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Recent Postings

My Wildlife Allotment December 2018

I got my first allotment, a full plot, in 2010 but quickly ran out of space as I am an avid plant collector. A few years later I acquired a half plot, followed by a third allotment, another full plot, in April this year. I now have a growing space of 625 m2. ...

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On a Chalk Hillside December 2018

When we created the terrace for the pond, you may remember we also created a space down one side that was to be the bog garden, with a separate Gunnera manicata bed below it, but attached. 

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December's Conservation Feature

The final Conservation Feature of 2018 is an appeal for information about two plants that seem to have disappeared from cultivation. 

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Last Month in My Garden, November 2018

When I first came to this garden (1980) there were flycatchers, blackcaps, warblers and goldcrests. I saw one of the last a few weeks ago but, otherwise, none of those birds visit now. ...

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On the Menu for ...November 2018

Here in rural Norfolk, the chives are still flowering as if it’s summer, as are the delphiniums and geraniums. New blooms are opening on roses and mingling with plump glossy red hips. Winter is taking its time to arrive; it clearly hasn’t read the barrage of reports screaming that next week our gardens will be at the mercy of plummeting temperatures, snow and ice. 

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On a Chalk Hillside November 2018

You saw the berries of the Guelder Rose already red in June this year in my piece last month, and I thought I would look at other berries, hips and haws that are in my garden.  I think of these as autumn colours, but some appear earlier than that, even in years without a drought or heatwave to extra stress the plants, though they don’t usually become noticeable until autumn when there is less colour around them.

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Hardy Chrysanthemum Booklet Launch

The Hardy Chrysanthemum booklet provides all the information required to know and grow these wonderful plants together with an extensive list of cultivars and a huge array of photographs.  The booklet is available through the HPS website at £5.50 for members and £7.50 non-members.

Shade Monthly August 2018

Arisaemas in general seem to be weathering the heat and lack of moisture better than most. I grow quite a few species and have lost many on the way. The secret seems to be to plant them deeply in good woodland soil, keep them ...

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Last Month in My Garden, October 2018

This autumn the S. novae-angliae have been predominant throughout the garden; away from the collection, they have self-seeded and been allowed to grow to maturity. Many of the seedlings are better than some of the named plants, having large flowers with many fine ray florets ...

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Latest News October 2018

The new HPS booklet on Hardy Garden Chrysanthemums has been written by Judy Barker. Judy holds part of the Dispersed National Collection along with Hill Close Gardens in Warwick and Dr Andrew Ward of Norwell Nurseries, and she will be visiting Hill Close on Saturday 27th October for their Chrysanthemum Day when more than 70 varieties will be in bloom (for more information go to www.hillclosegardens.com). Booklets will be available to buy on the day or through the HPS website.

On the Menu for ...October 2018

October can be so unpredictable! In some years we are up to our ears in thermals, wondering if we have skipped autumn altogether in favour of winter; then the next year we might be out and about in summer clothes as if it's mid-July

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Shade Monthly July 2018

It is from seed collected by Dan Hinkley in Sechuan (DJHC0499) and was introduced to the UK by Crûg Farm Nurseries, the original supplier. It has finely serrated, semi-evergreen leaves. My plant was evergreen in the winter of 2016-17 ...

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On a Chalk Hillside October 2018

The mesh seemed to be effective against the deer as during the evening, after it was tied all the way down the 50m length, they went into our neighbours garden instead and ate all his runner beans that he had been about to harvest.  (He was not pleased at all!)

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October's Conservation Feature

The Scheme is still looking for a National Coordinator and quite a few Local Groups are not represented. Information about the Scheme and the plants we grow can be found by following the About Plants / Conservation link from the home screen. If you enjoy growing and propagating plants and would like to be involved then please get in touch (conservation@hardy-plant.org.uk)

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<i>Syringa vulgaris</i> and Moss Lawn healing garden

This week's seasonal task is potting on rooted Syringa vulgaris cuttings at Hipping Hall taken last autumn 2017. I took these cuttings from a rather sad looking lonesome Lilac tree which borders a moss lawn project I have been working on since spring 2017.

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Last Month in My Garden, September 2018

I visited the Plant Heritage National Plant Collection® of Dahlias, near Penzance. There are 1500+ cultivars, permanently planted, in the collection but last winter was unusually severe in Cornwall and a number (it appeared to be 20–30%) were lost, leaving gaps in the flowering. There were still a lot to see . ...

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Shade Monthly June 2018

There are several different forms of E. wushanense in circulation differing in flower size, colour, density on the flowering spike and leaf shape. All are worthy of a place in a woodland garden. Naming has become confused which is why ...

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<i>Hydrangea paniculata</i> 'Limelight'

I started gardening many many moons ago at the age of 7. I remember even at that young age being struck by the beauty of Hydrangeas, fascinated by the changing colours of pink and blue, depending on the acidity, or alkalinity of the soil.

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On the Menu for ...September 2018

With summer flowers mingling with remontant roses, we might be tricked into believing that it is June were it not for the shortening days, ripening berries, and wonderful autumn flowers.

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On a Chalk Hillside September 2018

I thought this month I would start with some pictures of a few plants that are normally flowering in my garden in August and September.  I say normally, as the drought and heat has altered flowering times enormously. 

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Shade Monthly May 2018

A. apennina is similar to A. blanda, but the stems are softly hairy and it is more of a ‘clumper’ than ‘spreader’. ‘Petrovac‘ is a variety collected in former Yugoslavia by Paul Christian ...

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September's Conservation Feature

The Conservation Scheme is looking for suggestions of plants that you would like to add to the list. Herbaceous perennials fall in and out of favour and you may be surprised to discover that your favourite plant is no longer readily available to buy. Which plant would you choose for Conservation?

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Last Month in My Garden, August 2018

Paeonia mlokosewitschii opened startling seed-pods; unfortunately, dark blue seeds only are viable and mine were all red. They shrivelled. ...

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Shade Monthly April 2018

This is an interesting shrub from western China where it grows on rocky slopes and forest margins. It has sprawling branches with short golden hairs that will spread out along the ground, rooting as it goes, or hang nicely ...

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On a Chalk Hillside August 2018

In order to determine how deep to dig the pond we needed to determine what plants we wanted in the pond.  Naturally our first thoughts were of water lilies. 

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Latest News August 2018

Recent contributors to the Plant of the Month blog, Andrew Luke and Miranda Janatka are taking a break - I'm sure you will join me in thanking them for their excellent articles. If you would like share your experiences and observations then please send a short, illustrated piece to webpages@hardy-plant.org.uk 

Last Month in My Garden, July 2018

July 1st came in with sunshine and blue sky but by midday it was far too hot for my liking; however, a skylark sang on the hill behind the garden, which was uplifting. The heat continued with little rain ...

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August's Conservation Feature

Heuchera 'Burgundy Frost' is fully hardy, preferring good humus-rich soil which doesn't dry out although needs good drainage in winter.

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On a Chalk Hillside July 2018

Perhaps it’s a good time to talk about a pond.  Let’s start with another look at the plan for the pond I showed you last month:-

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On the Menu for ... July 2018 at 'Hampton Court'

The Floral Marquee at Hampton Court is a wonderful place to discover new plants; it is also one of my favourite places to watch pollinators. 

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