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Welcome to Matthew Biggs, Val Bourne, Carol Klein and Matthew Wilson - our HPS Ambassadors 

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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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Plant of the Month January 2017

January is a strange month to contend with in the garden. Extremes of weather, from the sublime to the ridiculous, can rattle through in the space of a week, leaving the humble plot-tender bewildered....

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Last Month in My Garden, December 2016

Meteorologists consider December 1st to be the first day of winter. Here, winter started at the very end of November so ...

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January's Featured Conservation Plant

Heuchera ‘David’ was found as a seedling by HPS member, Mrs Mary Ramsdale who lived at Cliffe gardens near Ilfracombe in N. Devon, who named it in 1994 after one ....

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On a chalk Hillside December 2016
On a Chalk Hillside - Developing our garden. How to fill up your new garden with plants Well, as you know there are quick and easy ways to fill your garden with plants –  go to the garden centre and stock up with something in flower each month to give you a spread of interest in your garden; o..
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Shade Monthly September 2016

Plant of the Month: Hydrangea serrata ‘Shirofuji’

Any shade bed, no matter how small, has room for one of the smaller varieties of H. serrata ...

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Last Month in My Garden, November 2016

I have an unnamed pale yellow alstroemeria, about 30 cm tall, which is a good cut flower and was giving a late show. A slight frost did come on November 3rd but did not affect other flowers of early November, which included some “unsung heroes” – plants that had been providing interest for months....

Shade Monthly August 2016

Plant of the Month: Arisaema tortuosum ‘Black Rod’

The Arisaema have done well this year. The cool, wet weather must remind them of home ...

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Plant of the Month December 2016

I was torn this month between two garden favourites, both hailing from Hupeh in Central China ...

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December's Featured Conservation Plant

Chrysanthemum ‘Lucy Simpson’

This hardy chrysanthemum was introduced to the Conservation Scheme in 2002 with a plant from Collinwood Nurseries ....

On a Chalk Hillside November 2016 (2)
On a Chalk Hillside - Developing our garden. Mixed Native Hedge This week as I am dodging orb spiders, pruning the new mixed native hedge I thought I would tell you about putting in our new hedge which runs along the right hand boundary of the orchard almost 40 meters from the wall part way do..
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Latest News November 2016

Welcomes, blogs, Newsletter and Christmas gift.

On a Chalk Hillside November 2016 (1)

This blog will tell the story of our garden, how we brought it back from neglect

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Shade Monthly July 2016

Plant of the Month…. Cardiocrinum giganteum

Yes, I know it is monocarpic slug bait, but with a little effort and about six years you can build up a population of these stately beauties. Growing up to 8 ft tall and topped by huge,sweet-smelling, trumpet shaped flowers they brighten up ...

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Last Month in My Garden, October 2016
A burst of autumn glory and dry, mild weather to enjoy it. Colour has come from three main sources: clouds of symphyotrichum (asters), jewel-like dahlias and the dying foliage of trees and shrubs. The asters which were flowering in September continued and were joined by others so that large clump..
Plant of the Month November 2016

I must admit to a little hesitation over this month’s choice, on two counts. First, maybe this slot should go to a truly hardy November plant that shrugs off harsh weather and still shines through, for example, one of the glowing hardy chrysanthemums now lighting up the border. And second, reliable information on this plant is hard to come by, and includes two differing descriptions, from two unimpeachable sources....

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