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Recent Postings

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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Chelsea 2017: Silver-Gilt

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.

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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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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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Shade Monthly January 2017

I had long admired Woodwardia radicans before buying it. There is a particularly fine stand of them at Powys Castle in a sort of caveroom cut into the hillside on one of the terraces ... ...

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Plant of the Month May 2017

Trees such as the Foxglove tree (Paulownia tomentosa), the Judas tree (Cercis siliquastrum) and perhaps, most gloriously, the elegant Snowdrop tree (Halesia tetraptera), reveal charms of the garden border high up along the skyline.

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Last Month in My Garden, April 2017

The predominant colour in the garden has been white. Most of the late daffodils are white and there have been carpets of arabis and iberis. Spirea arguta has been noticeable (I have three bushes), followed by choisya, and pear and apple trees have been covered in blossom

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May's Featured Conservation Plant

If you read the March Feature on Bergenia ‘Pugsley’s Pink you will know that I was hoping to discover more about the Mr Pugsley who bred this plant.  

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On the menu for... April 2017

We have been enjoying warm, sunny weather in Norfolk and although the soil is worryingly dry, it is at least workable. I don’t remember seeing so many butterflies in April. It is wonderful to share the garden with them.

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On a Chalk Hillside April 2017

What is the picture that comes to your mind when you say English Apple or Plum Orchard? 

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Cuttings from the Flower Garden - Violets

As with so many things, the popularity of violets as cut flowers has dwindled but I would urge you to take a fresh look as this wonderful little flower, whose scent surely packs a punch way above its weight.

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Shade Monthly - Special Epimedium Edition

Dedicated to those choice woodlanders, the Epimediums. We have four articles. The first, which gives an account of the cultivation of the genus and recommends some fine cultivars is by Roger Hammond the keeper of one of the Plant Heritage National Collections ...

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April's Featured Conservation Plant

Erysimum ‘Ruston Royal’ was a seedling that was spotted in the garden at East Ruston Old Vicarage in Norfolk and is thought to be a hybrid between E. ‘Bowles Mauve’ and a plant from the Canary Island ...

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Last Month in My Garden, March 2017

The blossom of shrubs and trees has been high impact. Cornus mas was in flower at the start of the month but finished before the end; it was succeeded by Forsythia. Prunus x subhirtella ‘Autumnalis Rosea’ is long-established but has never looked strong ...

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Plant of the Month April 2017

Arum is a genus of tuberous perennial plants belonging to the Araceae family, the genus is made up of around 25 species native to Europe, Northern Africa and Western Asia to the Western Himalayas. Many of the genus are known for the foul odour they give off whilst in flower, often described as resembling rotting meat or the smell of death.

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On the menu for... March 2017

Gardeners give precious border space to plants for a variety of reasons

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Propagation of Hellebores

March is a great time of the year when gently pruning and tidying the herbaceous borders for spring, to be inspired with thoughts of propagation.

On a Chalk Hillside March 2017

The polytunnel was one of the dreams we had for our new garden, and was to be our big present to ourselves when we moved.  We had only had a 60cm by 2m lean to greenhouse against the garage wall in London, which could take two growbags in it.  We wanted something bigger.  It was to be for tomatoes and peppers in the summer, and to have oriental greens in over winter. It was to be ready for our first March there – only 4 months after moving in. 

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Latest News March 2017

HPS Ambassadors

Shade Monthly November 2016

In the spring there are clusters of typical white flowers, which are followed in the summer by masses of pure white berries. These are said to be unattractive to birds and to last into November. The avian fraternity in our area has not read this ...

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Last Month in My Garden, February 2017

My Great Garden Clearance continued, removing thick carpets of moss from the borders. On three occasions, I uncovered a Common Newt, lying upside-down so that its yellowish-orange underside was uppermost ...

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Plant of the Month March 2017

It is a sure sign that spring has settled in once the 'Galanthophiles' and 'Croconuts' have had their fix and quietly, another group of plants, perhaps one for the more discerning gardener, start to make their presence known in the woodlands. Erythronium is a genus of spring flowering ....

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March's Featured Conservation Plant

Bergenia ‘Pugsley's Pink’ gained an RHS AGM in the Wisley Bergenia Trial in 2007-9 when it was entered by the Beth Chatto Gardens, but in spite of this it is only listed by one nursery in the RHS Plantfinder 2016. ...

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On a Chalk Hillside February 2017
On a Chalk Hillside - Developing our garden Composting and Weeds – proper gardeners’ talk! Even in a tiny garden in London we had two compost bins.  Admitedly they were little drum-like green plastic ones:– one the local council had subsidised the cost of, which you have to lift off the whole ..
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Cuttings from the Flower Garden February 2017
Cuttings from the flower Garden Amongst the debris of last summer’s verdant extravaganza sits the Christmas rose, Helleborus niger. It has been happily holding its head up for the last few months, and even when the temperatures dropped it was undaunted, its petals took on a translucency briefly, ..
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Plant of the Month February 2017

This is my final contribution for ‘Plant of the month’ and as it’s February (probably the worst month of the year in which to find photographs), it was suggested that I might reflect on what makes a good choice for ‘Plant of the Month’. This intrigued me, as although I’ve gaily scribbled many monthly pieces, I’ve never considered specific criteria.....

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Last Month in My Garden, January 2017

The start of the growing year has been slow; cold weather has kept most plants underground. This has been an advantage as I continue to clear away dead herbaceous growth and prune shrubs. It is always upsetting to pull off a handful of stems and find that I have decapitated a ...

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February's Featured Conservation Plant

Now difficult to find, Iris ‘Amiguita’ is a compact Californian Hybrid with a striking flower. It was registered in 1947 by Eric Nies (1884-1952), an American iris breeder. Best known for his work on spuria irises, for which there is a Nies Award, he was one of the first hybridisers to introduce and register Pacific Coast hybrids ...

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Shade Monthly October 2016

The star is the double flowered form of Anemonopsis macrophylla. The normal version is a fine plant with its dangling, dusky-backed, white flowers in late summer. It is relatively easy to grow ...

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On a Chalk Hillside January 2017
On a Chalk Hillside - Developing our garden What do you do with your Christmas Tree after the festive period? Although we never met the previous owner, as we cleared the wilderness past the hedge we discovered that she had planted a good many of the Christmas trees she had over the almost 40 y..
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