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Davidia involucrata

davidia involucrata 5 Davidia involucrata

Davidia involucrata is now in full flower with the white blooms covering the trees almost like white doves fluttering in the branches or handkerchiefs that have been picked up by a big gust of wind and spread them all though the tree.

davidia involucrata 3 Davidia involucrataI can imagine how thrilling it must of been to first clap your eyes on this tree growing wild and seeing the stunning flowers for the first time just like the first Europeans discovering the tree for the first time. It was one lucky chap , a French missionary called father Armand David who first came across it, flowering away in a Chinese valley in 1871 and sent specimens back to France. The seeds didn’t arrive in Europe for a few more years indeed it was the first plant hunting trip by one of the greatest plant hunters of them all, Earnest Wilson who in 1901 managed to send back seeds to Kew Gardens. This was despite being attacked by bandits, suffering a deadly illness and recovering and finally nearly drowning! Damn glad I don’t have to suffer like that to get my hands on one!

davidia involucrata 7 Davidia involucrata

Never-less this beautiful tree with heart shaped leaves and seed pods that look like Christmas baubles hanging from the branches, is well worth the effort of going to see one in the next week or so, just admire its beauty!

davidia involucrata var vilmoriniana Davidia involucrata

Next week I will highlight another plant that is looking beautiful

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Plant of the week- Magnolia x soulangeana ‘Etienne Soulange-Bodin

magnolia x soulangeana6 Plant of the week  Magnolia x soulangeana ‘Etienne Soulange Bodin

magnolia x soulangeana2 Plant of the week  Magnolia x soulangeana ‘Etienne Soulange BodinSome plants just walk into Plant of the week without any need of explaining why! With Magnolia x soulangeana ‘Etienne Soulange-Bodin it is certainly indeed one of those plants. Where ever you drive at the moment, town, city or countryside, you will see one of these stunning magnolias, flowering away to the hearts content. If there is a tree in the uk that shouts here’s spring more than Magnolia x soulangeana ‘Etienne Soulange-Bodin I would love to know it

Magnolias as a whole, belong to an ancient group of plants, dating back to the times of the dinosaur, well before bees, when beetles where the main pollinators. This form of magnolia doesn’t date back that far, just to the 1820’s. It was an cavalry officer from Napoleons arm, who after seeing the botanical gardens at places like Vienna, Moscow and Stuttgart during the war, the war indeed left him rather unimpressed to the point of him saying ‘ it would of been better if both parties stayed at home and planted cabbages’! Thankfully for us, he didn’t and after the war, he founded the royal institute of Horticulture near Paris ad it was in this garden in 1820, he crossed magnolia denudata with magnolia liliiflora. The resulting seedling, produced one of the finest magnolias and the one we see everywhere today Magnolia x soulangeana or to give it its correct botanical name Magnolia x soulangeana ‘Etienne Soulange-Bodin. It is possible that natural crosses of these to did happen in Japanese temples, where both are grown for religious reasons but this was the first hybrid between the two plants that happened in Europe.

magnolia x soulangeana6 Plant of the week  Magnolia x soulangeana ‘Etienne Soulange BodinOne of the things that makes Magnolia x soulangeana ‘Etienne Soulange-Bodin such a good tree for peoples gardens is the fact it is slow growing, height after 20 years can be up to 3-4m high and wide and its takes up to 50yrs to reach its full 6m height and width. The leaves open just after the plant has finished flowering and are a oval shaped, mid green in colour around 20cm long, they do go a yellow colour in the autumn but it isn’t one of the best for autumn colour. It is the big open white flowers, flushed with purple at the base, this plant is mainly grown for. These flowers can be tolerant of a certain amount of frost.

c94bdeb1 e564 46f3 91f0 3a3097525d50 686 0000003ce598e954 file Plant of the week  Magnolia x soulangeana ‘Etienne Soulange Bodin

It is also very good at growing in a wide range of soils, indeed it will happy grow in all, from clay to sand, from acidic to alkaline and tolerates thin soils over chalk, unlike most magnolias. Ideally, it should be mulched with some great compost and fed with a good fertiliser like vitax Q4 after flowering, covering the plant to just outside the drip zone but it’s not over important. As a plant, it required very little pruning, thining of crossing branches, removal of deadwood is all that is required, although it can be more heavierly pruned back if required, with no adverse effects. When the wood is cut though, you will get a stunning ginger scent coming from the wood. Pest and disease wise, it’s pretty trouble free, scale insects take a like to it, so it’s worth watching out for them, honey fungus will also attack it. Other than that it’s pretty easy.

It can be seen in most streets around the uk and brought from most good Nurseries

20180226 202933 Plant of the week  Magnolia x soulangeana ‘Etienne Soulange Bodin
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Plant of the week- Sophora ‘Sun King’

sophera sunking 4 Plant of the week  Sophora ‘Sun King’

sophera sunking 2 Plant of the week  Sophora ‘Sun King’This weeks plant of the week is one that just seems to flower for months and months although I feel it’s March and into April when they really are their best. It is certainly one of my favourite plants since i moment I saw it growing in Sir Harold Hillier Gardens, down near the pond, indeed it was the original plant that was introduced by Hillier Nurseries.

This original plant of Sophora ‘Sun King’ came from some seed Nothofagus seed sent to Sir Harold Hillier Gardens from Chile. When the Nothofagus germinated it was found to have an interloper amongst them, this grew into a very beautiful shrub indeed, flowering some years later. It was thought to be a form of S.microphylla although it is now thought to of been a hybrid. It was introduced by Hilliers in the late 1990’s after it had done so well at the gardens surviving many cold winters and it is indeed still growing away strong to this day, my photos are of that particular plant!

sophera sunking Plant of the week  Sophora ‘Sun King’There is a lot of rubbish spoken about Sophora ‘Sun King’ about its height and soil dislikes. It does only get to a maximum size of about 3m in height and width as a few standing shrub, trained as a wall shrub it is able to get a little taller, up to 4m in height but no where near the 8m I have seen written down. Soil wise, Sophora ‘Sun King’ will take most soils from shallow chalk to clay, (yes even read it dislikes clay, the original plant is on solid london clay!) as long as it isn’t waterlogged. Again it will take most aspects although if the garden is particularly cold, a slightly more sheltered spot is better. It flowers much better if it is in a sheltered spot. Sophora ‘Sun King’ starts producing its yellow pea like flowers after its around 8yrs old and these start appearing in January and will continue flowering well into May some years. In Chile, the flowers of Sophora sp are mainly propagated by hummingbirds but here in the uk, it’s the bees that help the process. These flowers are offset by the stunning dark green foliage with up to 40 leaflets are used to form each leaf. It is evergreen but in a very hard winter, it will drop its leaves. The Name Sophora comes from Arabic meaning a small tree with pea like flowers. Sun King is partly in homage to its Chilean roots as well as the colour of the flowers.

sophera sunking 4 Plant of the week  Sophora ‘Sun King’Sophora ‘Sun King’ has very few pests and diseases that attack it apart from the usual slugs and snails when young. Like all plants, it would benefit from a feed of Vitax Q4 in the spring as well as a compost mulch to help increase the health of the surrounding soil. Sophora ‘Sun King’ is propagated by grafting on to a rootstock of Sophora microphylla in the late winter early spring. It is very difficult to propagate from cuttings although I have heard of people succeeding using Air layering methods.

Sophora ‘Sun King’ is now widely available from most nurseries and is seen in most big gardens like RHS Wisley but it’s Sir Harold Hillier Gardens where the original plant is still growing strong

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Step by step guide to Rootballing shrubs and small trees

img 1827 Step by step guide to Rootballing shrubs and small trees

Yes we all do it, plant a plant in the wrong spot or a spot that for various reasons, ends up being the wrong spot in the end. But what to do with it? The cost of mature plants is a fair bit of £££ now and it’s such a shame to lose such a beautiful plant, and there’s that new perfect spot, Just there in the corner, it’s a perfect size, will cover that item you would like to hide quite nicely but the plants just too big to put a spade around it and heave it up. So what’s the best way of moving it and giving it the best choice of surviving. The answer is of course is to lift it with a root ball attached. This rootball is a area of fibrous roots still in their soil just lifted carefully. The key work is fibrous root system, plants that produce more of a tap root or fang type root system. Tools needed for this job are a digging spade and fork, a border spade and fork, a sheet of hessian sacking and if you are doing a lot of them, a sack needle and 4ply string.

The method is pretty easy but does take time and practise to perfect it, this is a roughly how I do it

img 1867 Step by step guide to Rootballing shrubs and small trees

Working out the size of the rootball can be tricky, there’s no method that allows you to work out the size but more comes down to the age of the plant and how long has it been in there for. For this size shrub that’s been in the ground for a few years, I went big at just over a length of a spade. Bearing in mind it’s the fine fibrous roots you are after and they are normally found on the drip line of the shrub/tree. Once I have worked out the estimated size of the rootball, I go around the outside of the plant a little bit bigger than I require, with a spade, pushing the spade into the ground to the full depth all the way around. This is to cut though any roots that are there

img 0620 1 Step by step guide to Rootballing shrubs and small trees

Next step to work out the exit point ie the point where you want to remove the plant from the hole. It’s important to think of it now before you start digging. Once that’s worked out, start digging a trench around the outside of your spade cut that you have made already. The areas shaded red in picture above.

img 1821 1 Step by step guide to Rootballing shrubs and small trees

You can see the trench is formed now and the exit point has been kept clear. You need to go down a couple of spades deep. This area is your working channel for the next bit

img 1824 Step by step guide to Rootballing shrubs and small trees

Now using a fork, gently tease back the soil until you hit the fine roots like in the picture, this bit takes time, it’s best to do a little at a time and work your way around the rootball doing this. Once you have teased some soil away, clear it out of the trench. You have to tease the soil away without putting any pressure on the rootball, so it’s almost like a flick away more than a tease. As you do this around the plant, it is also time to start going underneath as well. This is more tricky but follows the same method of going around the outside but this time you are going under! Using the curved in part of the fork, start making a slight V shape underneath the plant, again flicking the fork rather than put pressure on the rootball. Dig under the bottom of the V to give yourself a little more room. Just keep on going around until you are at least a third (preferably a bit more like 4/10ths) under on each half. Any roots can be either cut with a saw if big or just a sideways movement of the fork will snap them

img 1827 Step by step guide to Rootballing shrubs and small trees

img 1133 Step by step guide to Rootballing shrubs and small trees

Then you should get to a stage when the plant will be able to start moving slowly and should be able to break free of the ground. This is the time you need to be very careful of any cracks forming, these cracks can quickly destabilise the rootball making it fall apart. The stop them, it’s a case of reducing more soil from around the cracked area and so reducing the pressure on that part.

img 1868 Step by step guide to Rootballing shrubs and small trees

Next part is to get a sheet of hessian sacking that’s approx 1m bigger in length and width than the root ball you are lifting the roll the width up until 2/3 or 1/2 way up. Then fit it underneath the rootball so the rolled upside is soil side and the flat side is rootball side. Then push this under the rootball as far as it can go, gently push the plant over slightly onto the hessian, clear a bit of soil from underneath section that was still attached and unroll and pull the hessian though, having it rolled side down makes it so much easier to pull through!

img 1135 Step by step guide to Rootballing shrubs and small trees

Then grab the two left hand corners of the hessian and wrap together until it’s tight to the rootball and then do the same of the other side and there it is ready to lift out!

img 1137 Step by step guide to Rootballing shrubs and small trees

If it’s too heavy to lift out of the hole, you can either make a ramp to drag it out or lay the plant on its side, add a bit of soil underneath the rootball and then push it over on top it’s opposite side and add more soil, keep on doing this until the plant is at top of the hole and can be slid out onto boards

img 1829 Step by step guide to Rootballing shrubs and small trees

It’s not an easy job, indeed it can take many years of trail and error to get right but it is certainly a skill that’s worth mastering 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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Six on Saturday- 2/12/17

img 1274 Six on Saturday  2/12/17

Well I can’t believe it’s now December and it won’t be long now until the big C is upon us, driving back from the various jobs I have been doing this week, I have seen the Christmas lights in peoples gardens, rise from one or two houses to over 20 houses on the way back, quite often just trying to keep up with the Jones, one street had 6 front gardens in a row all lit up, only one there on Sunday! At last we have had some cold weather to make us feel it’s winter, great to wake up to the clear skies and no rain. I hope we get more days like this.

Moving onto the 6 on Saturday, this weeks 6 again comes from one of my clients garden and In homage to #nationaltreeweek I decided to do the six on trees that they have growing in their garden. I hope you enjoy them

img 1274 Six on Saturday  2/12/17

Now this old walnut tree (Juglans regia) is sadly on its last legs, in tree years it could have another 10yrs to go, the big trunk on the left finally died this year after many years of looking weak. The rest of the tree isn’t too great either but it’s still going, the large holes it’s had in its branches and trunk have been filled in many years ago with cement, the newer ones have been used by blue tits and great tits as home, indeed it was also home to wild bees this year. It’s one of the great old characters in this garden, the safety side of me, thinks we need to fell it but the tree lover side says let’s keep it going for as long as we can and indeed that’s also what the clients want, so hopefully will be here for a few more years yet, even if it will be slightly smaller!

img 1283 Six on Saturday  2/12/17

I had to add this sliver birch (Betula pendula) into the six, not that old maybe about 20yrs old, but Just looks stunning up in the wild corner where the sun can catch the silver bark in the morning sun.

img 1281 1 Six on Saturday  2/12/17

The garden is lucky to have a lot of old fruit trees, about 20 in number I think, these trees where all planted in the 1930’s but still product good fruit most years, last year was bad, with the blossoms being caught by quite a few frosts. These pictured above are James Grieve and they will be the first ones to be pruned in January once I return from my hols, a few weeks later, they will be a picture of snowdrops and then followed by daffodils.

img 1277 Six on Saturday  2/12/17

This cedar (Cedrus atlantica) is going to be a stunner in this landscape for many years to come, it’s about 70-80yrs old and already is making a fine tree, given time, it will power above the surrounding plants and just look majestic.

img 1279 Six on Saturday  2/12/17

ahh a weeping willow (Salix babylonica) is one of the iconic of all trees, this beautiful weeping tree was hard pruned back a couple of years ago after dropping major branches and it’s looking back to its best now, soon there will be a pond in front of this one, making it look even more beautiful!

img 1273 Six on Saturday  2/12/17

This huge old Horse Chestnut (Aesculus hippocastum) really does make this area and it’s a great parkland tree, the age of this tree is unknown but I think it’s the good side of 100yrs old. These trees are under threat with leaf miner moth and bleeding canker attacking them both at the same time in some cases. There’s no bleeding canker on this tree but the leaf miner moth does cause a lot of damage to the leaves. But the tree is still going strong and I hope for many more years to come

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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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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Plant of the week-Cercidiphyllum japonicum f.Pendulum

cerodphyllum japonica Plant of the week Cercidiphyllum japonicum f.Pendulum

cerodphyllum japonica Plant of the week Cercidiphyllum japonicum f.Pendulum

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.

ceridiphyllum japonica morioka weeping Plant of the week Cercidiphyllum japonicum f.Pendulum

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!

If you would like to add this to your garden, you can buy it from Burncoose of Southdown and Bluebell Nursery

There is a beautiful form at Sir Harold Hillier Gardens in the winter garden

 Plant of the week Cercidiphyllum japonicum f.Pendulum

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15ish eye catching plants at Hampton Court 

The show gardens and brilliant displays in the marques do certainly catch your eyes but they wouldn’t any good if the wrong plants were chosen, so let’s have a little look at some of the plants that caught my eye both around the gardens and in the marques. Some a new to me and caught my eye that way, others old friends that it was great to see them being so used around the different gardens. There were so many great plants, it was difficult to keep it to 15 but never less I managed too. I hope you enjoy my 15 as much as I did and I can’t wait for next years show to see what they are offering. 

img 1660 1 15ish eye catching plants at Hampton Court 
Allium ‘Forelock’ (left) this was a new one for me, I loved the way some of the tiny flowers form a Mohican hair cut on top of the flowers. It make a large plant up to 5ft tall, with the flowers bending over like a Shepards crook before they open and then straighten up just as they do. Needs a dry sunny spot in the garden ideally.
img 1633 15ish eye catching plants at Hampton Court 
Sphaeralcea ‘Hopleys Lavender’ (right) not seen this form of this semi hardy member of the mallow family before and I loved the soft pink flowers. The shrub grows up to 90cm tall and 90cm wide and is hardy down to -5c. Does like a nice sunny spot. Looks a great looking shrub
img 1609 15ish eye catching plants at Hampton Court 
Fagus sylvicatica ‘Rolf Marquardt’ OMG! I have a soft spot for Beeches after building up a small collection in a former job. This beauty took my breathe away and I want it, appently makes a small tree, hoping to find out it’s ok in pots!
img 1647 15ish eye catching plants at Hampton Court 
Achillea ‘Emily May’ again a new form for me, love the bright red flowers on this member of the daisy family, not seen an achillea as red as this before. It flowers from June-September in a sunny dry spot, does need a little bit of spend bloom removal to keep it flowering
img 1676 15ish eye catching plants at Hampton Court 
Gladiolus hybrid ‘Flevo Cool’ (left) is one of those plants that just take your breath away either because you love the mix of colours or because you hate it. Personally I love it and can’t wait to order some for next summer to add somewhere to my rather cramped borders (always room for one more!) grows to about 60cm in height and work well as a cut flower plant as well in the garden.
img 1631 15ish eye catching plants at Hampton Court 
Cosmos sulphurus ‘Pamela’s Pick’ (right)cosmos are one of my favourite garden plants for filling little spaces around the garden, normally seen in pinks, whites, reds, purples etc. Not seen a yellow one until the show, beautiful colour mixed with great looking foliage, certainly one I will be trying from seed soon! Gets to about 90cm in height and flowers all summer long
img 1667 15ish eye catching plants at Hampton Court 
Potentilla x hopwoodiana (left) this great ground cover plant. This herbaceous form of Potentilla again flowers all summer long with this beautiful soft salmon pink flowers. It’s easy to grow and loves to be in some sun at the front of a border and works very well with pale or white roses. Just remove the older stems that have finished flowering to encourage more
img 1662 1 15ish eye catching plants at Hampton Court 
Crocosmia ‘Paul’s best yellow’ crocosmia’s are a plant that I love and hate at the same time, they are beautiful flowers and such striking foliage until it all started falling over. This one however is such a clear bright yellow that I will let it off! Makes a plant about 90cm in height and needs a nice damp sunny spot to get the very best from it, sadly my own garden is too dry for it.
img 1613 15ish eye catching plants at Hampton Court 
Saxifraga fortunei ‘Crystal Pink’ wow! What a foliage plant! It’s like an artist has got a green leave and then gone to town with white and pink paints all over the leaves and the effect is purely stunning. It’s certainly another plant I have added to my list! It does like a light shady or fully shady spot in dryish soil and will grow better in a pot. Does flower in September October but no way as nice as the foliage!
img 1560 15ish eye catching plants at Hampton Court 
Pelegonium ‘Pink Aurore’ (right) I do love pellies and I wish I had somewhere to over winter them, I don’t sadly at the moment and I am missing out on great plants like Pink Aurore, this unique type of pelegonium is ideal for use in containers being a good bushy plant that flowers all summer long with these bright pink flowers over a grey scented foliage. Wonderful display from Fibex nursery!
img 1599 15ish eye catching plants at Hampton Court 
Digitalis parviforia ‘Milk Chocolate’ (left) these longer lived foxgloves are becoming more popular now and it’s easy to see why, they have a quite unique flower flower that’s bourne from July to October and is so loved by bees! They will also live for up to 5 years if you are lucky and again will take a shady dryish spot. Not being to tall at 60cm, they mix brilliantly with other plantings.
img 1618 15ish eye catching plants at Hampton Court 
Erigeron glaucus ‘Sea Breeze’ (right) another tough tough plant that will take almost everything you throw at it, including really dry sunny spots, in cracks of rocks even in very exposed seaside spots. This low growing plant has evergree leaves that are pretty atractive after they have their June to August flowering system.
img 1570 15ish eye catching plants at Hampton Court 
Helenium ‘Moerheim Beauty’ a plant that was used in so many gardens around the show ground and rightly so, it is a beautiful plant that loves full sun and moist bit of soil to get the best from it. Flowers from June to september but does need a little bit of spent bloom removal to get the best from, it may need a little staking in some years but can also respond well to the Chelsea chop. Can suffer a little from Mildew
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Mulberry ‘Charlotte Russe’ I love mulberries! I used live in a gatehouse with 6 planted at the end of the drive, spent many happy years eating the sweet fruit. So pleased they is a smaller one ideal for a container and fruits even longer, from May to September. Wonderful! Was plant of the year at Chelsea this year, can’t wait to get one growing at home!
deschampsia cespitosa bronzeschleier 2 15ish eye catching plants at Hampton Court 
Deschampsia cespitosa ‘Goldschleier’ is one of so many grasses seen around the gardens over the week and rightly so, they indeed add so much to a garden both in their looks and also the movement from them. Deschampsia was one of the more popular grasses spread around so many gardens, its light golden brown stems will last until January/February if you are lucky and loves a nice sunny free draining soil and will grow to about a metre in height
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Just a beautiful display of Lavenders from Downderry Nursery, too many to choose a favourite so here they are!
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This display of ferns from Fibrex was amazing. Ferns have too long been over looked and it would be wonderful to see some more ferneries appearing!