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The 2018 seed list is now available. Order online or use the order form enclosed with the November Newsletter. 

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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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October's Conservation Blog

Out with the rogues and in with the new

The annual Conservation Scheme meeting gives us the opportunity to discuss the performance of plants in the Scheme and to question the validity of our stock. Correct identification of older varieties is not always easy ...

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Last Month in My Garden, September 2017

The last day of August was fine and sunny but started with a morning mist and a temperature of 2oC. Fortunately, September 1st was a little warmer ...

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Menu Planning for Spring

Menu planning now for pollinators in winter and spring might seem like hosting a banquet with no confirmed guests, but since I have seen butterflies or bees in my garden during every month of the year, I don’t believe that any consideration of their needs is a waste of my time.

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Plant of the Month September 2017

Throughout the UK, conditions are becoming more favourable for Lagerstroemia. That combined with new breeding from the US, means that there are likely to be cultivars suitable for many gardens over here.

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On a Chalk Hillside September 2017

Certain climbers went in as soon as the Pergola was erected, but in the main I was waiting to get the right plant or plants for each downpost.  Initially we expected to have at least one climber on each downpost so that foliage and flower interest was maintained for several seasons.

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Chelsea 2017: BBC's Video Clip

Update 23 May: Silver-Gilt and we are thrilled!

Our stand was featured on BBC2 on Thursday 25 at about 8.40 pm.  Here are the plants we used on the stand. Some of them will be available at the Worcestershire Group planst sale on 10 June.

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Shade Monthly June 2017

Speirantha convallariodes is the name under which I bought the plant in 2012, but on checking before writing this piece I discover that it should really be called S. gardenii. Whatever the name, it is a charming little woodlander ...

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Last Month in My Garden, August 2017
August has been a long month! By that I mean that I could remember little of the garden at the start of the month until I looked at the photos I had taken then. Much has changed but some plants flower on and on, even improving in impact. Hardy geraniums come first to mind, particularly those bred fr..
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September's Featured Conservation Plant

Phlox paniculata ‘Milly van Hoboken’

This pretty phlox was first brought into the HPS Conservation Scheme in 1998 ...

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Latest News September 2017

You may have seen some of the publicity recently about plans by Highways England to improve the M25/A3 junction in Surrey.  The plans will have a significant impact on the RHS Wisley Garden and the RHS are asking for support in resisting the proposals.

On the menu for... August 2017

There is still so much to look forward to, and it appears that the bees cannot wait. Although not quite flowering, Sedum is smothered in bees. It is as if they are impatiently knocking on the closed door of the best bar in town. Perhaps I should point them in the direction of the cardoon saloon. 

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Shade Monthly May 2017

I have tried to grow two or three of the relatively small species of soldanella. They all look pretty similar with a basal rosette of roundish leaves and a central stalk with up to six purple/blue/white flowers...

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On a Chalk Hillside August 2017

Why did I want a Pergola?  I was influenced by the Laburnum Walk in Rosemary Verey’s garden at Barnsley House near Cirencester but probably not for the reason you think.  We visited late summer, and what impressed me with it was that it made the garden seem much bigger. 

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Helenium Sombrero

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

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Plant of the Month August 2017

Phygelius the 'Cape Fuchsia' in the Scrophulariaceae family, is a fabulous but still underused garden plant. As the common name suggests it resembles the well known Fuchsia with long tubular pendant flowers and similar foliage. However they are not closely related, stemming from different plant families. 

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Last Month in My Garden, July 2017
My main impression of the last month is of growth – amazingly fast and lush. Of course, the weeds grew fastest, flowering and seeding almost before I had noticed they were there. My greatest nightmare was Lesser Willowherb, a really successful invader; I even have a white-flowered form, as well as t..
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