Copper Beech – a hedge for all seasons

Copper Beech

Copper beech hedging is one of the most elegant hedges available to the British gardener. It has all the qualities of green beech hedging; it grows almost anywhere where there are reasonable light levels and where the ground is not waterlogged. Continue reading

The great cold store deception!

One of the things that is generally not considered when thinking about plants and trees is how easy they are to deceive. Most people would acknowledge that the average plant needs water and sunlight above all else to survive and grow. This is certainly true but even plants can have too much of a good thing. In the laboratory, plants that are normally dormant in winter can be persuaded to grow non-stop, in some cases for up to 3 years, by ensuring that they have plenty of light, water, food and warmth. The problem is at the end of this they are so exhausted that they die even though their normal life expectancy is several hundred years. Less dramatically, chrysanthemums are persuaded to flower at unseasonable times of the year by reducing light levels.
Continue reading

Goat’s cheese, pear, walnut and lavender honey salad

Goat's cheese, pear, walnut and lavender honey salad

Lavender honey has such a beautiful flavour that we didn’t want to spoil it by mixing it with anything. Instead it is drizzled on top of its perfect partner – goat’s cheese, to make a simple, but delicious salad. The perfect way to ease yourself into eating lighter foods as the temperature warms this spring.

Continue reading

Urban gardening: Softening transitions in your garden

Lavender

Designers will often talk about ‘softening’ edges or marking transitions in your garden. A solid structure can often lead to harsh boundaries, right angles and edges. Well thought out planting will not only soften these edges but bring them alive, turning the edge to a key focal point in the garden.

Continue reading

Why Lavender is my firm favourite

Lavender

I was once told by a successful artist that choosing a poor frame for a picture, is the equivalent of getting exquisitely dressed up for a party and not wearing any make-up. The frame is the piece to the puzzle that makes your picture standout and chosen correctly can massively enhance a painting.

I think this same analogy can also be used for a garden. Lavender is a beautiful framer for any border and enriches the colours and plants it surrounds.

Continue reading