Is there anything more restorative than the first flowers of spring? Apart from spring flowers plus kittens wearing watermelon helmets, obviously? March is the time to enjoy the full array of spring bulbs – a rich reward for the aching back and sore knees from our efforts in Autumn. After such a wet winter, it… Continue reading When Should You Cut Back Your Spent Bulbs?
At some point between Autumn and the end of Winter, when the flowers and foliage have died down, it’s commonly held best practice to give your ornamental borders and beds a thorough cleaning. Of course, if you love the wild look and want to encourage wildlife (including slugs, or “homing frog lunches”, as I think… Continue reading Tidying Up Your Borders at the End of Winter
The honey-coloured fruiting bodies of honey fungus (Armillaria spp) (image: Wikimedia Commons) Honey fungi, 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… Continue reading Honey fungus: The tree killer
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.… Continue reading Living sculpture Topiary
Container-grown green beech and copper beech on our nursery – just perfect for instant hedging! 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 –… Continue reading Choosing and planting potted hedging
When the ground is frozen, please don’t plant your bareroot trees, shrubs or hedges! They’ll be much happier staying bare and dormant… Most of the damage caused to bareroot plants in cold, freezing conditions is to the delicate roots themselves. The roots are fine, fibrous structures with a high water content: moving them, or… Continue reading Freezing weather & bareroot plants
Ash saplings infected by the Chalara fraxinea fungus were found at Buckingham Nurseries at the beginning of 2012 Say hello to the Ash dieback fungus formerly known as Chalara fraxinea or Hymenoscyphus pseudoalbidus: Hymenoscyphus fraxineus. The general picture twelve years on is that this rollicking, single-minded plague creeps inexorably through air, soil, and aboard insects,… Continue reading Ash Tree Dieback Disease
This post is a bit late for getting in a February trim, but since the weather hasn’t been great this year we think your Lavender deserves a bit of a rest first (phew, I got away with that one!). Our school of thought on Lavender clipping is to do it twice a year: A light… Continue reading Trim Lavender Around Late February
Pruning a tree is not like trimming a hedge, although a seriously overgrown hedge is basically a row of scrubby trees that could need pruning to restore it to a proper hedge again. Young ornamental trees may be shaped using secateurs to prune side shoots, but removing branches on an adult tree will need a… Continue reading When to prune trees? Winter-Summer
Winter and Summer Winter is generally the best time to prune woody subjects and it certainly is the best time to trim the hedge plants you have just planted. Hedges must be clipped and sometimes pruned. Fruit trees need some pruning to maintain the best crops. Older ornamental trees can need pruning if they are damaged or… Continue reading When to clip, trim & prune hedges?