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