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Recent Postings

Plant of the Month September 2017

Throughout the UK, conditions are becoming more favourable for Lagerstroemia. That combined with new breeding from the US, means that there are likely to be cultivars suitable for many gardens over here.

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On a Chalk Hillside September 2017

Certain climbers went in as soon as the Pergola was erected, but in the main I was waiting to get the right plant or plants for each downpost.  Initially we expected to have at least one climber on each downpost so that foliage and flower interest was maintained for several seasons.

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Chelsea 2017: BBC's Video Clip

Update 23 May: Silver-Gilt and we are thrilled!

Our stand was featured on BBC2 on Thursday 25 at about 8.40 pm.  Here are the plants we used on the stand. Some of them will be available at the Worcestershire Group planst sale on 10 June.

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Shade Monthly June 2017

Speirantha convallariodes is the name under which I bought the plant in 2012, but on checking before writing this piece I discover that it should really be called S. gardenii. Whatever the name, it is a charming little woodlander ...

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Last Month in My Garden, August 2017
August has been a long month! By that I mean that I could remember little of the garden at the start of the month until I looked at the photos I had taken then. Much has changed but some plants flower on and on, even improving in impact. Hardy geraniums come first to mind, particularly those bred fr..
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September's Featured Conservation Plant

Phlox paniculata ‘Milly van Hoboken’

This pretty phlox was first brought into the HPS Conservation Scheme in 1998 ...

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Latest News September 2017

You may have seen some of the publicity recently about plans by Highways England to improve the M25/A3 junction in Surrey.  The plans will have a significant impact on the RHS Wisley Garden and the RHS are asking for support in resisting the proposals.

On the menu for... August 2017

There is still so much to look forward to, and it appears that the bees cannot wait. Although not quite flowering, Sedum is smothered in bees. It is as if they are impatiently knocking on the closed door of the best bar in town. Perhaps I should point them in the direction of the cardoon saloon. 

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Shade Monthly May 2017

I have tried to grow two or three of the relatively small species of soldanella. They all look pretty similar with a basal rosette of roundish leaves and a central stalk with up to six purple/blue/white flowers...

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On a Chalk Hillside August 2017

Why did I want a Pergola?  I was influenced by the Laburnum Walk in Rosemary Verey’s garden at Barnsley House near Cirencester but probably not for the reason you think.  We visited late summer, and what impressed me with it was that it made the garden seem much bigger. 

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Helenium Sombrero

Helenium 'Sombrero' is a new introduction. This hardy perennial is a compact variety, with a neat branching habit.

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Plant of the Month August 2017

Phygelius the 'Cape Fuchsia' in the Scrophulariaceae family, is a fabulous but still underused garden plant. As the common name suggests it resembles the well known Fuchsia with long tubular pendant flowers and similar foliage. However they are not closely related, stemming from different plant families. 

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Last Month in My Garden, July 2017
My main impression of the last month is of growth – amazingly fast and lush. Of course, the weeds grew fastest, flowering and seeding almost before I had noticed they were there. My greatest nightmare was Lesser Willowherb, a really successful invader; I even have a white-flowered form, as well as t..
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Conservation Plants - Where are they now?

What happens to plants that are taken into the Conservation Scheme? Suggestions of suitable plants come from Hardy Plant Society members ...

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Shade Monthly April 2017

My Chrysosplenium macrophyllum started blooming back in January and is just starting to wane now. ...

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On a Chalk Hillside July 2017

How we get to design plans involves many steps.  I should say here that I know many of you are trained garden designers, but neither I nor my husband are - we are enthusiastic amateurs and this post is about the way we approach designing and building our garden.  

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On the menu for... July 2017

One of the many joys of visiting flower shows, nurseries and open gardens is discovering which ofthe many plants blooming to perfection attract the most attention from pollinators. 

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Plant of the Month July 2017

As recalled in the well worth a read, 'Growing Guide to Penstemons', the founder of what is now 'Thompson and Morgan' wrote in 1855 that should he have to pick just two plants to sell, they would be the Penstemon and the Salvia. 

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Last Month in My Garden, June 2017

A month of contrasts: cool and wet at first and then, mid-month, too hot for me to work outside . Watering has been time-consuming ...

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July's Featured Conservation Plant

Rudbeckia subtomentosa ‘Loofahsa Wheaten Gold’

A late summer perennial daisy raised by Anthony Brooks who bred several good plants at Elton Hall, Shropshire ...

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Cuttings from the Flower Garden - Peony

I have to admit to a slight love hate relationship with herbaceous peonies. I have always admired these amazing flowers that, if happy with their growing conditions in a sunny spot in moist, but well drained soil, stop people in their tracks when they bloom in the garden. On the other hand, as cut flowers, they can be capricious. 

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Shade Monthly March 2017

Known in its native northern California as the ‘fetid adder’s tongue’ this little plant is not well served by its name. I have lost my sense of smell, but even those with a nose say you have to get really close to it to catch the scent ...

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On the menu for... June 2017

There is so much forage available in the countryside surrounding my home that I am amazed to see pollinators showing interest in my borders in June. New garden flowers are opening daily and proving their wildlife credentials by attracting a plethora of pollinators.

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On a Chalk Hillside June 2017

Do you want to design and build your garden yourself, or do you want to hire in professionals to design it and provide you with a planting list, perhaps even get the designer to project manage contractors to deliver that agreed design?   In a garden this big, with a very limited budget our aim was to do it all ourselves, whatever “it” was.

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Plant of the Month June 2017

There is something very special about Meconopsis and crowds are often seen admiring them when displayed at shows or in gardens. The bright blue flowers occur from late spring-early summer on open heads of up to 6 flowers per spike and can be 5cm in diameter.

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Last Month in My Garden, May 2017

Fellow gardeners reported damage (hydrangeas in particular) and I gradually realised that plants I thought suffering from drought were, in fact, frosted (e.g. Corydalis temulifolia ‘Chocolate Stars’). As the wisteria buds swelled, damage to the more exposed flower-trusses could be clearly seen.

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Conservation Plants at Chelsea

Zantedeschia ‘Glencoe’ was in full flower and attracting much attention on HPS Worcestershire Group’s display celebrating the Hardy Plant Society’s Diamond Jubilee at Chelsea this year.

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Cuttings from the Flower Garden - Iris

Iris seem to flower in most months of the year. Many people can be frustrated by the fleeting blossoming of these plants, especially the well-known bearded varieties that are in full blooming mode at the moment. But I think they are wrong.

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On the menu for... May 2017

Fresh flowers are opening daily and long-term spring bloomers such as Pulmonaria ‘Diana Clare’ and Aubrieta are still going strong. No one could ever accuse them of being members of the blink-and-they’re-gone brigade. It is the moment for Wisteria to strut its stuff.

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On a Chalk Hillside May 2017

How hard has it been for you to leave your new-to-you garden for a year to :- a) discover what is growing there; b) orientation/prevailing wind/where the sun falls when; c) what the soil type is everywhere?  I was keen to get going, especially with all those plants in pots that we bought from our old garden to sort out.

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