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Recent Postings

On a Chalk Hillside January 2019

I may have mentioned in my earlier pieces about creating the pond how certain plants overwhelm the space allotted (and indeed every other space) and have to be removed completely – I’m thinking Typha minima here particularly – but it is staggering to me how vigorous waterplants are in their growth when you think they are either freefloating in just water, or anchored into very very poor soil in the margins. 

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My Wildlife Allotment January 2019

I love frosty mornings on the allotment. Everything looks magically transformed with ice crystals covering every leaf, stem and seed head, all sparkling in the first rays of sunshine ...

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Shade Monthly October 2018

We tried the ginger lilies. They were not a success. They lasted about three years, looking a little worse each year before finally disappearing. Therefore, when we received seed of H. spicatum CC7004 as part of a share of one of Chris Chadwell’s expeditions in about 2008 we did not hold out much hope. However they ...

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January's Conservation Feature

Hemerocallis 'Hyde Hall' is not a particularly old cultivar nor was it widely available commercially - the name is only 'tentatively accepted' by the RHS and it does not appear in the Plant Finder. 

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Last Month in My Garden, December 2018

After three years, this is the last of ‘Last Month in my Garden’. You can continue to see some of the developments on my ‘Brockamin Garden’ facebook page and Brockamin will be open for the NGS on February 17th (11-4), March 24th (2-5) and September 22nd (2-5). The HPS Pulmonaria Group will be visiting on March 23rd. ...

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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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Shade Monthly September 2018

The solution to last month's puzzle is Impatiens omeiana. This is an excellent, spreading, low growing foliage plant for moist soil in shade. There are forms with silvered ...

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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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