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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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On the Menu for ... April 2018

Spring has arrived late in my garden. Early spring flowers are blooming as if it’s the middle of March, not Mid-April. 

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On a Chalk Hillside April 2018

Let me turn my thoughts to cowslips and other spring flowers. Just past the pear trees that are at the far end of the rose garden, the hillside slopes away in a steep grassy swathe.  This grass must originally have been “lawn” but had over the years reverted to a rougher sward, speckled with wild flowers, particularly of horticultural note – cowslips (Primula veris).

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Last Month in My Garden, March 2018

“March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb.” March 1st 2018 started with -8°C and did not reach zero all day; there was a strong cold wind. Snow flurries were blown around, although there was not a lot of snow (that came next day). For three days I did not venture further into the garden than the bird-table ...

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April's Conservation Feature

Iris variegata var. reginae ‘Bozhimir Davidov’

This delightful Iris has been in the Conservation Scheme for around 10 years but its valid name has eluded us until very recently. It is a medium bearded Iris growing to about 30cm tall and ...

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Plant of the Month March 2018

The lesser known daffodils tend to be the more interesting varieties or species. For example, not everyone realises that some flower in autumn, such as Narcissus serotinus and the green daffodil, Narcissus viridiflorus. In spring however, arguably one of the most attractive wild species is Narcissus cyclamineus. It is one of the earliest to flower, and unlike some of the other miniature species does not need to be grown in pots or in an alpine house as long as it is in damp soil. 

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On a Chalk Hillside March 2018

 If you have read earlier entries of this blog you may recall one of the first things we did when we moved here was put up a polytunnel, so you may be wondering why I also wanted a greenhouse. 

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Last Month in My Garden, February 2018

Non-specialist gardening books usually state that snowdrops like shade but that is too much of a simplification. Galanthus nivalis, the common snowdrop, does flourish in deciduous woodland but will also grow happily in open borders where it is shaded by herbaceous perennials later in the year.  However ...

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Make More of Ferns
Ferns are the most complex of the non-flowering plants, having true leaves, stems and roots, but no flowers or seeds. Instead they reproduce by means of spores. Although ferns do not go back all the way to the origins of life on land, they do have a very long prehistory. They have long been admir..
March's Conservation Feature

Hebe 'Nantyderry'

This delightful hebe was brought back into the Conservation Scheme in 2011 at the suggestion of the Shropshire Group because it has a connection with an HPS member who identified it in her garden. ...

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On the Menu for ... February 2018

If you’re anything like me, you’ll be chomping at the bit to get outside and sink your hands into the soil. If you garden on clay though, you will require so many pairs of thermal gardening gloves to cope that you won’t be able to move your fingers.

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Latest News, February 2018

Cathy on the Sodshow

Cathy Rollinson, our chairman, chats with Peter Donegan about the criticisms and demise of some, and the rise of other, garden groups and societies. But that’s not all…..

Listen to the interview ...

On a Chalk Hillside February 2018

The original inspiration of my tiny border came after we first visited Margery Fish’s garden at East Lambrook Manor to see the snowdrops shortly after we moved here.  She had planted the winter bulbs through Arum italicum subsp italicum ‘Marmoratum’ and I was hooked.  What a great combination! 

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Shade Monthly November 2017

Saxifraga ‘Shiranami’

I had grown one or two planted out into the garden for several years. They grew well enough but did not make much of an impact. However, seen in pots they look stunning, and so I decided to provide them with a raised bed ...

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Plant of the Month February 2018

When choosing flowers for the winter garden, the oriental hybrids are worthy of their place as they provide more large and colourful flowers than many other plants at this time of year. They bulk up quick and by having avoided the more woody group, do not take up awkward space once flowering is over.

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