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Recent Postings

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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On a Chalk Hillside August 2018

In order to determine how deep to dig the pond we needed to determine what plants we wanted in the pond.  Naturally our first thoughts were of water lilies. 

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Latest News August 2018

Recent contributors to the Plant of the Month blog, Andrew Luke and Miranda Janatka are taking a break - I'm sure you will join me in thanking them for their excellent articles. If you would like share your experiences and observations then please send a short, illustrated piece to webpages@hardy-plant.org.uk 

Last Month in My Garden, July 2018

July 1st came in with sunshine and blue sky but by midday it was far too hot for my liking; however, a skylark sang on the hill behind the garden, which was uplifting. The heat continued with little rain ...

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August's Conservation Feature

Heuchera 'Burgundy Frost' is fully hardy, preferring good humus-rich soil which doesn't dry out although needs good drainage in winter.

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On a Chalk Hillside July 2018

Perhaps it’s a good time to talk about a pond.  Let’s start with another look at the plan for the pond I showed you last month:-

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On the Menu for ... July 2018 at 'Hampton Court'

The Floral Marquee at Hampton Court is a wonderful place to discover new plants; it is also one of my favourite places to watch pollinators. 

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Last Month in My Garden, June 2018

Geraniums star in June at Brockamin and this year has been no exception. Recent acquisitions, flowering for the first time, included dark violet and velvety G. nodosum ‘Tony’s Talisman’, planted under a conifer; this came from HPS Geranium Day last year. From HPS Variegated Plant Day this year ...

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July's Conservation Feature

This pretty little hardy geranium was introduced to the Conservation Scheme in 2015 with plants propagated by the Isle of Wight Group from a plant obtained from Elworthy Garden Plants in Somerset.

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Shade Monthly March 2018

Plant of the Month: Helleborus ‘Walberton’s Rosemary’

There are lots of really good hellebores available these days, many of them such as the Ashwood Hybrids unencumbered by varietal names. The joy is in the variation between the individual plants rather than uniformity. However ‘Warberton’s Rosemary’ ...

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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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On a Chalk Hillside June 2018

We like ponds.  There was one in the garden when I was a child which was already established when we moved in.  It had a rockery behind it which had two miniature roses in it – ‘Baby Masquerade’- that had been planted when the house was built in the 50’s and had reached their full size of 35cm x 30cm.

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Last Month in My Garden, May 2018

Magnificent May! It has been sunny and warm and trees have blossomed in abundance. Although my main interest is in hardy perennials, when a tree is in flower it dominates the garden. One such has been a hawthorn, Crataegus monogyna ...

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Plant of the Month May 2018

In 1807 William Kerr, a plant collector from Kew Gardens brought back over a thornless, floriferous climbing rose. He named it Rosa banksiae var. banksiae or Lady Banks’ rose, after Dorothea, the wife of the then director of Kew Gardens, Sir Joseph Banks.

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Shade Monthly February 2018

Plant of the Month: Eranthis hyemalis

In our garden they appear with, or just after, the first of the snowdrops, and are beginning as I put this issue together in mid-January. They come from calcareous woods in southern Europe and into the Balkans. In the garden they like ...

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On the Menu for ... May 2018 at 'Chelsea'

Despite a challenging winter and spring, the growers and exhibitors at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2018 have succeeded in bringing together a beautiful array of flowers grown to perfection. With so many delights on offer, which plants do bees go for? And for those of us on the lookout for something a little different, are there new plants to suit us as well as pollinators? 

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The Veitch Lamp Post Trail in Exeter

An unusual combination of engineering and botanical drawing.

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Malvern Spring Festival 2018

The team leader, Worcestershire Group Chairman Mick Dunstan, reflected that their RHS Silver award was "the reward for months of hard work by a range of people across the society and outside,  but the real reward was the undiluted praise we had from visitors to the stand over the four days of the show".

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Shade Monthly January 2018

In the dappled light of a Photinia villosa, both the Actaea pachypoda (previously A. alba) and Aruncus aesthusifolius ‘Nana’ continue to perform well year after year ...

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On a Chalk Hillside May 2018

What a slow spring – and then a mini heat wave and everything started sprinting – the plum blossom out and over in eight days, and the pear blossom suddenly showing on 18 April, and then almost completely over by 28th April. In that week the garden went from flat, bare and twiggy to lush green mounds everywhere.

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Latest News May 2018
Silver Gilt for West Yorkshire HPS Group at Harrogate The Harrogate Spring Flower Show is one of the first major garden events of the year, and West Yorkshire Group are regulars, putting on a display demonstrating the work of the Hardy Plant Society. They were not put off when they found that the..
Last Month in My Garden, April 2018

April started cold and finished cold but there was a heat-wave in-between and lots of rain – a real mixed bag. Plants and gardener have been left mystified as to what will happen next ...

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May's Conservation Feature

Erigeron 'Sincerity' is now only listed by one nursery in Europe although it does not appear on their current online sales list. It was introduced to the Conservation Scheme in 2001 as being of historical interest.

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Shade Monthly December 2017

Woodland Poppies

The special edition last year focused on a single genus, Epimedium. This year it is dedicated to a single family, the Papaveraceae. It is an interesting family with many choice woodlanders. Corydalis and Meconopsis spring immediately to mind....

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Plant of the Month April 2018

Very few plants provide the same reliable charm and blue colour of Anemone blanda at this time of year. If you consider the colour too purple or pink, keep an eye out for other shades as there are variations in other blue tones and even a white variation. 

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