Hedging and Hedges

  • Stewart's Bee Blog - September 2014

    There’s an autumnal feel today, isn’t there? The prophets of doom will be the first to say it, and indeed, they have already started. What an excellent summer we have had though. It wasn’t as hot as last year and it certainly wasn’t as wet as 2012. It was a...
  • Using Copper foliage in the garden (...and why it is it copper anyway?)

    Black elder in flower Contemporary gardeners often use dark colours…look how the ‘Queen of the Night’ tulip has become ubiquitous, or the black grass Ophiopogon planiscarpens nigrescens (I don’t know how to pronounce it either)…pops up in urn plantings or as a contrast to pale paving. There is something fascinating...
  • 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

  • Jobs in the garden: May


    Spring has burst into life and is now well and truly upon us. Birds are nesting, clematis are climbing, and the darling buds of May are out.

    Jobs in the garden for May English Lavender

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

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

    Honey where the bees have mainly collected pollen from lavender plants 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

    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.

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  • Why Lavender is my firm favourite


    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.

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  • Make a home for nature

    As gardeners, one of our main aims, along with creating a space that looks lovely, should be sustaining the wildlife we have. And using the space you have available to you to make a home for nature is a great way of achieving this. Whether your plot is big or small, there are countless ways to get involved, from planting bird-friendly hedging, to building a home for hedgehogs.

    Steven from the Yorkshire Dales decided to do just this - build a home for nature. When we saw his tweet, showing us his newly planted 90 metre Bird Friendly Hedge, we couldn't resist asking him a couple of questions:

    Freshly planted bird friendly hedge mix with canes and spirals Freshly planted bird friendly hedge mix with canes and spirals

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  • Cornus sanguinea Midwinter Fire

    Midwinter Fire

    Dogwoods, members of the Cornus family, are often the unsung heroes of the winter garden. Although there are exceptions, in summer they tend to be unremarkable. This is because they are covered in foliage when daylight hours are longer and their crowning glory is their bark which can only be seen when the leaves have fallen.

    In winter however shrubby dogwoods dress themselves in shades of gold, bright green, dark purple, scarlet and orange. In a large garden, a border can be devoted to a mixed dogwood planting. They look good when underplanted with spring flowering bulbs and they live very happily together with some subjects such as Hostas.
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