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Please note that HPS office hours from 1st December will be Mon-Thurs 9-5; Fri 9 - 1. The office will be closed from 22nd Dec to 2nd Jan.

Kevin Line

Kevin Line

Kevin is Head Gardener/Plantsman, Hipping Hall / Ryebeck Hotel, South Cumbria.  Kevin is also a member of Butterfly Conservation and the Cumbria Wildlife Trust as well as the Hardy Plant Society and  has contributed to the industry magazine Horticulture Week since summer 2013. He is the stand-in writer of Plant Focus.

<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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<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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<i>Omphalodes cappadocica</i>

The bright azure blue flowers of Omphalodes cappadocica 'Starry Eyes' are particularly striking with the white sprayed outlines within each small and delicate flower head. This really is the eye catching  feature that stops the discerning plantsperson in their tracks, and why wouldn't you want to spend a few quite moments of valuable garden time studying such beauty.

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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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<i>Helenium</i> 'Sombrero'

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

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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.

Propagation of <i>Phlomis russeliana</i>

Phlomis comprise 100 or more perennials native to the Mediterranean, Central Asia, and China. Phlomis are extremely hardy plants. Phlomis russeliana, commonly known as Jerusalem or Turkish Sage, is from the family (Lamiaceae). The yellow flowers which emerge from the honeycomb like bracts add interesting structure to the back of the perennial border through the summer.

Propagation of <i>Eryngium alpinum</i>

The seeds that I had sown took just over 5 weeks to germinate at a steady temperature of about 15 degrees c. Seeds were sown into modules of straight seed compost. At the pricking out stage on the 2nd June- two and a half months later, the plants had thickened out nicely in the individual modules. The young plants were grown on in 9cm square pots at a temperature running between 15- 18 degrees C.

Propagation of Tree Peony

The small Tree Peony plants in bud are a result of young plants that were collected from a bark path beneath the large herbaceous shrub of a Paeonia ludlowii during the spring of 2013. The young plants were initially grown on in 1 litre pots for 18 months before being potted on ...

Propagation of <i>Penstemon</i>
Strong and Healthy It is that time of year when I enjoy increasing the stock of Penstemons for the following season. From my experience cuttings will still root from thicker stems after the first frosts. If you can bear taking some cuttings now, and spare some of those wonderful flute-shaped fl..
Propagation of Deciduous <i>Agapanthus</i>

Stems with seed heads can be cut to place out and dry in a cool area such as a shed or utility area. Seeds may not come true to type but could still yield some interesting variations. After a 4-6 week drying off period I take two options.

Propagation of <i>Campanula</i>

In early April 2013 seeds were sown of Campanula Rotundifolia, (true wild form). The stems of this species are fine, approximately 15cm high. The leaves are needle shaped and do not form petioles. Flower colours may vary to a mid shade of blue.

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