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Last Month in My Garden, February 2018

Non-specialist gardening books usually state that snowdrops like shade but that is too much of a simplification. Galanthus nivalis, the common snowdrop, does flourish in deciduous woodland but will also grow happily in open borders where it is shaded by herbaceous perennials later in the year.  However ...

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Make More of Ferns
Ferns are the most complex of the non-flowering plants, having true leaves, stems and roots, but no flowers or seeds. Instead they reproduce by means of spores. Although ferns do not go back all the way to the origins of life on land, they do have a very long prehistory. They have long been admir..
March's Conservation Feature

Hebe 'Nantyderry'

This delightful hebe was brought back into the Conservation Scheme in 2011 at the suggestion of the Shropshire Group because it has a connection with an HPS member who identified it in her garden. ...

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On the Menu for ... February 2018

If you’re anything like me, you’ll be chomping at the bit to get outside and sink your hands into the soil. If you garden on clay though, you will require so many pairs of thermal gardening gloves to cope that you won’t be able to move your fingers.

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Latest News, February 2018

Cathy on the Sodshow

Cathy Rollinson, our chairman, chats with Peter Donegan about the criticisms and demise of some, and the rise of other, garden groups and societies. But that’s not all…..

Listen to the interview ...

On a Chalk Hillside February 2018

The original inspiration of my tiny border came after we first visited Margery Fish’s garden at East Lambrook Manor to see the snowdrops shortly after we moved here.  She had planted the winter bulbs through Arum italicum subsp italicum ‘Marmoratum’ and I was hooked.  What a great combination! 

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Shade Monthly November 2017

Saxifraga ‘Shiranami’

I had grown one or two planted out into the garden for several years. They grew well enough but did not make much of an impact. However, seen in pots they look stunning, and so I decided to provide them with a raised bed ...

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Plant of the Month February 2018

When choosing flowers for the winter garden, the oriental hybrids are worthy of their place as they provide more large and colourful flowers than many other plants at this time of year. They bulk up quick and by having avoided the more woody group, do not take up awkward space once flowering is over.

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Last Month in My Garden, January 2018

Another new addition is Sarcococca hookeriana WINTER GEM. Sarcococcas have been persistent here and I need evergreens; I am also hoping for more of those warm days when the scent mingles with that of shrubby loniceras and wafts across the garden. Sarcococcas do best in shade ...

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Developing and Planting a Camellia Walk

When I started working at the Ryebeck Hotel garden, Bowness On Windermere late January last year, the Camellia sinensis were situated in a very exposed north east aspect. Most of them looked worse for wear and were in some need of care and attention. 

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February's Conservation Feature

Euphorbia fragifera

This unusual euphorbia was introduced to the Conservation Scheme in 2010 by HPS Norfolk & Suffolk Group and verified as the correct plant by Don Whitton, National Collection holder of Hardy Euphorbias. It is seldom offered for sale and was last listed in the RHS Plant Finder in 2015. ...

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Shade Monthly October 2017

A relatively new addition this year has been Roscoea ‘Spice Island’. This is currently sporting several purple-pink flowers along burgundy stems. ...

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On a Chalk Hillside January 2018

Last month I discussed the structural and ground cover plants which work in the beds for many months of the year, this month I shall cover some of the plants that I have used in the rose garden to make it floriferous and of interest from spring to autumn.  

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Plant of the Month January 2018

Chimonanthus praecox is one of six species in the genus, all of which are from China. It is a deciduous shrub that grows up to 13m tall. Leaves are oblong shaped, 2-12cm long and papery. The waxy, buttery coloured flowers are each about 2-3cm wide and are formed on the branches of previous year’s growth. 

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January's Conservation Feature

Primula Harbinger Group

Listed in the 2017 Plant Finder by only two nurseries, this charming primrose was added to the Conservation scheme in 2002 by the Shropshire Group as it was an old selection and seldom grown. . ...

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Last Month in My Garden, December 2017

Snow came on Sunday 10th. Malvern (much higher) had had some on the Friday but there was none here and I did not expect to get much. How wrong I was! ...

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Plant of the Month December 2017

Mistletoe, or Viscum album, currently in the Santalaceae family, grows on mainly deciduous trees throughout most of Europe, central and northern Asia to Japan, south to North Africa. Common in central and southern England, it becomes harder to find north of Yorkshire. When looking for mistletoe, common host trees are apple, poplars and limes.

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On a Chalk Hillside December 2017

As we approach the shortest day it makes me happy to think some more about rose gardens.  Following on from last month’s article about planting the rectangular bed nearest the house, this month I am moving on to the three irregular-shaped beds we created by putting the hoggin paths through (described in the October blog piece).

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Shade Monthly September 2017

Deinanthe is a genus of two species and their hybrid in the family Hydrangeaceae. They are very closely related to hydrangea, differing mostly in two respects: they are rhizomatous, herbaceous perennials and they have large, showy fertile flowers with only a few, if any, sterile florets. ...

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Last Month in My Garden, November 2017

November has brought a mixed bag. There have been frosty mornings, followed by sunny days, but just as many dull, mild days. Some plants have continued to flower, later than usual, but the most surprising was a snowdrop, Galanthus ‘Sibyl Stern’, which opened early in the months ...

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December's Conservation Feature

Think before you sow!

Before we all get carried away by the excitement of the HPS seed list, please remember that whilst plants on the Conservation list may produce viable seed, the plants grown from that seed will not 'come true' and are likely to be inferior in some respect. ...

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Plant of the Month November 2017

Neoshirakia japonica is a hardy shrub/small tree native to Korea, China and Japan where it  grows in moist forests at an altitude of 100-400m. In the wild they can reach a height of 25ft, but in cultivation they don't often get this big.

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Shade Monthly August 2017

This is an old hybrid musk dating back to 1899. Although it is not a repeat flowerer, the one show a year is so spectacular it is well worth growing. It will grow in shade, sending up long shoots ...

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On a Chalk Hillside November-2017

What is your idea of a rose garden?  Is it of beds of roses, and only roses, closely planted, maybe dripping in either colour or scent (or both if you are lucky) ? Perhaps a bed of all one hybrid tea rose en masse like at the Southsea rose garden?

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November's Conservation Feature

Chrysanthemum 'Dulwich Pink' is a plant that's been looking superb over the last week or so, coming into flower in late October here in the Midlands ...

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Menu Planning for Wildlife

Planting bulbs is rather like waiting for a bus. After a seemingly endless lull, four seasons’ worth of bulbs arrive at once.

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Last Month in My Garden, October 2017

October has been a generally mild month with no frost to ruin the flowers until the 30th. It is the first time that I can remember courgette leaves yellowing naturally, without turning to mush. There have been sunny days when the Michaelmas Daisies have looked magnificent and been busy with bees. ...

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Plant of the Month October 2017

It is the potential use for delicate interest under trees and shrubs, alongside their cheery yellow that make Sternbergia so appealing to me, and popping a few in the ground next year may provide you with a pleasant surprise when you least expect it. 

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On a Chalk Hillside October 2017

So, how to lay a Hoggin path?  Obviously you need to measure out and peg out the outline of the path first.  Then, you dig out the soil to the depth of 15cm and contain the paths with a wooden edging.

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Shade Monthly July 2017

We already had a good population of Lilium martagon in both pink and white varieties. These came as seed many years ago and now seed themselves about freely, often in the paths! They grow well with little attention except for needing to be included in Wendy’s nightly Lily Beetle Hunt. I’m glad to say that ‘Claude Shride' is just as easy. ...

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