I just wanted to let you know my plants have arrived today as promised. I have unpacked them and they are wonderful, I am so pleased with them. They are much bigger than I expected and in tip-top condition. Thank you so much. I also think they are really excellent value for money – I buy most of my plants on-line (living in Cornwall the choices are a bit limited) and I had looked for Hydrangea seemannii at my usual on-line supplier but they were so expensive I was a bit put off. Ten pounds per plant more (!) Then I searched around and found you – your plants were considerably cheaper and larger so I was a bit worried they might fall short of the mark. But… absolutely no worries on that front. In fact I bought two seemannii from the other supplier earlier this year (I think they are a very ‘useful’ plant, particularly for someone who lives in a walled garden) so can do a direct comparison. Interestingly, they are smaller than yours now even though they have been in the ground and well cared for, for more than six summer months. Many thanks, excellent service and terrific plants – I will be back..!Debbie Frost
Hedging & Tree Jobs
I’ve recently planted a beech hedge, which my wife has had in her mind for a while, just 10 days ago. We had an area of mown grass that was not really doing anything surrounded on three sides by borders, with a variety of flowers and shrubs. However, one end...
How much do you love the native woodlands of Britain? Nurseries like ours sell more native trees than anything else, so you'd probably think that I'd be one of their biggest fans. And I am. For now. We get asked about native plants for woodland & gardens a lot. I'm...
How to make money when you are Dead Mature trees can be worth money. Lots of money. A 50-60 year old walnut or oak tree is worth a good sum of pounds now and will be worth even more in the future. If you have the space to plant a...
There is one genus that has been thriving throughout this wet weather. Three months of torrential downpours and grey skies reminds us why no gardener should overlook the Willow genus. Let us not long for spring but instead linger in this damp moment a while. Whether your garden is big or small, it is time to make sure that when you look out of your window next January, there is a fire amongst the rain.
The low golden sun shining and sparkling on frosty hedges, branches and foliage is a wonder of the season, and is something to be truly celebrated.
The lyrics to "In the bleak midwinter" don't offer the best encouragement for getting out in the garden. But with a few thoughtful planting choices you can be "Walking in a winter wonderland!"
Although you may not want to be out in the garden that much in the depths of winter, it is still important to provide yourself with enticing views from the house.
Most important are front gardens and pathways to your doors. These are places that - in rain, sleet and snow - you'll be passing through on a daily basis.
And it's where you welcome your visitors. These are places you want to feel proud of, and to get great enjoyment from, in all seasons.
Clean up those secateurs for a decent
bit of winter pruning
To non-gardeners it may not be obvious, but autumn can be one of the busiest times of year in the garden, and pruning is one of the most important tasks of the season.
There are many trees and shrubs that need pruning or renovating in their dormant period if they are to avoid stress and recover before growth begins again in spring.
Left unpruned, deciduous trees and shrubs can become leggy and unattractive, with soft and top fruit becoming unproductive and susceptible to disease.
When carrying out your pruning it is really important to use clean sharp tools that will not leave any jagged edges that could prove an easy entry for infection.
The honey-coloured fruiting bodies of honey fungus (Armillaria spp) (image: Wikimedia Commons)
Honey fungus or Armillaria are a group of parasitic fungi. They attack trees, shrubs and woody perennials, and are one of the most destructive fungal diseases in the UK.
They are also among some of the biggest living organisms in the world, their underground networks often covering many miles and living for up to a thousand years.
It is so successful because, unlike most parasites that rely on keeping their hosts alive in order to extract nutrients, it can kill its host and continue living on the decaying matter for many years. Watch our video on how to diagnose honey fungus
The fungi spread by long reddish brown root-like rhizomorphs that live close to the surface of the soil.
They attach themselves to the root collar of woody plants, killing off the root systems leaving the host unable to absorb nutrients and water. You can watch our video on how to diagnose honey fungus
The wonderfully surreal topiary garden at Beckley
Park, Oxfordshire (image: Wikimedia Commons)
Shrubs trained as topiary are at home in any garden.
From a cottage setting where intriguing forms nestle casually between flowers and vegetables, to a much grander scheme where repetitive shapes are rigid and regimented, topiary can be both charming and formal.
And let's not forget that when you trim your humble garden hedge, you're creating (a relatively simple form of) topiary!
European topiary originated in Roman times, where the atriums that were so common in the grand houses of the day became home to geometric shapes and fantastical creatures clipped from evergreen shrubs.
The formality and grandeur often associated with topiary began in the late 15th century with the Italian Renaissance gardens.
These gardens were based on the idea of achieving beauty through order and symmetry, and the clipped forms of topiary as a design feature were used extensively.
Container-grown hedging plants are perfect for planting all year round.
Generally speaking, hedging is put in the ground over winter, using young bareroot plants when they are dormant.
However, some circumstances call for a more instant, mature hedge – which is where container-grown (or potted) hedging plants play their part.