Category Archives: Gardening News

Colour Plant Portraits from my Garden

Allium hollandicum ‘Purple Sensation’ and Nectaroscorum sisculum

Early morning light on Allium hollandicum ‘purple sensation’ and Nectaroscorum sisculum.

Iris Berkley Gold, Iris Kent Pride and Allium Globe Master

Iris Berkley Gold, Iris Kent Pride and Allium Globe Master

Tall Bearded Irises, Berkley Gold and Kent pride, nestle in the gravel, with splashes of bold purple round heads of Allium ‘Globe Master’.

Iris Jane Phillips and Iris Sable

Iris Jane Phillips and Iris Sable

Soft mauve of Iris ‘Jane Phillips’ and the velvet richness of  Iris Sable.

Iris Jane Phillips

Iris Jane Phillips

The shades of purple from Alliums and Nectaroscorum give way to a back drop of soft slivers of Stachys byzantine and the fresh lime green of Euphorbia characias ‘Wulfenii’

Nepta x faassenii 'Six Hills Gaint', Geum 'Totally Tan

Nepta x faassenii ‘Six Hills Gaint’, Geum ‘Totally Tangerine and Allium ‘Globe Master’

Spires od sliver and soft mauve flowers of Nepta x faassenii ‘Six Hills Giant’, mingle with the oranges of Geum ‘Totally Tangerine’. The dramatic uprights of the drumsticks of deep purple Allium ‘Globe Master’, rise up through the soft spilling planting.

Stachys byzantine

Nepeta and Iris Kent Pride

There is something really wonderful about the May garden, every thing is fresh and new, the planting is beginning to fill out with fresh spring growth. These photos I took one morning while I wondered round my small garden early in the morning with my early cup of tea, the low sun light lifts the colour along with the morning dew.

Nectaroscorum sisculum ans Allium hollandicum 'Purple Sensation

Nectaroscorum sisculum ans Allium hollandicum ‘Purple Sensation

I hope you to are enjoying your garden.  If you want help to redesign and plant your garden do give me Emily a ring 01273 470753

Heathers: Ericas and Calluna

 Mixed, heather planting

Mixed, heather planting

Sadly heathers have become deeply unfashionable, but are they due for a return to garden fortune?

They first had their heyday in the Victorian era. With the Victorians love of the romantic landscapes of the Cumbrian fells the Scottish highlands fed by Royal fashion. They were widely planted over the Victorian rocky, great and small. Heathers next big moment on the British garden scene was the 1970’s with the island bed, with mixed conifers and heathers to give all year round interest and a desire for low maintenance. But these tough plants, have long flowering seasons and a lot to offer. Here are some to consider.

 Calluna vulgaris 'Beoley Gold'

Calluna vulgaris ‘Beoley Gold’

Calluna ‘Beoley Gold’: Low growing with good golden evergreen foliage and delicate bell shaped white flowers in August to September.

 Erica carnea 'Golden Scarlet'

Erica carnea ‘Golden Scarlet’

Erica carnea ‘Golden Scarlet’: Bushy growth with bright yellow evergreen foliage. Masses of small white flowers. Flowering from December- March.

 Calluna 'Dark Beauty'

Calluna ‘Dark Beauty’

Calluna ‘Dark Beauty’: Low growing compact heather with mid-green evergreen foliage. Deep red semi- double flowers, flowering late summer.

Erica carnea 'C.D Easor'

Erica carnea ‘C.D Easor’

Erica cinerea ‘C.D. Eason’: Dark green evergreen foliage, with bright red flowers flowering from June to September.

Calluna 'Firefly'

Calluna ‘Firefly’

Calluna ‘Firefly’:A wonderful variety it’s green evergreen foliage turns a rust orange in the winter. Crimson flowers produced July-August.

 Erica x darleyensis 'Furzey'

Erica x darleyensis ‘Furzey’

Erica x darleyensis ‘Furzey’: Strong growing heather with dark foliage. Purple flowers produced from December to April.

Top Tip: Heathers, that is Cullnas and most Ericas, like a neutral to slightly acidic humus rich soil. But there are a few Ericas that will survive and even grow well in a chalky alkaline soil. This low maintenance shrub, needs little looking after. Just a light trim after flowering to keep good compact shape.

 Heathers mixed winter planting

Heathers mixed winter planting

Heathers have a lot to add to the mixed planted boarder, from sweeps of low colour in a winter planting. Or used in a rockery setting, or as a low maintenance plant with good ground cover properties. Heather is a superb plant for steep bank planting. There is an endless choice of varieties that take the flowering season from the bleak winter months, through spring and then become the highlight of late summer and autumn low planting. With many soft pastel shades of white, pink and purple to some eye popping reds and varieties with golden and even strong yellow foliage. These plants can shine through the year. If you have the right growing conditions, perhaps it is time to look a new at Ericas and Cullunas.

Redefining the Edge

Neatly edged flower borders

Neatly edged flower borders

Mid-winter is a good time to take a good hard look at your garden. You can clearly see, the structure of the garden and it’s layout. Perhaps the crisp lines of the rectangular beds you set out and the geometric circles and square of planting on the lawn, have lots their crispness. Or has the straight boarder along the house  begun to wavier. Have your planting beds become a little woolie about the edges?

 

 Planting flopping over the path edges.

Planting flopping over the path edges.

Now is a good time to redefine the edge of planting boarders, taking sprawling planting back in hand. Mature planting boarders can often become much larger than originally designed, the plants mature and flop and move forward, the edging geraniums and other exuberant herbaceous plants freely flow out of the flower bed onto the lawn, you start to cut round them and so year on year, the bed gets bigger and wider and the shape and form of it is lost. Paths can also fall prey to this, a little softness of plants edging the path is one thing. Overflowing planting can easily turn a wide path  into a narrow slalom course, which can get almost unpassable, particularly in wet summer weather when the weight of wet planting flops and sags forward even more. It can also be quite a trip hazard.

 Over grown path

Over grown path

But there are a number of things you can do to get your planting beds back into shape and this is the time of year to do it. Firstly take a good hard look at the shape and size of your planting, has it grown in size over the years? Have plants spilled to the front to get light leaving bare areas under other shrubs in the middle or the back of the boarder? So this may be the opportunity to not only redefine the existing edge of the boarder, but perhaps to completely reshape the boarder or even to reduce it’s size. So the next stage is to mark out using canes, the shape and size of the boarder, and then use string and pegs to mark the edges.

 marking out the edge of a flower bed

marking out the edge of a flower bed

Now you need to prune back any planting in the way of the new edge and possible even dig some plants out, perhaps they can transplanted back into new positions with in the same boarder or found a new home somewhere else in the garden or given to gardening friends. Be bold, it is no good putting an edging in that will instantly in the first growing season be swamped  by the planting.

 Digging up plants along the edge

Digging up plants along the edge

Next you need to decide what job your edging is doing, to help you decide what type will be suitable. Is the edging to be laid flat and level with the lawn to make lawn care easier, so you can mow over it so it is a mowing strip. Brick or paving slabs work well.

 brick mowing strip

brick mowing strip

Is the edging to help to retain a slightly higher soil level of the flower bed from the lawn level. Then both a metal edging of the right height like ever-edge or a brick edging would work.

 Ever-edge edging round lawn

Ever-edge edging round lawn

Is the edging to keep taller plants flopping on the edge of paths, perhaps you would like it to be decorative. Traditional rope edging tiles are beautiful, but if you do not have the budget or the time to hunt demolition yards then, there are dyed concrete edging kerbs that may be to your liking. As well as some fancy metal edging.

 metal hoop edging

metal hoop edging

Think about the area of the garden and the style of your garden to choose the right edging, so if it is a  cottage garden for an old thatched cottage, then tile edging or bricks on edge will be more suitable.

 brick edging

brick edging

 Tiles used as an edging

Tiles used as an edging

A woodland garden would be best with old logs or even sleeper edges, which even if they are new would soon weather down, to fit the mood of the  woodland planting.

log edging in Woodland planting

log edging in Woodland planting

If  your garden is a dry seaside garden, then, pebbles, and larger stones and even boulders, may be the edging of choice.

Once you have decided on you edging material and there is a huge choice on the market. Give yourself good working room in the planting bed to install your new edging. If you have reduced the size of the boarder then you may need to repair the lawn, with some top soil raked to levels, ready for seeding in the spring. Or you may have been lucky enough to have regained a path, from excess planting.

 Well edged flower beds, give the winter garden formal elegance

Well edged flower beds, give the winter garden formal elegance

If you need help to restore an old boarder or a planting area in your garden. Then I would be happy to help and this is the very time of year to carry out the work. Give me Emily a ring 01273 470753. I would be delighted to discuss your garden project with you.

Terrific Topiary

 

A herd of unicorns, may be considered to be topiary madness.

Topiary- is the horticultural practise of training perennial plants, by clipping the foliage and twigs of trees, shrubs, and sub-shrubs to develop and maintain clearly defined shapes, whether geometric or fanciful. The term also refers to plants which have been shaped in this way. As an art form it is a type of living sculpture.  The word Topiary, derives from the Latin word for an ornamental landscape gardener, topiarus, a creator of topia.” Wikipedia .

 clipping topiary

clipping topiary

Topiary is an ancient art from the Romans in Europe to the Parterre gardens of the 1600’s to the Eastern art of cloud pruning, a desire to clip, and train evergreen plants into unnatural shapes has always been the art of an accomplished gardener. Good  topiary can add strong structure to your garden particularly in the winter months and if you have the patience and skill a great amount of creative fun as well. Here are some suggested shrubs that are tried and tested as good topiary subjects.

Buxus sempervirens: Box, the classic topiary shrub, although now sadly fraught with possible problems ( see below)  This dense small leafed shrub is ideal for close clipping, and therefore for being trained into intricate shapes. Slow growing and will grow on poor shallow soils, it does not like being too wet. Grows in sun or part shade.

 Lourus nobillis (cornes)

Lourus nobillis (cornes)

Laurus nobillis; Bay can become a very large tee, but is also happy being clipped, it can be a little tender in cold areas, so clip no latter than August, so new growth can harden before the winter. Moderately fast growing, with glossy dark leaves, it clips well into geometric shapes. It has the added advantage of being used in a lot of Italian cooking. It will grow in poor soils and in full sun and even into shade.

 clipped myrtus balls

clipped myrtus balls

Myrtus communis terentina: a compact Myrtle, with dense mid green growth, the small leaves make it ideal for topiary. It can be tender so do not clip after late July. Small white flowers in mid summer and aromatic foliage.

 Taxus baccata-yew, clipped squares.

Taxus baccata-yew, clipped squares.

Taxus baccata: the mighty yew, with dark green needles and it’s ability to cope well in shade, makes a good topiary subject. It will cope even on chalky soils but it does not like to dry out, But equally it will not cope with water logging. It is not as slow as people think so with its small leaves it is good for the most artful topiary.

Ligustrum clipped into a peacock

Ligustrum clipped into a peacock

Ligustrum ovalifolium: the humble privet, can be elevated to a whole new level when used for topiary. It has many advantages, being small leaved it can be easily chipped into animal shapes and it is quick growing, meaning it trains at speed up wire models, so perfect for the topiary enthusiast  who is keen to have a Noah’s ark of animals.

 Varigated holly topiary lolly pop trees.

Varigated holly topiary lolly pop trees.

Ilex aquifolium ‘Marginate’: with mid sized holly leaves with creamy edged variegation and a female form with berries, this makes a topiary shrub with added benefits. Clips well into cones, pyramids, boxes and balls.

 wire topiary model

wire topiary model

Tip: you need good sharp shears and if you are trimming box have a bucket of week disinfectant to hand to keep dipping into, to try to prevent, both box tree caterpillars and infection of box tree blight. Which are now both common in South-East Britain, it may be a case of thinking of using one of the other shrubs I have suggested, as both of these  horrors are now a real problem. Also the thing about maintaining good shapes in Topiary is trimming little and often to keep that crisp line. Also if you are going adventurous and thinking of a peacock or a more humble spiral, then a good frame work model, in chicken wire can be invaluable at helping you train new growth but also a guide to clipping your growing topiary.

 Topiary in pots

Topiary in pots

 

 Cloud pruning Topiary on an impressive scale.

Cloud pruning Topiary on an impressive scale.

Good Luck and let your imagination go wild!

A summer visit to 3 very different gardens that we have landscaped.

 

Encouraging Birds into the garden was important.

Encouraging Birds into the garden was important.

 

It is always good to go back and see the gardens you have designed, landscaped and planted a few years after the work has finished, to see how it is all settling in.

 

A journey down the garden

A journey down the garden

 

The first garden was designed for a couple who had a mature garden and were very knowledgeable and keen gardens, but as they got older they needed a garden which was easier to maintain. So the planting beds were reduced in size and planted with dense planting with all year round interest that would be easy to look after.

 

A wide sweeping path leads to the bench at the bottom of the garden

A wide sweeping path leads to the bench at the bottom of the garden

 

Also the narrow gravel path was replaced with a wide sweeping paved path, which was easy to walk on and less work to look after. A wide bench was placed at the end of the path, so views down the garden could be enjoyed. There was an enthuses on using plants to attach the wildlife particularly birds, So a row of Crab- Apple trees was planted, so not only could the blossom be enjoyed in the spring but also the birds could feast on the fruit in the Autumn. Bold and vibrant colours were chosen in the planting to cheer the sole at all times of the year.

 

The second gardens I went back to see were a front and back garden in East Grinstead. The back garden has strong lines of hard landscape and bold blocks of planting, giving it a crisp modern feel, with stunning warm Indian sand stone, and  the walls painted a soft yellow orca  and caped with the same warm stone.

 

The sunken hot tub garden, the yew hedges are still to reach their mature height.

The sunken garden with hot tub, the yew hedges are still to reach their mature height.

 

The sunken hot tub garden is screened from the main garden and the side of the house by Yew hedges, to aid privacy. The hedges have to still reach their mature height but are doing well after only a couple of years.

 

Views across the main dinning terrace

Views across the main dinning terrace

 

The planting round the main dinning terrace is in bold and dramatic blocks and squares and is beginning to fill nicely, the corners of the beds are picked out by low lighters, that give a gentle light pool and atmospheric soft light to lead you round the night garden.

 

 The front garden and sweeping new drive edged by generous planting

The front garden and sweeping new drive edged by generous planting

 

The front garden, needed a new larger drive to accommodate the new budding drivers and their first cars. So a larger circular drive was created, as there would be quite a bit of turning on the drive, gravel would not be suitable so instead a soft coloured gravel mix was used in a resin bonded surface. The colour scheme was pulled through from the back garden with the same orca walls and soft yellows and corals and purples for the planting. Clipped mounds of box and low Ballard lights, show the edge of the drive. A dense textured planting edges the drive set below the branches of groups of Crab-Apple Trees which are settling in well and making good growth. The trees give height and scale to the scheme. The front garden has a good balance between the needs for parking and generous planting to soften the hard structure and link the house to the garden. A wide path sweeps through the planting to reach the side gate into the back garden.

 

The third garden I went to see, was again landscaped only a couple of years ago and sits almost on the Downs on a very thin chalk soil. The new wooden extension of the house steps out into the mature shrubby of the garden which remained. The clients wanted a garden that was easy to look after and fitted with the down

Planting beds by the house give way to the informal lower garden

Planting beds by the house give way to the informal lower garden

land views beyond. So the design was to have a very light touch. A more formal upper garden was created round the new terrace just below the large windows of the extension adding to the existing mature shrubby. With minimal planting beds with soft country style planting

 

 An informal garden, views back to the house from the long grass meadow.

An informal garden, views back to the house from the long grass meadow.

 

The lower garden was to be much more informal, with few new trees and to become a meadow. As the garden is close to the Downs and the soil very poor it was decide to use a normal grass turf and allow the down land plants to seed and populate it over time, so that wild thyme, marjoram, ox-eye daisies, to name but a few would follow, which is beginning to happen.

 

 A newly planted Birch draws the eye to the end of the garden and the Downs beyond, in front is set the rustic oak pergola, so veiws

A newly planted Birch draws the eye to the end of the garden and the Downs beyond, in front is set the rustic oak pergola, so views can be enjoyed back up the garden.

 

Mown paths cut through the grass meadow leading to the central bird bath and on down to the rustic pergola at the end of the garden.

The meadow is under planted with naturalising narcissi,  to give early spring colour before the grasses and invading wildflowers get going latter in the year. The meadow is cut in August and the cuttings cleared to keep the lawn poor and encourage the next batch of invading wildflowers to take hold.

The garden is still very young but is beginning to settle down well and is much enjoyed by the new and keen novice gardeners who own it.

I hope you continue to enjoy your own gardens as Summer unfolds.

If you want to transform your garden into a new and wonderful space, then do give me Emily a ring 01273 470753

Heroic Hydrangeas

 Stunning Hydrangeas, make great cut flowers

Stunning Hydrangeas, make great cut flowers

I say Heroic hydrangeas, as they are often the wall paper at the back of a large boarder or thought of as lining the drives of stately homes, but these shrubs come in a variety of shapes and sizes, lace-cap or mop heads and some in between and a variety of colours that change with age and even are beautiful as dried flowers.

 Stunning Hydrangeas, make great cut flowers

Stunning Hydrangeas, make great cut flowers

Of course over the years there has been a fashion for fiddling about with the soil pH to produce blooms of deep blue on an acid soil, a pH of less than 7 ( the lower the deeper the blue) less acidic and it heads towards purple. Pink and into deeper pink on alkaline soils with a pH  above 7.  Personally I think the joy is letting your Hydrangeas just colour with what your soil is and see how they change in  different planting potions, but of course if you have picked a “ Blue” variety and you are on natural to alkaline soil, the chance it it will not be a deep  blue at all, so don’t be disappointed. They need a good humus rich damp soil, in dappled shade, but will cope with full sun. flowering from July to the end of September.

So baring all of the above in mind, here is a selection to consider.

 Hydrangea arborescens 'Annabelle'

Hydrangea arborescens ‘Annabelle’

H. arborescens ‘Annabelle’: This has been the hydrangea of the moment or the last 7 to 10 years at least as the ‘new’ designer fashionable one that started to pop up at Chelsea in main avenue gardens and it is certainly a show stopper. A medium sized shrub with a floppy open habit, of large white to flushed green flowers up to 30cm across freely produced from July to September.

 Hydrangea paniculata 'Grandiflora'

Hydrangea paniculata ‘Grandiflora’ 

 H. paniculata ‘Grandiflora’: A large shrub, with a mass of panicle shaped flowers of sterile florets appear in August and become a deep pink towards Autumn.

 Hydrangea macrophlla 'Ami Pasquier'

Hydrangea macrophlla ‘Ami Pasquier’

H.macrophlla ‘Ami Pasquier’ : a small to medium sized shrub with a good compact habit, a good mop-head variety with deep red florets.

 

 Hydrangea macrophlla 'Blauer Prinz'

Hydrangea macrophlla ‘Blauer Prinz’  

H.  macrophlla ‘Blaucer Prinz’: A medium sized shrub. A good mop-head variety, with heads that are shades of pink into deeper red on alkaline soils and shades of purple into deep blue on acid soils.

 

 Hydrangea macrophlla 'Lanarth White'

Hydrangea macrophlla ‘Lanarth White’

H. macrophlla ‘Lanarth White’: A small to medium sized shrub with a neat compact habit, one of the best lace-cap varieties. It produces large flattened heads, with central flowers which are pink on alkaline soils and blue on acid soils , surrounded by white florets.

 

 Hydrangea macrophlla 'Madama Emile Mouillere'

Hydrangea macrophlla ‘Madama Emile Mouillere’

H. macrophlla ‘Madame Emile Mouillere’: a medium sized shrub with large mop head flowers of white florets with a pink or blue centre depending on soil pH. With serrated sepals.

 Hydrangea quercifolia

Hydrangea quercifolia

H. quercifolia: This unusual hydrangea has, leathery deeply lobed leaves, oak like in shape, with a white underneath that turn a blistering coppery red in the autumn. It produced large creamy white shaggy panicle s of flowers in August. It is a medium sized shrub.

 

 A mass of Hydrangeas.

A mass of Hydrangeas.

I hope I have made you think again about these shrubs that fell out of fashion and were considered some what Victorian, they are beginning to be planted more widely and have must to offer, in fact what is not to like about Hydrangeas.

 

 

 

 

Winter Gardening

The Winter Garden

The Winter Garden

Many may feel the depths of winter are not a time to be in the garden and the only type of gardening jobs that should be considered, are flicking through seed catalogues while sitting cosy in front of a fire. But the winter is in fact a good time to carry out remedial and repair work in the garden and get the garden ready for the next growing season.

 falling down fences

falling down fences

The first thing to look at is the garden boundaries, now that a lot of plant cover will have died down, check all walls, remove any large quantities of ivy, it is good for wild life so leave some, but it can be a disaster with old mortar particularly on flint walls. Also check fences and posts, that they will be up to winter winds. If repair work is needed, then while plants are dormant this is the time of year to have the work carried out.

 Over grown wall

Over grown wall

Now that it is mid winter, take time to walk round your trees and check all trees ties, which may have become loose in the autumn gales.

check tress ties

check tress ties

While large sections of the garden are dormant, now is the time to add a thin layer of garden compost or well rotted farm yard or horse manure, over whole beds or round the base of shrubs and trees, Also top up mulch on flower boarders. Be sure not to build up the height of compost round trunks and crowns.

 adding compost

adding compost

Now is the time of year to get cracking on pruning your Apple and Pear trees. Removing dead and diseased wood, branches that rub and prune to fruiting spurs, for full details on fruit tree pruning see January 2016 blog.

 fruit tree pruning

fruit tree pruning

Check climbing plants and wall shrubs, make sure they are tied in well and will not be pulled off the walls and fences in the winter storms.

tieing in wall shrubs

tieing in wall shrubs

If you have free standing structures in the garden like archways, pergolas, trellis sections, now is a good time to check them, and repair where needed also carry out any re-staining, while most of the planting has died down.

 staining trellis and fences

staining trellis and fences

So as you can see there is a lot of gardening to carry out in January, but hopefully you have planted some good scented winter shrubs and hellebores and snow drops which will cheer the sole while you work.

Winter Garden Magic

Winter Garden Magic

Happy Gardening.

Elegant Camellias

A mass of Camellias

A mass of Camellias

By the time mid-winter comes about with short and dull days anything in the garden that adds a splash of colour, is to be grabbed and celebrated. So Camellias, with varieties that flower from October through to April are a good choice. With evergreen glossy foliage and attractive habit, whether grown in the garden as specimen shrub or on mass or even as an individual specimen in a pot are a must. Here are a few favourite

Camellia 'Cornish Cream'

Camellia ‘Cornish Cream’

C. ‘Cornish Snow’: This lovely Camellia rightly has a AGM award. With a good strong upright habit which can become a large shrub. Delicate single white flowers with gold stamens, which are produced on mass.

 Camellia sasanqua 'Yuletide'

Camellia sasanqua ‘Yuletide’

C. sasanqua ‘Yuletide’: This is one of my top favourites, a medium sized shrub with an open habit. Flowers are borne in a succession a few at a time from mid -October until the end of January. Small single red flowers with a mass of yellow stamens, add a real splash of colour in the depths of winter.

 Camellia japonica 'Kramer's Supreme'

Camellia japonica ‘Kramer’s Supreme’

C. japonica ‘Kramer’s Supreme’: This camellia has a good compact habit forming an upright shrub. This Camilla packs a punch with large loose paeony like flowers in red and has a delicate fragrance, wonderful in an enclosed space or a pot by the back door.

 Camellia japonica 'Lady Vansihart'

Camellia japonica ‘Lady Vansihart’

C.japnica ‘Lady Vansihart’: this upright camellia has unusual holly like twisted foliage, which is a real talking point. With small sauces blushed pink flowers.

Camellia japonica 'Lavinia Maggi'

Camellia japonica ‘Lavinia Maggi’

C. japonica ‘Lavinia maggi’: A dramatic camellia which grows into a large shrub. Large double blousy flowers, some white, some, pink, some red. But most striped and blotch in all 3 colours. It is as if someone has had a mad Alice and Wonderland joke with a couple of paint pots. If you want a statement shrub this is the camellia for you.

Camellia sasanque

Camellia sasanque

C. sasanque: A graceful open habit, with sauce shaped white flowers with rich yellow stamens from late autumn through to early spring, giving a long display.

 Camellias grow well in containers.

Camellias grow well in containers.

Tips: All Camilla like a neutral to slightly acidic soils with a rich humus compost that retains moisture well but dose not become water logged. They do best in dappled shade but will cope with some full sun. It is best to avoid early morning sun so that frost covered buds and flowers do not brown. The important thing to remember is that even when they have stopped flowering they need a good water through the summer months and must not dry out as this is when the flower buds are forming for the following year. A good helping of rotted leaf mould and feed should be added as a topdressing after flowering to help with flower bud development for the following year.

If you would like help developing a winter garden, then I know just the person to give you a hand. Give me, Emily a ring on 01273 470753 to disuses all your garden design needs.

I hope I have inspired you to add Camellias to your garden, weather in a boarder or a couple in pots by the front door. Enjoy!

Ornamental Bark

Mass of birch with sliver trunks

Mass of birch with sliver trunks

Birch Bark

Birch Bark

As the leaves finally fall it is the skeleton of deciduous trees that give structure to the winter garden and distinctive and colourful bark in the rosy lights of the winter can be a truly stunning addition to the garden and are well worth considering when choosing trees to plant.

Acer capillipes

Acer capillipes

Acer Calliopes: The ‘snake bark’ maple, this hansom tree has real wow factor at all times of the year, with the new growth a lovely coral red and leaves turning a strong red in autumn. But the bark is truly magnificent, the mid green stems, have vertical stripes of white to light green and soft pink shades. This small tree makes a good focal point for a small to medium sized garden. Grows best in good humus rich soil in dappled shade.

Betula ‘Jermyns’: A dramatic medium sized tree with mop headed habit. With superb creamy-white pealing stems and trunk, showing coppery coloured bark beneath. Good golden yellow autumn colour, any free draining soil.

 Prunus serrula

Prunus serrula

Prunus serrula: ‘The Tibetan cheery’, this beautiful small tree has a lot going for it and is a great addition to a small garden. It has glossy mahogany coloured bark, which positively shines. With elegant small white blossom in April any good soil that dose not dry out.

 Acer griseum

Acer griseum

Acer griseum: The ‘paperbark maple’, A striking tree particularly if grown as a multi-stem. With attractive bronze coloured pealing bark, with qualities similar to papery birch. The trifliolate leaves have wonderful fury autumn colours. A small tree, which likes humus rich soil.

Arbutus andrachne

Arbutus andrachne

Arbutus andrachne: the ‘Grecian Strawberry tree’: This small evergreen tree, is tender and needs a sheltered spot, to get it started, but becomes hardy once mature. With dark green glossy leaves and delicate bunches of waxy bell shaped flowers in a stunning red, it is a dramatic tree. The added bonus is the smooth cinnamon brown bark. It needs an acid soil which is humus rich.

 Salix daphoides

Salix daphoides

Salix dalphnoides: The ‘Violet Willow’ This is a fast growing and striking tree for a small garden. It will grow in most soils although dose not like drying out. The new growth is a rich purple which matures with a white bloom. Catkins are produced in spring before the leaves.

 Group of hansom Eucalyptus

Group of hansom Eucalyptus

 Close of Eucalyptus

Close of Eucalyptus

With deciduous trees you have over five months with out the leaves, so the bark is well worth considering particularly if your garden is small as everything you plant needs to work hard for you. I hope I have given you food for thought. If you would like help choosing and planting trees as part of a new planting plan, I know just the woman to help you. As the bare root season will be starting shortly, there is no time like the present, give me, Emily a call on 01273 470753, to discuss all your garden needs.

Keeping Everyone Safe- Covid 19

 

All government and local government guide lines and advice are to be adhered to. As much as possible, all meetings are to be held outside. This means entering your garden through a back or side gate if possible. If the garden can only be reached by walking through the house, then I/we will wear face masks.

Some sections of the meeting will involve paper work and the presentation of plans, this is to be outside if possible, on garden tables, or inside porches or garages or conservatories etc. If due to weather or the time of day, it means a meeting does have to be inside your home, then everyone present at the meeting should wear a face mask.

Landscapers and all site contractors will also follow all COVID-19 guidelines and best practice outlined by government and local government, at the time of landscaping. They will avoid entering your home as much as possible. If they need to come into your house they will wear a face mask at all times.

Clients Please Note: Due to the COVID-19 shut down and reduced working practices, some supplies of materials may be harder to source and there may be longer lead in times. Also work may be disrupted if a landscaper has to self-isolated, quarantine or is ill, due to COVID-19. Also, government guide lines may change without notice and work on a garden may have to stop. All of these things are beyond the control of Arcadia Garden Design. We will do our upmost to keep you informed if any of these problems arise and will be in discussion with you.

Fabulous Ferns

Fabulous Ferns

Fabulous Ferns

Ferns are often an over looked group of plants, but since their Victorian heyday they are quite rightly beginning to have their turn back in the limelight. They are much more than the go to plant for a shady difficult spot. They go from the large and dramatic, to small and delicate foliage. Although most do like damp humus rich conditions in partial shade, some do well in full sun and even dry shallow chalk. Here are a few to consider.

Asplenium trichomanes

Asplenium trichomanes

Asplenium trichomanes: The maidenhair fern, is a stunningly delicate fern, it is evergreen with mid to dark green pinnate foliage on elegant black stems. Reaching 15cm in height, and with spreading rhizomes. In fact they will sneak in and populate small crevices in walls and will cope well with lime and tolerate dry shade.

Athyrium niponicum var. pictum

Athyrium niponicum var. pictum

Athyrium niponicum var.pictum: The Japanese painted fern. Is a stunningly beautiful fern. The leaves blend from pale grey through to powdery blue with splashes of soft pink and sliver. This deciduous fern likes light shade and moist humus rich conditions. Growing up to 30cm tall is makes good dense ground cover.

 Cyrtomium falcatum

Cyrtomium falcatum

Cyrtomium falcatum: Japanese Holly Fern, a striking evergreen fern forming a strong growing clump growing up to 60cm. With dark green glossy fonds with a holly like appearance. Ideal for a shady spot. It is a acid lover and thrives in humus rich soil.

 Polystichum setiferum

Polystichum setiferum

Polystichum setiferum: Soft shield fern, this is a wonderfully tolerant garden plant, it will cope with deep shade and bright sunshine, good in humus rich soils but will also thieve in thin drying chalk soils. An evergreen fern which produced a wide clump of mid green pinnate fonds up to 60/90cm high. Brilliant as a back drop plant as well as a evergreen statement in a winter planting and also dose very well in a pot in a shady corner, it has much to commended it.

 Dryopteris cycadina

Dryopteris cycadina

Dryopteris cycadina: The Buckler fern, A deciduous fern, with a dramatic habit of upright growth. Mid spring sees bright green shuttlecocks unfurling into mid green fonds. Growing up to 60cm tall, it will cope with some sun and tolerate dry shade. A dramatic addition to the garden setting.

 Dicksonia antarctica

Dicksonia antarctica

Dicksonia antaretica: The tree fern. This is the big daddy of the fern world, and it has that wow factor in spades, whether seen in it’s native habitant of temperate rain forest in Australasia or as a lone specimen in a garden. An erect rhizome covered in a mass of roots, forms the ‘trunk’. It is very slow growing taking 10 years to grow 30 cm. From the top of the trunk unfurl, a reset of long mid green fonds, you really can imagine a Dinosaur., wondering between them! It is possible to grow this fern in the warmer parts of England, as long as they are grown in a sheltered position in semi-shade in humus rich moist conditions and the crown of the fern and trunk are insulated with straw and well wrapped in the winter months. It is a worthy addition to any shade garden.

A fernery

A fernery

I hope I have inspired you to think again about these wonderful plants that should be set for a resurgence even if not quite on the level of the enthusiastic Victorians. Happy Planting!

Crazy About Crocosmia

 Fiery colours

Fiery colours

As high summer approaches, many gardeners feel that colour socked boarders of mid-summer are over and July into August is a difficult time to injected summer brightness into the garden. Crocosmia can be your saviour. As hardy as hell, putting up with must soil conditions and creating great sweeps of colour there is much to love about this dependable old favourite.

 Crocosmia x crocosmiiflora 'Emily McKenzie'

Crocosmia x crocosmiiflora ‘Emily McKenzie’

C.x crocosmiiflora ‘Emily Mckenzie’: clumps of sword like green foliage and very long lasting orange trumpet shaped flowers with a green throat, from August to September.

 Crocosmia x crocosmiiflora 'Geogre Davison'

Crocosmia x crocosmiiflora ‘Geogre Davison’

C. x crocosmiiflora ‘George Davison’: Darker green leaves in dense clumps up to 75cm, with rich butter yellow flowers, July to August.

C. x crocosmiiflora ‘Solfatare’: Bronze foliage up to 60cm, with soft apricot trumpet flowers from July to September.

 Crococsmia 'Lucifer'

Crococsmia ‘Lucifer’

C. Lucifer: This is the big Daddy of Crocosmia, due to it’s height and the smack you in the face colour, it can’t be missed. Tall clumps of leaves 1/1.2m tall with flowers of vibrant red produced June to July.

 Croccosmia mansoniorum

Croccosmia mansoniorum

C. masoniorum: Arching stems and leaves up to 90cm tall, with bright vermilion orange flowers produced July to September.

 summer show stopper

summer show stopper

This herbaceous plant loves a bright sunny spot , but will cope with a little shade although they will not flower quite so well. So get planting and brightening up your high summer garden.

If you want help with designing planting and re-designing your garden, do give me, Emily a ring on 01273 470753.