and we had a week of those, only day it was bright and cheerful was on Wednesday when I had the pleasure of taking a pruning workshop for a small group at Waterperrys in Oxford, the gardens there are always wonderful and it was lovely taking time to spend basically talking about a job I love doing, pruning roses. Taking about pruning let’s delve into my sin on Saturday for this week, again coming from a clients garden in the new forest.
First one of the 6 this week has to be pruning these beautiful espalier apple trees, not had much pruning done for a few years, had to do a little corrective works on them to get them into a little more of a shape but very happy for the finished works, will be summer pruning them next time.
Ahh yes a simple pot marigold or calendula, been flowering non stop since the summer! A massive ray of sunlight on a dull January day and also the first time I have seen on flowering this late in the season
Ahh still some rose hips about, almost like Christmas baubles left on the Plants, forgotten by all, for some reason the birds have left these alone but how lovely is it to see them on the plant this late on in the season. No idea on the rose yet, not seen it flower properly,
Rosemary and I am guessing this form is Miss Jessop upright, well the straight upright stems are a little bit of a giveaway! One plant we never think about using as a wall shrub, it makes a great espalier if grown on a sunny wall or 6ft fence panel! Takes a few years to get there, but well worth it, sorry got lost on another line of thought! Yes flowering remarkably early this year.
I just had to add this Sarcococca into the mix, the smell from its tiny white flowers just filled the whole garden with its scent, again without the planting plan, the size of the shrub along with the leave shape leads me to believe its hookeriana var Humilis. Great for a small garden and the scent is just out of the world!
Another pruning shot, this time of a pear tree that’s been fan trained, not seen many fan trained pear trees, normally it’s the stone type fruit trees that get fan trained, once again though these trees need a bit of work to get them back into a little bit of shape, felt happy with them now I am done, will summer prune umm in the summer 🙂
I hope you enjoyed my 6 on Saturday from My clients gardens. If you did please checkout other people’s 6 on the memes founder website https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com/ I love seeing other people’s plants and what’s happening in their gardens. Why not give it ago yourself next week and give me a shout so I can take a look
Yes after a couple of weeks break the plant of the week is back and opening up 2018 with a really special plant indeed and one of my favourites. Hamamelis have been one of my favourite group of plants since I was 18 and caught their scent on a cold January day, then I saw their tiny spider like flowers in such a wide of colours and I was even more hooked, even now 27yrs on, they have never lost their appeal to me.
Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Orange Peel’ isn’t my favourite of all the witch hazels but it’s close too it and one that has such an adapt name! Every time I see I, I imagine Jamie Oliver with a zester, peeling off line thin lines of orange zest. It is a hybrid between H. Japonica and H. Mollis and this particular form was bred by one of the most famous of Hamamelis breeders, a Dutchman named de Belder. Unlike a lot of the hybrids, it does have a stunning spicy scent, thought to be like marmalade by many. As well as great scented flowers, this is also a good form to grow for autumn colour, with its leaves turning a brilliant orange colour during this time. The name Hamamelis comes from the Greek words, Hama means at the same time and Melon meaning apple or fruit, the earlier flowering autumn forms quite often have the fruits on the branches at the same time as the flowers
It grows ideally in a moisture retentive soil that doesn’t dry out or get too wet, it dislikes Both greatly, almost as much as it dislikes thin chalky soils, it will tolerate alkaline soils as long as they are deep and loamy. That said it is well worth growing in a big container as long as it doesn’t dry out. When planting, it is worth adding lots of organic matter into the soil as well as some Vitax Q4 so the plant gets off to the best start it can. Once growing, it requires very little care, some formative shaping and removal of crossing branches etc is all that is required for the plant to reach its maximum size of around 3mx3m. There are no pests or diseases that target this plant apart from the normal ones like aphids etc and to make matters even better it’s pretty deer proof as well.
It can be seen at various gardens but the RHS at Wisley has a cracking specimen that is looking beautiful at the moment. Again it is stocked by a few nurseries with pan global plants being a good place to start
As the summer slowly disappears, the trees will slowly start to turn into beautiful colours and Cercidiphyllum japonica is one of the first ones to turn. It won’t be the colour that gets you interested in this plant but the smell! Oh boy how good does this plant smell! It’s like a sweet toffee apple or burnt sugar. The smell is just out of this world! It comes from a chemical called Maltol. Maltol is a natural occurring compound that is more commonly used as a flavour enhancer within the food industry. The smell does give us its common names of weeping Toffee apple tree and burnt sugar. In its native home of Japan, it is called Katsura tree, roughly translated means Japanese Judus tree, the leaves of the tree do indeed look like a small versions of the Judus tree. The leaves come out mid spring and have lovely bronze/green with red lines in them when they first come out. These darken to a medium colour green before turning great shades of orange, pink or yellow in the autumn. It does have flowers that appear in April and May but are pretty small and not that noticeable.
The rarely seen weeping form makes a small to medium size tree in most gardens although given time (200yrs+)and space, it will become a big tree. This form is thought to originated in a monastery in Japan on the small island, Northern Honshu. It is indeed from this form that all the Cercidiphyllum japonica f.pendulum being grown in the world, come from this one plant.
Ideally this beautiful tree needs to be grown in a sheltered spot in the garden in a nice sunny or semi shade spot. Soil wise it’s best in a good moisture retentive soil that is slightly acidic. It will grow in neutral to slightly alkaline soil but sadly the autumn isn’t as good. It is normally is pestfree thankfully!
Time to bring a touch of exoticiness to the plant of the week and I couldn’t resist making this stunning hardy ginger lily. Indeed it looks so tropical that’s surely it can’t be hardy in the uk but it is indeed a lot more tougher than it looks, just a good bit of mulch on top of the plant after it’s been finished by the hard frosts of the autumn.
It is a tall plant reaching an impressive 1.2m by this time of the year and the slightly peachy scented flowers start appearing late july and normally at their peak by mid august, the flowers of this form, are the biggest of all the forms of densiflorum. The beautiful tropical looking foliage starts appearing in late spring. Stephen was discovered by the great Tony Schilling in the Dudh Kosi Valley in eastern Nepal in 1966.
Soilwise it likes a good fertile soil with some moisture retention in it. A good mulch in the early winter should be enough feed to get it though the summer.
It is available from a few good nurseries like www.edulis.co.uk and www.panglobalplants.com
Well it’s Saturday and time for the great meme, 6 on Saturday! The last couple of weeks of rain (many thanks to the kids breaking up, we needed this rain!) the gardens have changed from dust beds back into our lush normal English gardens. It’s made it easy to get my 6 on Saturday this week!
I hope you enjoyed my 6 on Saturday! 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
Thank you for reading mine and I hope to see you next week
This is the last rose of the week this week as I will be going back to the plant of the week not because the rose season is over, indeed far from it, the roses in my garden are still flowering away so well, just feel I want to carry on exploring other plants, with the Butterfly count starting, I think it would be great to focus on plants that butterflies love as well, during the survey time.
So on with the Rose of the week and I have left one of the best roses until last, buff beauty. This rose brings back memories of childhood as my dad planted one alongside a path to the White House ( no not The White House!) that grew into a fine specimen, pretty disease free and full of these beautiful buff yellow colour flowers, delightly scented and flowered all summer long. Buff Beauty is a hybrid musk rose, a wonderful group of roses are thought to be a cross between rosa multiflora, chinensis and moschata and the hybrid teas from early 20th century. These crosses were started by the Rev Joseph Pemperton at his home, the round house, Havering atte bower, Romford, Essex, a house he was both born (1852)and died (1926). He wanted to bred roses like he remembered from his childhood visits to his grandmas houses, rose that not only looked beautiful but also smelt wonderful! And he succeeded with this wonderful range of plants. We know one of the parents and that’s William Allen Richardson, (a beautiful yellow noisette) sadly not the other. But there’s also a little confusion about whether he did bred the rose, it was introduced by Ann Bentall, in 1936. Ann was the daughter of Pemerton’s head gardener and it is thought she introduced it from his garden. Others have said she wanted to carry on his rose breeding programme and bred this rose and another. My feeling is that it’s the first version that is true, looks so much like his type of breeding, I may aso be incorrect.
No matter where it came from, its a great great garden plant, I have used it as a small climber, shrub and a bush rose to great effect, as a bush I prune it down to 300mm in the spring and then it responds with 600mm lengths of growth. It will make about 1.5-1.75m in height as a climber and it works so well with underplanting of blues, as I have said it’s pretty disease free and will grow away quite happy on most soils as long as it well fed.
It can be brought from most of the main rose dealers like David Austin roses, Peter Beales and Trevor White Roses.
Well I thought I wouldn’t be able to join in again this week, but nature has a way of proving us wrong and issuing out more delights for us to enjoy in our gardens and that’s certainly been the case this week, with plants just starting their 2nd or even 3rd flush in my small Hampshire garden. Well here’s my 6 for this week, I hope you enjoy seeing them on the web as much as I enjoy them in my garden
Well that’s my 6 on Saturday, I hope you enjoyed them! This brilliant meme is hosted by https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com/, there’s some other very good 6 on Saturday there, please take a look and enjoy them, I know I will
This rose is a slight oddity, it doesn’t fit into the ‘normal’ brackets of our garden roses that we like to add them too, it even doesn’t quite fit into wild shrub rose bracket I like to add the more species based roses into. But that doesn’t make it a bad rose, it just means we humans can’t add it into a ‘bracket’ like we do to understand things. So why is it so difficult to label? Well it’s a cross between rosa pimpinellifolia and an autumn damask rose that happened by accident in a garden in stanwell, Middlesex. It was introduced a few years later by Lee of Hammersmith in 1838. The rose pimpinellifolia is a suckering wild shrub that can be found around Europe including the UK, it tends to flavour a poorish soil and will take over sand dunes quite happily.
It does make a shrub up to 5ft tall if allowed but it does make a pretty lax plant that needs the support of the older branches, the thorns are pretty fine and very numerous on the shrub but that adds to its charm added to the greyish green fine foliage that makes a brilliant drop back for the lovely pale pink quartered flowers that have the most delightful scent, that are indeed are borne all summer long and well into the autumn months followed by some large black hips. It is a beautiful rose, one that is at home in a border and also at home in the more wild parts of the garden and was indeed Gertrude Jekylls favourite rose to plant into this type of area. Normally such heavenly quartered flowers aren’t good for bees but this one is the exception and will attract bees in quite happily. It is also an exceptionally tough rose, it will take all soil conditions apart from heavy clay and will also take a shady spot in the garden. In her book of roses, Gertrude Jekyll, recommends planting them 1ft apart to form a self supporting group, from my experience, I would agree with her and found it does make a better specimen if treated like that, otherwise it makes a pretty arching shrub. Can be trained into a informal hedge as well. Pruning is dead easy, almost as easy as rambling roses! Any long growths reduced by 2/3rds and remove expired wood and that’s it! Pretty disease free as well. A great rose to start with!
Can be brought from most nurseries and garden centres as well as being seen in most good gardens.
Well felt it was right to join in with another garden blogging friend, The Propagater, www.thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com with his idea of 6 plants of interest each week on a Saturday. Sadly my garden is quite small, indeed even a couple of postage stamps would struggle to fit into my garden, so for me, it might be every couple of weeks, otherwise it would the same ones every week!
My first is the paper like flowers of Catanache caerula, a tough little Herbaceous plant that’s a member of the daisy family. It gets to about 18inches high in my garden and loves a nice sunny spot here in my borders
Next one has to be a rose, this one is a rambler called ‘Blushing Lucy’ and was planted about 3yrs ago to cover my dividing wall with my neighbours. This year, it’s finally got going this year with some great new growth,so it’s looking even better for next year
Gaura RosyJane is one of Rosemary Hardys finds and it is one of my favourite Gauras. They are a plant that’s gained a bit of favour in the last few years and rightly so, need a sunny free draining spot in your garden
Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Applause’ only the second year of this beauty in my garden, I have a love of oak leaved hydrangeas and this form I brought from Head Gardeners Plants down in the new forest, really doing well in my free draining chandlers ford garden
Armeria maritima ‘Pride of Düsseldorf’ time for a little alpine and I do like my alpines, this beautiful form of sea thrift loves my alpine pot, built with fossils me and my boy found in Dorset a couple of years ago, like all Armeria needs a free draining soil.
Geranium ‘Azure Rush’ well it looks a little like Rozanne but it’s a lot lower growing and pretty well behaved. It doesn’t take over the borders but gives you a summer of flowers. Well worth growing!
Well that’s my 6 for this week, will be back in 2 weeks time with another 6 I hope! Until then, I hope you enjoy these ones
Well it’s been a few years since I have been to the show, it shouldn’t of been but I just arrived one year when they closed the show due to high winds! It’s not that I hate these shows, true I am not good in crowds but it’s more of the timing of them, every gardener know that this is a busy time of year, but last year I made the choice I needed to do events like this. When the appeal for helpers for volunteers to help man Perennial’s Tom Massey designed garden, I jumped at the chance! What a great way to see the show and help out on the day to charity that does so much to help us horticulturist.
The bright sunny day dawned, a shortish train journey to Hampton Court and then well it had to be done, a boat trip down the Thames to the show and arriving in style. Once though the essential bag searches, so sadly important for big events like this, I was in and met immediately with wildflower Turf laid out on with notes on the plants and butterflies. All leading up to the beautiful large dome, filled with butterflies, floating around the air and feeding off the flowers. Yes they are all types of exotic butterflies and moths, but it does show what they add to the garden, the movement and flashes of colour, bringing all important life to the garden
I moved though into the first area of gardens, first one that struct me was the kinetica garden (silver gilt medal) designed by senseless acts of beauty, designed around the particle theory, with the garden laid out like the molecular structure of a solid object, the red cones really brought out the colour of the silver birches, then with the yellow still pools, reflected back both the silver birches and the great underplanting of grasses mixed in with a few herbecous plants.
Next garden really did make you think about the wider world and the damage we are doing to it! That the Tusk ‘not for sale’ Garden (silver) designed by Ferguson and Whyte Garden Design and sponsored by The Cotswold wildlife park, promoting Task, supporting wildlife and communities in Africa. The whole idea of the garden was to raise awareness of the damage done to the worlds elephant population, with the arches demoting the 80 elephants killed each day by poachers and th destruction caused by this awful crime! It really brought home the horror of it all for me
The Urban rain garden (silver gilt) designed by Rhiannon Williams of landform, sponsored by London stone and Squires garden centres. The garden is designed with both a front and back garden, designed to help to cope with the heavy rain we can get now and how to use it within our gardens without it causing the dreaded run off. Both front and back beds use raised beds to move the water from an aquatic area though to flower beds, all water ended up into storage tanks underground, with the front storage tank planted up under a grill. The patio area at the back had curves cut into the patio to channel the water into a dill. Lovely garden, only thing I would like to would of been maybe a side used for veg and fruit but enjoyed it
The garden that stood out for me in the area was the Perennial’s Sanctuary garden (silver gilt) designed by Tom Massey, plants from Hortus Loci. The theme for th garden was one that fitted Perennial perfectly, the planting around the edges, the reds and oranges are the busy feel of both the show ground but also the troubled and stressed mind of a horticulturist or close family member at the moment of severe crisis, mind in turbulence not too sure what to do, until they contact Perennial, then the journey becomes calmer as they help them overcome problems though their excellent range of advisors and councillors, they them become calmer, less stressed and mentally clearer, like the garden is becoming blue with a feel of peace coming though until you get to the calming centre, shrouded in the calm waving effect of the bamboo with a beautiful calm pool of water in the centre denoting the peace for when your problems are been solved. The garden just works so well from the mix of the crocosmia, helenium Moerhiem beauty and Deschampsia in the red area to the so simple but stunning calamagrotis x acutifolia karl Foerster and agapanthus Navy Blue in the blue section, so simple but so good. Perennial is a charity that helps out those in the horticulture trade and their families covering all sorts of life’s problems that can occur, from a simple accident that lays you off work to losing your job. I really wished I knew about them, when I hit apon hard times 10yrs ago, It would of helped me so much and if you ever find yourself in that position, they are there to help you!
Slowly I worked my way to the first marquee, the rose one and it was great to look around at the wonderful stands of roses that adorned the marque, flowers of pure delight from David Austin roses, Peter Beales, Fryers just to name a few. The whole are was full of their fragrance and colour, I spent ages going from one stand to another, looking at the array of colours, shapes and size flowers, from modern day roses to roses that go back hundreds of years.
Then I moved though a few of the smaller gardens like Charlie Blooms ‘colour box’ wow! She wanted to make a colourful garden and she certainly succeeded! This was a garden full of wonderful flowering plants, that work together so well to give you an garden full Colour and plants, a garden that is based around the plants and not the hard landscaping. Charlie built the garden on the power of social media, both getting plants, materials and help from it. What she has done is incredible alround and makes a wonderful difference in the world of big sponsorship. The panels that back the garden, really make a wonderful back drop. They were supplied by Stark and Greensmith and beautifully made allowing dappled light to come though the laser cut shapes within the panel, with the rusty finish, making them an ideal backdrop for the garden. Weldone Charlie for what you achieved!
Other beautiful gardens in the area certainly included Fun on the sea, a mix of colourful seaside beach huts, a rowing boat filled with flowers and wonderful planting including Nepatas, Agapanthus and grasses. The different size gravels really brought the seaside to Hampton court
One garden that won gold in this are was the Brownfield Metamorphosis designed by Wilson Associates Garden Design. Based around the derelict brownfield sites in the uk, it took elements from areas in Germany and New York to bring us an old industrial site that’s slowly disappearing into nature with grasses and other plants taking over the once busy area, the old metal structures slowly rusting and disappearing back into the soil from once they came, lovely little touches in this garden included the little bits of chain scattered about. Again a beautifully constructed garden, planted to perfection.
Of the main show gardens, the blind veterans garden by Andrew fisher Tomlin really caught my eye, from the wonderful woven tentacles or roots, weaving around the lovely oak summerhouse and forming archways though the garden, planted with beautiful pictorial wildflower turf, slips so peacefully into the planted areas, a delightful mix of grasses, heliumums, alliums, echinacea and nepetas add colour, movement and delights to the eye. Construction was A1. Also well worth a mechioned was Paul Hervey-Brooks garden for Viking Crusies, with its blue building back drop, stunning paving and just brilliant paving! Really enjoyed looking at it, just a shame I couldn’t enjoy it with filming going on! I am surprised the Viking didn’t scare off the film crew!
Lastly there was the plant marquee, full of just stunning displays of the most beautiful plants, some I have been lucky enough to grows others I have never seen before! The stands were just amazing and tbh I don’t know where to start or finish! So I think I will let the photos say the words themselves! Indeed it was wonderful just to wonder amgonst the plants, enjoying the wide range on offer as well as talk to some of the talented growers and national collection holders like Philip from Canterbury Catherderal with his collection of Hakenechloa, Rob Hardy from Hardys cottage plants. I will be doing a blog next week, in more detail about the plants I enjoyed seeing in the marquee
If I have left you or you garden out, I am so sorry, so many wonderful Gardens and trade stands (that said check out the Niwaki stand if you love your hand tools, brilliant stuff there!) there on the day, it would take me weeks to write it all up and well a few days wondering around the show spending time learning about you all. I took a lot from the show, some truly beautiful plantings, meeting some great people on the day all in truly one amazing venue, one I shall enjoy returning to next year and hopefully will try and spend more than one day to get around and into all the little nooks and crannies!
I hope you all enjoyed my highlights of the great show!
This weeks Rose of the week is indeed another total classic rose, again one of my favourites (well to be honest there’s not many I don’t like!). This tea noisette Rose does need the support of a wall the get the best from its maximum size 5mx7m size that’s covered in deep buff 10cm wide flowers that take on a pink and apricot during warm spell. These highly fragrant flowers have a main flush during June and then have the odd flower repeating the for the reminder of the summer months, up until the first frosts. It will take a full sunny spot or indeed one with a bit of shade and most types of soil as well. The foliage is a good glossy green colour. Disease wise,the normal problems can effect this rose a bit, but does show a good resistance to the problems (please see here for treatment suggestions) indeed all the above make it one of the best climbing roses you can plant in your garden.
It was bred by Monsieur Jacotot, a Frenchman born and died in Dijon, hence the name meaning glory of Dijon. It was cross between the noisette rose ‘Desprez a fleur Jaune’ and the bourbon ‘Souvenir de la Malmaison’ in 1853 and with parents like those it was always going to be a special Rose. So special that the poet D H Lawrence wrote the following poem about it
Gloire de Dijon
BY D. H. LAWRENCE
When she rises in the morning
I linger to watch her;
She spreads the bath-cloth underneath the window
And the sunbeams catch her
Glistening white on the shoulders,
While down her sides the mellow
Golden shadow glows as
She stoops to the sponge, and her swung breasts
Sway like full-blown yellow
Gloire de Dijon roses. She drips herself with water, and her shoulders
Glisten as silver, they crumple up
Like wet and falling roses, and I listen
For the sluicing of their rain-dishevelled petals.
In the window full of sunlight
Concentrates her golden shadow
Fold on fold, until it glows as
Mellow as the glory roses.
What a lovely pose! Again it can be found growing in gardens like Mottisfont Abbey Gardens and I believe Hidcote has a great specimen. It can be brought from most good rose suppliers like David Austin Roses and Trevor White Rose.
My old Blogs
Shoot talkJanuary 18, 2018 at 6:00 pm – 7:00 pmChapel manor college, Regent’s Park
Talk on plant names and their meaningsJanuary 31, 2018 at 7:00 pm – 8:00 pmWargrave RG108EU
Talk on Hardy geraniums, Harpenden gardening societyFebruary 13, 2018 at 7:00 pm – 8:00 pmHarpenden