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Kevin Line

Kevin Line

Kevin is the Head Gardener/Plantsperson at the Lakeside Hotel South  Cumbria, appointed to restore the garden back to National Garden Scheme standard.

Kevin also works as a free lance Garden Adviser for the Field Studies Council at Castle Head, Grange- Over-Sands.

In 2021 Kevin was listed in the Horticultural Industries top 100  British Head Gardeners / Curators. This was to coincide with 180 years of the industry magazine, and the opening of RHS Bridgewater.

Kevin has been a member of the National Trust since 1999. He is a member of Butterfly Conservation and the Cumbria Wildlife Trust, the Hardy Plant Society, Plant Heritage, the Wildflower Society, and the Botanical Society Of Britain & Ireland. He also writes for the RHS Plant Review (formerly RHS Plantsman), he is currently researching historic plant propagation/ taxonomy for the Gardens Trust ( formerly Garden History Society ).

Kevin had previously worked for three and a half years developing the garden of an Arts & Crafts period Country House Hotel to National Gardens Scheme standard. (South Lakes)

He has also previously worked as Head Gardener in the Cotswolds for over 10 years, prior to that, BBC Gardeners World, and the National Trust.

Eco Plant Whisperer August 2022

The eye catching blood red tubular flowers of Lobelia tupa makes this perennial a strong talking point! Commonly known as Devil's Tobacco, Lobelia tupa belongs to the family (Campanulaceae) and is native to Chile. 

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Eco Plant Whisperer July 2022

Cephalaria Gigantea is a great architectural plant to mix within planting schemes, also known as the Giant Pin Cushion flower, due to the shape of the flower heads, even more so after the Corolla has fallen. This perennial is a superb wildlife friendly plant to attract pollinating insects.

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Eco Plant Whisperer May 2022

Soldanella montana comprises exquisite delicate nodding violet/blue flowers, the undersides are greyish in colour, with fringed petals. This little gem will flower from April - May, and can be planted in any good soil, and thrives in part shade.

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Woodland Planting

Assessing which way to go now in terms of evolving and developing the woodland setting is crucial in order to get ahead, not only for the sake of the garden, but for wildlife too ! 

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Eco Plant Whisperer October 2021

What I really like with working with Veronicastrum is that it's a perennial species that works well in various positions in the perennial planting  scheme, it's a very versatile plant to work with.

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Eco Plant Whisperer September 2021 #2

Rhodochiton atrosanguineus (Purple Bell Vine) family (Plantaginaceae)  is a real eye catcher that will flower from late spring through until autumn. This stunning flowering climber can grow up to 3 metres! 

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Eco Plant Whisperer September 2021 #1

One of the aspects I really enjoy is planting combinations ! Plant associations and how plants visually work well together, complementing each other in terms of foliage and flower colour and structure. 

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Planting for winter colour, (Cyclamen coum)

The seed heads that coil on the stems to the surface of the ground are fascinating to study close up.  Cyclamen produce their seed freely,  increasing by self sown seed.

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Planting propagated Penstemon cuttings

My experience at plant propagation over  the years through research, learning from others, and my own hands on experience,  indicates certain plant material - woody, green, semi ripe, of many differing plant species produce higher or lower rooting potential depending on plant species, and  the time of year the cuttings are taken.

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<i>Crinodendron hookerianum</i> in the South Lakes

The sight of Crinodendron hookerianum (Chilean Lantern Tree)  family -  (Elaeocarpaceae) is really something to behold from the month of May through to August.  If these beautiful pendant/lantern bright red flowers don't stop you in your tracks when walking around any garden, nothing will ! 

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Hardy Fuchsia Cuttings

I recall seeing the wild fuchsia growing along the hedgerows on the west coast of Ireland in the year 2000, a sight to behold. The  flowering image you see is the hardy fuchsia growing in the terrace borders of the Ryebeck Hotel in Bowness-on-Windermere

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<i>Hesperantha coccinea</i>

Hesperantha coccinea ( River lily) is a great example of late autumn colour in the garden. Hesperantha belongs to a genus of 79 species in the family Iridaceae native to South Africa.

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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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<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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<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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Developing and Planting a Camellia Walk

When I started working at the Ryebeck Hotel garden, Bowness On Windermere late January last year, the Camellia sinensis were situated in a very exposed north east aspect. Most of them looked worse for wear and were in some need of care and attention. 

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<i>Helenium</i> 'Sombrero'

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

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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.

Propagation of <i>Phlomis russeliana</i>

Phlomis comprise 100 or more perennials native to the Mediterranean, Central Asia, and China. Phlomis are extremely hardy plants. Phlomis russeliana, commonly known as Jerusalem or Turkish Sage, is from the family (Lamiaceae). The yellow flowers which emerge from the honeycomb like bracts add interesting structure to the back of the perennial border through the summer.

Propagation of <i>Eryngium alpinum</i>

The seeds that I had sown took just over 5 weeks to germinate at a steady temperature of about 15 degrees c. Seeds were sown into modules of straight seed compost. At the pricking out stage on the 2nd June- two and a half months later, the plants had thickened out nicely in the individual modules. The young plants were grown on in 9cm square pots at a temperature running between 15- 18 degrees C.

Propagation of Tree Peony

The small Tree Peony plants in bud are a result of young plants that were collected from a bark path beneath the large herbaceous shrub of a Paeonia ludlowii during the spring of 2013. The young plants were initially grown on in 1 litre pots for 18 months before being potted on ...

Propagation of <i>Penstemon</i>
Strong and Healthy It is that time of year when I enjoy increasing the stock of Penstemons for the following season. From my experience cuttings will still root from thicker stems after the first frosts. If you can bear taking some cuttings now, and spare some of those wonderful flute-shaped fl..
Propagation of Deciduous <i>Agapanthus</i>

Stems with seed heads can be cut to place out and dry in a cool area such as a shed or utility area. Seeds may not come true to type but could still yield some interesting variations. After a 4-6 week drying off period I take two options.

Propagation of <i>Campanula</i>

In early April 2013 seeds were sown of Campanula Rotundifolia, (true wild form). The stems of this species are fine, approximately 15cm high. The leaves are needle shaped and do not form petioles. Flower colours may vary to a mid shade of blue.

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