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MAY MAY 2009



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ABOUT BEES NATURE AT WORK In a classic cottage garden

FORTHE PERFECT MAY DAY ● Meet Devon’sRHODODENDRONexpert ● Rich pickings in the KITCHEN GARDEN ● Great gardens withTIMELESS PLANTING ● BORDERTIPS from Parham’shead gardener

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GARDEN FOR EVERYONE WHO LOVES BEAUTIFUL GARDENS EDITORIAL Tel: +44 (0)1242 211080 Fax: +44 (0)1242 211081 Email: Website: Editor Tamsin Westhorpe Editor at Large Jackie Bennett Art Editor Frances Wallace Assistant Editor Cinead McTernan Sub Editor/Writer Stephanie Mahon Editorial Assistant Vicky Kingsbury

UK ADVERTISING Tel: +44 (0)20 7605 2220 Fax: +44 (0)20 7605 2201 Email: Group Advertising Director Justin Farnan Group Sales Manager Dan Robinson Sales Manager Trevor O’Neill Classified Sales Manager Rakesh Dhall

PRODUCTION Production Manager Kevin Hilton Production Co-ordinator Matt Griffiths Tel: +44 (0)1799 544300

NORTH AMERICAN AD SALES Group Sales Manager Dan Robinson Tel: +44 (0)20 7605 2220 Fax: +44 (0)20 7605 2201 Email:

UK SUBSCRIPTIONS To subscribe to The English Garden, tel: 0844 4845232. Head of Direct Customer Marketing Fiona Penton-Voak Subscription Marketing Executive Claire Hughes Marketing Designers Jane Henbest, Tom Brassington

US SUBSCRIPTIONS Subscribe online Queries

PUBLISHING Head of Commercial & Consumer Marketing Catriona Bolger Circulation Manager Richard Kirby Head of Events David Storrar

Archant Specialist Managing Director Miller Hogg Archant Lifestyle Managing Director Johnny Hustler Archant Lifestyle Finance Director Ian Fish

The English Garden, Archant House, Oriel Road, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire GL50 1BB Subscription Offices: UK: The English Garden, CDS Global, Sovereign Park, Market Harborough, Leicestershire LE16 9EF, England. Tel: 0844 848 5232. Fax: +44 (0)1858 434958. USA: Evergreen Marketing, 116 Ram Cat Alley, suite 201, Seneca, SC 296783263. Tel: 1-800-998-0807 (toll free). Canada: The English Garden, 1415 Janette Avenue, Windsor, ON N8X 1Z1.Tel: 1-800-998-0807 (toll free). Europe and Rest of World: +44 (0)1858 438840. Online: Subscription Rates: UK: £20 (6 issues),£40 (12 issues). USA: $32.75 (6 issues), $65.50 (12 issues ). Canada: C$37.75 (6 issues), C$75.50 (12 issues), includes GST/postal surcharge. Canadi an GST reg. no. 87211 8922 RT0001. Australia: A$67.80(6 issues), A$135.67 (12 issues). Rest of World: £25 (6 issues), £50 (12 issues). Subscription Enquiries: Tel: 1-800-998-0807 (toll free). Email: Printing: Wyndeham Heron Ltd, Maldon, Essex. News Distribution: UK: Seymour, 86 Newman Street, London W1T 3EX, England. Tel:+44 (0)20 7396 8000. USA and Canada: CMG, LLC/155Village Blvd, 3rd Floor,Princeton. NJ 08540, USA. Rest of World:As for UK. MAGAZINE BINDERS: Send £11.95per 12-copybinder to: The English Garden Binders, CDS Global, Sovereign Park, Market Harborough, Leicestershire LE16 9EF, England. Overseas readers add £2. Tel: UK 0844 848 5232. Fax: +44 (0)1858 434958. Overseas +44 1858 438840. BACK ISSUES Available in UK for £4.60, Europe and Eire £5.60, Rest of the World £6.60 from CDS Global, Sovereign Park, Market Harborough, Leicestershire LE16 9EF,England. Tel: 0870 830 4960. Fax: +44 (0)1858 434958. Overseas: Tel: +44 1858 438840. The English Garden (UK issue) ISSN no 1361-2840. Printed in England.

Member of the Audit Bureau of Circulations

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It’s time to bring the honey bee back to our gardens by planting a host of nectar-richplants y introduction to the art of keepingbees was as a horticultural student.This was before the now endemic Varroa mite had made its devastating mark in the UK. The parasitic mite is largely responsible for the dramatic reduction in the domestic bee population, down 30% between2007 and 2008.This should be of great concern to everyone. We’ve dedicated several features to our precious bees - you’ll find a gallery of NECTAR-RICH PLANTS (pg 115) and discover how traditional BEE SKEPS (pg 98) are making a comeback.


My uncle has recently created a series of bee boles in his garden (right), purely for decoration. The mission is to encourage him to use at least one for bees; after all, the benefits to his garden will be great. Now is the time to guard and provide for this valuable insect - I hope this issue will encourage you to do your bit. On a lighter note, it’s showtime! THE RHS CHELSEA FLOWER SHOW 2009 runs from 19-23 May. This year, The English Garden is sponsoring one of the courtyard gardensentitled‘EntenteCordiale’(standnumber RM14) designedby Janet Honourand Patricia Thirion,so if you’re visiting please come and meet the team. In our indepth preview (pg 55), we interview plantsmen and designers old and new to the show; give you a sneak preview of some of the exciting new plants; and offer tips on getting

the most out of your visit. I’m eager to know what the theme will be this year - although the gardens are all created as unique features, it’s amazing to find an underlying theme. Last year it was foliage - we’ll let you know our findings in our show review in the July issue. For those who’d rather harvest the riches from their own garden, Francine Raymond has ideas for vinaigrette and FLOWERS FOR PICKING . This issue also brings a wonde rful collect ion of gardens to view, offering inspiration on many levels and celebrating the arrival of May. Enjoy the warmer weather and all the buzz of this great gardening month.

Tamsin Westhorpe, Editor

On the cover A private city garden designed by Charlotte Rowe (page 81). Photograph: Clive Nichols

Congratulations to the winner of the March issue Raglan Hall competition: Mrs A. Nicholls of Pontefract, West Yorkshire

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Contents MAY 9

Photo of the month Dawn breaks over a Devon garden -

10 13

Word of mouth All the latest things to do and gardens to see A year at Bodnant The laburnum arch and white wisteria

18 21

Testing… Testing…HelenYemmtries out trowels The vegetable gardener’s diary Jackie Bennett gets

and we find out how the photographer captured it

are in full flower up in north Wales

22 18

sowing French beans and peas in her Norfolk garden


Focus on GloucestershireNurseries, gardens and places to eat in the heart of the Cotswold county

55 ✿

RHS Chelsea Flower Show preview In this special section, we chat to designers, photographersand plantsmen, and introduce the gardens, new plants and products that will be launchedat this year’sshow

Glorious gardens 22

GLOUCESTERSHIRECotswold charm Sheephouse


WEST SUSSEX A room of one’s own Cowdray’s

garden has been transformedinto the perfect potager

13 39

TudorWalled Garden gets a wonderful new lease of life

39 ✿ 46 ✿

EAST SUSSEX A walk on the wild side The long quirky cottage garden that’sa natural haven for all sorts of creatures

HAMPSHIRE The art of abundance A painterly plantswomanis behind the flower-filledgardens of Wren’sFarm

Bees 98 A skep in the right direction ✿ 100 Plight of the humble honey bee ✿ 115 Sweet treats ✿

Meet the man who makes

traditionalskeps - bee houses - for bee-keepingand decoration The top five things

you can do as a gardener to help save our buzzing busy friends Attract bees and other essential insects with


a gallery of colourful nectar-richplants for your garden

Design 66

GUIDE TO... In search of perfect paving? Give your outdoor floor a new look with our top picks and handy tips


DESIGN GUIDE The New Classic English Garden The gardens of Badminton House may look like a dream from eras past, but they are actually only 25 years old

✿ 81

DESIGN FOCUS Lawn free and leisurely An urban contemporary garden that successfully links inside to out

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Regular features 88 ✿

From the kitchen garden Francine Raymond brings us asparagus soup and a range of tasty oils and vinaigrettes


Eco-watchAnne Gatti looks at ways to keep the noise down


and eco-count low when using garden machinery

130 In a green shade Helen Gunn is inspired by lovely lilac

Chelsea 2009

Plants 105 Islands in the green ✿ 112 Border lines ✿

Nigel Wright is still madly in love with

rhododendrons,even after collecting and selling them for 30 years Joe Reardon-Smith of Parham House in Sussex


warns of being tempted by too many plants

Offers & competitions 70 85 86 95

Insurance Special rates for homes and gardens for our readers Malvern Spring Flower Show Mark 7-10May in your diary MajesticTreesWin an incredible £10,000 makeover Latestnews from the website and special offersat our garden shop

97 Special offers Scented blooms fromThompson & Morgan 103 Subscriptions HaveThe English Garden delivered direct to


your front door every month

110 The English Garden Reader Day Yourlast chance to join us for an outing to the house and gardens of Renishaw Hall

118 Roadshowseason ✿ 119 Competition WIN

Join our expertsfor educationaldays out

one of two Hayter Harrier 48 petrol mowers

On the cover


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Gardening at first light

This shot was taken at 5am as the sun rose from behind the hills at Bertie’s

Cottage, Devon. I was precariously balanced on top of a chicken shed, trying not to fall through, as gardener Patti O’Brien worked away on her vegetable plot. I had a couple of minutes to get the shot right before the sun got too

Click on to

high - two exposures and it was in the bag.’



to see more garden

Jason Ingram is a freelance photographerliving in Bristol. He specialisesin images of

gardens, plants, food and people, working all over the country for various magazines, books

pictures and upload your

own photos.

and design groups.To see more of Jason’swork, go to

The Eng lish Ga rden


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Word of mouth May day! May day! Gardens, fairs, sales and shows, where it stops no one knows. Let our pick of events come to your rescue - you can even win tickets for Chelsea

OCEAN BREEZE Indian Ocean’s outdoor furniture collection, on sale now at Selfridges, Oxford Street, includes a range of new accessories in stainless steel including a sundial, garden globes, bird feeder, watering can, torches and these snazzy windmills (above) in sizes 20-30cm tall, from £8.95£14.95. Also available by calling tel: +44 (0)20 8675 4808 or visiting website

5 bee-friendly gardens Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, Richmond Developed

Open seven days a week, 9am-5pm. Tel: +44 (0)24

in 1993, the bee garden at Kew has three styles of

7630 3517.

beehive from simple skeps to modern wooden hives.

RHS Wisley, Woking A great place to see bees in

Tel: +44 (0)20 8332 5655.

the trees, buzzing away pollinating the blossom of

The National Wildflower Centre, Liverpool A great

apple, pear and other fruits. Tel: +44 (0)1483 224234.

place to learn about how to be wildlife friendly.

Home to 19 species of butterfly as well as bees

Highgrove, Glos HRH The Prince of Wales has a wild


and birds in 35-acre Victorian park grounds (above).

flower meadow with endangered native plants, and

Grade I-listed gardens

And The English Garden readers get 2 for 1 entry!

his royal bees are so happy with the set-up they make organic honey now sold directly from the

of Holdenby House near

Tel: +44 (0)1517 381913.

Northampton (above) are

Garden Organic Ryton, WarksThe insect-attracting

Highgrove shop in Tetbury.To visit, apply in writing.

the location for a new

attributes of a wildflower meadow and a cornfield as

gardening and flower

well as lots of lavender and a host of different roses.

For more on bees, turn to pages 98 and 115.

event.The Holdenby Garden Show, sponsored

YUM GUM Eucalyptusdebeuzevillei, the snow gum

include a programme of

(left), is now availablefrom BarchamTreesin Cambs.The

talks and demonstrations;

container tree nursery is offeringmature specimens of this

stands for plants, garden

Australiangem, which stands out because of its white bark,

accessories and gifts; live

with branchessometimes touched with pink or orange, long

music and activities for

wide leaves and flowers straight from the branchesthat

kids. Saturday 9 and

resemble spider chrysanthemums.It is one of the hardiest

Sunday 10 May, 11am-5pm.

eucalyptusand eventuallyforms a broadly pyramid shape to

Tel: +44 (0)1604 820011.

9-13.5m.Youcan now order a 3-4m specimen in a 65-litre

pot for £475 from their website,


by Haddonstone, will

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MAY OPEN SEASON Helmingham Hall in Suffolkhas extended its opening times to four days a week during the months of June, July and most of August.The gardens surround Lord and LadyTollemache’sred brickTudorHall, with moat and drawbridge,set in an ancient 400-acre deer park (below). Visitors can experiencethe borders, kitchen garden, herb and knot garden, parterre, apple tree walk, borders and the new woodland walk on Sundays,Tuesdays, Wednesdaysand Thursdaysfrom 2-6pm.The Hall is also the site for the SuffolkPlant Heritage spring plant sale on Sun 24 May, when 800 plants of the rare Iris sibirica ‘Roanoke’sChoice’ will be given away to visitors. Tel:+44 (0)1473 890799.

OUT AND ABOUT ● Mon 4 May,Hereford. Hergest Croft Flower Fair.In aid of the Gateway GardensTrust,with unusual plants on sale.Tel:+44 (0)1758730610. ● Sun 3 May,WestYorksThe Great Ouseburn Garden Festival,with 12 open gardens, vintage steam bus rides, craft fair and more. ● Mon 4 May,Hants Plant Heritage Hampshire and Isle of Wight Plant Fair with specialist nurseries, member’s


plants and food stalls at Longstock

2 May, the recreated garden of Kenilworth

Nursery, near Stockbridge,from

Castle in Warks opens to the public for the

10am-4pm.Tel:+44 (0)1489 894206.

first time. Lost for centuries,English

● Fri 8 and Sat 9 May,WarksPlanting

Heritage and a team of historians,

To Impress day at WhichfordPottery,

craftspeopleand gardeners are now ready

with a talk on topiary at 11amand a

to unveil this 16th-centurywonder with an

class on fusion planting in pots with

18ft marble fountain, bejewelledaviary

head gardener Harriet Rycroftat 2pm,

(above) and carved arbours. Created

as well as plant sale, home-made teas

originally by Robert Dudley,Earl of Leicester,

and offerson pots.Tel:+44 (0)1608

it was a garden to impress visitors, including


Elizabeth I, who at that time he still hoped

● Sun 10 May,Dublin The annual

to marry. For more details and garden

Rare and Special Plant Fair at St Anne’s

opening times, tel: +44 (0)1926 852078 or

Park, Raheny,with free admission.

go to ● Thurs 14 May,West Sussex The St


Catherine’sHospice Garden and Local

to the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2009, on

Produce Fair in Billingshurst,with

19-23 May? We have two pairs of ticketsto

specialist plants as well as local food

give away to our readers - simply answer this question: How many buses could you fit

producers.The event opens at 8.30am with a Champagne breakfast:to book

in the Chelsea Great Pavilion?(It may help

tickets,contact Elizabeth Curry, tel: +44

to read our special Chelsea preview,page

(0)1293 447367.

55). Send an email by the closing date of Tues5 May to with the subject line ‘Chelsea competition’.

● Sun 24 May,Herts Open gardens afternoonat Preston, near Hitchin,with 15 gardens to visit, flower festival,plant

Ticketsare now on sale from the RHS

and preserve stalls, and teas in the

ticket hotline, tel: 0844 2091810or on

village hall.Tel:+44 (0)1462 433859.

● Mon 25 - Sun 31 May,Brighton GardensWeek 2009 is a celebrationof

VICTORIANA MANIA A five day fixtures and fittings

the Grade II-listed gardens at Brighton’s

sale at The Shambles (above), a museum of Victorian life,

Royal Pavilion,with a full programme of

begins on site in Newent, Gloucestershire, on Monday

talks, tours, workshops and activities.

18 May. Simon Chorley Art & Antiques will be selling

4,000 lots including the original shop facades, metal advertisement signs, wooden carts and wagon wheels,


bakery tools, biscuit tins, smocks, hats, library books, oil

The Society of Garden Designers’

and gas lamps, bottles, barrels and music boxes, to name

second masterclass in sustainable

but a few.A small town of over one acre with cobbled

garden design will take place in

streets, alleyways,cottages,shops and houses,The

Edinburgh on Sat 9 May. Nigel

Shambles houses one of the largest collectionsof everyday

Dunnett, Mark Laurence, Jennifer

Victorianain the country, now selling for estimated prices of

Lauruol and Robert Grant are the

£10-£1,000.For more information,tel: +44 (0)1452 344499

keynote speakers. Tel: +44 (0)1989

or go to


The English Gar den


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Troy leads a team of 20 gardeners at Bodnant but still gets involved with the

A year at BODNANT Head Gardener and expert plantsman Troy Scott-Smith demonstrates the practical monthly tasks carried out by the team at the National Trust’s Bodnant Garden in North Wales. In May, it’s all about pruning and blooming as spring’s grand garden party begins ▲


potting and planting.


The Eng lish Gar den


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rom March through to July the



garden looks at its most striking,

Conceived and built in the 1880s by Henry

the light is at its most intense and

Davies Pochin, the Laburnum Arch at

the colours are at their most saturated.

Bodnant (right) is one of the world’s great iconic garden features. Beautifully

The peak month is May and the mood at

proportioned, the slightly curving metal

Bodnant is one of exuberance and joy.

tunnel is minimal and elegant in winter, but in

There is a garden party, in its truest sense,

May it erupts into a blaze of golden racemes, with flowers that hang from the tips of long

in full swing and it’s not to be missed. As soon as you enter the mood is set; a border planted with rich colours with a gauze of the luminous blood-red Geranium

drooping stalks, each up to 45cm (18in) in length. This is the famous hybrid, Laburnum x watereri ‘Vossii’, whose flowers are far superior to either of the parent species. When flowering has finished, two of our

sanguineum, and annual Lychnis coronaria

gardeners spend several days dead heading

whose soft, rich velvet magenta flowers sit

using secateurs. This not only removes the

amongst its foliage like Belgian chocolates.

highly poisonous seed pods - a must in a

As you explore further there are more

public garden - but also directs all the plants’ energy into performing this amazing act again

earthy toned borders on the Lily Terrace

next year. We also feed them with a balanced

whose highlights are provided by rich

fertiliser such as blood, fish and bone.

swathes of the coppery orange daisy, Helenium ‘Moerheim Beauty’, partnered


with the plum-coloured eupatorium.There

There is an oval pond at Bodnant some 15m

are dozens of other perennials as well such

across, in a sunken garden (right). A formal path

as iris, rodgersia, verbascums and sedums,

surrounds it, and between it and the pond is a continuous bed, planted without interruption

all of which have been added to the mix to

with Rhododendronwilliamsianum, of which

inject colour accents, knitted together with

Bodnant has a good pink form with large

Stipa tenuifolia and the light and airy

flowers.The effectis of a ring of pink bells around the pond, with some of the fallen bells

Knautia macedonica. The wine-coloured

driftingupon the water.A few weeks later, the

flowers punctuate the air like a swarm

pink will be gone and the ring will be bronze

of hovering flies.

with new growth.

CUTTING BACK ESTABLISHEDSHRUBS Pruning in any garden is essential, but particularly in smaller scale and more compact gardens.The sense of order, definition and scale that pruning injects to a scene is invaluable. Each plant will have differentrequirements as to when and how to prune; if in doubt, check up in a good pruning manual.Then it’s a matter of striking a balance between pruning everything to look like a currant bun (contrived and manipulated) and ‘tinkering’ (which amounts to not pruning at all). Get in there and be ruthless, but also be sympathetic to the plant’s natural character.


The English Gard en

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Out now in the garden...

Paeonea mlokoswitschiiThe floweringis

Thalictrum ‘Elin’ A vigorous and imposing

brief but glorious - they come and go in less

thalictrum reaching up to 2.5m in height. Rosy

than a week; or as ChristopherLloyd said, ‘at

lilac flowers with prominent stamens provide

its ravishing best for about four hours’.

an enchanting display.

Lilium martagon Native to Britain, it likes

Aesculus x neglecta ‘Erythroblastos’ A

retentive,rich soils with dappled shade.

spectacular, slow-growing chestnut from the

This is an excellentchoice for naturalising

southeast US. Its leaves are an eye-catching

in shrub borders or thin grass.

prawn pink when young.

LAWNWEAR ANDTEAR The turfed areas around the garden, particularlythe ‘pinch points’,are severely affectedby visitor foot traffic.We employ a variety of strategies to combat this: the use of deep-rootedturf on areas of particularlyheavy wear; and irrigation of all high-impactareas, such as the Terraces, to reduce stress levels during drought and to maintain the aesthetic quality of the design. If the ground conditions are going to cause longterm damage to the turf/grasssward we do restrict access altogether.At this time of year, short term cordoning off with pigtails and string

Polygonatumx hybridum A plant that

Rodgersia aesculifoliaThe bold rugged

(above) allows us to repair certain areas using a

seems to epitomise May, with its arching

leaves of this perennial are only half the

mix of hard-wearingdwarf ryegrass, a little

sprays of pendant green-tipped waxy

story; later, white or pink panicles

browntop bent and creeping red fescue.

flowers. Best if planted above eye level.

emerge that last well into autumn.

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TOP FIFTYThe KurameAzaleasoriginatedin Kurame in Japan. Plant collector E.H. Wilson was responsible for their introduction to the West when in 1920 he released his famous ‘Wilson’s Fifty’. At Bodnant, we grow all 50 including, ‘Hana-asobi’, ‘Hinode-no-taka’, ‘Irohayama’ and perhaps the most famous, ‘Hinomayo’.All are characteristically smothered with colourful blooms in May.

GOOD BEDFELLOWS I think the best way to

WISTERIA PRUNING AND CARE The Croquet Terrace fountain and steps are shrouded in a

display rhododendrons is to choose plants

web of wisteria in May, a joy of the early summer garden, deliciously scented and often

with slightly different flowering times - then

carrying a light second crop of blossom in August. The longest flowers (up to 45cm long) are

the flowering extends over two or three

those of Wisteria floribunda, but W. sinensis has the best fragrance. Prune in February to short

months, and the individual plants each get in

spurs and then simply remove the long wispy extension growth in summer; around June, after

turn a green background from their

the flowers have faded. Birds can sometimes nip off the early buds - black cotton stretched

neighbours upon which to flower.

over the growth should deter all but the most determined of these pests.



flowering. Remove any dead or

● It is incredibly easy to root fuchsias

damaged stems and then cut back

Troylooks at irrigationand staking the

from cuttings and now is the time to

to fill their allotted space.

perennials.Bodnant Gardens,Tal-y-Cafn, Colwyn Bay,Conwy LL28 5RE.Tel:+44


take them. Snip non-flowering shoots

● Start thinking about which biennials

5cm long and put them into a rooting

you want to grow next year, as sowing

(0)1492 650460. Book now for a Head

medium. After only 10-14 days, these

will start soon.

Gardener’swalk, 3 June; Falconry display, 28 June.

will have rooted and be ready to pot

● Stake, stake and stake again.The

on into larger pots.

effort made now on staking perennials

● Sow hardy annuals where they are to

will be rewarded later.

flower if you have not already done so.

● Keep up the mowing and edging

● Wait for the water to warm up if you

of lawns. It’s vital to the look of the

are thinking of adding fish to your

garden and will show off your

pond - the shock will be less if you

perennials to their best advantage.

introduce them into warmer water.

● The weather can be unpredictable,

● Prune all montana, alpina and

so continue to protect tender plants.

macropetala type clematis now, after

Ventilate greenhouses on warm days.

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ow man y different garden tools is it possible to re-inv ent ? Are there teams of young design buffs pacing offices up and down the country with their sleeves rolled, earning their crust weighing up the merits of changi ng the length of spade shaft here, or the precise dimension of wheelbarrows there, or arguing heatedly about the colour of the spots and stripes on the handles of the lates t ran ge of dandelion weeders? Well,okay,probably not in these dark days. However,when presented with the latest crop of trowels to review,I did wonder if perhaps we have become a little spoilt for choice. A trowelis a trowel is a trowel,you might think. There are, of course, trowels for specific purposes: for example, bulb-planting trowels with helpful measurements, to help you get plantin g depths just right; long- handled trowels that enable you to reach deep into your borders; slim Jims for shoe -horning plants in to tight spots; and even, I learned recently , really skin ny Minni es that call themselves ‘fern trowels’. For the mos t part - with a couple of except ions, one of which is the groundbreaking copper allo y trowel - we are looking at the bog-standard item this month (apologies for the puns - irresist ible I am afraid). These are the sort of tools without which you simply cannot garden. There was a plethora of options to look at, so how did we narrow it all down? I looked for the usual qualities you need in any garden tool you are going to use repeatedly,such as balance (how nice it feels in the hand), as well as lightness, sharpness and general overall ‘wieldability’. In my experience, wooden-handled trowels have a built-in fault: The point at which the metal shaft joins the handle is covered with a shiny metal cover. Keeping a trowel dry is an unrealistic proposition and wood naturally swells and shrinks. Therefore with time this metal covering can come adrift, and eventuall y the shaft may even start to turn within the handle. This is utterly infuriating and quite a performance to get sorted out so I thought I would mention it here in the hopes that one of those aforementi oned design chaps might take heed and come up with a solution. As often with these tests, it is about how much you want to pay, but everyone needs an all-purpose trowel that will last a good while and make planting and repotting a pleasure. Here are the results of my findings.



VICTORY HelenYemm unearths the most appropriate trowel for a spot of light digging PHOTOGRAPHS RICHARD HANSON

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Duchy Hand Trowel £15 This high quality stainless steel

Sneeboer Flowerbed Trowel £29.95

trowel is slightly heavier than

I really liked this Dutch-made

the others I tried, but it is

traditional stainless steel

beautifully made with a

trowel with a sharp blade that

pleasantly traditional-looking

is both slim and quite rounded.

wooden handle (all tools in the

The smooth wooden handle

range are based on Victorian

really sets it apart as it is

designs and the handles made

much longer than other types.

from ethically sourced ash). A

The rounded end enables you

chap’s trowel for serious work.

to get good leverage too.

From The Duchy of Cornwall


Nursery. Tel: +44 (0)1208

Also from Harrod Horticultural.

872668. www.duchyof

Tel: 0845 4025300.

Helen also liked

Helen’s favourite

Spear and Jackson Hand Trowel £7.48

Mira Bronze Trowel £26

This stainless steel tool has a

bronze blade of this trowel

soft, contoured rubber handle

‘assists the flow of nutrients’ to

just a couple of inches longer

plants, or ‘disturbs soil

I had no way of proving if the

than traditional ones and

magnetism’, as the makers

slightly curved at the end.

claim. However this wooden

It won’t get Wonky Handle

handled, slim, straight, pointed

Syndrome (as mentioned

trowel was a joy to use. Slicing

opposite), though it could

through my claggy clay soil as

get easily lost in the border.

if it were chocolate cake, it was

the lightest trowel of all those I

Also fromTool-Shed.

tested. From Implementations.

Tel:0845 6441808.

Tel: 0845 3303148.


I looked for the usual qualities you need in a garden tool you will use repeatedly, such as balance, lightness, sharpness and general overall wieldability’

Wolf Garten MultiChange Range £10.95

Alan Titchmarsh Trowel £8.99

These tools come without

This has a traditional crooked

handles, the idea that you buy

shank attached to a pleasant

the ‘business ends’ and then

enough wooden handle.

choose a handle length to suit.

The point where the blade is

This trowel would therefore

welded on to the metal shank

make perfect sense if you

part of the handle looks a bit

already use some tools in the

crude. This is one of the

range. The trowel itself is

trowels I tried that could suffer

robust stainless steel and the

from Wonky Handle Syndrome

handled clicks on to the metal

(as mentioned opposite).

shaft with Germanic precision.

From Quality Garden Tools.

Red and yellow = unloseable =

Tel: 0800 7832202.


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TEGUK140 Veg Garden Diary final:UK



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A vegetable gardener’s diary

Fri Sat Sun Mon Tues

In her regular series, Jackie Bennett gets serious for spring with peas, French beans, lettuce, tomatoes and chillies



an the night frosts really have gone for good? Nothing can stop the march of spring and once into May, there is no more need to be cautious- whatever your heartdesires, plant it now.In vegetable terms,this means sowing or planting out all those things that have been waiting for ‘no more frosts’. French beans and peas, mangetout, basil, Florence fennel, coriander and, in the cool greenho use, young tomato, pepper and chilli plants.

Thurs Fri Sat Sun Mon

MAY 4 I am trying two packs of peas; one of sturdy ‘Onward’, a main crop variety that produces marrowfat peas on short plants 60cm (2ft) high and a slightly taller mangetout (those grown for the fleshy pod rather than the peas inside) called ‘Reuzensuiker’,both from Mr Fothergill’s. Sowing is easy.Make a shallow trench with a hoe and stagger the peas across it, pulling the soil back over with the hoe afterwards.Pay heed to the old saying - ‘One for the mouse, one for the crow, one to rot and one to grow’ - and be generous. Peas are tasty to all sorts of creatures, so I cover mine with mesh tunnels and draw the ends tight.

Tues Wed Thurs Fri Sat Sun Mon

MAY6 The tulipsare havingtheir final flourish and it is a real treat to go and pick them from the cutting bed to bringinside. Because the soil was so poor in this bed, they are not tall and lush, but short and sturdy. Nevertheless, each has its own personality; sophisticated pale creamand green‘SpringGreen’, neat and petite ‘Claudia’, soft and subtle ‘Mistress’ and the peony-flowered‘OrangePrincess’have done theirwork. I pick them all and put eachvariety in a single vase aroundthe house. I will lift them later when the leaves have died down, not because they won’tsurvive the winter here, but because I like to ring the changes and try some different ones next year.

Tues Wed Thurs Fri Sat Sun Mon Tues Wed Thurs Fri Sat Sun


1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31

MAY 17 After a trip to France, I came back with two packs of Haricots Nain. The French naturally take beans very seriously and there are more varieties in the average garden centre than one can possibly load into a handbag. Like any French beans, they need to be sown 5cm (2in) deep and about 23cm (9in) apart in rows, and given some sticks and stringfor support.Haricot beans are traditionallyleft to mature in the pod and then harvested and dried for winter use, but they can just as well be eaten fresh - they should be ready to pick in eight weeks. My varieties are ‘Triomphe de Farcy’, which looks as if it will be mottled, and ‘Fin de Bagnols’, which is a fine, green one. The lettuce sown last month has germinated and it looks so healthy I can’t bring myself to thin it out. I know I must,

but it’s so satisfying to get a 100% success rate. Make a mental note to sow some more to stagger the crop and to sow some spring onions such as ‘White Lisbon’. MAY 20 A greenhouse without glass can be an asset. Ours has several panes missing, which makes it perfect for plants once they are established, allowing good air circulation and stopping it overheating. I buy a mix of young tomato plants from the local DIY store, and at the Malvern Show (see page 85) I pick up two beautiful organic chilli plants. All are put in pots with fresh compost to avoid any soil problems and seem to put on growth in days, not weeks.

PEAS AND BEANS TO SOW IN MAY AND JUNE ● Sugar snap or mangetout - to be picked young, before the peas inside develop. ● Petis pois - small seeded peas, eaten young and fresh. ● Dwarf French beans - ideal for pots and window boxes. Try ‘Dwarf Opera’ ● Climbing French beans - to be grown up poles like runner beans. Try purple-podded ones or those with purple flowers like ‘Climbing Cobra’.

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TEGUK 140 Sheephouse final:UK

The prim and perfect potager of Sheephouse in Painswick. Roses, beans, sweet peas, onions, salad and more are abundantly obvious in this ornamental vegetable garden that tastes as good as it looks.



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TEGUK 140 Sheephouse final:UK



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Cotswold charm â–˛

It would be easy to be daunted by making a garden in a county known for quintessential country style, but over the past 12 years the Gardiners have created a masterpiece that stays true to its salubrious surroundings PHOTOGRAPHS JERRY HARPUR WORDS VANESSA BERRIDGE

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TEGUK 140 Sheephouse final:UK



Page 24


RIGHT The borders are backed with the glorious rusty red of a copper beech hedge. Planting includes Stipa gigantea, white ‘Prosperity’ and ‘Little White Pet’ roses, yellow hemerocallis, Yucca filamentosa, white phlox and Spiraea japonica ‘Goldflame’. FAR RIGHT Bamboo and Cornus controversa ‘Variegata’ by the ponds. BELOW Whitebeams contrast with the acid yellows and deep pinks of bergenias. OPPOSITE PAGEAn unnamed wisteria blesses the front façade.

Gardening here must be a tall order - it’s one of the Cotswolds’ prettiest villages, with a number of well-known gardens in the vicinity


o often when I visi t a garden, I’m told that ‘there was nothi ng here when we came’. It’s always very impressive to see what people have done with a blank sheet, but somehow - I don’t know why - it’s even more cheering to hear that garden owners have work ed on or around what was there. That seems to me to be the case with Lawren ce and Lindsa y Gardiner at their home in Painswick in Gloucestershire. Gardening here must be a tall order - it’s one of the Cotswolds’ prettiest villa ges, with anci ent yews lining the churchyard path and a number of wellknown gardens within the vicinity. Born and bred in the count y, the Gardiners have a real feel for the Cotswol d countryside, and, perhaps because of this, when they bought Sheephouse in 1996, they worked with the lie of the land. The garden slopes down from the house, with

The English Gard en


views down a valley of woods and cattle grazed fields. Hills rise up again gently on each side away from the garden. The house itself dates from three periods: its core is an early 15th-century farmhouse, with later additionsof a barn in the 1600s and then a Georgian façade. The Gardiners created new terracing immediately in front of the latter, but kept a wide lawn below, flanked by two large herbaceous borders. This façade is covered with a creamy ‘Madame Alfred Carrière’ rose and an unidentifiedwisteriathat flowers abundantly in May. It was part of the appeal of the house. ‘I’d always wanted a wisteria,’ says Lindsay,‘but we’d never managed to achieve such a wonderful one before.’ The barn was converted into part of the house with a large galleried room. Outside, one wall is covered with Vitis coignetiae. The facing bed, edged with Lavandulax chaytoriae ‘Sawyers ’, is plante d with Allium holland icum ‘Purple Sensation’ for May,followed by Lilium regale and roses, such as ‘Prosperity’. A rambler rose, the pale pink ‘Belvedere’, foams over a wall, and acts as a backdrop for a knot garden designed by Robert Bryant, who also worked closely with the Gardiners elsewhere in the garden. Although it had slippedintodeclineunderpreviousowners, there was a structureof existingtrees and hedging.One area, originally intendedas a tennis court, was framed on one side by a hedgeof Thuja plicataand on two othersby green beech. This was enclosed on the fourth side by espaliered Bramley apples and turned into an ornamental potager, inspired by Rosemary Verey’s potager at Barnsley House. Because the enclosure was slightly irregular in shape, Robert decided to design it as a circle broken up into five segments, edged with box, with gravel pathwaysconverging on a central stone urn planted with trailing surfinias and

TEGUK 140 Sheephouse final:UK



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TEGUK 140 Sheephouse final:UK



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TEGUK 140 Sheephouse final:UK



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OPPOSITE PAGE ‘Rosalie’ tulips beneath the blossom of the whitebeam trees (Sorbus aria ‘Lutescens’) and, behind the gazebo, a variegated weigela. FAR LEFT The view from the gazebo towards Painswick, framed by beech hedging and a vine-covered wall with graceful wands of Dierama pulcherrimum in front. LEFT Spiraea japonica ‘Goldflame’,marguerites and hemerocallis in borders near the gazebo. BELOW Lilium regale and roses in the border beside the barn.

‘It’s lovely to sit by the pool on a summer’s evening with a glass of wine, listen to the sound of water and watch insects and birds flit in and out’ Galanthus nivalis, Viburnum x burkwoodii and, for autumn, Cyclamen hederifolium. It is high maintenance, Robert admits, but he provides interest for the Gardiners throughout the year. ‘It is full of colour in high summer, and in winter, it doesn’t look devast ated. There are a number of evergreen trees and planting through out is carefully design ed for successional interest: there are, for instance, great drifts of Hydrangea arboresc ens ‘Annabelle’, which blooms profusely in July and August, but has flower heads that are attractive in mid-winter too. Sheephouse, Stepping Stone Lane, Painswick, Gloucestershire GL6 6RX. Tel: +44 (0)1452 814282. The garden will be open for the Red Cross on Sunday 28 June, 2-6pm.

Turn over for garden notebook

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a cordyline, ‘to give airyness,’ says Robert. At the point of each segment are two box pyramids and a stan dard Winchester Cathedral rose, and there is a steel archway at the entr ance to each path way. Cordons of dessert and culinary apples and pears are trained up the arches, with a range of varieties to allow cross-pollination. The beds are planted with a mixture of vegetables and flowers, such as sweet peas, dahlias and chrysanthemums, which Lindsay cuts for decorating the house. In summer, the Gardiners are self-sufficient in vegetables, with multiple croppings of shallots, onions, leeks, lettuce, rocket, cress, beetroot, runner beans and broad beans - Lindsay says she finds herself run off her feet, picking vegetables and fruit, and making jams and chutneys. Beyon d the potager is a series of swirli ng borders, a mixture of shrubs, such as yellow Spiraea ‘Goldfla me’ and Potenti lla fruticosa ‘Abbotswood’ and perenn ials. Early snowdrops, hellebores, narci ssus and Crocus tommasinianus are followed by pink tulips and bergenia in spring, and then by yellow hemerocallis and fiery red Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ later in the summer. Yuccas and stipas given contrasts in texture. Paths of Berkshire flint lead down to a gaze bo. Below are two pools, which cascad e into one anot her (and are filled with ‘monster’ koi carp). They drop away towards a statue of Galatea, hands on hips. ‘It is lovely to sit there on a summer’s evening with a glass of wine,’ says Lindsay, ‘liste ning to the sound of water, and watching insects and birds flitting in and out.’ Beyon d is a southwest-facing ericaceou s rockery, with rhododendrons, azaleas and magnolias for spring colour, and a woodland bed of cherries and acers, and

TEGUK 140 Sheephouse final:UK



Page 28


The notebook Sheephouse in Gloucestershire is a south facing, ornamental garden covering one and a half acres. The soil is limey, with heavy clay in parts but loamy in others NICKING AND NOTCHING The fruit trees are grown as cordons around the arches (below), but sometimes they can grow a bit onesided. To get an even distribution of leaves and branches, cut a notch above a dormant bud, where the sap rises in spring, removing a piece a bark no more than 1mm into the wood. It heals over again and encourages a branch to grow.

GORGEOUS GALATEA From Greek mythology and neo-classicalliterature,a representationof ‘She who is milk white’ (above) stands on a pedestal by the ponds, flanked by tall


evergreensand grasses. She is


Galatea, the statue Pygmalion

The knot garden (above) was designed by Robert Bryant,

sculpted and fell in love with,

who used a design from 1600 that he found at the RHS

which was brought to life for him

Lindley Library in London.Vigorous Rosa ‘Belvedere’,which

by Aphrodite.

runs over the wall, grows as much as 3-4m (10-15ft)a year.




● Layers give year-round interest. Robert chooses spring flowers such as

● HumphreysEnd House Wildlife-friendlygarden

Narcissus ‘Tête-à-tête’ and Crocus tommasinianus without huge amounts of

with organic veg. Open for the NGS Sat 6 and Sun 7

foliage, so it disappears under the new planting and doesn’t look a mess.

June, 2-6pm. Randwick,nr Stroud GL6 6EW.

● Townand Country Series roses such as ‘Kent’ have a long floweringseason,

Tel:+44 (0)1453 765401.

are comparativelyhealthy,and the flowers die cleanly,so it’s not the end of the

● Paulmead Landscaped,with formal veg garden.

world if you don’t deadhead them.

Open for the NGS Sun 21 June, 2-6pm. Bisley GL6

● Hellebores: we cut off the previous year’s


foliage in December to show off the flowers

● PainswickRococo Garden Flamboyantearly

to their best advantage in Feb and March.

18th-centurygarden with fine views. Open daily

● The boulders in the rockerytend to

until 31 Oct, 11am-5pm.PainswickGL6 6TH.Tel:

leach into the ericaceous plants. So we use

+44 (0)1452 813204.

sulphur granules to keep up the acid levels.

● The Lavender Garden Plants for bees and

● We make all our own compost in six

butterflies.Open weekends and BHs; ring in week.

timber-sidedbays, with pumpkins planted on

AshcroftNurseries,Tetbury,nr Dursley GL8 8YF.Tel:

top. We exhibited a huge pumpkin at last

+44 (0)1453 860356.

year’sMalvern Show and won fifth prize.

● ShadyplantsAriseaemas,aroids and hostas.

● To maintain a nice clipped edge, hoe

Ring ahead. Edge, nr PainswickGL6 6NF.Tel:+44

away from the lawn. It makes the garden

(0)1452 812459.

look a million dollars immediately.

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TEGUK140 Focus Glos Gardens final:UK



Page 30


Focus on... Gloucestershire Our pick and mix of the Cotswold gem’s formal gardens, private plots, nice little nurseries and places for nibbles COMPILED BY STEPHANIE MAHON



Westbury Court Gardens (right) was the

Hoo House Nursery (below)

National Trust's first garden restoration,

specialisesin alpines and

completed in 1971.It is a truly rare

hardy perennials,just what

beauty in being the only surviving Dutch

you need for those biting

water garden in the country, and


perhaps the best preserved example

Owner Julie Ritchie is

anywhere, including the Netherlands.

happy to offer advice and

Laid out between 1696 and 1705 by

suggestions,which is

Maynard Colchester I, co-founder of the

worth its weight in plants

Society for the Propagation of Christian

consideringshe has been

Knowledge, it has been recreated largely

growing and propagating

to the original plan and solely planted

her own stock for more

with species from before 1700. It is a

than 22 years - using peat-

garden of canals and long ponds (one

free compost for the past

with a two-storey pavilion), topiary and

six. With most of her 900

symmetrical beds, and has what may be

varieties availableat the

the oldest oak in England. Westbury-on-

beginning of May, but no

Severn, Glos GL14 1PD.Tel: +44 (0)1452

mail order facility,you’ll


have to visit in person. Open Mon-Sat from 10am5pm; or Sun, 11am-5pm.


Gloucester Rd, Tewkesbury,

New to the NGS this year is Herbs for Healing, a nursery specialising in medicinal plants with an

Glos GL20 7DA.

educational show garden. It is set in a rural and tranquil spot in Barnsley,near Cirencester,and run

Tel:+44 (0)1684 293389.

on organic principles by DaviniaWynne-Jones, the daughter of Rosemary Verey.Beautiful plants,

workshops, events and tours to learn more about the healing properties of plants, as well as a huge variety of herbs for sale. It is open for the NGS on Sunday 5 and Saturday 18 July, and Thursday 20 August, 2-6pm; and open every Wednesday from May to mid-September,10am-3pm. Group visits can be arranged by appointment.Tel:+44 (0)1285 851457.

‘Two of our Gloucestershire gardens have opened for us annually since 1927, the first NGS year - Stanway Water Garden and Icomb Place’ Norman Jefferys, NGS county organiser for Gloucestershire

RodboroughCommon is known for rolling hills and far-reachingviews across the county. It is also renowned for wild flora such as the pasque flower and early purple orchids in spring, as well as rare butterfliessuch as the Adonis blue, which has reappeared here after a 20-year absence. Right on the common standsThe Bear of RodboroughHotel, a 17th-centurycoachinginn with the choice of garden room, terrace, walled croquet lawn or gardens in which to take afternoontea.The traditional option comprises a selection of finger sandwiches,scones with clotted cream and jam, and sliced cakes served with coffeeor a selection of teas.The Champagne version has all of the above but also a dish of strawberriesand a glass of bubbly each.The Bear of RodboroughHotel, Rodborough Common, Stroud, Glos GL5 5DE.Tel:+44 (0)1453 878522.


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031-TEG-May-UK:Layout 1



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TEGUK 140 Cowdray Walled Garden final:UK



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A room of

ONE’S OWN Restoring a forgotten walled garden, where Tudor kings and queens once walked, has been a dream come true for gardener Jan Howard and a source of inspiration for her design business PHOTOGRAPHS CLIVE NICHOLS WORDS PATTIEBARRON


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TEGUK 140 Cowdray Walled Garden final:UK



Page 33


LEFT The Walled Garden at Cowdray is constructedof bitesized box-edged beds of Allium hollandicum ‘Purple Sensation’ and nepeta, with Jan’s own design of gazebo in the centre. ABOVEThe astounding burst of Paeonia lactiflora ‘Bowl of Beauty’. BELOWTakea seat at the Alitex glasshouse after walking down this path past beds of alliums, peonies, cotton lavender and potted olive trees.


The Eng lish Gar den


ith flowery parterres, ornate pavilions and lavender-l ined walkways, the Walled Garden at Cowdray seems like an enchanted, timeless place. It is no surprise to learn that this was once a Tudor pleasure garden where Henry VIII as well as Elizabeth I strolled when they visited the castle. It is far harder to beli eve that just eight years ago it was undiscovere d, the least interest ing part of the Cowdray Ruins at West Sussex. Nobody would know that, however, because the door to the one-acre walled garden was closed to the outside world. The person responsiblefor opening that ancient wooden door and restoring the walled garden is garden designer Jan Howard, who is also the creator of a range of fanciful, rusted iron plant supports and structures called Room in the Garden. She started her business in 1995 when she walked through a black archway in her garden, decided she hated it, and realised she could do better. ‘Back then, there was nothing on the market that was both beautiful and functional,’ she says. ‘I had a eurek a momen t and decided to design and manufacture elegant plant supports.’ She chose rusted iron so that the supports - soon to incorporate gazebos and pavilions - would look like they’d been in the garden forever, and thus give even a new garden a feeling of age. The business went well; all gardeners know

TEGUK 140 Cowdray Walled Garden final:UK



Page 34



The English Gard en

ABOVE Sedums and heucheras also edge some colourful beds. RIGHTTwo large trees, a walnut and a Judas tree, provide shade for any modern regal guests who wish to visit, while water trickles from the many spouts of this Le Blanc bronze fountain. BELOW, LEFTTO RIGHT Relax by the bananas at the glasshouse; a sculpture of a bugling angel peeks out from behind some planting; clematis climb obelisks made by owner Jan, beside yellow roses.

the importance of good underpinnings for peren nial s, climb ers and roses. These are what you might call the gardeningworld’shaute couture corsetry,so had great appeal. Howev er, Jan needed a showcase, not just a presence at flowe r shows. ‘A lot of people seemed to think that the next stage after rust is disintegration, so I wanted a timeless place in which the supports could be seen to last through the seasons. I also wanted a place where I could show how to integrate them with plants. In winter, quite bare, they look wonderful; in the summer, covered with plants, they almost disappear.’ Jan and her husband Mike, a teacher,looked for a house with office premises and a small garden, but couldn’t find anything within their price range, so tried to lease. They approached the nearby Cowdray Estate, were shown a couple of place s, and then, as an afterth ought, the old walled garden, a one-ti me allotment patch for standing tenants, with an adjacent cottage. ‘Although the garden was hidden, forgotten, the atmosphere within the walls was tranquil and beautiful. This was the place,’ she recalls. There was no question of failure, because they had sunk their last penny into the proje ct. ‘It was a tough ride because the garden was an offici al ancient monument as well as Grade I-listed. Engli sh Heritag e had to give us permission to even touch the Tudor brick walls, which needed repo inting. The landscap ing team needed to level the soil, but they weren ’t permitted to remove even a spadeful from the site.’ Jan’s vision was clear from the start: she would reclaim the romantic pleasure garden. ‘I wanted it to be traditional, with parterres filled with flowers, and no enclosed rose tunnel s to detrac t the eye from the fantast ic borrowed landscape that Capability Brown designed, or, of course, from the ruins of the old castle.’ There were two trees worth keeping: a Judas tree and a venerab le old walnut, which still fruits prolifically. She

TEGUK 140 Cowdray Walled Garden final:UK



Page 35

‘Although the garden was hidden, forgotten, the atmosphere within the walls was tranquil and beautiful. This was the place’

TEGUK 140 Cowdray Walled Garden final:UK



divided the space into bite-sized areas with box hedging, laying down plant -flattering pathw ays of sandy Bredon gravel. On either side of a central lawn, she ran avenues of crab apple trees underplanted with ‘Hidcote’ lavender (in fact half the ‘Hidcote’ she ordered turned out to be paler ‘Munstead’, but Jan rather likes the contrast). The parterres were filled with antique roses, 10 differentkinds of peonies, agastaches, catmint, lavender, aromatic silvery herbs and masses of purple alliums.With this backdrop, her pavilions, pyramids and obelisks look as if they have been rusting there all the time, right through the centuries. There is also a hot border, edged with purple heuchera, crammed with cannas, banana trees, hot pink penstemons, blood-red dahlias and apricot eremurus, that leads to an Alitex glass house in which boug ainville a, jasmine and trop ical hibisc us romp around a deep pink velvet banquette. Jan took the garden’s colour palette from the jewel tones of Tudor paintings. ‘If a white or cream flower dares to creep in, like the occasiona l foxgl ove or bluebe ll, I’ll rout it out, becau se the colour jumps out too much . Even the glasshou se is painte d in a biscuit shade so that it blends.’ Head gardener Rick Wiseman and the occasional hired help keep the sweet peas blooming in summer and the box clipped to perfection. ‘There is this perceived wisdom that you shouldn’t see a garde n all at once, that it shou ld reveal its charms gradually ,’ says Jan. ‘But I believe rules are there to be broken, and the beauty of the walled garden is that as soon as you’re through the doorway, you see the whole picture laid out before you. And that makes people want to explore each area, to see everything more closely.’ The Walled Garden at Cowdray is at No 1 River Ground Stable s, Cowdray Park, Midhurst, West Sussex GU29 9AL. Tel: +44 (0)1730 816881. For opening times, visit 36

The English Gard en

Page 36

LEFT Cowdray Castle can be seen behind the wall of the garden,with a statue of a girl by Judith Holmes Drewry of LeBlanc Fine Art in the pond in the foreground. ABOVE A mix of ‘Hidcote’ and ‘Munstead’ lavendersadds a dreamy purple haze. BELOW A pavilion modelled on medieval jousting tents, topped with fun flags and weatherproof roof cover.

TEGUK 140 Cowdray Walled Garden final:UK



Page 37


The notebook The Walled Garden at Cowdray is an enclosed, sheltered garden of one acre with a south-facing aspect. The garden is bordered by the River Rother and the soil is therefore very fertile, free-draining and a rich peaty loam FOUNTAIN FEATURE The magnificent bronze fountain (below) is the focal point of a walkway of lavenderedged beds. It spouts water from a series of boar’s heads around its circumference, and was sculpted by Lloyd LeBlanc of LeBlanc Fine Art.



Jan fell for a pair of stone lions at a local

Jan’s inspiration for Room in the Garden’s

antiques shop. ‘It was important to me

rusted iron gazebos and pavilions comes

that everything I chose for the garden

from medieval jousting tents - they even

had a sense of antiquity,’she says. A

have jaunty iron flags at their summit, and

nightmare to move, they now stand

the gazebos, square or hexagonal, have

permanently, guarding the vegetable

their own rusted iron candle chandeliers.

beds, surrounded by flame-coloured

Canvas liners in a multitude of colour

Heuchera ‘Marmalade’(above) and Iris

choices make them weatherproof. For

‘Sultan’s Palace’.

details, see



● Consider the overall garden. I try to pull everything - plants, ornaments, structures - together


with a similar colour palette so they all blend in

● PetworthHouse A 700-acre landscape

together. If you have a blue pot in isolation, the eye

park designed by Capability Brown.

is pulled towards it, and the effect can be jarring.

Petworth,W. Sussex GU28 OAE. Tel:0844

● Think about plant props in the autumn, no later,


because it’s full pelt through summer, all systems go -

● West Dean Gardens Ornamental borders,

but if you get your supports in early, not only will the

the 100m-longpergola, kitchen garden and

plants benefit, but you can free yourself up to enjoy

glasshouses.West Dean, Chichester,

the garden in its high season.

W. Sussex PO18 OQZ.Tel:+44 (0)1243

● I aim to hit all the senses when choosing


plants, so there is plenty of tactile foliage, scent,

● ArchitecturalPlants Exotic, large-

colour and movement to engage visitors. It’s about

leaved hardy plants. Lidsey Road,Woodgate,

styling the garden, just as you would the interior

Chichester,W. Sussex PO20 3SU.

of your home.

Tel:+44 (0)1243 545008.

● Take photos of your garden throughout each

of the seasons. It will remind you of what you have

● Phoenix PerennialPlants Diverse and

in your borders, and throw up weak areas that

covetable range of perennials and grasses.

need working on. You will also have a great pictorial

Paice Lane, Medstead, Alton, Hampshire

record of your garden.

GU34 5PR.Tel:+44 (0)1420 560695.

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TEGUK 140 Pevensey final:UK



Page 39


A walk on the

wild side ▲

The perfect habitat for greater crested newts, grass snakes and Burnet moths, this natural, eco-friendly garden in East Sussex is a refuge for gardeners too PHOTOGRAPHS JANE SEBIRE WORDS STEPHEN ANDERTON

Sunniva Harte’sgarden near Brighton has several different spaces including this elegant lush area of pastel colours and old cottage garden favourites.

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TEGUK 140 Pevensey final:UK



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ABOVE LEFT An old rustic bench adds a decorative touch by concrete paving that has been softened in appearance with self-seeded grasses and flowers. Pevensey marshes lie beyond. ABOVE RIGHTThe raised vegetable garden where runner beans, beetroot, Swiss chard and salad burnet grow. BELOWThe buds and blooms of Rosa ‘Albertine’. RIGHT A table and chairs front a jungle of Geranium ‘Silver Queen’,Allium schubertii, euphorbia and Welsh poppies.

Seeing no point trying to garden in the face of nature, she is keen for gardeners, including herself, to ‘acknowledge what they can and can’t have’

T 40

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As a garden photographer and writ er, and some-tim e professio nal gardener, Sunniva has seen plenty of sophistication, and it’s a trick she plays well in the first, smart part of the garden, with Magnolia ‘Goliath’, roses and lavender prece ded by hellebores and dwarf tulips. But it is beyond this area that the garden seem s more comfortable with itself. The little pond tucked in behind a bed draws little attention to itself, but it is three feet deep and has become home to eight greater crested newts. Impressive they are too, like little dragons the size of trout. Most meadow gardens focus on bulb s, early perennials and perhaps orchids, and are then cut in summer like a hay meadow, but in this garden the soil is too rich for fine, flowery meadow grass, and Sunniva sees no point trying to garden in the face of nature. She is keen for gardeners, including herself , to ‘acknowledge what they can and can’t have’. Instead, she just lets the rough grass flower and fall over in its own good time under wind and rain, never mown or strimmed, and this is just what her newts need, and grass snakes too. Burnet moths are also residents and in June you can find their pupae attached to the sides of stalks like little yellow

o be really green, doesn’t a garden have to be woolly round the edges, to be extra well-endowed in the muck and out-ofsight department? Sunniva Harte’scountrygarden at Pevensey in East Sussex is living proof that it need not be so. It is surroundedby organic farmland, yes; it ends in romantic meadow grass, yes; but it is never shabby. ‘Managed wildness’ is what she calls it, and managed it certainly is, with very great care. The garden began life 11 years ago as the blankest of canvases, giving Sunniva the chance to design a garden in line with her green principles, making what she calls ‘a response to my environment, stylistically as well as materially’. The result is a series of garden spaces - you couldn’t really call them garden rooms that run down the length of the garden: first, a lawn beside the house with tall walls and sophist icated borders around it; second, a more informal area with colourful curving beds and a small pond, with a sitting area beside her west-facing studio, and an absurdly pretty outside loo; third, through a wooden gate, lies a little vegetable patch; and finally, a meadow garden running down to open fields at the far end.

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LEFT A narrow path is mown through the meadow grass, past bushes of roses, to the vegetable plot. ABOVE LEFT Lucca the cat takes a break at the foot of the raised area between daisies and Rosa rugosa. ABOVE RIGHT Crataegus prunifolia, Daphne odora, foxgloves, geraniums, alliums, nepeta and Bowles’ Golden Grass. BELOWThe caterpillar of a Burnet moth chows down on the lovely grub.

Her grandfather always planted by the moon and she is keen to follow - ‘Things grow stronger and need less water if you plant them at the right time’ she is keen to follow, especially in her vegetable patch. ‘It makes sense,’ she says. ‘Things grow stronger and need less water if you plant them at the right time in the lunar cycle. The system pioneered by Rudolph Steiner and Emerson College at East Grinstead was incredibly helpful to me. I find it really works.’ Her patch is not large, just four plankedged beds, but she raises generous crops of beans, and on the sandy soil she has good results with carrots and golden beetroot as well as salads. She recycles too. Interesting tins are washed out to make plant pots, and one of her water butts was once a commercial plastic fruit juice container. Garden canes she gets from thinn ing the fullyhardened,mature stems from her own bamboo clump. It’s all very, very organised, but relaxed at the same time: that’s the garden’s charm. Sunniva Harte’sprivate garden at Pevensey,near Brighton in East Sussex, is open by appointment only, with all proceeds going to charity. Please call ahead on tel: +44 (0)1323 762908 to arrange a visit.

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slugs, before they turn into moths of the most glamorousblue-black, spotted with magenta. If the meadow grass itself is coarse, it does not mean the meadow garden is unromantic, and Sunniva has scattered it with crab apples, swee t-scented phil adelphus, sand-lo ving Rosa rugo sa and the occasio nal paddle-lea ved clump of elecamp ane. A mown, one-man-wide path weaves its way between these on its way to the bottom of the garden and back again. Where there is need for something a little firmer than turf underfoo t, she has incorporated large flat pieces of weathered, broke n concre te with grass between them. The spaces between have filled with grass and the mower can pass over the whole lot with ease; the effect is most relaxed. Sunn iva inherited her green leani ngs from her grandmother, who actually welcomed blackbirds and squirrels indoors and even let blue tits fly into her bedroom. ‘It’s about being human,’ says Sunniva. ‘We have no right to exclude anything from a garden.’ Except the odd slug maybe, for which she puts down pellets if things get desperate; she uses a little Weedol here and there on the paths, too, but nothing on the borders. Her grandfather always planted by the moon and it’s a way of gardening

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The notebook Sunniva Harte’s garden is a long and thin 90m x 12m (300ft x 40ft) with sandy, fertile soil. One end is tucked amongst walls and buildings, while the other exposed to the wind and looks onto open farmland

RESTFUL SPOT It helps to extend the character of a garden if its sitting places have different characters. Here, there are light metal table and chairs beside the buildings, a weathered old bench nestled firmly into the meadow grass (right) and a swing-seat at the far end facing out onto farmland.

DON’T BIN THATTIN Get creative and recycle at the same time by using old food containers around the garden. Here, Sunniva makes the most of an old olive oil can (below).

WATER WAYS If you are serious about collecting rainwater, have a few attractive watering cans that can be kept full beside your rainwater butts (above), so that when it does rain the butt itself can fill to maximum capacity. Sunniva’s water is metered and on her sandy soil she must save every drop she can.

POTTY PIECES Tiny terracotta pots lined up on a wall (above) add a natural

OWNER SUNNIVA’STIPS ● Don’t cut down your borders in November, do it in

decorative country touch, and any that get broken by wildlife make great crocks.

February.The old foliage suppresses the weeds and then when you clean up in spring the plants get off to a weed-free start.


● Relax about lawns. If you just keep mowing, the smaller


weeds will thrive - self-heal and daisies - and they look great in a

● Highdown If you garden on lime, visit. Worthing,W. Sussex

dry summer when the

BN12 6PFGTel:+44 (0)1903 501054.

grass is poor.

● MerrimentsGarden and Nursery Four acres of varied modern

● If you have lots of

gardening, with nursery attached.Hawkhurst Road, Hurst Green, E.

slugs, start off all your

SussexTN19 7RA.Tel:+44 (0)1580 860666.

vegetables in pots, and put

● Pashley Manor A series of elegant formal gardens with parkland.

them out when they are

Ticehurst, E. SussexTN5 7HE.Tel:+44 (0)1580 200888.

stronger. It’s really worth it.

● If you mow your

● Stone Cross NurseriesStone Cross Roundabout,Dittons

meadow grass, never do it

Road, E. Sussex BN24 5ET.Tel:+44 (0)1323 488188.

before the end of July or

August, because many

● Usual and Unusual Plants Onslow House, Magham Down,

insects need that time to

Hailsham, E. Sussex BN27 1PL.Tel:+44 (0)1323 840967.

complete their life cycle.

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The art of



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If the rose-covered walls of Wren’s Farm could talk, they would tell of hard-working plant addict Petal Wilson’s colourful collages of cottage classics

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Wren’s Farm in Lower Bordean, Hampshire, a former farmyard. Roses ‘Albertine’ and White Cloud envelop the house; and beds with Rosa ‘Shropshire Lass’, Mary Rose and Tess of the D’Urbervilles surround a circular island bed centrepiece with clipped photinia standard.

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iewed from any angle on a hazy ‘The soil is poor, a free-drai ning chal k that’s that runs parallel to the south-facing wall of the summer’s morning, the garden at always hungry and absorbs loads of compost house. ‘It’sa perfect place to grow tender plants,’ Wren’s Farm forms an enticing each year. Planting anything involves the use of she points out. Amongst the treasures thriving composition of flowers and a pickaxe and metal spike,’ she says. there are indigofera, jasmine, oleander, honey foliage that embraces windows, Fortunately Petal is no stranger to compost bush and pelargoniums. ‘I keep them close to doorways and special places. ‘I’m not arty in the and challeng ing conditio ns. A keen gardener the house where I can keep an eye on them.’ On conventionalsense,but you could say I paint with since the age of 12, she established a fabulous the easterly end of the terrace, she plant ed flowers,’ says Petal Wilson, who has transformed rose garden in her previous home, and is unfazed climbing roses such as Rosa White Clou d, an unappealing farmyard in Hampshire into a by hard work - ‘It comes from a Scott ish ‘Penelope’ and ‘Albertine’, the powerful scent of classicEnglishcottage garden filledwith an elusive upbri nging.’ Her garden at Wren’s Farm is its pink flowers discernible even from deep blend of fragrance and flowers. essentially walled, flanked by buildings on three within the kitchen. The kitchen door opens It is no mean feat, especial ly since just 12 sides with the fourt h partl y enclosed by a directl y onto the terrace, flanked by a rath er years ago when Petal and her husband Ra detached, converted barn, now Ra’s office. There magnificent clump of Euphorbia characias moved to Lower ‘Portugese Velvet’, its ‘The secret is to live with a garden and to make changes gradually. Bordean, there was flower heads turning little growing in the fluorescent green when I started out by planting one border,and it grew from there’ farmyard apart from backlit by the early an old walnut tree, and the barns were only are gaps to each side, allowing glimpses of a morning sun. To the west is a pool which, partly converted. ‘We converted and renovated lower garden set against a backdrop of the South replacing a tumble-down greenhouse, is sunk the old farm buildings, adding an outer frame Downs. ‘We have a beautiful view of hills, fields into the reclaimed York stone. A central fountain of reclaimed bricks around the windows to and woods - it was one of the main reasons for sprays variegated iris, golden mimulusand dainty better define them against the light flint walls.’ moving here,’ Petal says. arum lilies. ‘A garden isn’t complete without the Only once building work was complete could Initially,she startedwork on the areas closestto sound of water,’ says Petal. Behind the pool she turn her attention to the farmyard. ‘We had the house,concentrating on one bit at a time. ‘The stands an imposing, cast-iron cistern that is fed to remove tons of broken concrete,’ she explains. secretis to live with a garden and to make changes water by a lion mask fountain trickling into the ‘Even now, I unearth enormous chunks of gradually,’ she explains. ‘I never put a design on pool, from where it is recirculated by a pump. concrete,stone or flint - somehowmore and more paper - I just started out by planting one border, As a final flourish, the curving top edge of manages to rise to the surfa ce.’ Nor did the and it grew slowly from there.’ One of the first the cistern has a collar of ivy, and on each challenges stop once the rubble was removed. areas she tackled was a raised York stone terrace side clumps of bamboo, hosta, cordyline and BOTTOM,LEFTTO RIGHT Rosa ‘Penelope’ climbs up the former barn behind herbaceous beds of roses, delphiniums, euphorbia, foxglovesand stachys; also in the beds are Cirsium rivulare‘Atropurpureum’,poppies, hardy geraniums and black elder; a bench on the lawn for a comfortable rest beside climbing solanum and Rosa ‘Albertine’.


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ABOVE On theYorkstone terrace, a table and bench wait for visitors beneath the arbour,shaded with vines, Rosa ‘Cooperi’, Clematis ‘Carnaby’,with Euphorbia characias ‘PortugueseVelvet’ and roses visible beyond. BELOWA view over white peonies and roses to the gravel bed with catmint, eremurus, grasses, lavender and eryngium, as well as sanguisorba, linaria, genista, campanulas and poppies.

well in one position, I’ll try them in another, but if they still don’t get on, then it is time for the compost heap.’ Failure is rare, but among her many successes are certain signature plants, including Stachys macrantha, a hairy-leaved perennial with purple

spikes of hooded flowers that goes well with roses. ‘I first saw it growing alongside roses at Sissinghurst, growing at just the right height to hide the bare, lower stems,’ she points out. There are clematis - notably Clematis durandii, a variety without tendrilsthat requires a lot of tyingin - that skirts a small, lichen-coloured doorway until meeting a climbing variegated euonymus. There are also rarities such as Marrubium incanum (horehound), a perennial that stands out in the gravel bed with whorls of lilac flowers, just one of an ever-increasing collection of unusual plants. The gravelbed lies to the southof her husband’s office, its walls decked with ‘Pink Perpétué’ and Bonicaroses.‘Despitebeing on chalky, free-draining soil, it needs no watering,’ insists Petal. Edged in old clay roof tiles to separate the gravel from the grass,thisbed is largelypopulatedwithself-seeding plants such as poppies, linaria, foxgloves and grasses. ‘And I just pull out any seedlings that appear in the wrong place,’ she says. In addition, there are aromatic plants such as catmint, lavender, sage and santolina mingling with pineap ple The Eng lish Gar den


rodgersia create a leafy setting. Nearby, in the centre of the terrace, stands a pergola clad in a vine, various clematis and the unusual, muchadmiredwhite Rosa ‘Cooperi’,which all intertwine to form a leafy canopy above a dining table and bench. ‘We sit out here a lot during fine weather, enjoying informal meals,’ says Petal. The view encompasses the garden and the distantDowns, a glorious pictureframed in white roses,pinkClematis‘Carnaby’and a froth of flowers in the bed below- yellowCephalariagigantea, white Crambe cordifolia, baptisia, and the crimson blooms of Rosa L. D. Braithwaite. ‘It’s such a fabulous, deep velvety red - it’s without doubt my favourite rose,’ she adds. Rosesare clearlya greatloveand run throughout the garden, woven into a tapestry of perennials, evergreen shrubs and topiary. ‘I like to describe my garden as ‘cottagey’,but within a formality of clipped box or santolina,’ she says. It appears artfully orchestrated, but Petal insists that there is nothing exact about her methodof gardening.‘I’m forever moving plants around - if they don’t do

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TOP,LEFT TO RIGHT Delphinium ‘Magic’, a deep blue dwarf variety that needs little staking; Cistus x purpureus, an evergreen shrub with pretty single bright pink papery flowers in summer; Rosa Tess of the D’Urbervilles, which bears large fragrant crimson flowers on red stems. MIDDLE LEFT Clematis ‘Carnaby’,a summerflowering climber with large dramatic pink blooms with deeper pink stripes along the centre of each petal. MIDDLE RIGHT Rosa Mary Rose, a shrub rose with scented cupped double flowers. BOTTOM, LEFT TO RIGHT Rosa ‘Shropshire Lass’,a modern shrub rose; Rosa Calypso, a pink-carmine rose randomly striped or flecked with white, which bears large sprays of semi-double flowers; spires of unusual perennial Marrubium incanum.

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ABOVE Looking beyond the roses, euphorbia and geraniums to the topiary lonicera on the lawn and the hills beyond.The box-edged island bed on the left contains groundcover of astrantias and roses. BELOW An almost hidden door is edged in climbing Euonymous fortunei, Rosa ‘Aloha’ and Clematis x durandii, and fronted by box pyramids.

knot garden crafted from two kinds of box, ‘formality with chaos in the centre.’ To each side stand island beds, a tiered arrangement of roses and perennials - astrantia, trifolium, delphinium, salvia and lupin among st others - rising to a central, evergreen standard Photinia x fraseri ‘Red

Robin’. ‘It needs to be pruned twice a year to keep the distinctive red shoots,’ she adds. With little help apart from a gardener who mows the lawns, and Ra who digs holes and prunes the climbers, Petal gardens for countless hours throughout spring and summer.‘I’m a fairweather gardener, though, and during the winter I have a total rest - I hardly go into the garden, and even forget the plants’ names.’ It is a time for reflection, planni ng and dreaming of new additions. ‘I’m a plantaholic, so whenever I find new plants, I have to create a new border for them,’ she says. ‘That’s how this garde n has grown - it’s totally plant-led.’ Wren’sFarm, LowerBordean,HampshireGU32 1ER. The garden at Wren’s Farm opens in aid of charity for the NGS on Saturday and Sunday 20 and 21 June, 2-6pm. Groups are also very welcome by appointment, and there are usually plants for sale. Tel: +44 (0)1730 263983.

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plant, sea holly, cardoon,sanguisorba and Cirsium rivulare ‘Atropurpureum’, all of them known for being drought tolerant. Opposite the gravel bed lies the lower border, backed by a hawthor n hedge and a special acoustic fence, designed to soundproof against the noise of passing traffic on the neighbouring road. Unusually,it is painted in an off-black shade from decorative paint specialists, Farrow & Ball. ‘The normal black was too glaring, but this softer shade makes the fence less obtrusive, while also forming a great backdropto the catalpaand white foxtail lilies, roses and peonies,’ explains Petal. Backgrounds are all important in this garden, not only ancientflint and brick, but also reflective steel. On one wall, she has fixeda long mirror that catches the unpreparedvisitorby surprise with its surrealistically distortedreflections.‘I love showing people round - gardens are for sharing,’ she notes. With its wonderful flowers, it is no surprise that visitors come in summer,but winter too has its subtl etie s with a permanent struc ture of evergreens and topiary. Set into the lawn lies a

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The notebook Wren’s Farm is set against the background of the south Downs, with poor, free-draining chalk soil. It has many areas including a south-facing terrace with pond, climbers and tender plants; gravel bed; knot garden; and borders

AVIAN AMUSEMENT These two topiary birds (above) are formed from Lonicera nitida. ‘When I started clipping the bushes,’ says Petal, ‘they lent themselvesto these shapes. They’rejust a bit of fun, as are the balls and spirals.’



These gardens are all local and open for the NGS on

Set into the York stone terrace is a small pool planted with mimulus, arum lilies,

the same days as Wren’sFarm.

irises and waterlilies (above). Behind this, a lead cilstern is fed a trickle of water

● Bramdean House, Bramdean, Hants SO24 0JU.

by a lion’s head spout, topped with a crown of ivy. Other planting in this area

21 June, 2-5pm.Tel:+44 (0)1962 771214.

includes cordyline, astilbe, hosta and bamboo.

● Down Place, South Harting, Petersfield, Sussex GU31 5PN. 20-21 June, 2-6pm.


Tel: +44 (0)1730 825374

A clever illusory touch of Petal’s lies

● Hinton Ampner, Alresford, Hampshire

in the shade of the walnut tree, where

SO24 0LA. 20 June, 11am-5pm.

she has fixed a long mirror that is

Tel: +44 (0)1962 771305.

cleverly disguised by a window box of Iris laevigata, a leafy fig and golden philadelphus(below).

OWNER PETAL WILSON’S TOP TIPS FOR HEALTHY ROSES ● Prune in early spring, cutting out one main branch a year on each rose to encourage growth. ● Apart from liberal doses of well-rotted farmyard manure, feed with a proprietary fertiliser in early spring and July. ● Limit spraying against blackspot and aphid attack


spring and again in early

real copper roof with a 'verdigris'finish.

summer, only if necessary.

Get a similar one by Bempton, made

If blackspot attacks after

from FSC wood and complete with

that, life’s too short to

hanging cord. H12in x W8in. £21.99at

worry about it.


to a preventative spray in

This hanging bird table (above) has a

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Architectural Trellises made to order in a wide range of panel designs and lattice options. Arbour seats, Gazebos, Pergolas, Pavilions, Planters and Decking.

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● Going For Gold Key themes for this year’s show gardens ● Show Shopping New practical and fun gardening accessories ● The Interview Behind the scenes with a plantsman and a designer ● Flower Power What to look out for in The Great Pavilion ● Insider Info Tips and advice to help plan your visit


Flower Show 19-23 May 2009 The great spectacular begins right here with our preview COMPILED BY CINEAD MCTERNAN

The English Gar den


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Going for

GOLD Showcasing an exciting array of garden design at the very highest level, key themes at this year’s RHS Chelsea include sustainability, foreign influences and edible gardens


Inspired by the herb gardens that were attached to

An ingenious design from the green

monasteries in the Middle Ages, Chris O’Donoghue

roof gurus at Ark DM and the

hopes to ‘recreate the spirit of these small, peaceful

University of Sheffield Landscape

plots’.All the plants used are easy to grow and many

Department, this garden is ‘a joyful

can be incorporated into modern dishes, such as

celebration of water’. It is built around

meadowsweet (Filipendula ulmaria) and elder

a water cycling system that is visible

(Sambucus nigra) for fritters, and young side shoots of

at the core of the garden - a novel

hops that can be cooked like asparagus. Stand RM16

approach to normal concepts for rainwater harvesting. Stand MA13

look out for...


A green roof that feeds water into a stormwater planting box, with planting able to tolerate both flooding and normally dry conditions

‘Using only reclaimed or discarded materials, this garden highlights the importance of recycling and sustainability in today’s gardens,’ say Stephen Hall and Jane Besser. Using many native and wild


plants with cultivars from the same genus, the

Leeds City Council took inspiration from

pair demonstrate their interest in what they see is

American-style rain gardens for their

a horticulturist’s form of alchemy. Stand RM10

design, as the damp Yorkshire climate

directed into a pond flanked by shallow overflow pools, planted with iris, hosta and Primula beesiana. This system also creates free-draining areas that are perfect for geums, aquilegia and

look out for...

geraniums. Stand MA21

Locally sourced, reclaimed steel mesh gabions densely planted with ivy to make a living wall to further help absorb water


The English Gard en

look out for... Fen Ben’s hovel - a traditional Fenland shed made from reclaimed materials


so familiar to the team proved to be the ideal environment for them. Water is

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From plot to plate THE CHILDREN’S SOCIETY GARDEN Designer Mark Gregory says ‘this is a chic, modern space for the urban family where you can grow seasonal vegetables and herbs for the table without your garden looking like an allotment’. Raised vegetable beds stand alongside buxus cubes and decorative planting and it is enclosed by a pollution tolerant, multistemmed ginkgo tree and Pratia pendiculata as a living alternative to fencing. Stand MA25

look out for... Hidden composting and water-saving facilities. Plus an innovative solution for drying laundry, which reduces electricity consumption

FRESHLY PREPPED BY ARALIA Designer Pat Fox claims ‘absolutely everything can be eaten’ in her garden. ‘I’ve approached it as an extension of the kitchen - somewhere to whip up a sandwich or a smoothie using the freshest ingredients picked directly from the garden. I hope it will also show owners of small spaces how to start preparing and eating homegrown food’. Stand RM15

look out for...

look out for...

Authentic touches, including a thatched dovecote, a medieval pattern wheelbarrow, a chamomile seat and straw bee skeps

A Chelsea first: the garden’s living wall, which is entirely created using edible crops

A world of ideas



Subscribe to our sister title

‘All is not as it appears on first glance in our garden,’

France magazine for £24

explain designers Patricia Thirion and Janet Honour.

and save 50% on 12

Sponsored by The English Garden and sister title

issues. To subscribe, visit

France magazine, it explores cottage garden style on

both sides of the Channel: the planting is typically

france/EG59 or contact

French - formal and elegant - while the plants

Tel: +44 (0)1858 438788

themselves are quintessentially English. Roses,

and quote EG59.

peonies, delphiniums and foxgloves jostle for position against columnar Taxus baccata, used for structure. The pair have chosen drought-tolerant plants to reduce watering and specific species to attract insects into the garden. Stand RM14

look out for... Clever container ideas, including planters filled with allium, chervil, artemisia and curly leaf parsley as well as hanging baskets spilling over with colourful annuals

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FLYAWAYHOME These colourful Byrdhouses (below) by Chris Eckerlsey, £325 each, are just one example of what's available from Design Nation at this year's show. Other pieces include Sharon Elphick’s limited edition prints, Ella Doran's outdoor-inspired home range, Carole Waller's textile and glass installations and Katy Holford’s abstract floral sculptures. Design Nation, stand CW4. Tel: +44 (0)20 7320 2895.

TABLE MANNERS 2008 RHS Chelsea Show Garden designer Sarah Eberle has joined forces with sculptor Toby Clayton to produce a range of furniture and products in glass, concrete, steel and textiles. Our favourite is the G-table (above), made from galvanized steel and features an innovative idea: a charcoal grill in the middle so barbeque treats are in easy grasp. 2.4m x 1.2m. £5,200


(inc. six chairs) From Sarah Eberle and HME Ltd, stand

These 100% cotton gloves

SR35. Tel: +44 (0)1865 400753.

with a protective nitrile coating fit like a second

Show shopping

skin, allowing you to tackle delicate gardening jobs with ease. Available in pink, green, yellow and turquoise. £5.99. From Town and Country,

Enjoy our sneak preview of great new products that will be unveiled at this year’s show by leading gardening and horticultural suppliers

stand EA28. Tel: +44 (0)1530 830990.

BYTHE LIGHT OF THE MOON Imagine being able to tell the time by moonlight? This new Moon Dial, a contemporary take on a classical 16th-century French sundial design, allows you to do just that. It can also be personalised with an etched inscription. Diameter 70cm. £7,958.From David Harber, stand MA5. Tel: +44 (0)1235 859300.

THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS Enjoy the fun of growing under glass with the new Vista greenhouse. IN A NUT SHELL These adorable ceramic ‘Baby

Featuring a contemporary curved roofline it is available

Horsechesnuts’ are created using moulds made

in a standard width of 209.8cm and a length of 303.3cm,

from real fruit. All pieces are glazed and painted

fitting most gardens. Manufactured from rolled BS

by hand. From £20. Penkridge Ceramics,

aluminium and glazed with toughened safety glass.

stand EA11.Tel: +44 (0)1922 625181.

£4,095. From Hartley Botanic, stand TR1.

Tel: 0845 4348882.

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Chelsea Stand RHW9

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The interview What’s it like preparing for the greatest show on earth? We asked leading rose grower and Great Pavilion veteran Peter Beales (far left) and Chelsea newcomer, designer Luciano Giubbilei (left) to share their thoughts Peter, this is your 41st RHS Chelsea Flower

Luciano, you’re not normally known for using

side, because horticulture is a business after all,

Show;do you stillget nervousbeforethe show?

many plants in your designs, but this is not

but the balance must be carefully considered.

Yes, I have sleepless nights and have a reduced

the case with this garden. Was it difficult to

appetite during the lead up to Chelsea.

choose which ones to use?

If Chelseais the Oscars of the gardeningworld,

I had the colour combination and the key plants

who or what should win...

And Luciano, is designing a show garden for

that I wanted to use in mind from the start, and

Best supporting role?

the first time an overwhelming experience?

from there everything has developed through

PB: Roses of course!

I have been focusing so much on all the details

visiting Crocus, my plant supplier.

LG: Grasses.

that I haven’treally thought what it will be like, but I don’t have particular expectations.

Best newcomer? Peter,have you seen Chelsea change over the

PB: Obviously, a rose! And probably one of ours.

years you’ve been doing the show?

LG: Iris ‘Coeur d’Or’. Best nursery?

What’s the most daunting aspect of Chelsea?

PB: The changes I’ve seen are not about the

PB: Definitely the worry about the roses not

ambience, which always remains enjoyable, but,

PB: Blackmore and Langdon.

coming into flower in time.

from a plantsman’s point of view, the hard

LG: I have to say Crocus, but they are the best!

LG: For me, it is organising the diary - it has been

landscaping seems now to be more important

Best designer?

quite a challenge.

than the plants. I suppose we have to live with

PB: Chris Beardshaw

the ever-changingfashions.

LG: Tom Stuart-Smith

How long have you spent preparing? PB: Almost immediately after the show the next

Do you think Chelsea needs to change to

And finally… Peter,do you remember winning

year’s one is forming in my mind. But in terms of

reflectthe shifts in horticultureor do you think

your first gold medal? Who did you tell first?

design, it starts to come together in January.

it is doing enough to include topical issues?

The companywas much smallerthen and my wife

LG: I presented the garden to Laurent-Perrier in

PB:The RHS are constantlyremindingus to reflect

was with me at the show, so the first person

early July, and from that moment onwards I

the changes that are taking place in horticulture

I told was my mother.

started to researchall the elements that I needed:

and lifestyleand so these issues are alwaysin the

the stone; detailing the water feature; speaking

front of our mind when we design our stand.

Who will you call when you find out what

to the artist, Nigel Hall; planning with the

LG: I feel that it needs to find its simplicity

medal you’ve been awarded, Luciano?

contractor,Crocus and the water featurespecialist

because the whole thing about gardening and

It will be my adopted British grandmother

Andrew Ewing; and travelling to plant nurseries

designing is simple.The show and the public can

Vera Gordon. She is adorable and someone

all over Europe to find what I needed. So,

only benefit if there is clarity and direction in its

that I really value. She brings me back to earth

yes, it has been quite some time, but I

intent. I understand the need for the commercial

every time I meet her.

suppose you can never have enough time to prepare everything. BELOW Peter Beales Roses in the

How do you feel about following in the

Great Pavilion, stand GPE10, promises

footsteps of designers like Tom Stuart-Smith

a lavish displays of magnificent roses.

and Jinny Blom, who have createdgardensfor Laurent-Perrierin the past? LG: I have great respect for previous designers. In fact it was an introduction by Tom Stuart-Smith that enabled me to meet with Laurent-Perrier. I have alwaysadmiredTomfor his work but mostly for his approach. I see him as an ambassador for our profession,someone that makes you want to

ABOVE Luciano’s Laurent-Perrier Garden, stand

be better. Mostly though, I am enjoying this

MA18, sees geometric lines blurring boundaries

experience without thinking too much about

between nature, art and architecture.

the past or the future.

The English Gar den


TEGUK140 Chelsea new flowers final:UK


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The delicious grapefruit scent and vigorous climbing habit of this English Musk hybrid make it a good choice for pergolas and arbors. Also, its large flowers bloom from the main stem all the way up the plant. Height 3m. £14.96 for bare root. David Austin Roses, stand GPC22. Tel: +44 (0)1902 376333.

IRIS ‘NUIT DE NOCES’ ▲ A fast grower, this eye-catching iris flowers from May to July.They like to bake in the sun, so plant with the upper section of rhizome on

Flower power

the surface of well-drained soil. Plant with alliums, aquilegia and cranesbill for countrystyle borders. Height 80cm. £12.75. Cayeux Iris, stand GPC11.Tel: +33 (0)238


Big enough for 500 London buses, the Great Pavilion is packed with treats. Here is our guide to some of the wonderful new plants to be launched at the show HOSTA ‘WAR PAINT’

Brighten up shady spots with this large-leaved hosta. If slugs and snails are a problem in borders, grow in containers on copper feet or with tape around the rim. Mulch in spring to keep moist, mixing with fellow shade lovers like fern and Solomon’s Seal. Height 1m. £15. Bowden Hostas, stand GPC4. Tel: +44 (0)1837 840989.


At home in a courtyard or exotic garden, this structural plant looks equally good in a container or border. Feed monthly and water regularly throughout summer. Bring indoors or protect in winter. Height 1.2m. £15 for a three-litre pot. Hillier Nurseries, stand GPD15. Tel: +44 (0)1794 368944.


The English Gard en

TEGUK140 Chelsea new flowers final:UK



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Look out for... Water, water everywhere This year’sGreat Pavilionsees water as the main theme for a number of its exhibitors.Gateshead Council is working with renowned fashion designersWayne and Gerardine Hemmingway(of Red or Dead) to create a display that highlights the importance of water recycling and the role of water in a healthy lifestyle.The Cayman Islands Department of Tourism with Newington Nurseries will create an ‘underwater’ display to represent the marine life of the Caymanian waters, while the National Association ▲


of Floral ArrangementSocieties, which

The latest in the popular Sweet Delights series,

celebrates its 50th anniversary this year,

‘Tiramisu’ changes colour with the season;

will create an arrangementthat appears

flushing brick red in spring and autumn, with

to float on water.

a silvery veil appearing in summer.Good for containers or as ground cover.Lift and divide every two to three years. Height 50cm. £8. Hillier Nurseries, stand GPD15. Tel: +44 (0)1794 368944.


A window of opportunity - plans for the

Bred by nursery owners Rosemary and Robert

Gateshead stand by the Hemmingways

Hardy, this is an excellent cut flower. Attracting bees and butterflies, deadhead to prolong

New exhibitors to the pavilion

flowering. Height 45cm. £3.50 for a 9cm pot.

● VictoriaViolas, stand GPG19 - violas

Hardy’s Cottage Garden Plants, stand

● Todd’sBotanics, stand GPC5 - hardy

GPF13. Tel: +44 (0)20 3076 1331.

exotics and unusual herbaceous plants

● Coldharbour,stand GPC12 - hostas ● Plant a Go Go, stand GPG18 - alpines, rockery plants and dwarf shrubs.


This evergreen orchid iris prefers a neutral to

Floristry gets competitive

acid soil, in part shade. Flowering from late

A new professionalfloristry competition

April to early June, it’s a gorgeous gap filler in

will be launched,in associationwith the

late spring borders. Height 30-40cm. £5. Broadleigh Gardens, stand GPE6. Tel: +44 (0)1823 286231.

British Florist Association.It will culminate in the announcementof the ‘Chelsea Florist of the Year’and the ‘YoungChelsea Florist of the Year’.



Flowering all the way down its stems

Best of British

from early to midsummer, this floriferous

Exhibitors in the Great Pavilionwill be

climber is absolutely perfect for small

‘CelebratingBritish Horticulture‘.This

gardens and containers. Remove dead and

special initiativemeans visitors to the

damaged stems before growth starts in

show will be able to easily identify British

spring. Height 1.2m. For more information,

plants and nurseries. Show manager Alex

such as other varieties, as well as stockists

Baulkwellsays: ‘Exhibitorssupporting the

and prices, visit the website.

celebrationwill highlight plant material

Raymond J Evison, stand GFP14.

that has been grown in the UK for a full

Tel: +44 (0)1481 245942.

season, so shoppers will know when

they are buying British.’

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Page 64

TEGUK140 Chelsea insider info final:UK



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Insider info All you need to know about the show from our very own editor TamsinWesthorpe, as well as expert tips from designer Thomas Hoblyn and garden photographer Jason Ingram VISITOR ESSENTIALS ● Buy the catalogue - it is essential. To order your copy in


● Make sure to book your ticket in advance - you will not be able to get in without one and you can’t buy one on the gate. ● Plan to eat at the showground as you can’t go in and out of the show.There are picnic spots on site. ● Most of the shopping you’ll do will be by way of


advance by tel: 0844 2090353. Call by 29 April. £6.50 inc. p&p.

PICTURE PERFECT ● If possible, take pictures first thing or in

making orders. Few items can be bought and taken home on the day.

late afternoon when the

● If you’re visiting on the Saturday you’ll be able to take part in the sell off at the end of the day.

light is softer. Don’t use

Make sure you take some plastic bags (above) and cash - not large notes!

flash; you’ll get better results if you stick with


daylight - even in the Great Pavilion.

● Don’t be afraid to put tall plants at the front of planting schemes. It’s good

● Get a snap of the label when you are

to create surprises for the onlooker to discover from different viewing points.

photographing plants. It’s easy to forget the

I consciously create ‘curtains’ of grasses to screen off little treats for later on.

names once you’ve left the show.

● Repeat one variety throughout a scheme. I always make sure my gardens,

● When it comes to capturing show

this year the Foreign and Colonial Show Garden (below), have an unobtrusive

gardens on camera, less is more. Look for

plant randomly placed everywhere. Try self-seeding Digitalis purpurea ‘Alba’.

interesting details rather than trying to get

● Regardlessof the weather,time of year and the

the entire garden in one shot (see above).

condition of the plant, water plants when they

● Make sure you look to the four corners

arrive at your garden and as soon as they’re

of the frame before pressing the button.

planted.Watering the planted plant also ensures

It’s amazing how often you are including

good soil to root contact and prevents air pockets.

something you don’t want in the picture or

● If, for some reason, a plant becomes completely

cropping out something you do.

dry and wilts, fill a bucket with water and put in

● Finally, take a spare memory card - it is

the tiniest drop of washing up liquid in. Then

frustrating to run out of space for pictures.

submerge and weigh down the plant. The washing up liquid will ease permeability allowing water to

We’d love to see how you get on:

hydrate the compost and get to the roots.

email your favourite shots of the

Surprisingly, it will not harm the plant.

show to

Look out for...


…a great subscription offer. Visit us at stand number EA106, and don’t forget to see The English Garden July issue for our show review.

is just a 10-minute walk from the showground.

Rail: Victoria is the nearest mainline station. Sloane Square tube station (District and Circle Lines) Bus: Once in London, the showground can be easily reached by a number of buses. Jump on a number 11, 137,211, 239, 360 or 452. For more travel information visit Car: The showground is within the congestion charge area. However, you can park at Battersea Park, a 20-minute walk away. Expect to pay about £25 a day per car.


If you’re being dropped off, head to the Bull Ring Gate entrance on Chelsea Embankment.

The English Gar den


TEGUK140 Paving shopping final:UK



Page 66

ITALIAN STYLE Pietra Serena Italian sandstone from Stone Age is honed with a sawn finish, which gives a smooth and smart appearance. The contemporary result suits country and urban style planting alike.

ISLAND LIFE This contemporary paving from Organic Stone (above) can be set in grass or

Priced at £63 per m² plus labour. For more information

gravel, is hand crafted and made with 100% recycled materials. There is a range of textures

and prices, tel: +44 (0)20 7384 9090 or visit

to choose from, and packs are also available in wave and cobble designs. Prices range from

£40 to £1,060. For more information, tel: +44 (0)1452 411991.

In search of

perfect paving? Give your courtyards and pathways a new look with our selection of contrasting paving ideas. There’s more scope for design underfoot than you may think... COMPILED BY VICTORIA KINGSBURY

STONE ME! Arcadian Country Paving (above) is availablefrom Haddonstonein three standard sizes, and in Portland,Bath, Terracotta,Slate and Coade finishes. Made of reconstituted limestone, the smallest size is 450mm x 225mm. £4.95 to £11. Tel:+44 (0)1604 770711.

POLISHED PERFORMANCE Add a touch of colour to your garden with polished pebbles, which are quick and easy to lay.There are five colours in the range from Global Stone (four shown above), perfect for any style of garden - and they have the added benefit of sound, a great security measure. They can also be used in water features and around planting. For more information, prices and stockists, tel: 0845 6060240 or go to to see more of the company’s range (right).


The English Gard en

TEGUK140 Paving shopping final:UK



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Things to consider before you buy WHO WILL LAYTHEM? ● Installation and ground preparation will often cost more than the paving itself. Aim to get a couple of quotes. If you are opting for Marshalls paving why not use one of their Registered Installers? For details, tel: 0845 8205000, or for other contractors contact MAGIC EYE Add interest to your terrace with 3-D effect paving Natural Sandstone

the British Association of Landscape Industries (BALI)

Optique (above), from the Bradstone range. Available to buy in a 11.3m²pack containing

on tel: +44 (0)24 7669 0333 for your nearest quality-

36 diamonds, 36 mini diamonds and 72 inserts. Each pack is made up of two colours of

assured BALI landscaper.

paving - Fossil Buff and Autumn Green - in order to create the contrast. For more

● Make sure your chosen contractor is aware of the

information and stockists, tel: +44 (0)1355 372289 or visit

current drainage regulations and takes the appropriate action to avoid flooding. For more information on


regulations contact BALI (see above).

Truststone Cotsdale, a new

● If undertaking the installation yourself, seek advice

dolomitic limestone Celtic

from the manufacturer of the paving - they will often

Knot with infills from

provide guidelines. Make sure you have all the

Stonemarket (left), has

appropriate safety wear.

fantastic durability, colour and

● Instead of buying plate compactors and stone

weather resistance. With

cutters, why not hire them?

plenty of character, it’s the perfect focal point for any


garden, with hand-dressed

Before ordering new paving, have you considered

edges giving a natural look.

using old stone or paving in your garden? Gaps can

Tel: +44 (0)24 7651 8700.

be infilled with gravel or planting if the paving is of

different sizes or damaged. Where possible try to buy locally.You may be lucky

‘When you’re choosing paving, consider the other textures and materials in your garden to help unite the finished design. For a traditional garden, go for ethically sourced, rather than concrete or reconstituted stone. Sawn and smooth is best for a smart, contemporary look.’ Charlotte Rowe, garden designer (turn to page 81 to see one of Charlotte’s designs)

and find paving for free or aged paving at reclamation yards. Try placing an advert in the local paper or visit Be aware that this paving won’t be guaranteed. For Indian sandstone and Chinese slate, try sourcing from ethical importers who are signed up to the Ethical TradeInitiative(ETI). If you are environmentallyminded, when buying concrete paving ask if it has been created using recycled aggregates such as pulverisedfuel ash or ground granulated blast furnace slag.

FRIEND OF THE EARTH? Marshalls are signed up to the Ethical Trade Initiative and are committed to improving the lives of the workers who make its products. The Haworth Moor Range offers a selection of sandstone and natural stone (Antique Natural Stone, right), that is bought from an independent source to ensure the imported natural stone paving has not been produced by young people. Tel: 0845 8205000 or visit

ecodly n frie

Ask your neighbour if they’re undertaking similar paving work - it is far more eco friendly to make one large order than two smaller ones.

CARING FOR YOUR PAVING In order to keep your paving looking as good as new, follow our care guide: ● Avoid slippery paving by using a pressure washer or yard brush and a drop of Jeyes’ Fluid. ● Keep weeds at bay between cracks. In extreme cases you may have to resort to a weedkiller. ● Sweep up fallen leaves and berries in autumn to avoid accidents. ● Use a product such as Biozyme OT8 Biological Oil Stain Remover to remove petrol and oil. Tel: +44 (0)23 8025 8966.

The Eng lish Gar den


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TEGUK140 Paving Directory final:UK



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Paving directory For decorative delights to spruce up your outdoor floor, look no further than our stockists list





Flags made using recycled glass

Gardens, driveways and

STONECRETE Concrete and stone garden paving

Natural stone specialists

Shetland Amenity Trust

commercial landscaping

The Cottages

Kirby Road, Lomeshaye Ind. Est.

Garthspool, Lerwick

Landscape House,

Scratby Hall

Nelson, Lancashire

Shetland ZE1 0NY

Premier Way, Lowlands Business



Tel: +44 (0)1595 694688

Park, Elland HX5 9HT

Great Yarmouth

Tel: +44 (0)1282 612211

Tel: 0870 1207474

Norfolk NR29 3PQ

Tel: +44 (0)1493 384188 EVEREDGE


Path and lawn edging


Wet-cast paving manufacturer

PO Box 9,

Patio flags


Unit 2, Heol Ffaldau

Stroud, Gloucestershire

Bromag Ind Est.

Natural stone products for domestic,

Brackla Ind Estate, Bridgend


Downs Road

buildings and landscape

South Wales CF31 2AJ

Tel: +44 (0)1453 731717

Witney, Oxon

Unit 3,

Tel: +44 (0)1656 647595


Parsons Green Depot

Tel: +44 (0)1993 771697

Parsons Green Lane


Natural stone paving

Decorative garden Paving

Mill Race, New Road,


SW6 4HH Tel: +44 (0)20 7384 9090

Aggregate Industries UK Ltd


Sculptural flooring for exterior

Hulland Ward, Ashbourne

Nr Colchester,


Derbyshire DE6 3ET

Essex CO6 3QT

The Canalside,


Tel: (0)1355 372222

Tel: 0845 606 0240

Merchants Road

Patio paving and natural stone

Gloucester GL2 5RG

Aggregate Industries UK Ltd

Tel: +44 (0)1452 411991

Hulland Ward,




Creamy flags, blocks and other

Interior and exterior stone solutions

hard-landscaping elements

Haddonstone Ltd,


Tel: 0870 600 9111

Unit 10, Brooks Lane Ind. Est.

The Forge House,

Concrete and natural stone flags

Middlewich, Cheshire

Church Lane, East Haddon,

121 High Street,

CW10 0JH




Tel: +44 (0)1606 833200



Pavings, driveways

Tel: +44 (0)1604 770711

CB22 7QB

and landscaping

Tel: 0845 130 1730

Oxford Road



Derbyshire DE6 3ETF

Patio Flags, BS Flags, CBPs, Kerbs


Aggregate Industries UK Ltd

Block paving


Warwickshire CV8 3EJ

Hulland Ward, Ashbourne

Flusco House, Penrith

Patio Flags and edgings

Tel: (0)2476 518700

Derbyshire DE6 3ET

Cumbria CA11 0JB

Sand Hills, Faringdon

Tel: +44 (0)1335 372222

Tel: +44 (0)1768 483617

Oxfordshire SN7 7PQ

Tel: +44 (0)1367 240112



TURNSTONE PATIO CENTRE Manufacturers and suppliers of wet cast patio flags

Wet-cast patio flags

Patio and garden flags


Rectors Lane

Unit 10, Dockray Hall Mill,


Landscape experts supplying natural


Burneside Road,

Skellingthorpe Road

stone and concrete products




Holloway Hill, Chertsey


Cumbria LA9 4RU

Lincoln LN1 2LR

Surrey KT16 0AE


Tel: +44 (0)1539 723600

Tel: +44 (0)1522 704158

Tel: +44 (0)1932 570094

Tel: +44 (0)1244 539601

The Eng lish Gar den


TEGUK140 Insurance final



Page 70



Great value, better cover: what could be simpler?


discountfor The English Garden readers

To help you protect your home and garden and save you money The English Garden has negotiated preferential rates with leading insurance brokers, SmithGreenfield. High Net Worth Insurance Cover can be very beneficial to readers whose homes are valued at over £250,000 or whose contents are worth more than £50,000


eaders of The English Garden may be able to save on their


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● Specialist statuary and garden furniture cover

the scope of their cover by changing

● Worldwide ‘All Risks’ cover for all your possessions

to a specialist High Net Worth

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Insurance Cover via specialist broker

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SmithGreenfield Services. High Net

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Worth policies may often be cheaper as they are underwritten correctly. A standard insurer may assume that the more an individualowns, the greater the risk.The reality is that the people who own valuablestake good care of them. High Net Worth policies offer you worldwide All Risks cover for contents; agreed value settlements on items of high value, and restoration and depreciation cover for antiques and fine art. Garden plants, statues and furniture can be included at generous limits. The English Garden is delighted to offer readers access to effective and bespoke insurance through SmithGreenfield, who will provide confidential quotations, advice and information at no charge. Readers also benefit from a 10% discount.

For a free quote or more information, tel: 0844 873 3919 or visit and go to the private clients page ✁ For a free quotation or further information, please write to: The English Home & Garden Insurance Offer, 15 Stratton Street, Mayfair, London W1J 8LQ

Name ......................................................................................................... Address .....................................................................................................

The English Home & Garden Insurance Offer is administered by SmithGreenfield


Services PLC, who are authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority.

...................................................... Postcode ............................................. My current insurance policy expires in.......................................................

■ Please tick if you have a subscription to The English Garden. ■ Please tick if you do not wish to receive information about products we feel may be of interest to you.


The English Gard en

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TEGUK140 Design Gd Badminton final



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The elegant planting at 17th-century Badminton House in Gloucestershire has the feel of a centuries-old English country manor garden, but it was designed just 25 years ago PHOTOGRAPHS GARY ROGERS WORDS JANINE WOOKEY

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Garden profile OWNERS Duke and Duchess of Beaufort

DESIGNERS Russell Page and François Goffinet

GARDEN DETAILS Badminton, Glos GL9 1DF.

SITE Open Cotswold country site

SOIL Brash clay STYLE Formal design

admint on Hous e was restored and rebuilt in the 1660s by the 1st Duke of Beaufort, Henry Somerset, who was given his title by Charles II in 1682. In its heyday in the 1680s, it had marvellous pleasure gardens falling away from the house, and period drawings show it with a plethora of magnificent formal parterres coming right up to the house. Successive dukes were very enthus iastic about the Beaufort hunt, but less so abou t the gardens. Badminto n - apart from giving its name to the medieval battledo re and shuttlecock game in the 1870s - has always been associated with hunting and, since 1949, equestrian events includin g the famous BadmintonHorse trials. When the 11th Duke, David Somerset, inherited the title in 1984


74 The English Gard en

at the age of 56, there really was not much of a garden left. He and his wife Caroline, who died in 1995, were keen gardeners, and togethe r they set down the bones of a beautiful garden. There were friends to help. The landscape architect Russell Page visited and, stepping out of the terrace on the east wing, jotted a few sketches and notes on the back of a envelope. Alas, he died a few days later, and the present Duchess, Miranda, is sad that the envelope is now long lost. Page’s associate, Belgian designer François Goffinet, stepped forward to help complete the scheme . His main contri butio ns were the four box parterres on the south side of the house . Gardenin g advic e was also at hand from the well-known garden historian

and author Avilde Lees-Milne, who lived on the estate with her husband James from 1975 until her death in 1994. All was done informally and no records kept, making it a challenge for the present Duch ess, but giving her the freedo m to make chan ges as she and the Duke feel necessary. ‘I see my job as looking after this marvellous garden as it was meant to be. The person who is the biggest influence on my ideas is my husband, as he has an exceptional eye for scale.’ The result is a structured but luxuriousl y planted garden of many parts that wraps itself around the eleg ant hous e with great style, with flower plan ting in a soft base palette with dark tones of burgundi es, plums and purples threaded throughout.


with informal planting

TEGUK140 Design Gd Badminton final amended



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The east wing This area owes its existence with its dense box beds to landscaper Russell Page. It sits between the conservatory wings, which mirror each other across the lawn.The roses used here include white Iceberg,and yellow Charlotteand ‘ArthurBell’ to reflect the sunny feel. THE BOX PARTERRE This feature (left) has become so deep that the Duchess is looking for longer legged plants. Hosta sieboldiana var. elegans and Geranium macrorrhizum ‘Album’ are doing well, as is Euphorbia characias subsp. characias ‘Humpty Dumpty’, and this year she is adding Teucrium fruticans and Artemisia ludoviciana ‘Silver Queen’. POTS FOR DRAMA Large pots of white Tulipa‘Triumphator’are sunk into the ground for a dramatic touch early in the season, to be followedby soft waftingwhite cosmos.

‘I see my job as looking after this marvellous garden as it was meant to be’

The rose garden The 16 geometric box beds filled with roses and divided by box hedges and yew pyramids make this a magnificent display of both colour and fragrance in early summer. THE COLOUR PALETTE The palette moves from the white of Winchester Cathedral to palest pink ‘FantinLatour’, to the richer tones of the burgundy ‘Cardinal de Richelieu’ and crimson ‘Tuscany Superb’.Soft yellows of ‘Buff Beauty’ are interspersed throughout and the ground cover comes in the form of violas and alliums in spring, and assorted geraniums, such as Geranium x magnificum and G. ▲

macrorrhizum ‘Album’in summer.

The English Garden


TEGUK140 Design Gd Badminton final


Page 76

The hornbeam hedge at

Reflecting the influence

The paving flags for the

The base of the

the back of the parterres

of Russell Page and

paths were found stored

rectangular pond is

was a François Goffinet

François Goffinet, box is

away in a stable on the

concrete topped and

choice. It requires

a major part of the south

estate, saved from a

edged with York stone.

clipping twice a year

garden design, but two

previous life.They are

The Duchess recently

and the Duke would

decades down the line,

Pennant stone.

really prefer yew,

the Duke and Duchess

lip more watertight and

made the seal at the top

although the Duchess

are finding it hard to

then raised the water

enjoys its lighter green

keep it all in good

level to get an ‘infinity

colour and feels it lifts

health and good shape.

feel’ which has greatly

the atmosphere.



The En glish Gar den

improved the look.

TEGUK140 Design Gd Badminton final



Page 77


The symmetrical spheres

The flowers that infill

The colour theme is

The grass paths are kept

are of small leaved privet

behind the box and in

kept to soft pink and

immaculate with a strict

front of the hedge are

white with a little blue.

regime of mowing and

mainly Japanese

Peonies are the favoured

feeding.The gardens are

is much underestimated.

anemone, A. x hybrida

flower although white

fortunate that they do

It needs clipping just

‘Honorine Jobert’ and

foxgloves are allowed to

not suffer a very heavy

once a year and is well

the occasional pink

self-seed within reason,

footfall of visitors.

behaved apart from a

‘Königin Charlotte’.They

and the spheres of

tendency to throw out

need to to be watched

Allium hollandicum and

an occasional long shoot.

as they have a tendancy

A. cristophii match the

to be invasive.

privet balls.

The peony and pool beds François Goffinet,a Belgian designer who had workedwith Russell Page, came to Badminton after Russell’s death in 1985 and designed the south garden,very much in Russell’sgeometricstyle.The result is a lovely set of four matching squares balanced around a circular lawn. Some of the planting had to be removedlater,for,as the Duchess says slightly ruefully,‘It came up so close to the house, it was almost claustrophobic,and if he had his way we would have moved the house to make way for the garden!’ So two sections and some hedges were removed,leaving just two yew pyramids in a manicuredlawn on to which you step out from the house. Beautiful peonies are a favouredflower in this garden and they seem to thrive in their small rooms.Among them are Paeonia lactiflora‘Marie Lemoine’,‘Bowl of Beauty’,the creamy‘Duchesse de Nemours’,rose pink ‘ShirleyTemple’,large flowered‘Sarah Bernhardt’,and ‘Primevère’.‘I do love them,’says the Duchess,‘but I wish someone would come and give me a lesson in how to hold their heads up.’

(Ligustrum ovalifolium) which the Duchess feels

TEGUK140 Design Gd Badminton final



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Garden rooms The Badminton Estate proudly boasts two magnificent long conservatories as well as a splendid orangery.

THE CONSERVATORIES To the east of the house stand the present conservatories, which were built in 1780 and have fantastic high apexed ceilings (top row, right). The walls of both are covered from floor to ceiling in wooden trellis, painted pale blue, and they are packed with scented geraniums. The Duchess’ absolute favourite is the very pretty hybrid shell-pink ivy Pelargonium ‘Millfield Gem’, which climbs to the top of the conservatory.

THE ORANGERY Situated down by the swimming pool, the orangery is used these days mainly to keep the splendid array of tender summer-flowering bulb agapanthus (below left and below centre). All of the varieties at Badminton are so old, no one knows their names anymore. Some just come in for the winter with the Mexican orange blossoms (choisya), alongside Aloysia triphylla (lemon verbena) and also the African hemp, Sparrmannia africana. Climbing roses such as ‘Alister Stella Gray’ and wisteria cover the outside walls (right). In front of the orangery is a dense planting of long established iris ‘Jane Phillips’ (below right), which were replanted in the past month after building work.

The splendid array of agapanthus in the orangery are so old no one knows their names anymore


The English Gard en

TEGUK140 Design Gd Badminton final



Page 79


Water features THE SWIMMING POOL AND FOUNTAIN The stunning swimming pool and fountain (above) sits in front of the orangery and was designed by the Duke himself.

THE SHELL FOUNTAIN The Duchess first came across the idea for a shell fountain in a French garden, and then, to her delight, discovered there were a number of old large shells tucked away in barn on the estate - a remnant of some earlier ornate decoration at Badminton. The result is this wall display (right) that provides the soothing sound


of trickling water.



Russell Page (1906-1985)


(right) After a short partnership

OF BEAUFORT is married to David,

with Geoffrey Jellicoe, he settled

the 11th Duke of Beaufort. With

in France, and designed gardens

the help of head gardener Richard

at Ditchley Park for Nancy

Preest, Miranda has been actively

Lancaster, Landriana in Italy and

continuing and improving the

at the National Arboretum in

garden, which was begun in the

Washington DC, USA. His The

1980s. She has been designing

Education of a Gardener (1962)

gardens with Jane Nicholas

became a garden design classic.

since 1980, and they collaborated

● François Goffinet trained at

on a book, Easy Gardening, in

RHS Wisley and the Chelsea Physic Garden in London.

2004 (published by Frances


The Eng lish Gar den


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TEGUK140 Design Focus Charlotte Rowe final amended



Page 81



A small contemporary space with enough blooms to satisfy any ardent gardener connects house and garden with aplomb PHOTOGRAPHS CLIVE NICHOLS WORDS DAVID ANDREWS

CHARLOTTE ROWE A designer known for her bold architectural style matched with soft planting, she is based in London but has also taken contracts in the US and Europe. Suite 10, 2 Station Court, Imperial Wharf, London SW6 2PY. Tel: +44 (0)20 7736 8672.

The Eng lish Gar den


TEGUK140 Design Focus Charlotte Rowe final



Page 82

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFTThis platform is the perfect place for an al fresco meal; wooden decking by the water conjures thoughts of sunny pierside holidays; a Majorelle blue wall demands visual attention; a treat of a seat to paddle your feet; take a rest on this bench to appreciate the luscious planting. BOTTOM LEFTThe house seamlessly extends out and merges into the garden.


he brief for this contemporary design in West London was simple: a modern garden full of life for avid

plant lovers. With over half of the space allocated to plants and no lawn.The result is an intriguing design that more than meets the owners’ needs.


The English Gard en

The garden seamlessly stems from the house, running on the same level as the kitchen and lounge. A timber capsule housing an extension for the lounge boldly connects the house to timber decking and adjoining fence panels, something that designer Charlotte Rowe was keen to see happen from the start. Before the capsule had been installed, she met the owners and sketched ideas to ensure the architecture and garden intertwined. The result is an outdoor space inherently attached to the indoors. The structural prowess of the capsule is echoe d in the great bloc ks of planting, bringing both elements together the compact form of Buxus semperv irens provides a solid outline around which Salvia x sylvestris, Lavandula angustifolia and alliums move in the wind, attracting wildlife and filling the air with delightfu l scents. The predominant tones here are greens, purples and deep maroons, providing a haze of colour that contrasts with a striking block of Carex buchananii running parallel to the fence. Creating a sense of journey, access down into the garden is only permitte d along stepping stones made from rectangular lengths

of Egypti an limeston e and interj ected by groups of Erigeron karvinskianus and Thymus serpyllum. The same stone is used in both the upper and lower terraces. Its colour is almost a perfe ct match to the floo ring used in the kitchen, helping keep a strong link between the exterior and interior design. In the same way, the Western red cedar deck connectswith the timber capsule extension. The lower terrace provides a resting area disconnected from the house - a place to detach from the inside of the house and relax among the plants. At the end of the garden, two large lime-washed free-standing walls sit proud. The large r of the two is a reces sive grey colour mostly screened by a multi-stemmed Amelanchier lamarckii; the other a vibrant yet unobtrusive blue. The owners were inspired by this shade after a visit to Jardin Majorelle in Marrakesh, Morocco, and were keen to see some of the rich blue colo ur found there appear in their garden. The two walls draw the scheme together by reflecting the colours found in the garden and the bold geometric layout as a whole.

TEGUK140 Design Focus Charlotte Rowe final



Page 83


The deck is made of

The free-standing,

Structured blocks of

The use of Cornus

A 2m x 4.5m pool sits

Western red cedar, as are

lime-washed walls

planting create a jigsaw

alba ‘Sibirica’ with

below the edge of the

the benches.This

provide colour and act

of lines that connect


timber capsule, allowing

softwood has a charming

as effective screens for

with the deck and

jasminoides against the

people to hang their feet

natural-washed appeal.

objects the owners don’t

terraces, pulling the

fence, underplanted with

over the edge.The

Anything darker might

want on show, however,

whole garden into a

sedums, miscanthus,

pool is an essential

detract from the

they also have sculptural

single working unit. The

akebia, euphorbia and

connection between the

surrounding plants and

appeal in that they work

evergreen blocks are

monarda, creates a more

indoor space and the

contrast to detrimental

visually to draw your

separated by perennials,

natural, wild habitat

garden - its calm

effect with the light

eye down to the

creating a relaxed

along one side of the

reflective surface is a

and bright qualities of

bottom terrace.

balance of naturalistic

path leading to the

perfect match for the

wild planting against

bottom of the garden.

wooden extension and

the terrace.

formal arrangement.

its large glass screen.

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TEGUK140 Malvern Show final:UK



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Malvern Spring Gardening Show Take a trip to the UK’s first big gardening event of the year, from 7-10 May s you drive towards the showground, you’ll take


Malvern Hills, recently been voted one of AOL Travel’s


worldwide holiday hotspots.

● Parking available

in the breathtaking views of the spectacular

The Malvern Spring Gardening Show, now in its 24th

on site.

year, is a fundraising event and a joint venture of the

● Located eight

Three Counties Agricultural Society and the Royal

miles from the M5

Horticultural Society. This year sees an unprecedented

and M50 - follow

collection of some 40 gardens and borders of varied style.

brown signs to

You’ll also find trade stands selling products and plants, a

showground and

new Eco Home & Garden Area, Creative Cooking

then the yellow

demonstrations, Chickens In The Garden display and

colourful outfits in front of a guest celebrity judge. This

UK skills in Association with British Association of

exciting event will be hosted by gardeners Joe Swift and

● Shuttle buses

Landscape Industries (BALI), which is using the show

James Alexander-Sinclair.And, of course, there is the

available from

for the regional heat of its World Skills Landscape

magnificent 1.6-acre RHS Malvern Floral Marquee with

Great Malvern

Gardening Competition 2009.

thousands of exquisite floral displays from 100 of the


This year also sees 11 new designers go head to

AA signs.

country’s top nurseries.

head to win the second Chris Beardshaw Mentoring Scholarship, sponsored by Bradstone. They face the challenge of building a show garden and facing the


judges in front of a public audience on the Thrusday.

Thursday 7 May: Advance tickets only on first day - Adults £28; RHS and

The biggest treat of the year is the new Spring Fashion

TCAS members £25. First day price includes car parking.

Day, which will be held on Friday 8 May.The Design For

Friday 8 May: Advance - adults £16, members £15. On the gate - £17.50.

Living Theatre will be home to a contemporary garden

Saturday 9 and Sunday 10 May: Advance - adults £14, members £13.

catwalk where young designers from Worcester College

On the gate - £15.50.

of Technology’sSchool of Art and Design will parade their

To buy tickets: or tel: + 44 (0)1684 584 924.

The English Gar den


TEG UK140 Majestic Trees Competition final:UK



Page 86


WIN a £10,000 MAKEOVER for your garden with MajesticTrees Enter our competition to have trees established in your garden very garden, large or small, needs trees. For spring


blossom, autumn leaf colour or for textured bark in


winter, nothing adds drama to a garden like trees.

Entries limited to

How would mature trees change your garden’scomplexion? Would a stately avenue give your newly built home the gravitas it lacks? Would a tall, living screen instantly

one per household. Entrants must be 18 years or over. The competition

transform an unattractive view into the tranquil outlook

is not open to the

you have always wanted?

employees of Archant

As an exclusivecompetitionfor The EnglishGardenreaders,

Specialist or Majestic

MajesticTreesof Hertfordshirewill design, plant and/or build

Trees, or their families

up to £10,000worth of hard and soft landscapingfor the lucky

and agents.

reader who presents the most persuasive case for a garden makeover.The winner will be announced in a later issue

of the magazine,

and The English


The winner is the first correct entry chosen after the closing date of 15 May 2009. The

will follow the design and build process over the summer,

prize must be taken

culminating in a special feature on the winner’s garden to

before the end of

be published in the autumn.

2009. No cash

To enter, answer the question on the entry form (below) and submitphotographsof your garden(digitalor prints),along with a summary of up to 200 words as to why you believe

alternative available. Full competition rules available on receipt of SAE. The judges’

your garden would be most dramatically transformed by the

decision is final; no

addition of mature trees. Send the entry form and additional

correspondence will be

information to The English Garden Majestic Trees competition,

entered into. You may

Archant House, Oriel Road, Cheltenham, Gloucester GL50 1BB

photocopy this form.

or alternativelyenter online at

✁ THE ENGLISH GARDEN MAJESTIC TREES COMPETITION - MAY ISSUE 140 HOW TO ENTER: Complete the entry form and include the correct answer to the question below (it may help to read pages 59-61 in our March issue). On a separate piece of paper, describe, in no more than 200 words, why adding trees to your garden would yield the most dramatic transformation, and what effect would be achieved. Question: Why does an Airpot-grown tree (right) establish so quickly compared to trees grown in conventional containers? In addition to your answer please submit: • A photo of the proposed planting site to illustrate your case. • At least three photos of your garden and house, to show existing planting. • At least one photo showing access path from proposed parking/offloading position to planting site, to show any obstructions such as steps, gates, or walls. • Measurement of the narrowest point along access path, e.g. gate opening or side passage. • Measurement of the height of any vertical limits along access path, such as overhanging eaves. • Details of access restrictions close to your home (for narrow lanes, HGV restriction, no parking etc). These are needed for planning purposes only and will not adversely affect your entry.

Answer: Name (Mr/Mrs/Ms): Address: Postcode:



Please tick if you subscribe to The English Garden. ❑ Please tick if you do not wish to receive information about products and services from Archant Specialist by phone ❑ by post ❑ or from other carefully selected companies by phone ❑ by post. ❑ Please tick the box if you do not wish to receive further information from Majestic Trees. ❑


The English Gard en

087-TEG-May-UK:Layout 1



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Natural bathing in your own garden

On the days when some pond owners would like to swap with their frogs, a swimming pond is the answer! It provides a natural environment for animals and plants, and improves the micro climate in the garden. Not only does the pond blend in with the garden during the summer, but in cold areas it can also be an ice rink in the winter.

Locating the pond at the deepest or lowest point in the garden gives it a very natural feel and putting it next to a patio gives the appearance of being beside a lake.

The water plants carry out biological cleaning. Not only do they look attractive, but they produce oxygen and remove excess nutrition. The plant roots and gravel harbour many tiny micro organisms which assist in the cleaning cycle. The choice of plants is important and our professional team will help you to choose correctly.

ANGLO SWIMMING PONDS LTD Strayfield Road, Enfield, Middlesex EN2 9JE Tel: +44 (0)20 8363 8548 Fax: +44 (0)20 8363 8547 Email: Web:

TEGUK140 Francines Kitchen final:UK



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From the kitchen garden Francine Raymond shakes it up this month with oils, vinegars and a serving of asparagus soup PHOTOGRAPHS SARAH BUSH



healthierthan hard fats, but every now

ingredients we use to enhance

and again, a new seed oil appears,





salads are totally a matter of

with high hopes in the health stakes.

personal taste, but there’s no better way

Hemp and pumpkin are the current

to customise dressings than with flavours

crop. The best that can be said is that

from your own garden, by making infused

they taste healthy.

oils and vinegars.


Use seasonalingredientsand blend your oils in tiny quantities, because they won’t

Vinegars last indefinitely.You can even

keep. Choose a small, glamorous bottle

make your own by adding a ‘mother’

that has been througha dishwashingcycle,

starter to wine or cider, but like

add a few pretty chillis cut lengthways,

other home cultures such as yoghurt

or garden herbs with a ribbon of lemon

or yeast, you can soon become

peel - or for pure luxury, the tiniest amount

overwhelmed, producing mountains

of grated truffle. Top up with light olive

of food to press on long-suffering

oil, making sure all the contents are

friends in an effort to keep the beast

covered. Shake occasionally to release

caged. Premium vinegars, like strong,

the aromas, keep in the fridge and

aged balsamic and sherry or the

consume quickly; sloshed on pasta, over

more delicate champagne, are best

risottos, on bruschetta and in vinaigrettes,

treated with respect. Cider vinegar

dressings and marinades.

has proven health properties - I often add a spoonful to my hens’ drinking


water for a springtime purge. Save

Frances Bissell, in her sensational book

malt vinegar to scour the limescale

The Scented Kitchen, suggests blending

from your kettle.

flower oils with grapeseed oil, then

Flavouredvinegarsare not a modern

brushing scallops with rose oil, or roast

invention - 17th-century diarist John

peppers with lavender oil, and making brilliant

Other oils, such as sesame, walnut and are too strong

Evelyn insisted that his vinegar should always

blue borage or stunning marigold oil by bruising


to countenance

be ‘impregnated with the infusion of clove

their petals and mixing into a pesto.

adulteration. Sesame should be sprinkled on a

gillyflowers, elder roses, rosemary, nasturtium and thus enrichedwith the virtuesof these plants’.

dish of noodles or finely sliced cabbage, and I love the nut oils rubbed into a crumble mixture,

Take a clean bottle, pop in a few sprigs of your

are so special, they shouldn’t be desecrated with

with nuts, sugar and oats topping baked fruits.

chosen flavouring (bruising any herbs beforehand

extra flavours, just drizzled onto cooked dishes of

Virgin olive oil is fabulous in dressings, but use a

with a rolling pin) and top up with the vinegar of

warm new potatoes or baby garden vegetables.

light olive or safflower oil for cooking. All oils are

your choice, completely covering with liquid.

Extracted from nuts, seeds and fruits, cooking oils vary hugelyin quality.Some premiumolive oils

CREAM OF ASPARAGUS SOUP Hefty overgrown spears and tiny grassy sprue can be thriftily used up in soups like this one, saving your textbook asparagus for finer dishes. Serve with snipped chive flowers

● Finely chop a bunch of whole spring onions and a stick of celery. ● Sweat gently in a little butter for a few minutes. ● Chop 450g/1lb asparagus - the thicker the spears, the smaller the bits - and add to the pan. ● Add 570ml/20fl oz of good stock and a little chopped mint. ● Simmer gently for 25 minutes and liquidise. ● Re-heat gently, adding the crème fraîche just before serving.


The English Gard en


and swirled crème fraîche for a luscious garden lunch or dinner party treat.

TEGUK140 Francines Kitchen final:UK



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TEGUK140 Francines Kitchen final:UK



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From the garden BUNCHES OF COW PARSLEY Whether you call it Queen Anne’s lace, cow parsley or wild chervil, the lanes here in Suffolk are fringed with creamy froth. Cut huge bunches to bring into the house. Place in a large galvanized vases, adding a little bleach to the water. Keep until they start to drop their tiny dusty petals, and replace with fresh bouquets before the plant emits its characteristic smell.

Make your own dressing in a screw-top jam jar, blending the ingredients by shaking them vigorously DRESS TO IMPRESS

with sea salt and black pepper, and whizz briefly

Tradition decrees one part vinegar to three parts

in a blender.This is particularly delicious on crisp

oil as the basis of a dressing. Add sea salt and

cos lettuce, topped with poached eggs.

black pepper to taste, definitely, and a little Dijon

A favourite marinade: In a soup dish, add a

mustard, some harissa or Worcestershire sauce,

splash of light olive oil, a sliced lemon and the

maybe. Make up your dressing in a screw-topjam

juice of another, some capers, a little garlic and

jar, blending the ingredients by shaking them

salt and pepper, and marinate a sliced aubergine

vigorously. Save in the fridge, but refresh

in the mixture for a few hours. Drain and grill, and

frequently,as dressings go stale, especially those

serve with the marinade reduced as a sauce.

with added crushed garlic.Try experimentingwith

I love this with soft goat’s cheese in herby oil

a little mashed anchovy for a Caesar dressing;

with black peppercorns, or some feta bathed in

add some crumbled blue cheese for protein; or

lemon oil with mint.

for a healthier option, replace the oil with low-fat yoghurt and the vinegar with lemon juice. A favourite dressing: Take a bunch each of


watercress and parsley, a sprig of tarragon and a

Francine’s garden in Troston, near Bury St Edmunds, is open to the public for the NGS on

bundle of chives;then add two dessert spoons of

Bank Holiday Sun and Mon, 24 and 25 May, 2-5pm. Come and visit the hens, ducks and

champagne or mild vinegar, four tablespoons of

garden, and see the new iris bed and willow pond fence.

olive oil and a carton of soft white cheese.Sprinkle


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TEGUK140 Ecowatch final:UK



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Garden machinery


A necessary evil for all but the most dedicated of green gardeners, Anne Gatti looks at environmental ways to use mowers and more


The English Gard en



ne of the perks of being a garden writer Then there’s the potential damage to the wider and environmentalists say that the more people is that occasionally you are offered (or environment that garden machinerycauses. Tools sign up, the more money there will be for the can beg) gadgets to try out. A couple of powered by fossil fuels are responsible for carbon development of green energy in the UK. years ago, I tested two leaf blowers, the kind that dioxide emissions and other greenhouse gases, If you are not with a greenenergysupplier,then vacuum as well as blow, and chop the leaves to which are directly associatedwith climatechange. you should consider battery-operated tools and boot. Even though my garden is small, I thought Scientists warn that the need to cut our CO2 machines, especiallyones that run on lithium-ion this bit of machinery would be a nifty time saver, emissions in particular - and the Energy Savings batteries. This technology has impressive eco Trust says we in the UK are the least efficient especially for the leaves that settle on the gravel credentials:testing by independent technicianshas energy users in Europe - is critical if we are to part of the garden. It’s a year-round job as the given results of 60g of CO2 emissions for a lithiumion-powered mower cutting 300 sq m of grass avoid the extinctionof up to a quarter of all plant eucalyptus drops leaves in all seasons, but one I compared with 780g from a petrol-powered one. species and land animals. put off as longas possiblebecause it makes a racket So what should the eco gardenerdo about using These batteries are used by companies like Bosch like an industrial-sized vacuum cleaner. and Wolf Garten in a range of machines from machinery? Well it’s possible, of course, to do all A MORI Research poll found that 1 million hedge cutters and shearsto shreddersand mowers. people moved homein 2007 becausethey couldn’t these jobs by hand - think of the calories you’d According to Roger Tombs of Bosch UK, the burn and the savings you’d make by cutting the stand the noise produced by neighbours. I don’t batteries used in their mowers will power the grass with a push mower. But many gardeners just know how many of those involved noise in the machinesfor up to 30 minutes,dependingon the don’t have the time, especially if they have miles garden, but if you visit the forums on the Noise height and condition of Abatement Society website the grass, and take one you’ll find plenty of cases. What should the eco gardener do about using machinery? It is hour to recharge, which One lady put leaf blowers at possible to do jobs by hand, but many of us just don’t have time makes them a viable the top of her list of garden option for most gardens. machinery that causes of hedging to clip or hectaresof lawn to mow. The At the end of their lives, these batteries should be ‘anguish’ to neighbours, followed by trimmers, greenest option is to choose your machines with returned to the manufacturer so the various shredders and high-pressurecleaners. noise, energysourcesand emissions in mind.Many elementscan be extracted and reused.Husqvarna I would add petrol-driven lawn mowers too. manufacturers now offer ‘quiet’ models, which offers a self-propelled mower that tops up its When we are sitting out having lunch and our typically run at 84 decibels (Robomow and also nickel-metal-hydride battery (better for the neighbours choose that particular moment to cut the Automower range from Husqvarnapurr along environment than a nickelcadmiumor lead) with their large lawns, we are forced to eat, without at an impressive 64 decibels). Unfortunately,they solar power, is quieter than a household vacuum conversation,listening to the roar of the engine. are often more expensive to produce. Electric cleaner and runs for up to an hour on one charge. The legal limit for a mower with a 50-70cm models will be quieter than petrol-driven ones, You could also considera recyclerlawnmower, cutting width is 98 decibels (a boiling kettle and if your supplier uses energy from renewable which shreds the grass very finely and then measures 50) but the National Noise Association sources such as wind,wateror solar(see opposite) fires the clippings back to the base of the plants says that levels above 85 decibels may harm our then you will be making a significantreduction in where it acts as a mulch, reducing the need to hearing. Presumably short blasts of this kind of your personal carbon emissions. One provider water and feed the grass, and saving you time. noise are not likely to do permanent damage, but claims thatswitchingto greenelectricitycan reduce Some models are petrol-driven but Toro and if every time you step into the garden you are the annual carbon footprint of an average AL-KO offer an electric one, which if combined subjected to a battery of mowing, trimming, household by two tons. Less than 1% of our with a green energy supplier would make for shredding, and power hosing, then your mood is electricityis currentlygenerated from thesesources a sound eco choice. unlikely to be tranquil.

TEGUK140 Ecowatch final:UK



Page 93


Stan Fairbrother Bespoke Architectural Garden Structures

● Quiet! According to the Noise Abatement Society,under the EnvironmentalProtectionAct, 1990, if a noise is deemed a nuisance, an abatement notice must be served by the local authority.If the offenderfails to comply with the notice, proceedingscan be taken in the MagistratesCourt or an injunction sought in the High Court. An occupier of premises affectedby noise nuisance can complain directly to the MagistratesCourt and civil action can also be taken. Also, a local authority officer may in some cases enter a dwelling and seize and confiscate equipment which it is thought is or has been used to emit noise.



For the finest in summerhouses, gazebos, outdoor offices & garden studios visit our website to inspire yourself with designs for your own garden hideaway, or telephone for our brochure.

● ● A bit of TLC Looking after your mower is a great way to be environmentally friendly - a few simple checks will keep it running at its optimum level and reduce how often you have to replace it too. Ideally mowers should be professionally serviced each year, but there are a few basic things you can do to keep them in good working order: keep blades sharp (if you’re unsure how to sharpen them, your local dealer or garage can help); tighten bolts and screws if they have worked loose during mowing; check belts and gears for wear, replacing when necessary and clean off excess cuttings after mowing to stop rusting.

ON GREEN ENERGY AND ENERGY SAVING ● ● ● ● ● Fair share If you are a member of a garden society, why not think about sharing garden machinery? Create a general pool of tools that everyone can use when they need them is kinder to the environment. It is a great way to cut down on the amount of gadgets you need to buy and working out a rota between the group will ensure you only use them when it’s really necessary.


094-TEG-May-UK:Layout 1



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TEGUK140 Web page final:UK



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Visit our website... GREAT VALUE PRICES ON PLANTS AND TOOLS AT EXCLUSIVE WEB OFFER ... Rudbeckia ‘Cherry Brandy’


Summer perennial Rudbeckia ‘Cherry Brandy’ is a superb garden plant, which will flower from July right the way through to the first frosts of autumn. Producing masses of blooms, it’s excellentas a cut flower too. Plant in sun or partial shade with asters and Verbena bonariensis for cottage-style borders. Height 61cm (24in) Buy 42 plugs for £11.99 or 84 plugs for £15.99 - double the amount for just £4 extra. FREE P&P.


SAVE £3.93! It’s the perfect month for a spot of pruning, and this great value exclusive set comprises a pair of gloves and two pruners, ideal for tackling all manner of plants, such as wall-trained fruit like cherries and figs, spring-flowering shrubs like berberis and choisya, as well as removing frost damage from evergreen shrubs.

Our website is packed with design tips, photography, competitions, events and advice on jobs to do now. Fully interactive, you can have your say too. Visit us at... READER COMPETITION

Start taking stunning pictures today Want to take pictures like this? Then visit the new Photography Monthly website for: I All the latest tips and

techniques I Free independent buying

advice on current cameras brought to you by:


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Nikon D90 camera kit, a Nikon Coolpix P6000 and a copy of Travel Photography by Steve Davey.

To get your hands on one of these superb Nikon prizes, simply enter one of your own stunning travel images via the competitions page from 16th Feb

The English Gar den


096-TEG-May-UK:Layout 1



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TEGUK140 T& M offers final:UK



Page 97


Scented blooms SPECIAL OFFER


Surround yourself with the sweet scents of summer with this great collection of fragrant flowering plants.

A Rambling Rose

‘Albertine’ Deliciously fragrant, this hardy variety will quickly ramble over walls and arches. Flowers from June to July. Height to 5m. Supplied as bare roots. Buy one Rosa ‘Alb ertine’ f o r £ 9. 9 9 o r g e t t w o f o r just £14.98 and SAVE £5

B Philadelphus

‘Belle Etoile’ An easy-to-grow scented shrub, this mock orange flowers abundantly from late spring. Ideal for a mixed border, it will cope well with poor soil and urban pollution. Height to 1.2m. Supplied in 9cm pots. Buy one Philadelphus ‘Belle Etoile’ for £9.99 or get three for just £15.98 and SAVE £13.99


C Jasmine officinale ‘Clotted Cream’ Masses of perfumed flowers appear from June to August. This fast-growing, semievergreen climber is perfect for disguising walls and fences. Height to 1.8m. Buy five plants for only £9.99 or buy 10 plants for just £14.98 and SAVE £5


D Lonicera ‘Golden Honey’ Plant this new compact honeysuckle near seating areas to enjoy the delicate scent. Attracts bees, butterflies and hoverflies. Height to 3m. Buy three plants for only £9.99 or buy six for just £14.98 and SAVE £5


ORD ER BY PHONE: 0844 573 2020. Please quote EGA18. Phone lines open seven days a week, 9am-8pm. ORDE R BY PO ST: The English Garden Offers, Dept. EGA18, PO Box 99, Sudbury CO10 2SN

✁ Method of payment


(Please delete as applicable) Cheque/Maestro/Mastercard/Visa Please send me

Code Quantity Price

1 Rambling Rose ‘Albertine’



2 Rambling Rose ‘Albertine’




Name ...................................................................................

1 Philadelphus ‘Belle Etoile’



Address ...............................................................................

3 Philadelphus ‘Belle Etoile’



.................................................................. ......................................

5 Jasmine officinale ‘Clotted Cream’



10 Jasmine officinale ‘Clotted Cream’



3 Lonicera ‘Golden Honey’



6 Lonicera ‘Golden Honey’



..................................................... Postcode ........................... (for delivery purposes only) Telephone .............................................................................

Card number.........................................................................

Total £

Expiry date ..................................... Issue no ....................... Please note that your contract for supply of goods is withThompson & Morgan (YoungPlants) Ltd (Terms and conditions available upon request). All offers are subject to availability. Offersavailable to UK mainland residents only. Orders dispatchedfrom May 2009 onwards. All orders will be acknowledged with a dispatch date. *Free picking and processing. Offer closes 31st May 2009.

(Maestro only)

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SKEP in the

right direction

Many people are turning back to traditional methods in these unsure days, and what could taste sweeter than a sup of honey from an old-fashioned, handmade bee skep? PHOTOGRAPHS PAUL FELIX WORDS SIAN ELLIS

ee-keeping in Britain dates from before Roman times, and David Chubb keeps the traditi on going, making a quarter ton of honey each year. Primarily a sheep farmer, of South Cerney in Glouces tershire, he infuses his golden goodness with the flavours of local snowdrops, crocuses, horse chestnut, borage and lime. And since 1982, this Cotswold bee-keeper has also kept alive another, more unusual tradition: weaving bee skeps. Skeps are straw bee houses, hollow baskets with a bees’ entrancecut in the side. Folk built them long before the 19th-century invention of wooden hives, from whatever materials lay


to hand: wicker ones covered in clay and cow dung to keep off rain; and straw ones sporting hackles (roofs), sometimes made of cabbage leaves. These stood on ston e or wood platforms, in shelters or bee boles. Bees attach their honeycombs to the inside of the skep walls. ‘At one time, people killed the bees to scoop out the honey,’ David says. ‘To avoid that, you put a smaller skep on top of a larger one and take the combfilled smaller skep for your honey without disturbing the main hive.’ He taught himse lf to make skeps from a book almost 30 years ago, because he wanted one for collecting swarms. This is still how he uses them today. ‘I have a flat-topped skep

for the job, place d openin g upwards on a sheet , beneat h a tree where the bees are. Then I shake the swarm into it, wrap it up and take it home. ‘People like skeps because they’re natural and made from sustainableresources,’ he says. ‘Lots of people who don’t keep bees buy them. They use them to create an ornamental focal point in a garden or conservatory. It’s recrea ting a dream of a past period, a time when most cottage dwellers had bees. ‘I weave them in different sizes, usually about 35-60cm (14-24in) tall, for major bee companies, period filmmakers and individual customers in the UK and Europe. I also get enquiries from America.’ One year, he made

‘Skeps are natural and made from sustainable resources. They recreate a dream of a past period, a time when most cottage dwellers had bees’ giant versions for the Chelsea Flower Show. David weaves in the early morning and evening, fitting it around his farm work. He favours long-stemmed wheat straw,and in the past he has obtained supplies from the royal farm nearby. ‘I am a bee-keeper at Highgrove and I’ve also made Prince Charles a swarm-collectin g skep, but I don’t like to say too much about it.’ He may be a modest man, but David looks to the past to make his future, and obviously creates skeps fit for a queen… bee.

LEFT David Chubb prefersto use long-stemmed wheat straw, which he sometimes gets from Highgrove. MIDDLE TOP His handmade tools: a ring of cow horn through which he feeds straw to keep coils a consistent thickness, and three wooden-handled metal pipes that act like needles, guiding the cane through the coils. MIDDLE BOTTOM It begins with a special straw ‘knot’; he then coils up the straw,sewing it into place with rattan cane. RIGHTThe finished product, filled with honeycomb.


The English Gard en

Cotswold Bee Skeps, Box Bush Farm, South Cerney, Near Cirencester, Gloucestershire GL7 5UB. Tel. +44 (0)1285 860648. See more designs and products at A brief history of bee skeps can be found at More information and links also available from the Guild of Straw Craftsmen - visit the website

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CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT David Chubb specialises in handmaking old wheatstraw bee skeps; tending his hives; two different models on display in the garden; David also sells beeswax candles from Boxbush Farm; sheep farmer by day, skep artist by night; David’shoney,ready for sale.

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Plight of the humble

WHAT IS COLONY COLLAPSE DISORDER? ● The bee population in the


UK fell by 30% between 2007 and 2008, according to British bee-keepers, and tragically, last winter alone one in

Our bee population is in serious decline, but gardeners can make a difference WORDS CINEAD MCTERNAN

three colonies died. ● It’s not completely clear why bees are dying. Scientists believe the Varroa mite is responsible in part, sucking

5 bee-friendly ideas


blood of infected insects and weakening their immune



PERK UP PUBLIC SPACES If guerrilla gardening isn’t for you, the British Beekeepers’ Association(BBKA) suggest encouraging your local authority to plant flowers to attract bees in areas they look after, like roundabouts, parks and gardens. If its staff resources are limited you can always get a group of friends together and volunteer.

Encourage honey bees to

visit your garden with cottage style annuals and perennials.If you have enough room, why not let a patch go wild? It’s worth considering alternativesto pesticides too, as chemicalsare harmful to bees.Try organic products or encourage friendly predators to control pests. Visit www.organiccatalog.comor for more. Turnto page 115to find out the best nectar-richflowers to grow.

systems. As honey bee colonies are so densely packed, disease spreads quickly.There are physical and biological remedies, such as hygienic bees that remove dead, infected larvae from hives, but the mites are developing resistance to chemical treatments, with the result that nearly all wild honey bee colonies have died out. Beekeepers are the last hope to treat these infections. ● Pesticides, prolonged spells of wet weather - such as our past two summers - and

BECOME A BEE-KEEPER Take up a new hobby and become a bee-keeper, it’s the ultimate way to help honey bees. For all the information you need, contact your local branch of the BBKA, which you will be able to locate through its website Here you’ll also discover courses, essential equipment to get you started and how to manage the bees themselves. If this sounds a little daunting, why not offer your garden as a home for a beehive? Your local beekeeping association will help you find a keeper in need of more space and before you know it your flowers will also be enoying the benefits.



The English Gar den


declining habitats of traditional


hedgerows, chalk grassland,

You can’t beat the flavour of local honey

hay meadows and wildflowers

and it is even more delicious when it has been

are also an issue for honey and

made from the flora of your area. Find your

other types of bee. To help

nearest honey producer by visiting your farmer’s market or go to

combat the problem, the to search the database. Honey

Bumblebee ConservationTrust

Fairs take place throughout the year; speak to your local bee-

is encouraging gardeners to

keeping association for details and make a note in your diary of

plant traditional native plants

the National Honey Show, 29-31 October at St George’sCollege,

such as bluebells, rosemary,

Weybridge, Surrey KT15 2QS.

geraniums and honeysuckle.


LOBBY YOUR MP According to the BBKA, over the next five years bee related activities will contribute £800 million to the agricultural economy. Yet the government only spends £200,000 a year on honey bee research. Many, including Lord Rooker - former minister for the Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, and responsible for this finance until last October - believe this sum to be insufficient to prevent the impending disaster. Sign the BBKA petition and write to your MP to drum up support for The Bee Health Research Funding Campaign. Visit for campaign details.

READER BOOK GIVEAWAY We have 10 copies of Beekeeping by Joanna Ryde to give away,published by New Holland and on sale for £7.99.For a chance to win a copy, send an email to with the subject line ‘Bees’, answering this question: How much is spent on honey bee reseach each year?

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TEG UK 140 Nursery Rhodos final:UK



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Island beds are dotted around Nigel Wright’s rhododendron garden, showing off more than 800 different varieties. In the background, azaleas have been used to edge a bog garden.

Islands in

the green A local enthusiast’s ardour accidently sparked Nigel Wright’s profound passion for rhododendrons. Thirty years on, his garden and nursery are still flourishing PHOTOGRAPHS ROWAN ISAACS WORDS CINEAD MCTERNAN

igel Wrightlooks out over the manicured lawn. ‘It took me three years to get the field flat, mowing the bumps and pits to gradually level it,’ he says. It’s amazing to think that nearly 30 years ago, much of the land around The Old Glebe House in Devon was no more than a sloping field used for grazing horses. Its transformation into the beautifully landscaped garden it is today is testament to the imaginationand hard work of rhododendron specialist Nigel and his wife June. It soon becomes clear that smoothing out the field was one of the simpler jobs undertaken to create this garden. From hulking earth to fill a dip, digging a lake, constructing a bridge, building a summer house and creating a wild meadow, the Wrights have been bold with their plans. And this doesn’t include making 30 borders and island beds, which over the years have been planted with hundreds of different rhododendrons and



The Engli sh Gar den

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azalea s. Meeting Nigel and June, however, you’d be rhododendron-filled woodland. ‘I remember just taking forgiven for thinking they had merely made one or two a couple of plants home after that first visit,’ says Nigel, minor adjustments to the original plot. ‘but as I soon started to buy more varieties, I needed to They may be modest about their achievements, but find ways of displaying them in our garden. Island beds their enthusiasmand passionis infectious. June professes were perfect and it was fun deciding on the different to be a hopeless gardener, and as an artist prefers colour combinations. Grouping low plants at the front, visualisinghow the plants, colours and structures should with medium height and taller rhododendrons behind knit together. Nigel is hands on, and it is his love themalsogives you the chanceto see themfrom all angles’. affair with rhododend rons that truly defines the He is particularly keen to include early and late garden. It is a show case for more than 800 varieties of varieties for colour over most months of the year and rhododendrons and azaleas,which cleverlydemonstrates species with different leaves to give year-round interest how to use them in too. ‘They are all different settings, such individual charact ers It is Nigel’s love affair with rhododendrons as a hedge or an and become like old that truly defines the garden island border, on the friends,’ says Nigel. Nigel locatedanother periphery of a bog spot for his plants when he and June tackled a garden or as a feature specimen, he now also runs waterlogged area of the garden caused by a series of a successful nursery from the grounds. natural puddles running from the top of the lawn down It is surprising to learn that this wasn’t the original to the field at the far end. Resolved to ‘make the most intention for the garden. In fact, Nigel’s initiation into of what was already there’, June designed a succession rhododendron fever was thanks to an introdcution to a local enthusiast. Inheriting the troublesome Rhododendron of pools, edged with marginals andsom e of their favourite azaleas, including R. luteum, ‘Gibraltar’ and R. ponticum and a few other cultivars on buying the Old vicosum ‘Antilope’. Longing to have ducks, water lilies Glebe, he sought the advice of a local rhododendron and reeds, she also seized upon the opportunity to expert and nurser yman, Major Reyn olds. With no channel the run off from these pools to create a lake experien ce of these shrubs (previously gardening on with an island connected by a Monet bridge at the the chalky soil of their Bucki nghamsh ire home), Nigel was captivat ed after a tour round the Major ’s bottom of the garden.

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HOW TO TAKE SEMI-RIPE CUTTINGS 1. Take from midsummer until early autumn, choosing a 15cm (6in) tip. Remove the lowest leaves, leaving the top four, cutting them in half to reduce overlap. 2. Dip the end into hormone rooting powder and plant in pre-prepared holes (use a nail board to make holes 5cm (2in) deep and 5cm (2in) apart) in 15cm (6in) of 50:50 Irish peat and horticultural grit, in the base of a Nearing Frame. 3. Ensure that the compost remains moist until the cuttings are well rooted, shading the cold frame in hot weather. During winter, remove any fallen leaves and dead cuttings, watering only if the compost is dry. Once cuttings have rooted, place in a cold frame with a net cover (as it lets in rain) to semi shade from sunlight.

FAR LEFT,TOP TO BOTTOMRhododendron’s are ideal for attractingbees and insects; R. ‘Ring of Fire’ flowers in mid- to late spring;‘W.F.H.’is a compact low-growing variety; azaleas are closely related but generally bloom late May to early July. LEFT Dark-leaved rodgersia is a perfect foil for mixed azaleas. BELOWThe rope bridge spans a rhododendronfilled ravine and connects the garden,making a circular walk for visitors to enjoy.

Quirki er addit ions followed, all designed to draw attentio n and accentuate the specimens. A favourite, especiallyfor the Wright’sgrandchildren, is a rope bridge that spans a 26m (85ft) ravine that divides the garden in half. ‘It was inspired by a bridge we had seen during a trip to New Zealand,’ remembers June. ‘It took Nigel 10 Saturdays to make with the help of a local chap and they used half a mile of rope. I’m pleased to say so far it has lasted 10 years, and when you stand in the middle of it you get spectacular views of the rhododendrons below, and those planted up along the gulley towards the house. You see the islands beds when you look back across to the lake.’ A living eucalyptus gazebo, viewing platform and box-hedge turret also amuse in different areas and give refreshing aspects of the garden. Behind the scenes (where visitors are welcome to take a guided tour), there are three-y ear-old plants in 11 nursery beds, ordered by colour, and a series of net tunnels that are filled with one- to two-year-old plants in 1.5-litre pots, ready to be sold to the public. Nigel uses Nearing Frames, an American invention specifically used to propagate woody shrubs, to take up to 1,000 cuttings each year (see above ). ‘I did try breedin g rhododendrons and azaleasin the early years,’ says Nigel. ‘It was a painstakingly detailed process and the results were hit and miss. I also learned how to graft plants, but found species often reverted back to the rootstock, especially if I used the vigorous Rhododendron ponticum.

The Eng lish Ga rden


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ABOVE LEFTThe net tunnels allow rain in, helping Nigel to keep plants watered during the summer, and open ends allow air to circulate to keep plants healthy. ABOVE RIGHT Rhododendron ‘Cynthia’ bursts with colour under an oak tree. LEFT Foliage is often overlooked, but can be just as attractive as the flowers.

NIGEL WRIGHT’S TIPS ● Rhododendrons need adequate drainage as they don’t like having their feet wet - but what’s adequate? Try digging a hole and filling it with a bucket of water. If water is still there in 20 minutes you need to do something about the drainage. ● A good rule for spacing: tall varieties will be about 2m x 2m (6ft x 6ft) in 10 years, so space 2m apart. Medium ones reach 1.3m (4.5ft) and low types 1m (3ft). ● Early rhododendrons suffer from frost. Plant them to the west of a tree and

‘For me the most enjoyable method is taking cuttings. The frames make all the difference when it comes to success rates, but the trick is to set their roofs in a south-fac ing posi tion to give the greatest amou nt of shade during late spring and summ er, when the cuttings can scorch and dry out.’ Highly regarded within the gardening community, Nigel is often called upon for his expert ise. He has chosen and supplied rhododendron s and azaleas for gardens all over the country, including the National Trust, the woodland walk at RHS Rosemoor and for the British Masters Marquess’ golf course at Woburn Abbey. Some of his rhododendro ns have even ended up as far afield as St Petersburg (where, surprisingly, the Japanese species of yak thri ve) and in a mountain resort of a Lebanese hotelier. He has also written for The Rhododendron Society and teaches RHS trainees on day visits to his nursery. Despite this busy schedule, Nigel happily shares his knowled ge as he takes visito rs on tours aroun d the nursery and garden. And one thing is for sure: if you weren’t a rhododendron enthusiast when you arrived, you certainly will be when you leave.

they’ll benefit from the extra protection from early morning sun. ● Rhododendrons are shallow rooted so don’t mind being moved, preferably in autumn or winter. If you’re moving them in summer, keep them well watered. ● One of the more low maintenance shrubs, regular dead heading is important to promote new flowers and keep them looking tidy. Spend five to 10 minutes a day to keep on top of it. ● Don’t completely cut back rhododendrons. Buds are formed late summer the previous year, so you risk removing the flowers. Some types, often with shiny bark like R. thomsonii, won’t shoot again if you hard prune. Cut back one third only and keep an eye on it. If all’s well the next season, continue pruning a different third each year.

CONTACTS NIGEL’SFAVOURITE LOCAL GARDENS ● RHS Garden Rosemoor, Great Torrington,Exeter EX38 8PH. Open daily +44 (0)1805 624067. ● Sherwood, nr Newton St Cyres, Exter EX5 5BT.Open Sundays only, from March to November.Tel: +44 (0)1392 851216

The Old Glebe House, Eggesford, Chulmlei gh, Devon EX18 7QU Tel: +44 (0)1769 580632. Open for the NGS Saturdays and Sundays 9-10 and 16-17 May, 2-5.30pm. 108

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● Marwood Hill, nr Barnstaple, North Devon EX31 4EB. Open daily except 25 Dec. 9.30am-5.30pm. Tel: +44 (0)1271 342528. ● Lukesland Gardens, Ivybridge, Devon PL21 0JF.Open Weds, Suns and BHs from March-June. 2-6pm. Tel: +44 (0)1752 691749.

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A stunning range of classical garden stoneware to inspire your home and garden. Handmade in Derbyshire by local craftsmen, using local materials. Our 2009 collec tion inclu des pools, fount ains, temples, pavilions, balustrade, steps, sundials, urns, vases, benches, birdbaths, pier caps, copings and finals etc.

For further information or advice please call us on...

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Join us for an exclusive visit to

Renishaw Hall, home of the Sitwells The borders magnificent and we’ll have a rare trip around the vineyard and inside the house on our The English Garden reader day - it’s your last chance to book your place enishaw Hall, on the outskirts of Sheffield, has


Monday 15 June 2009

10am Welcome with coffee

years.Today,Sir Reresby and Lady Sitwell live in the

Inclusive cost of day: subscriber,

by head gardener David

imposing castellated house of 1625 within its 200-

£80; non-subscriber,£85.

Kesteven and short talk on

acre grounds. Nine acres of formal gardens were laid

Includes lunch,tea and coffee, the tours

the Sitwells by tour guide

out by Sir Reresby’sgrandfather,Sir George Sitwell,

and a souvenir of your day, which will include

Christine Archer.

who firmly based his ideas on the Italian Renaissance

a book, a plant and a bottle of Renishaw wine

11am Tour of the garden

style with yew hedges, statuary and fountains, all

Address: Renishaw Hall, Renishaw, Sheffield

12.20pm Tourwith David

divided into elegant garden rooms.

S21 3WB. Tel: +44 (0)1246 432310.


around the vineyard

been home to the Sitwell family for nearly 400

There is much more than this at Renishaw,however,

1.30pm A lunch in the cafe

and we’ll enjoy an exclusivetour of the grounds and

with a glass of Renishaw’s

inside the hall, which is as splendidly artistic as might

own sparkling wine.

be expected from the home of such a literary family.

2.30pmTouraround the ground floor of the Hall.

More than 1,000 roses will be blooming in the rose


Sir Reresby Sitwell, the 7th baronet, is the son of Sacheverell Sitwell. In

gardens; the bottom terrace will have beds of peonies,

the 20th century, the Sitwell family

4pm (approx) Day finishes,

oriental poppies and lupins.The middle borders,

was famed through the writings of

with tea in the cafe and a

replanted this year under the guidance of garden

Edith, Osbert and Sacheverell, the

chance to buy Renishaw’s

designer Anthony Noel, will be showing off their new

three gifted children of the eccentric

own plants.

colours and their sympatheticreplanting, and will be

Sir George, who laid out the

explained by head gardener David Kesteven.

gardens at Renishaw Hall.

Send your application, marked ‘RenishawHall Reader Day’,to: The English Garden, ArchantHouse, Oriel Road, Cheltenham,Glos GL50 1BB

✁ I’d like to book.......places on the RenishawHall Reader Day

Payment details: subscriber, £80; non-subscriber, £85

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Garden or debit my Maestro/Mastercard/Visa the sum of £....................

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The English Garde n

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a w lse o 40 he Sh C er PW ow o Fl d N an St

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FOR PERFECT BORDERS ● I can’t stress it enough - keep thinking ahead and keep a notebook of everything that happens and when. This is essential for remembering colour combinations, but also for noting which plants have thuggish foliage and those that don’t fill the ‘holes’ exactly.Sometimes how a plant dies back is as important to the look of a border as how it looked in full flower. ● When choosing and buying plants, always choose two ‘late’ (i.e. August/September/October) perfomers for every early one. ● Don’t drop oddments into holes: keep your plan in mind. It’s easy to make a spring border look good - freshly mulched and edged with paths swept - so don’t worry about the gaps. ● Drift the early flowerers through the main candidates and try to keep to the trusted rule of groups of threes or fives to retain a natural rhythm. ● Allow the odd item to ’escape’ from the main grouping to inject a little joie de vivre.

JOE’S FAVOURITE BORDER FILLERS ● The delicious ‘black’ sweet William Dianthus barbatus ‘Sooty’ is a biennial that can be slipped into place in the autumn from pots. ● Foxgloves:place them as the dianthus above, but anchor beside existing shrubs so they don’t look too out of place. ● Tellimagrandiflora Rubra group: rosy-lipped green bells above scalloped foliage that flushes crimson in the cold. ● Veronica gentianoides ‘TissingtonWhite’: place its pencil-thin spires of ghostly pearl beside the liver-huedleaves of Bergenia ‘Sunningdale’.

Border lines: Planting Yearning to fill every gap in the borders? For perfect results, says Parham’s head gardener Joe Reardon-Smith, try to resist temptation ay can be a dangerous time. Many

Spring sales have risen and it has become easy

a border’s future season is now

to succumb to pots bursting with buds and fresh


compromised. How easy it is to

foliage,but if you’renot carefulyou’llunbalancethe

succumb to the beckoning Sirens that flaunt

border. Putting the emphasis on early flowers

themselves seductively in garden centres up

causes it to peter-out around July, leaving it (and

and down the country. Nurserymen are no

you) dusty and tired at a time when the border

fools- theyneed to makemoneyand knowthat

could be buildingto its crescendo.The way around

the gardenerhas a weakness,particularlynow,

this is to thinkof springadditionsas ornamentsthat

for potfuls of well-presentedplants, especially

you pin to the main costume of the border.

if in flower.And therein lies the danger. In the not so distant past, the main


The English Gar den


planting/borderrenovationperiodwas autumn.

Aquilegiasare promiscuous,thank goodness.This

At the end of summer,mistakes were fresh in

means that by leaving all those little seedlingsyou

the brain along with new ideas for correcting

will have a fabulous mix of flower shapes and

possible shortcomings. These days, for the

colours. Make a note of those that catch the eye

nurseryman,it’s not that easy to sell a plant in

and carry leaves of emerging perennials to them

autumn, especially to novice gardeners who

to see what exciting combinations should be

find it difficult to believe that the pot full of

planned for the following year.

dying stems reallyis that gloriouslong-desired

Trainyourself to envisage future seasons at the

flower(and that it would be very contentto be

same time you’re experiencing the current one.

planted then, ready for action next spring).

Start to learn to recognise the offspring of self-

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PLEASURES OF THE SEASON With its low mounds of delicately cut foliage and its nodding pale lilac flowers, Polemonium‘LambrookMauve’(above) is a spring gem. Flowering from April until June, it goes quietly to sleep for the rest of the season.That said, it does not want to be completely buried by thuggish neighbours, who may smother it with their late growth. Instead, use it to fill the ground between, perhaps, hostas, peonies or hellebores, and contrast its

‘Think of spring additions as ornaments that you pin to the main costume of the border’

flowers with the emerging foliage of Ageratina‘Chocolate’or perhapsHeuchera ‘Caramel’.In the lightsandysoil at Parham, I find it prefers a little shade but it’s a very tolerant plant and with a richer loam will stand full sun.

seeders. It’s far too easy to weed out desirables

Vital for flower arrangers, Solomon’s

or accidentally smother them with mulch.

seal (Polygonatumx hybridum) is a superb

The perennial wallflower, Erysimum ‘Bowles’s

plant. Revelling in shade, it makes use of

Mauve’ will flower from May to July and

the early season’s moist soil, its arching

intermittentlythereafter.It revels in free drainage

wands of apple-green leaves protecting

and full sun, dislikingrichsoilswhereit will outgrow

the cream bells beneath. Once settled,

itself rapidly. A good frontal plant nestled beside

this will sit forever,quite happily.Perhaps

abelias or hebes, which afford it a degree of

contrast it with the much-sneered-at

protectionin the winterfrom wind-rock.Make sure

Persicaria bistorta ‘Superba’. If split

its neighboursare at their best later;perhapsCarex

regularly and mulched with rich compost

buchananii or C. testacea as their early spring

this will reward you with fat spikes of

foliage of copper-bronze contrasts well with the

flowers. These are of a rather cold pink

wallflower’sdeep lilac flowers.

but it is a great colour to contrastwith late


Cream camassias (Camassia leichtlinnii subsp.

tulips and biennial honesty (below).

leichtlinnii ) will seed gently around a border,


providing metre-high spikes of large stars of

Allow native cow parsley,Anthriscus

primrose yellow you could contrast with the

sylvestris,to colonise the backs of

chocolate filigree foliage of Anthriscus sylvestris

borders, but just don’t let it set seed

‘Ravenswing’. Later in May, alliums, peonies,

or you will be overrun.Its refined cousin

poppies and lupins all awaken, but keep in mind

Chaerophyllumhirsutum ‘Roseum’

that the foliage of the last two is apt to die once

(above) is a long-livedperennial with

they’ve flowered, so place them where the hole

large heads of cool-pink flowers. Dare

won’tbe so noticeable,or selectneighbourswhose

to plant it beside the ruddy emerging

main time is mid- and late summer and which can

leaves of Rheum palmatum

be used to concealthe hole.Gauralindheimeri‘The

‘Atrosanguineum’and glaucous, fat

Bride’ could lean over the poppies patch, and

spikes of Hosta ‘Krossa Regal’.

perhaps Aster x frikartii ‘Mönch’over the lupin.


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COTSWOLDS GARDEN LOVERS BREAK On the edge of the Cotswolds we are England’s oldest hotel (1220) in England’s first capital! Standing next to Malmesbury’s medieval Abbey the hotel has antique furniture and cosy lounges and is traditionally English. Our 2 night break is £330.00 for two people bed and breakfast, dinner on 1 night and tickets to Abbey House Gardens and Westonbirt Arboretum. The Old Bell Hotel 01666 822344



QUALITY COTTAGES Outstanding self-catering cottages in superb locations. Near safe sandy beaches, spectacular coastline and magnificent countryside in Pembrokeshire, Lleyn, Anglesey & Snowdonia. Ideal for exploring. Many famous gardens to visit. Pets welcome free. Full colour brochure. Tel: 01348 837871

WEST COUNT RY SUMMERHAYES B&B Beautifully appointed, luxurious and comfortable bedrooms. Our personal service is second to none. We pride ourselves on our breakfast choices made with quality Wiltshire produce. Gardens and hot tub. Centrally located for all that Wiltshire has to offer.

Visit Britain 5 ★/Silver Award rated. Tel (0)1380 813521


GARDEN HOLIDAY Discover the Beautiful Historic Gardens of South Yorkshire 7-11 June 2009. Guided garden tours with the Head Gardeners of 6 Historic Gardens. 4★ half board accommodation, transport to gardens, all entry fees.

To advertise contact Rakesh.Dhall tel: 020 7605 2218

Wortley Hall: 0114 2882100


Former Victorian farmhouse B&B, lovely gardens and grounds with wildflower meadow. A warm welcome is assured, comfortable spacious rooms, all en-suite. Delicious home-cooked food, Wiltshire Breakfast award. Ideal touring centre for Longleat, Bowood, Lacock, Bath etc. Perfect for walking and cycling along the Kennet and Avon Canal. Rooms from £65 per night including breakfast.

Contact Carole Ball on 01380 870349.


Sally Court, Dip ISD, FSGD,

RHS award winning designer, provides a professional, creative design service for all garden styles from the smallest backyard to several acres, formal or cottage, from scratch to restoration. A personal approach to complement client’s individual requirements. Courtyard Garden Design, The Workshop, 32 Broadway Avenue, East Twickenham, Middlesex TW1 1RH Tel/Fax: +44 (0) 8892 0118 Email:

For more information visit us at www.theenglishgar

To advertise call Rakesh Dhall on 02 0 76 05 22 18


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Inula magnifica

Sweet treats The En glish Ga rd en


It’s easy to help pollinating insects like bees, butterflies and hoverflies to thrive in your garden, says Val Bourne: just provide them with an abundant source of food

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Buddleja ‘Black Knight’

Centaurea cyanus

Verbena bonariensis

Hesperis matronalis

Flowers appear to vibrate when a bumble bee ‘buzz’ ectar, the su gar-ri ch liquid man y flow erin g plants produce, is a v ery importa nt co mmodity. It sustains bees, hoverfl ies and butterflies, giving them the necessary calories to fly. More importantly, these pollinator s acci dentally collect sticky pollen on their legs, heads and bodies as they search for their ene rgy-bo osting nectar fix. The yellow grains are transferred to the next plant visited and, if the pollen is compatible, fertilisation takes place and seeds are set.


which provides a bolt of bright light in deep shade, and the black-leaved perennial Queen Anne’sLace - Anthriscus sylvestris ‘Ravenswing’. This dainty flo wer tolerates dappled shade and it could be mixed with the pied black and white bonne ts of Aq u ile g ia vulg a ris ‘ W i l l i am Gu i ne ss’, which used to be sold under the name ‘Magpie’. The aquilegia takes its generic name from a quila the Latin


for eagle, afte r its t alon-shaped spurs. Any spurred flowers are ric h in nectar. Both annuals and biennials, which live for one or two yea rs respect ively, produce an abundance of nectar because being pollinated and setting see d is vi tal to their s urvi val. The blue cornflower, Centaure a cya nus, will attract scarce red-tailed bumble bees if you’re lucky. The taller fo rms can be planted with ladybird poppie s (Papaver commutatum) for a spectacular display.

need a pollinator at some stage in


Rich in nectar, astrantias flower in May when there can be a shortage of this food source. A member of the umbellifer family, they have a rounded pincush ion of flowers surrounded by a neat ring of jagged bracts. This delicate char acteristic sui ts the small-mouthed hoverfly, which should be encouraged in the garden because it pollin ates while searching for nectar, and its la rvae preda te a phids and other s mall pests. The dramatically dark A s tra nti a ‘H ad spen Bl ood ’, the can dy pink ‘Roma’ and the clea r red ‘Ruby Wedding’ are superb varieties. Other excellent May-flowering umbellifers include the bi ennial Smyrnium perfoliatu m,

their life cycles.

Alternatively, le t the cobalt-b lue fl owers jar against hardy orange pot marigolds or the less hardy Af rican marigold . Taller varieties, like ‘Bo Jangle’ from Suttons, and a mixture of laced doubles and stri ped si ngles a re especially good fo r hoverf lies, who ar e attracted to deep yellows and oranges. Bees, on the other hand, adore blues and lilacs, but t he arching fl owers o f Phacelia tanacetifolia only seem attractive to honey bees during the evening. I t may well be that this plant doesn’t switch its nectar on until dusk. Plants wi shing to a ttract pollinat ing moths tend to be ev ening frag rant and pal lid in colour. Eve ning st ars include the silvered


The English Garde n

● Many pollinating insects have to ingest protein-rich pollen before they can breed and some use pollen to feed their young. ● Double flowers are usually sterile with no value to insects. The anthers and nectaries have been replaced by petals and so can’t be fertilised. Try the single flowering Inula magnifica, dog rose or ornamental poppy instead. ● Plant your flowers in groups because colour and scent en masse are easier for insects to detect.


● 80% of the world’s food crops LET FLY WITH FLOWERS

TEGUK140 Plant Focus final


Astrantia ‘Hadspen Blood’


Page 117

Anthriscus sylvestris ‘Ravenswing’

Aquilegia vulgaris ‘William Guiness’

Origanum laevigatum ’Herrenhausen’

pollinates and shakes stubborn pollen from the anthers flowers of sweet rocket, Hesperis matronalis; our ‘rhubarb and custard’ native honeysuckle Lonicera peri clymenum ; and pa le-yello w evening primrose (oenothera).



If a pl ant has veine d o r spo tted fl owers it’s advertising its presence to insects who can see infrared light. They pick up the markings rather than flower colour, so a heavily spotted spire of foxglove bells i s nectar o n a stick with neon lights attached. Hollyhocks, lupins, aconitums, delphiniums and some verbascums all attract bumble bees and other pollinators. Often the flow ers will appear to vibrate when a bumble bee ‘buzz’ pollinates and shakes stubborn p ollen from the anthers. Some plants, including tomatoes, can only be pollinated in this way. Interesti ngly, the sug ar content of ne ctar varies greatly from pl ant to plant. Marjoram (Origan um vulgare ) produces the most concentrated n ectar k nown, contai ning an amazing 79% sugar. It’s no wonder that this low-growing, sun-loving herb is heavily visited by gatekeep er but terflies and bees du ring August. I t makes an e xcellent e dging plant near vegetables, and s howier forms i nclude

Orig an um la evi gat um ‘He rren hau sen’ and O. ‘Rosenku ppel’. Both have d ark fo liage and two-tone flow ers held o n wiry stems from August onwards The warm day s of summer b ring anothe r pollinator - the butte rfly - and they lov e landing pla tforms. Perennial aster s such as pale-pink ‘Fellowship’, a bright yellow gloriosa daisy or a pink e chinacea are id eal. The flat hea ds of green-l eaved sedums, willowy Verbena bonariensis and all fluffy eupatoriums are butterfly magnets too, but none are as good as the hon ey-scented Buddle ja davidii and its hybrids. This Chinese native attracts 22 different species of British butterfly when planted in nectar-induci ng sunshine. Dead hea d ‘Pink De light’, ‘Ro yal Re d’ and

‘ Bl a ck Kn i g ht ’ to prolong flow ering and encourage spectacular displays. The most vital nectar of all, however, comes in January and February, and sustains solitary bees and bumble bees fresh from hibernation. The win ter-flower ing Clematis cirrh osa var. balearicademands a sheltered south-facing wall for its cream bells, subtly spotted in maroon. ‘Freckles’ is brasher with bright-red splashes, but it c an be cajo led into flower bef ore Christmas in sheltered gardens. Add crocus, winter a conites, a rosemary such as ‘Miss Jessopp’s Upright’, oriental hellebores and some pulmonarias - and consider the most fragrant, winter-flowering evergreen of all: Daphne bholua ‘Jacqueline Postill’.Then early beesand insects can get their nectar fix too.


We are offering readers 10% off at where you can purchase these lovely nectar-rich plants and much more (but sorry, no inula). With more than 3,000 plants and garden products available on the site, Crocus has something to suit everyone. To claim your discount, visit and enter Promotion Code

‘9132’ when prompted, or call the 24-hour order line on tel: 0844 5572266. Offer valid until 30 June 2009. Excludes machinery, cut flowers, gift vouchers and delivery (costs £5.95 per order). Crocus deliver to mainland UK, excluding northern Scotland.

The Engli sh Gar den


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Roadshow season Join our experts as they travel the country to answer your gardening questions THE EXPERTS

ay sees the start of an excitingnew season for The English Garden Roadshows. Our team of experts will be travellingaround the country to answer your gardening questions, with the first diary date at the beginning of May at the South of England Spring Garden and Leisure Show in West Sussex, where you’ll enjoy a feast of stands to satisfy any plantsman. Readers in the Wilt shire area must not miss the chance to join our experts at the West Wiltshire Show in Trowbridgein July. This unique event runs every other year and is guaranteed to entertain the whole family. Go armed with your gardening questions and our team will be keen to solve them. Later in the year you’ll get the chance to join us at Taunton Flower Show and the Royal County of Berkshire Show. Simply check the list of venues below and save a space in your diary. Questions can be anything from house plant care to biological control, or a design query. Entry to the Roadshows is free once you are in the showground itself and Q&A sessions are held two or three times a day (see show plans to find our location). Plus everyone who comes along receives a free gift of gardening goodies to take away as a memento of the day. We look forward to seeing you soon.


STEVE BRADLEY Steve is gardening writer for The Sun and a number of gardening magazines. A broadcaster and author, he has more than 30 titles to his name. Before taking up a career as a writer and broadcaster he was a horticultural lecturer. JON WHEATLEY An international and national flower show judge and dahlia enthusiast, Jon has designed and built eight Chelsea Gold Medal-winning stands. He is also a lecturer and horticultural consultant and owns Chew Valley nursery in Somerset. MARY PAYNE,MBE A garden designer whose work includes the prairie planting at Lady Farm in Somerset. Mary is also a regular radio show gardening expert and is a consultant for

Plan a day out at one of the four shows mentioned below and meet our team of experts. Entry to our roadshows is

TamsinWesthorpe, Editor

free once you are in the showground.

the redevelopment of the famous Dorset gardens, Compton Acres.



3 & 4 MAY South of England Spring Garden and Leisure Show,

7 & 8 AUGUSTTaunton Flower Show A traditional British flower

Ardingly,West Sussex. Plant stalls from specialist horticultural

show held at the historic Vivary Park. Features designer show

nurseries, demonstrations, craft stalls, events, trade stands and fine

gardens. Why not enter one of the competitions yourself and enjoy

food to buy.There are also children’sattractions and free parking. For

the complete show experience? For more information and show

more details of the show, tel: +44 (0)1444 892700.

classes, tel: 0845 4381958 or visit

23-25 JULYWest Wiltshire Show,Trowbridge. This event is run

19 & 20 SEPTEMBER Royal County of Berkshire Show This show

once every other year and is designed to be a show for the whole

marks the centenary of The Newbury & District Agricultural Society,

family. It has been running since 1989 and in previous years has

featuring livestock, demonstrations, plant sales and trade stands, a

attracted more than 400 exhibitors. Expect live music and

new wedding and travel marquee, craft tent, show jumping and

entertainment, talks, demonstrations and plenty for the keen

country arena. This is a full day out with something for every

gardener. Entry is free. For more information, tel: +44 (0)1225

member of the familly. For more information, tel: +44 (0)1635 247111

402096 or go to

or go to

The En glish Gar den

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a Harrier 48 Rear Roller mower

The English Garden and Hayter have teamed up to offer two lucky readers the chance to win a super petrol-powered lawnmower ayter has been manufacturing grass-cutting machines


in the UK for more than 60 years, and was the pioneer in the development of the rotary mower.

The Hayter Harrier 48 model is ideal for medium to large lawns. The split-differential ribbed rear roller offers superior traction, easy turning and the perfect striped finish on fine lawns. With seven cutting heights, a large capacity fabric grassbag and a cutting deck that extends beyond the wheelbase for easy mowing around borders, the Harrier 48 was recently redesigned with clean, modern lines - and the handles fold down for easy storage. The powerful collection feature enables autumn leaves to be simply removed from the lawn. The machine can also be used without a grassbag as a rear discharge mower. Powered by a Briggs & Stratton petrol engine, all Harrier 48 models offer variable speed between 1.5 and 3mph to suit different conditions and match the operator’s walking speed. An Operator Presence Control system ensures that it will not move unless the operator is present. Protected by the Hayter three-year warranty, Harrier mowers are available from Hayter’s network of specialist dealers. For more information and a list of dealers in your area, tel: 0800 7818768 or visit

The prizes Two Hayter Harrier 48 mowers worth £811 each

HOWTO ENTER To win one of the two prizes, simply answer the question on the entry form below and send it to the address on the coupon before the closing date of Friday 12 June. Entry also online at RULES Entries limited to one per household. Entrants must be 18 years or over.The competition is not open to the employeesof Archant Specialistor Hayter, or their families and agents.Winners are the first two correct entries chosen at random after the closing date of Friday 12 June 2009. There is no cash alternative available. Full competition rules available on receipt of SAE. The judges’ decision is final; no correspondence will be entered into.

THE ENGLISH GARDEN HAYTER COMPETITION - MAY, SSUE I 140 Q. What brand of petrol engine powers the Hayter Harrier 48 lawnmower?

Name (Mr/Mrs/Ms/Miss)






Return this form to: The English Garden Hayter competition, Archant House, Oriel Road, Cheltenham, Glos GL50 1BB You may photocopy this form. Please tick if you subscribe to The English Garden. ■ Please tick if y ou do n ot wi sh to receive inf ormation about products a nd services from Archant S pecialist by phone ■ by post ■ or fr om other carefully selected com panies by ph one ■ by post . ■ Please ti ck the box if you do not wish to receive further information from Hayter ■

The Eng lish Garden


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GARDEN In the JUNE issue…

SCENTSOF SUMMER ● Why sweet peas have become collectors’ items ● Focusing on spectacular roses for perfume ● Sharing the garden with wildlife

PLUS A selection of glorious open gardens and other great ways to enjoy the sunshine: furniture, outdoor kitchens and tasty summer recipes made from home-grown produce

On sale 19 May

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eng lish garden prom otion

GARDENS of the month WATERPERRY GARDENS Waterperry,Near Wheatley, OxfordshireOX33 1JZ Tel:01844 339254 Fax: 01844 339883 Opening times: 10am to 5.30pm March to October 2009. 10am to 5pm Novemberand December 2009. Closed between Christmas and New year.Party bookings welcome by arrangement.

8 acres of inspirational landscaped gardens featuring rose, alpine and formal knot gardens, a water lily canal, riverside walk and one of the finest purely herbaceous borders in the country. This beautiful estate in the heart of the Oxfordshire countryside also has a quality plant centre, art gallery, teashop and museum and is famous for apple juice produced from our own orchards. Arts, crafts and gardening courses are also available and there’s a full programme of annual events including outdoor theatre. For







DEN MA NS GARD EN Denmans Lane, Fontwell, West Sussex BN18 0SU. Tel: + 44 (0)1243 542808. Fax: + 44 (0)1243 544064. Open daily all year round, 9am-5pm (dusk in winter), except 25, 26 Dec and 1 Jan.

The special 20th-century garden, jointly owned by renowned garden designer and author John Brookes MBE and Michael Neve, is beautifully planted for all-year interest with emphasis on shape, colour and texture. Although four acres in size, the garden is full of planting and design ideas that can be adapted to suit any size of garden. Gravel is used extensively in the garden, for paths and as a growing medium. There is a walled garden, a conservatory and a larger glass area for tender plants. There is also a fully licensed, award-winning garden cafe and a beautiful plant centre.

MARWOOD HILL GARDENS MarwoodHill Gardens Marwood,Barnstaple NorthDevon,EX31 4EB

Twenty acres of gardens with three lakes. A haven for plants from around the world. Colour from February to late autumn. • Garden Tea Room

Tel:01271 342528 Open all year (closed Christmasday) 10am – 5.30pm April – September 10am – 4.00pm October - March

• Plant Sales • Coach Car Park (new for 2009) Groups welcome by appointment (group rates & special menus available).

RHS GARDEN HYDE HALL RHS GardenHyde Hall WesternsApproach,Rettendon Chelmsford,Essex,CM3 8AT Tel:01245 400256 Rose Weekend: 6th and 7th June 2009

From the end of May, RHS Garden Hyde Hall is a wonderful place to visit if you like roses. The Rose Garden comprises six rectangular beds of David Austin English Roses grouped according to colour tightly bound by clipped hedges. There is also a Rose Rope Walk with a selection of climbers, ramblers and clematis trained along thick shipping rope making a heavenly scented walk. To celebrate our fantastic rose collection we are hosting a Rose Weekend on the 6th and 7th of June 2009, featuring a range of talks and demonstrations as well as the opportunity to relax and enjoy a garden filled with perfume and colour.

122 The English Garden

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engl is h ga rden promo tio n

CHELSEA flower show

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Design & Joinery of Traditional Greenhouses

Enclosing all your livestock including cattle, horses, deer and sheep. With an all steel construction this fencing is easy to install. • End Posts/Corner Posts extra Bowtop Gates to match fencing available. Price List available on request.

French Drove Farm, French Drove, Thorney, Peterborough, PE6 0PQ Tel: 01733 270580 Fax: 01733 270891

Brochure available upon request tel: 01647 252995

EL IZAB ETH BR A DLE Y Special Editions from Elizabeth Bradley Designs, Home Sweet Home

Elizabeth Bradley Designs Ltd 37 St. Giles, Oxford OX1 6EL

Tel: 01865 339050

For more information visit us at

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CHAIN SCREENS Keep Out Insects Doors : Windows : Room Dividers Colours : Stripes : Patterns Free colour brochure Tel: 020 8560 3337 Fax: 020 8560 4442




The Metro Centre St Johns Road Isleworth Middx. TW7 6NJ



synopsis, plus sample chapters (3) for consideration.

Olympia Publishers 60 Canon Street, LONDON, EC4N 6NP



‘Leaning on a Lampost’ British hand-made copper lantern, suitable for drive, patio or porch.

The Old Washouse, 15 Blakenhall Estate, Sunbeam Street, Wolverhampton, WV2 4PG Tel:01902 715550

Purveyors of Victorian Lighting


For more information visit us at

The English Garden 125

To adver tise con tact Rakesh Dh all tel: 020 7605 221 8 email: r akesh .dh all@ar ch an


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Traditional Seed boxes & Storage Racks Brand your own: Family Name, House Name, Garden Name, Business Name

From £6.50 each + p&p (minimum order 6 for seed boxes)

To adver tise con tact Rakesh Dh all tel: 020 7605 221 8 email: r akesh .dh all@ar ch an

From £24 each for storage racks. Allow 28 days for delivery Tel: 01653 692055 or Mob: 07980 276820 Over the Garden Wall Sithean Mor, Achnaha, Kilchoan, Argyll, PH36 4LW GARDEN BUILDINGS


126 The English Garden

For more information visit us at For more information visit us at


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PLANT SPECIALI STS PERHILL PLANTS Specialist growers of rareand unusual perennials. Over 2000varieties grown. Retail and mail order. Credit cards welcome. (For catalogue send six 2nd class stamps). Open 5 per a week 9am – 5pm, Sat-Sun by appointment only

Tree Seat Tree, garden and conversation seats in iron.

Tel: 01823 412351

PERHILL PLANTS Worcester Road, Great Witley, Worcestershire WR6 6JT Tel: 01299 896329 Email:


Britain’s biggest value in greenhouse shopping Top brands at Lowest Prices

SALES TEAM - call 0870 240 6528 BROCHURES - call 0800 389 8760 MERCIA HOUSE, 51 THE GREEN, BANBURY, OX16 9AB





Bog and moisture loving plants Butyl pool liners and accessories Please send 2x1st class stamps for catalogue to:

Mimmacks Aquatics

Stephen Markham Collection Ltd Unit 4, Dominion Works, Freshwater Road, Dagenham, Essex. RM8 1RX Tel: 0208 590 5619 Fax: 0208 590 8836 Email: Website:


VISIT US AND BE INSPIRED One of the finest selections of topiary plus specimen trees and shrubs all to create immediate impact in your garden. Send 6x1st class stamps for catalogue or visit us and see the exciting stock for yourself. The Street, Swannington, Norfolk NR9 5NW open Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays, plus Bank Holiday Mondays 10am-5pm Tel: 01603 261488

Woodholme Nursery, Goatsmoor Lane, Stock, Essex CM4 9RS (Dept TEG08) Telephone: 01277 840204



Email: Web: All enquiries and Credit/Debit card orders welcome. Mail order specialist: nationwide delivery. Nursery open 9-5 Mon-Sat. Closed Sunday. VISA, SWITCH, M.CARD, DELTA, AMEX

The English Garden 127 For more information visit us at For more information visit us at

To adver tise con tact Rakesh Dh all tel: 020 7605 221 8 email: r akesh .dh all@ar ch an


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To adver tise con tact Rakesh Dh all tel: 020 7605 221 8 email: r akesh .dh all@ar ch an


128 The English Garden

For more information visit us at For more information visit us at

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A La Carte Daylilies


Specialist growers of quality Daylilies (Hemerocallis). For informative catalogue Send 3 x 1st class stamps to A La Carte Daylilies, Little Hermitage, St. Catherine’s Down, I.W. PO38 2PD

Encourage wildlife to your garden. Plants and seeds of wildflowers, native trees, shrubs, climbers, bulbs, meadows, etc. Visitor centre open April 1st-Sept 30th, 11am-5.30pm daily at Coach Gap Lane, Langar, Notts.

Tel: 01949 860592 Fax: 01949 869047 email: Established 1978


AQUAPLANCTON could be just what you’re looking for SALES TEAM - call 0870 240 6528

WWW.QUALITYIRRIGATION.CO.UK Automatic Watering Systems – Nationwide Service

Tel/Fax: 01252 328017

Tel: 01229 581137 Email:

Seed Catalogue and “VegBook” offers around 4,500 items covering every horticultural interest.

No longer need you remove the fish and drain your pond, this natural powered mineral and nature could do it for you.

Used successfully with fish all the time. Safe for ducks, plants, all forms of waterlife, U.V. and biological filters. AQUAPLANCTON has cleared greenwater, sludge and BLANKETWEED for hundreds of happy pond owners. It could do the same for you For free brochure and price list telephone 01298 214003 anytime or send the approx. surface area of your pond to:


Quality stone or terracotta garden ornaments made in the UK - direct to you by Mail order.

Lawnmowers, Hedgecutters, Strimmers, Garden Furniture

AQUAPLANCTON, River Lodge, Bishop’s Lane, BUXTON, Derbyshire SK17 6UN


Name ................................................ Address ............................................


.......................................................... .......................................................... Postcode .......................................... Phone................................................

Happy Birthday

Pond surface sq ft Does your pond have?

Algae Full Sun Green water Sludge Clogged filters Blanketweed Murky water Odour Koi carp Ducks


Please tick ✓ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏

Special Anniversary

Tel: 01939 210380 OVER 1000 Varieties to Choose From

For more information visit us at

The English Garden 129

To adver tise con tact Rakesh Dh all tel: 020 7605 221 8 email: r akesh .dh all@ar ch an

Colour catalogue and growing guide, send 4x1st class stamps. Naturescape (EG), Maple Farm, Coach Gap Lane, Langar, Notts, NG13 9HP

Do you have a garden pond? Is it as clear as mud? Is it murky, muddy, slimy, smelly, choked with algae or weed and a chore to clean out? If you have a pump, are you forever cleaning or changing the filter?


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Reminisce on scented bliss Helen Gunn considers a fragrant flower that has always captured artists’ imaginations ooking through a dictionary of quotations recently, I noticed that, it was so popular it was said you could buy forced lilac in Paris every after roses and lilies, the most frequently mentioned flower is the month except July and August, when therewas no demand. Monet had lilac. It invites the question: why? Some plants are obviously more bowers of purple lilac in his garden at Argenteuiland often painted his than just themselves, and lay claim to a host of connotations beyond their wife and friends enswathed in shades of mauve. own mere person. This seems tobe particularly true of lilac. It has been known in this country since the 16th century.John Gerard The writers who use lilac to illustrate their thoughts are invariably wrote of it in 1597: ‘I have them in my garden in great plenty, and they seeking to invoke a sense of yearning, to convey something lost, never have an excee ding sw eet savour.’ No peevish cavil here about their to be regained. When Ivor Novello wrote the song We’ll gather lilacs in plainness out of flower or their regrettable relation to privet. the spring again in 1945, he was describing, for a people weary of war,a According to an inventory of 1650, lilac grew to striking effect at the sense of nostalgia and alonging for peace.A century earlier,the American royal palace of Nonsuch. It describes ‘a fountain of white marble ... set poet Walt Whitman began his elegy on the death of Abraham Lincoln around with six trees called lelack trees, which bear no fruit, but a very with the words: ‘When lilacs last in the dooryard bloom’d’. Perhaps it pleasant flower’. At this time, it was also sometimes referred to as the could have been any timely flowerer; but lilac seems to set the tone for ‘pipe tree’, because the stem could be hollowed out and used for sucking a sense of loss, and the mourning to come. or blowing. This is reflected in the Latin name syringa, which comes And it isn’t just in poetry that lilac appears. Wh en the narrator at from the same origin as the modern word syringe. the opening of Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca is recalling Manderley, If you haven’t already marked the Royal Bo tanical Garden’s 250th she ‘would th ink of the bl own lilac and t he happy valley’, symbols birthday with a visit, then take the advice of the poet Alfred Noyes and of a place to wh ich she can ‘Go down to Kew in l ilac never return. Lilac has become like the grand piano: unless you inherit it, time’. Here in the specially I think lilac is still a plant designated Lilac Garden are you probably wouldn’t go out and buy one new of nostalgia. We think of it as more than 100 specimens in belonging to an earlier generation. It has become like the grand piano: 10 overflowing be ds, allat nose-height. No ne is more fragrantthe common once everybody ha d one, bu t nowadays, unless you inhe rit it, you lilac, Syringa vulgaris. There are some ravishing shades too - it is oneof probably wouldn’t go out and buy one new. Lilacs grew in grand parents’ the few flowers to give nameto its own colour (like viol et and heliotrope). gardens, or flopped out of vases and scented the halls on interminable This magnificent array shows all the lush hues, fromcreamy white through childhood visits to d ark h ouses. The li lacs I grew up wit h were deepening purples to a wine-soakedtinge that is nearly red. permanently out of reach. They must have been 5ft shrubs when I was One of the finest double lilacs is ‘Katherine Havemeyer’, with large born, and they continued to race away from me until now they are lanky pyramidal fl owers that start pale purple and fade t o pink. ‘Madame trees. They hang their heavy heads in the arms of a Bhutan pine, where Lemoine’ is a sumptuous, deliciouslyfragrant cultivar, with large double only the jays and the wood pigeons can appreciate their scent. white flowers that appear plentifully, even when the plant is quite young. Lilac c ame originall y fro m the moun tains of the Balkans, that Perhaps best-lovedof all is the deep-purple ‘Ande nken an Ludwig Späth’, intriguing region where south-east Europe slips into Turkey. nA Austrian with flowers up to 30cm (12in) long. ambassador to the Turkish court brought lilac cuttings back to Vienna There’snothing heady or luxuriantabout the poetT.S.Eliot andyet he, when he left Istanbul in 1563. When, seven years later, he moved on of the modernists, most famously mentions lilac. Perhaps his lines are to Paris, he took his precious lilac plants with him. Perhaps this was best at conjuring the plant’s strange potency when he speaks of it ‘mixing how the French love affair with lilac began. Certainly, by the 19th century memory and desire, stirring dull roots with spring rain’. 130

The English Gar den



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The English Garden 200905  


The English Garden 200905