• EnGage this autumn

    It took a trip to an Italian supermarket to fully appreciate the merit of greengages. To wit, a house full of sixteen hungry (and often hungover) souls presented with an array of nectarines, white peaches and  melons first thing in the morning and guess which fruit disappeared fastest? Yes...
  • Planting trees beyond your lifetime...

    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...
  • The Threes Cs - and yes, one is for Christmas

    At this time of year so full of cheer, rather than linger on the 3 Ds (relevant and on the rise at Christmas time but hardly the stuff of a Yuletide (b)log …sorry…) one can take a single step back to find the 3 Cs lurking and provoking thoughts for gardeners...
  • Why Willows and Drains do not Mix...

    A video on why willows and drains should not be too close together...
  • 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...
  • A fruity something for Father's Day

    Father's Day

    Sunday June 15th is Father's Day - a day which is meant for us to give thanks for our fathers/grandfathers/fathers-in-law etc. This year, why not give Dad something to truly make him smile.
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  • 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.
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  • Setting Fire To The Rain - Salix alba ‘Chermesina’

    Salix alba ‘Chermesina’
    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.
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  • A Landscape in Bloom - Cherry Blossom in Japan

    February Jobs

    The blossom on the cherry trees is one of the true delights of spring. In April and May clouds of beautiful delicate flowers ranging from the purest white to the most intense coral pinks adorn the trees in vast numbers, a truly magical and breathtaking sight.

    Their beauty has much cultural significance the world over, but is perhaps most commonly associated with the rich cultural heritage of Japan.
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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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