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Issue No 155 July 2017



lighten up YOUR GARDEN Plant for late summer colour

Top tips to hire a gardener

Open gardens with a vegetable growing theme Hundreds of high summer gardening events throughout Dorset WHITE of WITCHAMPTON


Tel: 07966 258267 / 01258 840082


GARDEN CENTRE Poulner Hill, Ringwood, BH24 3HW Tel: 01425 473113 Open 9am–5.30pm Mon–Sat 10am–4pm Sun Open all Bank Holidays

Lynch Lane Garden Centre & Restaurant Lynch Lane, Weymouth, DT4 9DN Telephone: 01305 766336

The Gardeners Garden Centre National garden gift vouchers sold and accepted here


Why not try our restaurant?



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Mark Hinsley

MSc.Res.Man.(Arb), OND (Arb), F.Arbor.A

Arboricultural Consultants Ltd.

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AFTERNOON TEA STARTING 1ST JULY Choices of Tea/Coffee, Selection of wines, Prosecco or Champagne!

Come visit our Forest Hill Tea Room onsite. Now with a totally revamped menu. Open 9.30am-4.30pm Mon–Sat, 10am-3.30pm Sun. 2


01202 876177

Country Gardener

Up Front!

“Summer afternoon - summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.”



- Henry James



Woodville, Stour Provost, Gillingham, Dorset SP8 5LY Summer at Hilltop, five miles from Shaftesbury, is a gorgeous riot of colour and scent, the old thatched cottage set amongst the flowers. Unusual annuals and perennials grow alongside the traditional and familiar, a spectacular display attracting an abundance of wildlife. Always something new, the unique, gothic garden loo has been a great success. Owners Josse and Brian Emerson also run a small nursery by the garden. Opening for the NGS: Sundays 16th July, 23rd July, 30th July, 6th August, 13th August, 20th August, 2pm-6pm. Admission £3, children free. Home-made teas. Dogs allowed. Unsuitable for wheelchairs. For other opening times and information call on 01747 838512, email or visit

Pimperne Open Gardens weekend On Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th July, for the first time since 2013, the Dorset village of Pimperne near Blandford Forum are hosting an open garden event. A total of 14 gardens will be open from 2pm until 5pm each day. The gardens demonstrate a range of many different types and sizes from a small cottage style to those of more than an acre. All funds raised are for the benefit of the Village Hall. Pimperne is one mile north of Blandford Forum on the A354 Salisbury Road and entry to all the gardens is through the purchase of a programme on the day from the Village Hall for £4 per adult with children under 16 free. Some of the gardens have limited disabled access and these will be highlighted in the programme.

Sweet peas are an annual delight at Forde Abbey and every year the popular venue on the Somerset and Dorset border aside two weeks in July to celebrate their beauty and charm. This year the fortnight runs from 8th to 23rd July. Up to eighty varieties of sweet peas will perfume the gardens this year, lining the pathways in the kitchen garden and bringing colour to the herbaceous borders throughout the summer. Seeds are sown in early February in root trainers to promote strong and healthy growth and are sheltered from early frosts in the Victorian glass houses. To ensure bushy plants, Forde Abbey plucks them out at four leaves and plant each variety on homemade wigwams constructed from lengths of hazel found growing on the estate. In the first few months they are fed with liquid feed high in potassium, and then water accordingly. Throughout the season, they pick as many as they can, selling posies of sweet peas in the gift shop as well as seed varieties we have grown this year. Annual favourites include; ‘Monty Don’, ‘Earl Grey’, ‘Winston Churchill’, ‘Albutt Blue’ and ‘Somerset Lady’. Remember to take a camera when you visit and you could be the winner of Forde Abbey’s annual photography competition.

Herbal medicine special day at Knoll Gardens

The popular Knoll Gardens in Wimborne hosts a day for herbal medicine enthusiasts on Saturday, 15th July starting at 10.30am, Knoll Gardens, Hampreston, Wimborne. The morning consists of a gentle walk revealing the secrets of Knoll Gardens’ natural medicine chest followed by a workshop on herbs you can use to treat common ailments. You’ll be able to harvest and prepare your own herbal medicines and take home some samples. The cost is £35 and booking is essential on 07969 882439.



Established 1901

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Agricultural Show

t ex r N Sale July u O nt st Pla ay 1 d tur Sa

Opening times: Monday to Friday 8am to 3.30pm Saturday 9am to 3pm and Sunday 10am to 3pm Off New Road Roundabout, Northbourne, Bournemouth, BH10 7DA

01202 593537

Sheltered Work Opportunities Project

Registered Charity No 900325



Thursday 3rd August 2017

SATURDAY 15TH JULY 10.30-2.30

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Cream teas, stalls, raffle, demonstrations, tours and special offers Opening times Monday-Friday 8am-4pm Saturday 10am-4pm Sunday 10am-3pm Next to Poole Park, 75 Kingland Road, Poole, Dorset, BH15 1TN Tel: 01202 685999

Please apply for Horse and Livestock Schedules Secretary: Marcelle Connor, Bank House, 66a High Street, Honiton, Devon, EX14 1PS

Most major credit & debit cards accepted Registered charity no 900325

Registered Charity No. 1014697

Thinking of moving into a care home – or just needing a little extra help at home? We’re here to help Whatever your care needs, we know that it’s the care that counts – the quality care of all our residents and home care customers. As a leading provider of residential and home care across Dorset, we offer compassionate residential, nursing, dementia and home care at a realistic cost. Whether you’re looking for care in your own home, a short respite stay or a new home, we offer a warm welcome, comfort and peace of mind. To request a brochure, arrange a visit or find out more, contact 01202 712400 |


Country Gardener

...In Dorset

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Counting down to new two-day autumn harvest extravaganza at Forde Abbey! Toby Buckland’s new Garden & Harvest Festival at Forde Abbey, near Chard on the weekend of 16th and 17th September, will be taking over the Abbey and stunning grounds to present a twoday celebration of the harvest, featuring more than 150 specialist nurseries, artisan crafts, food and drink producers. In Forde’s Great Hall and Chapel there will be two programmes of free talks from Toby, Charlie Dimmock and BBC One Show’s Christine Walkden, plus an array of harvest workshops and demo’s on veg and flower growing, botanical drinks, home-made soap and willow weaving.

Tree Tours

Toby Buckland’s Garden Festival launches at Forde Abbey in September

Kevin Croucher, owner of famous west country tree nursery, Thornhayes. Is hosting a tree tour of Forde Abbey’s grounds on both days. Kevin will be sharing his vast knowledge and fascinating botanical and historical insights into Forde’s many rare and unusual specimens which include Red Oak, Swamp Cypress, Montezuma Pine and Cut-leaved Lime. A wide variety of top West Country nurseries will be exhibiting offering quality plants and expert advice, including RHS award-winning nursery Pheasant Acre and Kelnan Plants, specialists in alpine, coastal and woodland plants and ferns, plus bulbs perfect for autumn planting.

New VIP experience at Forde Abbey festival

You can make your day at Toby’s Garden & Harvest Festival even more special by upgrading to a VIP experience. VIP’s have all-day access to Forde’s historic Refectory, once the dining room of the Abbey’s Cistercian monks. You can relax and enjoy morning coffee and pastries, a complimentary glass of bubbles and award-winning locally produced food while mingling with other VIPs and celebrity speakers. An exciting gardening event in the West Country calendar, Toby’s VIP Experience is the perfect place to meet up with family and friends or offer hospitality to valued clients and work colleagues, giving you a comfortable base from which to explore the Festival at your leisure. Included in the price is entrance to the festival, all-day access to the VIP Refectory, complimentary glass of fizz, morning tea, coffee and pastries, all-day soft drinks, canapes and light buffet lunch, VIP cloakroom and ‘goody bag’. Online tickets for the festival are ÂŁ10. VIP tickets are ÂŁ50 and both are available at

Project launched for those who need gardening help A heartening green-fingered project launched to assist those who need help with their gardens is about to be launched in Dorset. Mencap has launched the Greenfingers service to help older and disabled people with their gardens alongside allowing people with learning disabilities to get some practical experience. A spokesman for Mencap said “Being able to provide some basic garden maintenance for older people and others who are unable to do it themselves is extremely heartening.

Portesham open gardens weekend Portesham open gardens takes place on the weekend of Saturday, 1st and Sunday, 2nd of July when there’s a chance to tour the selected gardens open in the Dorset village six miles outside of Weymouth. St Peter’s Church is holding an arts and craft exhibition in conjunction with the gardens open weekend. The gardens are open from 12 noon to 4.30pm both days. Cream teas are available in the Rectory garden again on both days.

“Added to that, being able to offer people with special needs a chance to work as a team, to build experience and confidence, and to contribute to their local community is extremely invaluable.� Lawn mowing, hedge trimming, pruning and tree work along with one-off clearances and tidy-ups is what the service is set to offer. As it is aimed at people who don’t have anyone to look after their garden, to ensure it is affordable, prices have been kept as low as possible. All of the gardening work is carried out by volunteers with mental health issues or learning disabilities who are often excluded from the jobs market.




Cherry picking at Milborne St Andrew If you have a passion for cherries then Saturday, 22nd July is a date to make a note of. It’s Cherry Picking day at Bagber Farm in Milborne St Andrew. A donation of a percentage of the day’s takings will be made to Weldmar Hospicecare. Entry by ticket only – no tickets available on the day. Please book your tickets online now: You can enjoy the orchard, pick your own fruit and enjoy drinks from the Cherry Bar You’ll be free to eat as many cherries as you like straight from the tree and you can also take some home (boxes will be provided). Tractor trailer ride to and from the field and a mechanical cherry harvester demonstration will top off the farming experience. 11am to 5pm. Cherry Picked Hampers, Bagber Farm, Milton Road, Milborne St Andrew, DT11 0LB.

Gardening as it used to be

The history of gardening and garden activities is explored in a new exhibition at the Priest’s House Museum & Garden in Wimborne. How Does Your Garden Grow? which explores the history of garden activities in East Dorset runs until 30th September. It celebrates all things garden related, from planting and maintaining allotments to winning floral shows. Discover how gardens have developed from simple medieval vegetable patches to sprawling Georgian parklands. Step back in time and peek inside a wartime potting shed, complete with seedlings ready for planting. East Dorset is home to the first garden centre in the UK and you can see highlights from the Stewarts archive on loan from Dorset History Centre. The exhibition also includes artwork by Lys De Bray, a botanical artist and author based in Wimborne, and examples of Verwood pottery. There is also a display of a selection of trophies awarded to Wimborne in Bloom since it began 25 years ago. The museum has also worked with the National Garden Scheme, which celebrates its 90th birthday this year. Local representatives from the NGS have developed a display on some of the stunning and delightful gardens that open throughout East Dorset. The museum is open daily (except Sundays) from 104.30pm. Standard admission charges apply. A wartime potting shed 6

Country Gardener

Gardeners are being asked to help bees and moths by making Dorset the most pollinator-friendly county in Britain. The Wareham based Butterfly Conservation is launching a nationwide study to save declining butterfly numbers by discovering which county is home to the most insect-friendly gardens.

The wildlife charity is organizing the ‘Plant Pot for Pollinator’ campaign which will run throughout the summer. The campaign urges nature lovers to plant a flower pot to provide vital nectar sources for pollinating insects like butterflies which are declining across the UK. Butterfly Conservation Ambassador and wildlife gardening writer Kate Bradbury, said: “Many butterflies will travel far and wide for a good meal, and you don’t need a big garden to lure them in. “A simple pot of lavender or buddleia on the doorstep can do the trick, and a well-planted window box can be a butterfly magnet. And don’t forget moths - stepping outside at night and watching moths buzz around your flowers is a magical experience.” Pollinating insects like bees, moths, butterflies, hoverflies and beetles are essential for the fertilisation of many crops, including fruit, seeds and oils as well as many plants, trees and wild flowers. To take part in the scheme and for advice on the top nectar sources for plant pot gardening visit

Orchard Park, Shaftesbury Rd, Gillingham SP8 5JG T: 01747 835544 E: MON - SAT 9 - 5.30 SUN 10 - 4.30 Discover more at

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Muriel Jones Field Allotments

GARDEN Visits THE BEST GARDENS TO VISIT compiled by Vivienne Lewis

Seeing how other people grow their vegetables and fruit is fascinating, so this month we have a selection of kitchen gardens, allotments and gardens with good vegetable plots for varied garden visiting on their open days for charity. Many also grow flowers, especially for cutting, have pretty, rural settings and wonderful countryside views, and if you want greater variety there


Birchill Lane, Feltham, Frome, Somerset BA11 5ND

are gardens in this list with lawns and herbaceous borders as well. We’ve also included some new openings in July. If dogs are not mentioned, they are not allowed. We advise checking wherever possible before starting out on a journey in case circumstances force closures in these private gardens.


Hawling, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire GL54 5SZ Designer Jane FearnleyWhittingstall has recently helped garden owner Federica Wilk create a medieval-style vegetable and herb garden with square beds surrounded by ankle-high wicker fencing. Wonderful views, and a lavender-filled yew walk. Open for the NGS: Sundays 2nd and 9th July, 11am-5pm. Combined admission with Brocklehurst, Hawling GL54 5TA, a romantic garden with lily pond, summerhouse and a productive veg patch, £8, children free. Dogs allowed. Limited wheelchair access to Brocklehurst, mostly wheelchair access to Littlefield.

98 pretty allotments on a five-acre site with a range of gardening styles from the traditional allotment to a more relaxed approach. A rural setting on the outskirts of Frome with views of Longleat Forest across the river and into the trees and Cley Hill in the distance. Flowers, fruit and vegetables in abundance. Visitors are welcome to bring a picnic. Open for the NGS: Tuesday 4th July, 11am5pm. Admission: £4.50, children free. Homemade teas. Viewing area over allotments designated for wheelchair users. Accessible WC. Dogs allowed. Contact: Frome Allotment Association 621332 Email: Partial wheelchair access. Dogs allowed. 8

MEADOW COTTAGE 59 Coalway Road, Coalway, Coleford, Gloucestershire GL16 7HL Ella Beard has raised beds for vegetables and fruit in her cottage garden, that’s intensively planted, with a collection of unusual shade plants in pots. Open for the NGS: Sunday 2nd July, 2-6pm. Combined admission with Forsdene Walk £5, chldren free. Homemade teas. Country Gardener

FORTHAMPTON COURT Forthampton, Gloucestershire GL19 4RD A magnificent Victorian vegetable garden surrounded by red-brick walls, and features cutting borders, vegetable beds and ancient orchard trees, within sight of Tewkesbury Abbey; there’s a walled formal garden in front of the house with wide lawns and herbaceous borders behind. Open for the NGS: Sunday 2nd July, 12pm-4pm. Admission: £4.50. Home-made teas.

GARDEN COTTAGE & WALLED KITCHEN GARDEN Shipston Road, Upper Tysoe, Warwick CV35 0TR Sue and Mike Sanderson started in 2009 to turn an overgrown field covered in brambles and ivy clad fruit trees into a modern walled kitchen garden. The one-acre garden contains a willow fedge, living roof and unusual vegetables grown following organic methods. There are many plants grown from cuttings and heritage seeds, fruit and vegetables, four greenhouses and many seating areas. Open for the NGS: Saturday 22nd July, Sunday 23rd July, 2pm-6pm. Admission £4, children free. Home-made teas.

THE BEECHES Church Road, Barcombe, Lewes, East Sussex BN8 5TS At The Beeches you’ll find an 18th century walled garden with cut flowers, vegetables, salads and fruit, a separate orchard and rose garden, herbaceous borders, extensive lawns and a hot border. There are two ponds, one with a willow house, and an 18th century barn. Open for the NGS: Sunday 23rd July, Sunday 30th July, 2pm-5pm. Admission £5, children free. Home-made teas. Some slightly bumpy ground but all accessible without steps. Visitors also welcome by arrangement June to August for groups of 12 max. Contact Sandy Coppen on 01273 401339 or email

RIVERFORD FIELD KITCHEN Wash Farm, Buckfastleigh, Devon TQ11 0JU Riverford, the pioneering organic veg box company, opens its impressive two year-old large allotment style kitchen garden with an enormous 60mx9m polytunnel for the National Gardens Scheme for the first time, growing an interesting range of organic vegetables, herbs and flowers supplying the Field Kitchen and a London restaurant. Flower arranging and seed sowing demos throughout the day; the head gardener will welcome visitors and answer questions. Open for the NGS: Sunday 9th July, Sunday 3rd September, 11am-5.30pm. Admission £4, children free. Light refreshments. Booking essential for the Field Kitchen Restaurant on 01803 762000. Dogs allowed.

HERSTMONCEUX PARISH TRAIL Hailsham, East Sussex BN27 4JF Five gardens open for the parish trail including The Allotments with 54 allotments growing a huge variety of traditional and unusual crops. The gardens range from water features in a garden dating back to 1731, a cottage garden packed full of edible and flowering plants, transformed from wasteland, to a romantic garden and another with mature trees and a large pond with fish. Open for the NGS: Sunday 2nd July, 125pm. Combined admission £5, children free. Light refreshments at Lime Cross Nursery (closes at 4.30pm). 9


HOLY TRINITY PRIMARY SCHOOL GARDEN Cross Road, Weymouth, Dorset DT4 9QX There are good veggie raised beds in this award winning wildlife garden, started in 2008 with the donation of a winning RHS Show Garden. Children’s raised beds, large wildlife pond, WWII garden with Anderson shelter, tranquil Memory Corner, Dorset’s largest living willow classroom, small orchard and bird garden. Lush Jurassic garden with many ferns and plants from the time of the dinosaurs completes the garden! Butterfly or dinosaur hunt for children. Open for the NGS: Saturday 22nd July, Sunday 23rd July, 1pm5pm. Admission £4, children free. Home-made teas. Refreshments in aid of The Friends of Holy Trinity School. Wheelchair access to most of garden, and WC. www.holytrinityenvironmentalgarden.

GUY’S CLIFFE WALLED GARDEN Coventry Road, Guy’s Cliffe, Warwick CV34 5FJ An 18th century Grade II listed garden of special historic interest, once the kitchen garden for Guy’s Cliffe House. Restoration work started three years ago, using plans from the early 19th century; the garden layout now reinstated and the beds once more planted with fruit, flowers and vegetables including many heritage varieties. Glasshouses await restoration. There’s an exhibition of artefacts discovered during the restoration. Opening for the NGS: Saturday 22nd July, 10am3.30pm. Admission £2.50, children free. Home-made teas. Dogs allowed.

New garden openings in July ST ANDREW STREET South Gardens, Tiverton, Devon EX16 6PL A cluster of keen gardeners join to share their gardens tucked away in the heart of old Tiverton. Cottage front gardens, secluded courtyards and the most unexpected back garden at 59 which goes right down to the River Exe. The gardens are an urban treat with a variety of planting. Open for the NGS: Saturday 1st July, Sunday 2nd July, 10am4pm. Admission £4.50, children free. Home-made teas at 62 The Old House St Andrew Street South. WC at No.59. Narrow gravel paths, varying levels and steps. Parking available in nearby car parks, no parking in St Andrew St.

BENTER GARDENS, Benter, Oakhill, Radstock, Somerset BA3 5BJ Two contrasting gardens in a beautiful, rural setting: a mature garden at Fire Engine House with a small orchard and arboretum, while College Barn garden is three years old with hazel and hornbeam hedges, swathes of perennials and prairie planting with ornamental grasses. An intimate walled garden filled with vegetables, herbs and flowers has sculpture and woodwork by Fiona Campbell and Nick Weaver, whose designs featured in one of the gold-winning artisan gardens at Chelsea 2016. Open for the NGS: Sunday 23rd July, 10am-5pm. Combined admission £5, children free. Home-made teas at Fire Engine House. 10

Country Gardener

New garden openings in July IVANHOE


63 Bishopsoke Road, Bishopstoke, Eastleigh, Hampshire SO50 6BF A new opening for the NGS this year but a second opening this season, this wildlife-friendly woodland garden has bright perennials in sunny areas, ferns and shade lovers under mature sycamore trees, colourful climbers, flowering trees and shrubs, a lily pond with fish, and a small vegetable garden. Open for the NGS: Saturday 29th July, Sunday 30th July, 2pm-6pm. Admission £3, children free. Home-made teas. Some flint and gravel paths.

Landford, Salisbury, Wiltshire SP5 2AX Landford is a small village in the northern New Forest,known for its beech and oak trees and freeroaming livestock. Five gardens ranging in size, planting conditions and setting are opening, with three in the village, adjacent to Nomansland with its green grazed by New Forest ponies. A short distance away in the forest is a naturalistic garden with a field of wild orchids, and a mature garden showing a digital screening of the wildlife found in both gardens. Open for the NGS: Saturday 8th July, Sunday 9th July, 2pm5pm. Combined admission £5, children free. Home-made teas at Bentley, Whitehorn Drive.

PARK HOUSE Liddaton, Coryton, Okehampton, Devon EX20 4AB Nestling in the beautiful Lyd Valley, an attractive three-acre garden in two parts. Walk through banks of naturalistic, unusual and interesting planting combinations to a meadow with stunning views of Dartmoor and meandering mown paths leading to vibrant, traditional herbaceous borders, running water, a productive greenhouse and orchard. Open for the NGS: Saturday 8th July, Sunday 9th July, 11am-4pm. Admission £5, children free. Home-made teas. Dogs allowed. Not good wheelchair access.

OLD ORCHARD, Goathurst, Bridgwater, Somerset TA5 2DF A quarter acre cottage style garden in the centre of Goathurst village, planted to complement the cottage with more than 100 clematis viticella interplanted with a wide range of shrubs, herbaceous perennials, annuals and bulbs, giving all year colour and interest. Open for the NGS: Sunday 23rd July, 11am-5pm. Admission £3. Light refreshments in the village. Limited wheelchair access. Parking in field 500 yards from the garden.


How to employ a gardener

A skilled gardener offers far more than mere watering and weeding but what, exactly, should you look for – and what are the best tasks to delegate? Whether your garden needs a spot of weeding or a complete overhaul, finding the right gardener can help refresh your green space- or could end up with more problems than you started with.the trick is finding the right person to work their magic in your garden. Here's five points to consider.

1 What work needs doing? it should obvious but the first step is be very specific about what needs doing. Gardeners are many and varied, and a reliable gardener can do the jobs you can’t/don’t want to do/don’t have time to do, freeing you up to enjoy your garden more. An unskilled or novice gardener, who will be the cheapest to employ, should be able to do jobs such as mowing the lawn, raking up leaves or digging over beds under your supervision. Gardeners with experience should cope with all the tasks needed to keep a garden under control – including weeding, grass cutting, strimming, pruning, planting, mulching, feeding, spraying and lawn care – and know when to do them. A top- notch gardener will be able to help you plan your garden, suggest and source plants and even mentor you.

2 Where do I find a gardener? Personal recommendation seems to be one of the best ways of finding a good gardener. if you don’t know anyone living near you who employs one, look for noticeboards in local shops or garden centres. you could also get up to three

Employing a gardener - your experiences

quotes from local gardeners by setting out your requirements.

3 Individual or company? Using an established company should give you peace of mind as they will have a track record that you can easily check online. on the downside they will certainly charge more per hour. With a self-employed gardener, the most important thing is to find someone you can trust who will do the job well. various websites stress the importance of qualifications, such as the rHs level 2 Certificate in Practical Horticulture, but having a qualification doesn’t make you a good gardener.

4 Be aware of legal requirements Whichever route you choose, ask for references. even a novice gardener should be able to provide you with the phone number of someone they have worked for. expect the gardener to bring their own tools – if they use yours, and work regularly for you at a pre-arranged time and day it may become an employer/employee relationship rather than the gardener providing you with a service, and you may have to take on responsibilities of an employer. you could also be liable for any injuries they receive while using your tools. it’s sensible to check if they have Public liability insurance, which covers against damage by them to you or your property.

5 How much should you pay rates vary according to the experience of the gardener, what you’re asking them to do, and whether they are solo operators or belong to a maintenance company. if you’re paying by the hour, expect to pay from £10 upwards, with charges of £15-£35 for gardeners with horticultural qualifications and/or experience, and £25-£35 for garden maintenance companies.

“My gardener comes in three or four times a year and does the heavy jobs, which in spring involves sorting out the two compost heaps, mulching the beds and pruning the larger trees and shrubs. This year he also dug over a herb bed, took out a huge shrub and cleared a broken hazel fence. I do the weeding though. I paid him £12.50 an hour and have to book at least a month in advance as he gets really booked up.” Annie Porter, exeter “We use a garden company in Wells for lawn care, pond maintenance and the seasonal tasks, such as weeding, pruning etc. We have a large formal lawn which we like to keep beautifully tended and it is too much for us. They come weekly from March through to September , bring their own tools and leave everything spotless. We pay them £21 per hour plus VAT” iAn MAllet, Wells. “I paid £15 an hour for a day's work. The gardener sorted through my six metre by two metre border which had become completely overgrown, lifting the perennials, and restored the whole thing to order. Money well spent.” roseMAry, tiverton. 12

Country Gardener



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Tel: 01308 862777 Email:

L A N G TO N N U R S E R I E S CW Abbott & Son

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Lilium lancifolium


– very difficult to ignore! There are about 100 species of lily available to gardeners with large, spectacular often fragrant flowers. They cover a whole range of colours including whites, yellows, oranges, pinks, reds and purples. Gill Heavens looks at a few of her favourites of Division 9 classification of these wonderful plant varieties Subtlety is not something normally associated with lilies, whose Latin name is the relatively simple to remember - Lilium. They are grown for their extravagant blooms and often overwhelming fragrance. They are very hard to ignore. Across the Northern Hemisphere, where they are exclusively found in the wild, they are frequent subjects of both literature and art. They are the most popular flower at Chinese weddings as they symbolise 100 years of love. A lily was said to have sprung up from the sweat of Christ and Greek mythology states they came from the breast milk of the goddess Hera. Perhaps the most famous lily of all is the Madonna Lily, Lilium candidum. Candidum means white, referring to the virginal, trumpet-shaped flowers produced in mid-summer. These are held on racemes of up to 20 blooms with prominent golden anthers up to a magnificent 1.8m tall. What is more they are deliciously fragrant. They are native from Southern Europe to South West Asia and were originally brought to the UK by the Romans. 14

Lilium candicum subsequently became associated with the Virgin Mary and features in religious texts and illustrations dating from 9th century Britain. One of the most famous images of this sublime flower is in Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s 1850 painting The Annunciation. Another summer stunner is the Regal Lily, Lilium regale, which can grow to 2m tall with large white, pink-striped, goldenthroated flowers. It was discovered by the plant hunter EH Wilson in 1903 on the border between Tibet and China, what a sight that must have been! Reputedly this plant was the cause of his “lily limp” which came about when he was crushed by an avalanche whilst collecting bulbs. Ensure you shelter this sun lover from late frosts which might distort the forming flowers. Again this plant has a tremendous perfume. The Panther Lily, Lilium pardalinum, was introduced from California in 1875. Pardalinum means “spotted like a leopard”, which indeed it is! It has crimson turk’s cap flowers, which hang down with highly reflexed petals, freckled maroon on an orange background. If you have a sunny spot and clay soil, it will add some hot drama to the back of your border. This lily spreads by stolons, creeping stems, and therefore colonises an area quickly. Still in the animal kingdom, we have the Tiger Lily, Lilium lancifolium (syn. L. trigrinum). This was first introduced from Eastern China by William Kerr who worked for Kew Gardens in the early 19th century. From late summer to early autumn it produces 20-25 turk’s cap-shaped orange-red flowers, spotted purple, on each raceme.

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Lilium martagon

Lilium regale

Lilium pardalinum

The cultivar ‘Splendens’ has larger, even more impressive, blooms. The bulb has been eaten in the Far East for centuries. There are also lilies that enjoy the dappled shade found at the woodland edge. Here they can keep their bulbs cool in summer but get enough light to photosynthesis. The Martagon lily, Lilium martagon, is one such plant and was introduced into this country at the end of the 16th century. It has a natural range from North West Europe to North West Asia. For this reason, and the fact it hybridises readily, means that in the wild it can be found in many colours from pure white to speckled pale purple. The word martagon comes from Turkish for a special type of turban, this is why it is often called the Turk’s Cap Lily. This lily is ideal for naturalising in your garden. If you wish to propagate your favourites then lilies kindly offer you many options; divisions, bulbils, scales and seed. You can divide your clumps in spring or autumn, but only when absolutely necessary as they are best left to their own devices. Some lilies, such as Tiger Lilies, produce bulbils in the joint between leaf and stem. These should be removed in late summer/early autumn and planted on the surface of compost. They should reach flowering size in three to four years. For those a little more adventurous you can use bulb scales to increase your stock. Carefully remove the scales and carefully push, base downwards, into a well-drained compost mix. Again they should take three to four years to come to maturity. Then there is seed, which can be quicker than you would imagine and will produce many plants, virus free, and very cheaply. Of course there are downsides to the wondrous lily. The dreaded lily beetle is a scourge to the lily lover. Be vigilant and inspect often. Remove and dispose of any of the carmine red critters and look out for the “bird poo” larva. Plants may also fall prey to fungal disease or viruses. As always a healthy plant is more likely to fight off any attack. Lilies also get bad press because of their beautiful but staining anthers. Most are best placed out of harm’s way at the back of the border, but if you are particularly worried, especially if you have cut them for the house, snip the offending anthers off. More importantly some species are poisonous to cats and veterinary help should be sought if your pet eats any part of the plant, including the pollen. So popular are the lovely lilies that many beautiful interlopers have borrowed their name, such as day lily, lily of the valley, arum lily and even toad lily. They must wait their turn, today it is the true lilies’ day to shine.

Lilium candidum


Top 10 cut flowers

to grow at home A vase of fresh flowers cut straight from the garden can instantly make a house feel more like a home. So it’s surprisingly that more people don’t try growing their own cut flowers. There are plenty of cut flowers that you can grow at home, but if you need some inspiration take a look at our top 10 favourites. You don’t need to be a florist to get the best from your cut flowers either. There are lots of handy tips that you can employ to make your blooms last longer. Here are a just a few to get you started.



The ultimate 'cut and come again' cut flower! Once a popular glasshouse cut flower, these beautiful blooms are mainly garden grown nowadays. There are plenty of colours to choose from, but a good mix of shades makes the prettiest posies. Old fashioned Grandiflora types often have the best scent such as Sweet Pea ‘Heirloom Mixed’. It’s important to cut sweet peas regularly to encourage more blooms. Cut just as the lowest bloom is opening and put them in water immediately for a longer vase life.



You’ll only need a few lily stems to make a dramatic and exotic-looking cut flower display. There are lots of different lily species that you can grow as a cut flower, but oriental lilies are the most popular for their fragrance and glamorous trumpet shaped blooms.



Sunflowers make the cheeriest cut flowers and never fail to raise a smile. They’re very easy to grow and won’t require any special attention - simply sow them directly into the ground where you want them to flower. For cutting it’s best to choose multi-headed varieties such as Sunflower ‘Harlequin’ .



Tulips are among the earliest flowers for cutting in the garden. They come in such a range of colours that you’ll be spoiled for choice. Try Tulip 'Everlasting' Mixture or Tulip ‘Red Impression’ for a stunning mix of shades. You can help your tulips to last longer in the vase by cutting their stems underwater to prevent air entering the stems. Tulips are thirsty cut flowers so you’ll need to keep their water topped up.



The flamboyant, tall stems of gladioli are superb for adding height and drama to flower arrangements. There are


plenty to choose from and modern hybrids such as Gladiolus ‘Tango’ and Gladiolus ‘Green Star’ bring a really fresh palette of contemporary colours to your vase. Cut gladiolus flowers just as the lowest two or three florets begin to open, but try to leave as many leaves as possible to feed the bulb for next year.



What list of cut flowers would be complete without the quintessential rose. Growing roses for cut flowers takes a little more work than growing them as garden shrubs, but the results are well worth the effort. Choose varieties carefully to ensure the nicest forma and longest stems. When growing roses as cut flowers, be ruthless and remove any poorly placed flower buds that are unlikely to make good cut flowers to direct energy into the best blooms.



The silvery-blue foliage of eucalyptus gunnii makes fantastic filler for vases, bouquets and larger flower arrangements. Its attractive rounded leaves provide shape and texture that blends well with both formal and more relaxed displays. Eucalyptus has a sensational vase life, easily lasting more than three weeks.



Dianthus (including Carnations, Pinks and Sweet Williams) are some of the best known of all cut flowers. Carnations such as ’Ever-blooming Mixed’ provide traditional carnation flowers, but it’s worth trying something different if you are growing your own flowers for cutting. How about Dianthus 'Purple Rain' for its unusual colouring or the extraordinary blooms of Dianthus 'Green Trick' which have taken the cut flower world by storm?



Peonies are prized for their beautiful, large blooms. Just a few stems are enough to create a stunning arrangement with a big impact. Herbaceous peonies such as 'Eden's Perfume' are a great choice although they do have a relatively short flowering season.



Gypsophila makes particularly useful filler for softening bouquets and adding a frothy haze of tiny flowers to your cut flower arrangements. This well loved cut flower can be sown outdoors each spring where they are to flower. Stagger the sowings to prolong the flowering season.

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One-sided legislation when it comes to tree protection It is a mad world – and it can get even madder! If you receive a Tree Preservation Order, you will find that you A Tree Preservation Order (TPO) is a heavy-handed piece of have a right of objection. However, the body that hears your legislation to suddenly find oneself the recipient of. objection is the same local authority that made the order in the first place! Suddenly the tree, which you thought was yours, feels like it belongs to the local council not you. Although, when you look If you want to challenge the order you can do so in the High more closely, you find that the tree does still belong to you in Court, but only on a matter of law, which is generally a waste all matters of potential expense or liability. of time and money. Now if you want to do something to your own tree, you have However, there is a way out. There is a knight in shining to make a formal application to your local authority for their armour who can come to your aid and slay the dragon of permission to do it and, whilst there is no actual fee from the injustice that has landed in your garden – or there ought to be. council for processing your application, there can be some If you apply to fell the tree and the council issue you with a pretty hefty hidden costs that you were not expecting. refusal, you have a right of appeal to the Planning Inspectorate, For example, if your reason for applying to remove or prune not the local council. The Planning Inspectorate will send out a tree is because you are concerned regarding its potential an independent inspector to hear your pleas and make a final impact upon the foundations of your house, your council will decision regarding the validity of your wishes regarding your only consider your application if it is accompanied by a report tree. At last, somebody other than the council that made the from a structural engineer, or if your concern is related to the Tree Preservation Order in the first place will look at your case structural integrity of the tree, by a qualified arboriculturalist. and make a decision not based largely on local politics! You may struggle with the realisation that, once the Or will they? arboriculturalist you have paid has written and submitted We have two cases on our books where we submitted the their report along with your application, it is then considered appeal documents for a hearing before an appointed Inspector, and allowed or refused by another arboriculturalist whom you one in December of last year and another in January of have paid for out of your council tax. this year and we have not yet even been given a date for the hearings. Keeping in mind that these applications had already spent two months with the local authority before we even had a decision about which to lodge an appeal, this is an absolute outrage. I am in favour of Tree Preservation Orders; they play a vital role in preserving our important tree cover nationally. But they are a colossally one-sided piece of legislation that can be, and sometimes is, misused by local authorities. The Planning Inspectorate is the backstop that should be there to prevent abuses of the system and give tree owners an opportunity to put their side of any argument to an unbiased ear, but they are failing miserably. Mark Hinsley is from Arboricultural Consultants Ltd. Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs) play a vital role in preserving trees nationally

Mark Hinsley asks if the Planning Inspectorate is in melt down when it comes to arbitrating on disputes over trees


Time to enjoy

the garden more? This is the time of year when outdoor living becomes important and perhaps the chance to make sure your garden is equipped properly when it comes to enjoying these precious summer weeks The garden is an incredibly important part of our lives. It gives space to relax and unwind, and the satisfaction of seeing plants grow and thrive by our hands. Countless studies have also shown that gardens and outdoor spaces improve our mood and wellbeing. A great garden just makes us feel better. So as we approach high summer its time perhaps to consider if you are making enough of your garden. It should after all be more than just a place to grow shrubs, plants, vegetables and fruit. Most important of all it should be a place to enjoy oudoor living. “Break the garden up a bit if you can, and find a bit of space for yourself. Think Sunday morning, coffee, newspapers surrounded by beautiful plants - roses perhaps, which are full of scent,” says Peter Foster, a garden designer who specialises in gardens in and around Bristol. “We should enjoy our gardens more. Invest in some good quality equipment to get the children in the garden and give them a space of their own. Then its all about lighting, seating and eating .My kids love their den which is hidden away behind bamboo plants. They don’t care that it’s only about eight-foot square, it’s their space - but we can still keep an eye on them. “My other priority when advising on gardens is to create a high quality outdoor eating area. It makes such a difference and needn’t be expensive.” THE BEST SPOT TO SIT DOWN Don’t think of garden furniture as purely functional. Cheap white plastic chairs let down the look of a good garden – and they’ll almost certainly let you down too.

Try to match furniture to the same scale as your property: a large house, or dramatic tall planting call for a larger seat or dining set, whereas a cottage garden or small town terrace would suit a smaller bench. The right piece of furniture can provide a good focal point in a garden layout. Placing a bench under a tree or having a backdrop of roses can create a dramatic look. Make sure your furniture is not purely ornamental – comfort should be key. LIGHTING FOR ROOMS –OUTDOOR STYLE Thinking of the garden as another room may help you to achieve the right atmosphere. At the front of your home, highlighting key features such as pillars or door architraves with small ground-recessed uplights creates a dramatic

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framing effect. Lighting can take on a more sculptural look so use it to highlight tree trunks, bare branches, interesting shapes and even snow. It’s an ideal opportunity to draw attention to the garden’s good features and leave unlit those best forgotten. In the back garden, lighting trees, sculptures or smaller plants such as acers, box balls and olive trees will draw the eye outwards and increase the sense of interior space, too.

Backdoorshoes have the solution!

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Providing gardeners with help on a range of gardening issues, problems and opportunities

Black spot on roses

It’s the time of year when black spot on roses can raise the stress levels in gardeners. Large black or dark purple spots on the surface of the leaves or stems are the main signs of black spot. As the problem gets worse the foliage gradually turns yellow and drops prematurely, The dreaded black spot on rose leaves weakening the plant. The disease is worse in warm, wet weather. The black spot fungus produces spores which are released under wet conditions and usually spread by rain-splash. The disease can also be passed from plant to plant on hands, clothing or tools. Recently, rose black spot has become more common in town and city gardens due to less sulphur dioxide within atmospheric pollution. Sulphur is known to reduce fungal problems. So is there a chemical free solution? The first thing to do is to remove all infected, fallen leaves promptly and burn them. In spring any affected roses should be pruned back hard. Choosing resistant varieties also helps, but don’t rely too heavily on resistance because there are many species of fungus and even new varieties can quickly succumb. Adopt a regular, fortnightly spraying regime to protect your plants before the problem begins. It’s a good idea to alternate the chemical that you use to prevent resistance occurring. Dig in plenty of organic matter at planting time and keep plants well fed throughout the growing season. Strong healthy plants will generally resist attack better those that are weak.

Forking and splitting in root crops When root vegetables are harvested, they are sometimes found to have split open, rendering crops useless and causing a lot of disappointment. There are ways to prevent this happening; most of which simply involve improving growing conditions. An erratic supply of water, such as high rainfall after long periods of drought, is the main cause. Roots suddenly take up a great deal of water and undergo a surge in growth that their structure cannot cope with. A similar phenomenon occurs in many fruits. Carrots are the most prone to splitting, with larger-rooted cultivars worse affected than small ones, as they can take up more water. The damage mainly occurs in summer but is often not discovered until harvest time. Occasionally splitting and shattering can occur at harvest time if roots have recently absorbed a sudden excess of water after a period of drought. You should work at improving garden soils over time, digging in plenty of well-rotted organic matter to increase the soil’s water-holding capacity. Carrots are not usually grown on freshly-manured ground; instead, manure the ground the preceding autumn or before the previous crop. Regular watering to ensure a steady growth rate is essential, especially in sandy or chalky soils that are not very moistureretentive. In dry weather, water crops thoroughly every two weeks initially, rising to every week as the roots near their harvest stage Erratic watering causes the splitting


Viruses transmitted by the willow-carrot aphid can cause roots to split open completely known as ‘kippering’. Protection using fleece or insect-proof mesh for carrot fly will also keep aphids off crops.

Discouraging moles from gardens If you don’t want to resort to traps to control moles in your garden, don’t despair. There are a few options, all of which are worth trying. Moles are very fond of earthworms. Any fertile soil is therefore bound to attract the little furry creatures. There are bonuses to having them that include increased drainage, especially in a clay soil, and collecting the soil from the molehills and using it for potting on young plants.

Don’t let the moles take over

The downside of having moles in the garden is the tunnels. It’s simply no good when roots find fresh air and you only find out when it’s too late. One option is to put something down the tunnel that smells bad and is preferably biodegradable. Gardeners have had success with very old cheese and wisps of dried grass soaked in over-fermented yoghurt or sour milk. Strong disinfectant is another option. You can buy a mole repellent smoke from garden centres –its fumes line the mole tunnels and it deters worms and also moles. The roots of caper surge (Euphorbia lathtris) are said by some gardeners to exclude chemicals that deter moles and bulbs of Allium moly are sold as mole deterrent.

remains that tea bags are suitable for composting. If the bags are still visible when you want to use the compost, they can be sieved out or picked off the surface of the soil. You can also speed up the composting process by ripping open the bags.’

Growing and forcing rhubarb First things first – you need to be patient when it comes to growing rhubarb. Do not harvest rhubarb stems in the first year after planting and harvest lightly in the second season. Rhubarb can be grown from seed or as plants purchased from your local garden centre. Rhubarb grown from seed will take a year longer to produce stalks, and even then, the plants aren’t guaranteed to be true to type. Try buying oneyear-old plants, known as ‘crowns’, that have been divided from strong, disease-free plants. Keep in mind that many varieties grow to be very large plants, and require a lot of space. Before planting, dig a hole with a trowel a little bit wider than the plant. The depth should be such that the top of the plant is at, or just below the soil surface. Gently firm the surrounding soil and water well. Spacing between plants should be about 75cm (30in) for smaller varieties, and up to 120cm (48in) for larger varieties. After the leaves have died down, spread a new layer of compost around the plant to conserve water and suppress weeds. Dead-head flowers immediately after they appear in the early spring, as allowing flowers to set seed will weaken the plant.

Are teabags compostable? For years gardeners have been told that tea bags were perfect material for the compost heap, but there’s new evidence for consumers that they at least need to rip the bags open before they throw them on the heap.

Six out of seven tea bags are not compostable

Updated research last autumn, has found that six out of the seven largest tea bag manufacturers, do not make fully compostable bags. Between 20 per cent to 30 per cent of the bags are made up polypropylene, a type of plastic used to glue the sides of the bag together. Lynne Gunn, WRAP’s the government’s official anti-waste advisory group home composting expert, said: ‘Our advice 22

Ready to eat in four weeks

This simple process of forcing provides an earlier harvest of sweeter stems that don’t need peeling. For forcing outdoors, cover plants with a container or large pot to exclude the light. Place the cover over the rhubarb as soon as it begins to show signs of growth. For forcing indoors, lift whole crowns in November and place them on the soil surface to be chilled for two weeks in order to break their period of dormancy. Pot each crown up with compost and bring into a cool greenhouse. It’s important to completely exclude any light by placing forcing pots or black polythene over crowns. The lack of light and the heating effect of the cover will quickly cause the rhubarb to ripen and it will be ready to eat within four weeks.

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Drying herbs and keeping them for use out of season is a time honoured method and worth spending time on If you’ve ever taken a tour through an old historic house, chances are that you’ve probably seen bundles of herbs hanging from ceiling beams in the kitchen. It was common to have a kitchen garden, even if it was a small one, and these gardens almost always included herbs for culinary and medicinal uses. Drying fresh herbs at the peak of their flavour preserves the flavour and colour of their leaves, flowers, and seeds. Certainly, no dried herb will have the piquancy of fresh, and a few idiosyncratic varieties, such as coriander, chervil, and broad leafed parsley, tend not to keep. But with planning and care, most herbs, from, can be dried with excellent results. The thickness and water-holding capacity of each type of leaf, blossom, or seed head will determine the length of time and amount of attention needed to dry it successfully. Small-leafed thyme, delicate borage flowers, and low-watercontent rosemary need to be watched closely to ensure that they don't become overdried. Lush, thick borage leaves and bulky dill blossoms require attention to avoid mildew or contamination by other flavours or aromas over their longer drying period. The time of day for harvesting herbs makes a difference, too. Gently spray water on upright herbs, such as basil and oregano, on both the top and underside of the leaves to remove dust and dirt. While it's romantic to think of hanging up bunches of herbs to dry in a warm, bustling kitchen, the competing tastes and fragrances generated during daily food preparation can mask or contaminate the delicate flavors and scents of your herbs. And bright light will cause colours to fade. Far more appropriate is to provide a dust-free environment and plenty of ventilation in a spot without direct sun. After you harvest your herbs and they seem free of excess moisture, examine them to be sure they're as clean as possible. If they're not, there's no getting around ridding


them of dirt; rinse them. Then, gather them into small bunches to assure good air circulation. Tie them tightly with twine and hang them upside down to dry, leaving a few inches between each bunch. If ambient dust, soot, or other particles are a problem, you'll want to protect your herbs while they dry. Hold a paper bag next to each herb bunch and check to see how far the bag covers the herbs. The bottom few inches of the herb bundle should poke out from the bag. Trim the bag and punch a hole in the middle of its bottom panel. Turn the bag upside down and draw the herbs, stem side up, into the bag. Fish the twine through the hole and tie it to the closet rod, laundry rack, or string. Continue tying, bagging, and hanging your herbs, leaving ample room between each bag.

When the herbs are dry, the leaves will crumble easily between your fingers When the herbs are dry, the leaves will crumble easily between your fingers into small pieces. If you're unsure whether they're dry enough, snip a little of the herb off and place it in a clean, dry glass jar with a tight-fitting lid. Set the jar in a warm, sunny spot for a few hours and see if any moisture condenses inside. If it doesn't, your herbs are dry enough. If the leaves form a powder when you crumble them, they're too dry, and you may have lost a substantial percentage of their volatile oils. Use your senses and your imagination when it comes to adding dried herbs to your cooking. If you think an herb will work in a dish, check the herb's aroma. If it smells right, it will work. Use a light touch at first, as the flavour is concentrated. Soon you'll be cooking meals steeped in the fragrances of summer-all year long.



Jobs in the


Now that the warm summer days are here some of the jobs in the garden will be easy going, pleasant tasks, such as dis-budding roses, dahlias, fuchsias, tidying up the herbaceous borders and general watering. But as the summer growth continues in full swing its also the time to be watchful as the risk of pests and diseases becomes all too all too prevalent and a lot of your hard work in the spring can be wasted. Make sure you keep on top of pests and diseases so they can be treated at the earliest possible stage. Mildew is especially problematic in hot, dry weather, and red spider mite can be a real nuisance. Take special care of your fruit, netting soft fruit and the odd ten minutes here and there hand thinning your apple and plum trees will bring wonderful autumn rewards.

Camellias set to bud

Camellias set their buds around this time of year, and one reason for plants not flowering is dryness at the roots when the buds are being set. This is a particular problem for container plants, so ensure that potted camellias are watered regularly, especially during hot dry spells.

Harvest time Harvest garlic when the tops start to brown. Eat some green or "wet" – it is delicious roasted. Hang the rest up in a sunny, dry place to ripen. Continue to dig and eat the potatoes while they are still young, as they will never be better. Use the space to plant out seedling winter greens and leeks or sow salad crops. Keep up the sowing rotation so you always have new salad, rocket, coriander and dill on the way. Summer may have peaked, but there is plenty more growing to come. 24

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Time to thin your fruit trees

In what is known as the ‘June drop’, fruit trees undergo a natural thinning process when fruit they are unable to support falls from the tree. Additional thinning is often required for the remaining fruit to attain optimum size and quality. This should be carried out by mid-July. Thinning has other benefits: Sunlight and air can circulate more easily, which helps fruit to ripen evenly and reduces the risk of fungal diseases. Branches can break if trees over-crop – a particular hazard for plums. Too large a crop can exhaust the tree's resources, so thinning helps it to develop a manageable quantity of fruit. When young trees crop too heavily, energy is diverted from developing a strong framework of branches and roots. This makes them less able to produce large crops in subsequent years. To ensure the largest fruit, thin cooking apples hard; dessert apples more lightly. For both types leave just one fruit per cluster; choosing the strongest and best-shaped. Plums are particularly prone to over-cropping, so thinning is vital. Less fruit is a far better option than long-term damage to the tree.

Pick sweet peas to encourage further crops of flower. The same for repeat-flowering roses. Deadheading also keeps the garden looking spruce, and a regular pick-over on pelargoniums and day lilies gives you the chance to check plants for problems. If the buds on your hemerocallis are looking swollen and bloated, this is a sign of gall-midge damage. Pick off the affected buds and burn them. In a wet year, rust can decimate certain hybrid pelargoniums. It can easily be prevented with an organic fungicide if you catch it before it gets a hold. Once-blooming roses that go on to form hips for autumn should not be deadheaded or you will lose a second benefit.

HEADING OFF Act fast to tackle blight


Late blight can cause swift destruction of potatoes; spray preventatively before spells of wet weather with a copper-based fungicide as there is no cure once it has taken hold. Alternatively, choose blight resistant cultivars such as 'Sarpo' and 'Setanta.

Remember to feed the roses

Remember to feed roses with a handful of blood, fish and bone after their first flush to repay them for the display they are providing you. Healthy roses are far less prone to disease, and foliar fortnightly feeding will keep them in good condition. Feed tomatoes with a high-potassium liquid feed to encourage good truss production, and continue to pinch out side shoots. Feed pot plants and annual displays fortnightly. Try making your own comfrey tea this year as an organic liquid feed. Fill a bucket with foliage and allow it to ferment for a week. It is a pungent brew, but it feels good to make your own fertiliser.

If you haven't done so already, net fruit to prevent the birds from getting to it first. Strawberries, currants and gooseberries are relatively easy to throw a temporary net over if you don't have the luxury of a fruit cage, but protecting a whole cherry tree is nighon impossible. Wrap a single limb and leave the rest to the birds, or better still, grow cherries as a fan or a cordon. Dessert cherries favour a warm wall, but the tart Morello cherries like a cool north wall.

P lus

• Prune back the tangled new growth of wisteria by shortening the current season's stems to five or six leaves from their base. This allows light and air into the climber and enhances flowering. • Clip box hedging and topiary at the end of this month, which should keep them neat and tidy over the winter. • Courgettes seem to turn into marrows overnight, so pick them daily to ensure a harvest of small, tender fruit. • Pear rust was prevalent last summer and forms a bright orange blemish on the leaves of pears. Remove infected leaves where practical but, on larger trees, use the fungicide difenoconazole. Clear away and destroy infected leaves once they have fallen, rather than adding them to the compost heap. • Give container plants a liquid feed throughout July to keep them looking good.



to great compost ! Elizabeth McC orquodale looks at the efficient and hugely popular method of turning kitchen waste into high quality compost with your own wormery For those of us who don’t generate enough garden waste to feed a compost heap or have no space to put one, a wormery is a very efficient method of dealing with kitchen waste and garden debris and as a bonus it provides a free and renewable source of garden soil conditioner into the bargain. A wormery can be as large or as small as you like –the size is only determined by how much waste you want to process and, unlike a compost heap, it doesn’t need to be put in a sunny spot to work efficiently. With the correct number of worms for the size of your wormery you will have usable compost in three to six months – a lot quicker than most ordinary compost heaps. Worms are tiny waste processing ‘factories’ and as they can eat about half their own body weight in waste each day and, as it is their poo that we are after, a wormery is obviously a very efficient waste processing plant. In the ‘wild’ worms come to the surface to collect leaves and other vegetation to feast upon and they do this at night to avoid the dangers of dehydration and predation. Although worms don’t have eyes, they do have light sensors on their skin so can quickly determine if they are in light or dark. For this reason always cover the top of your wormery to create a dark environment so that they continue to inhabit the top of the bin where you put the new waste. If the top of the bin is too light, too hot, too cold, too dry or too wet, the worms will have no 26

Country Gardener

choice but to burrow down, cover themselves with a protective layer of slime and wait it out until conditions improve. A wormery can be made from wood, plastic or polystyrene and it can be as fancy or as simple as you wish, but the basic design is the same: at the bottom is an area where the leachate (or worm ‘juice’) can collect, with a hole or tap to allow it to drain away. On top of this are stacked a minimum of two more boxes. The top one is the working box which contains a shallow layer of worm bedding, the worms and the unprocessed waste and the middle box contains the processed waste – the worm compost. When the middle tray is filled with worm compost it is emptied (to be used as a soil conditioner) and then replaced on top of the other trays to be used as the working tray. The floor of all the upper trays have holes in them that allow the worms to travel up to the top tray to feed.

There are currently around 6,000 spec ies of earthworms in the world but only four of them are used in the UK as composti ng worms. These are the tiger worms Eis enia andrei and Eisenia fetida, aptly named because of the str ipes that ring their bodies, the delight fully named ‘blueno se’, Dendrobaena vent a and the ‘red wig gler’ Lumbricus rubellu s. All of these are ef ficient processors of kitch en and garden was te.

How to construct a wormery YOU WILL NEED: Three or more stacking boxes made of wood, plastic or polystyrene, one with a lid. When stacked there should be a free space of at least four - six inches between the bottom of one box and the bottom of the next, and they should fit snugly together around the sides. A water butt tap Worm bedding (moistened coir or leaf mold) 500g worms

1. Mark a place for the tap on the short end of the first box, as close to the bottom of the box as possible. Cut a hole and insert the tap. This box will be the sump and will collect the leachate or ‘worm tea’ as it filters out of the top boxes. 2. Drill 15 - 20 5mm holes in the bottom of the other two boxes

3. Stack one of these boxes on top of the sump box. Fill it with a couple of inches of worm bedding and your worms.

4. Add kitchen waste and lay a dampened, folded newspaper over top, then cover with the lid.

5. To begin with add only small amounts of food. As the worms

acclimatise to their new home you can add more scraps and waste paper until you reach the maximum limit for the size of your wormery.

6. When this box is full of processed waste and worm castings, place the third box on top of the second and begin to add food waste into this top box in the same way as before. The worms will make their way up through the holes into the top box. Once this box is full the middle box can be emptied of its processed compost and placed on top for the cycle to continue.

7. Empty the sump on a regular basis and use the leachate to fertilise

your ornamental plants, diluted at the rate of one part leachate to 10 parts water. Don’t use leachate on the edible parts of any plant.

Homemade box wormery under construction

If you keep in mind the few essentials of a happy worm, turning your kitchen and garden waste into a rich and nutritious soil conditioner is a quick, simple and trouble-free process. • Begin with the right quantity of worms for the size of your wormery, otherwise the worms will be too preoccupied with breeding to process your waste. • Use a soil test meter to test the moisture levels and the pH level of your wormery. The pH should stay at about seven and the moisture in mid range. If it is too wet add tightly balled newspaper, shredded cardboard or dry organic matter such as coir, and if it is too dry gently sprinkle the surface with rain water and lay a few sheets of soaked newspaper over the top surface of the wormery. A light scattering of lime will rectify a wormery that has grown too acid. • Maintain a good balance of wet and dry ingredients at all times. • Scrunch up paper and tear up cardboard in order to introduce air into the heap. • Maintain your wormery at a temperature of 15’ to 25’ C. Colder or hotter than this will result in reduced worm activity and any extreme could result in the wholesale evacuation of your worm population as they make a dash for freedom, or worse, death of your colony. • Locate your wormery out of direct sun and move it indoors (into a garage or shed) over the colder months. Your worms will slow down but will still be moderately active through winter. • Your wormery should not be smelly. If it is it means that moisture levels are out of balance, or that the worms have more work to do than they can manage. • Worms have their likes and dislikes. They aren’t all that keen on onions, garlic or on citrus fruits.

Commercial wormeries are readily available



July - a very special month for garden lovers July has so much to offer for gardeners who love taking the opportunity of getting out for day visits and trips. Many gardens are at their colourful best in late June and early July and we are spoilt for choice of where we can organize a day out to. From abbeys to formal gardens to arboretums, National Trust and garden opens events, great houses with their great gardens. Again we have selected a few of our favourites this month, which alongside some great garden and garden fairs, include gardening materclasses in a wonderful Devon location and the chance to plan your own juice making using the harvests to come.

July is a special month at Cadhay Manor July is an excellent month to visit Cadhay Manor, the historic estate in Ottery St Mary, especially for the collection of


oriental and asiatic lilies and the spectacular tree lilies. The estate planted zantedischia aethiopica, marlecea carnea and rose arey water lilies in the medieval fish ponds which are beginning to make an impression. There is a profusion of roses in the formal gardens and the allotments are in full swing. Cadhay House and Gardens are open every Friday afternoon between 2pm and 5.30pm until 29th September. Cadhay, Ottery Saint Mary EX11 1QT. for more information.

Tour Nynehead Court with head gardener The gardens at Nynehead Court near Wellington in Somerset open on Sunday, 2nd July for the NGS and include a garden tour with head gardener Justin Cole at 2pm. Entry is £5 with children free. Nynehead Court’s thirteen acres of parkland are tended by

Country Gardener

professional gardeners, and the home regularly participates in the NGS Open gardens scheme. Visitors to the event on 2nd July will be able to see the sweet chestnut and tulip trees in flower; the mulberry tree in fruit; and the bedding plants and roses in full bloom. The grounds will be open 2pm-4.30pm (entrance £5, children free) and head gardener Justin Cole will be conducting a tour of the gardens at 2pm. Cake and cream teas will be available in the home’s Orangery. Nynehead Court, Nynehead, Wellington TA21 0BW. Tel: 01823 662481 Email:

American garden tranquility at Powderham Castle A warm welcome awaits visitors and their dogs to the family home of the Earl and Countess of Devon at Kenton just a few miles outside Exeter. Entertaining guided tours, delicious cream teas and beautiful gardens to explore. The American Garden is open until 1st September. Created by the 3rd Viscount, this is a secluded haven of peace and tranquility with its exotic trees including the first Wollemi pine in Devon and beautiful castellated summerhouse. Powderham Castle is open until 27th October; Sunday to Friday 11am to 4.30pm. 50 per cent offer on admission for National Trust and English Heritage members. Gardens only admission available. Visit our website for details Powderham Castle, Church Rd, Kenton, Exeter EX6 8JQ Tel: 01626 890243

Powderham Castle’s American Garden

Hartland Abbey and gardens at their best in July Visiting Hartland Abbey and Gardens in July is a wonderful opportunity to have a long, lazy day out taking in the glories of the gardens and the walks, which lead to the beach at Blackpool Mill. Glorious views out to Lundy Island and the wider Atlantic Ocean make a visit to the Abbey uniquely different from most other visitor attractions. Watching an excellent outdoor theatre performance on the lawn later in the day, with a glass of Pimms and a picnic or the resident barbecue, would be a wonderful way to finish the day. There is lots of local accommodation in the area for those who don’t want to drive home! Hartland Abbey, Hartland, Nr Bideford EX39 6DT All details on Se

2nd July Walled Gardens at Cannington, Nr. Bridgwater, Somerset TA5 2HA

ly nd ils rie eta g F for d Do ite ry bs Ve e we

July Fairs


23rd July Highnam Court, Nr. Gloucester GL2 8DP 30th July Castle Bromwich Hall Gardens, Birmingham B36 9BT Please visit our website for full details of admission fees and times of opening.



Nynehead Court


NGS OPEN GARDENS Sunday 2nd July 2pm - 4.30pm Garden Tour with Head Gardener Justin Cole at 2pm. Entry £5, children free.

Nynehead Court, Nynehead, Wellington TA21 0BW Tel: 01823 662481 Email: Visit our Facebook page for details of forthcoming events.

Visit the Earl of Devon’s 600 year old family home Thatched Self-Catering Cottage Sleeps 3-5 Peaceful surroundings near Romsey, Hampshire. Near New Forest and other places of interest. For details phone Mrs Crane on

01794 340460

Entertaining Guided Tours for all ages. Friendly Animals, Deer Park Safari, Adventure Play Castle & Zip Slide, Treasure Trails and much more! Famous Themed Weeks and Special Events all Season. Open 1 April to 27 October 2017. Sun to Fri 11.00 to 4.30. 8 miles from M5 Jctn 30/Exeter on the A379 Dawlish Road. TEL: 01626 890243 29


Gardening ‘masterclasses’ at The Garden House July sees two ‘gardening masterclasses’ at The Garden House, Buckland Monachorum in Devon. On Wednesday, 19th July, you can learn how to create the world famous deconstructed herbaceous borders in the summer garden at The Garden House by spending a day with head gardener, Nick Haworth. You can find out how to plant successful drifts and repeats for varying heights, colours and seasons in this naturalistic gardening course. The following week, on 26th July, garden designer Matt Jackson will hold his own ‘ masterclass’ in garden design and landscaping, a perfect opportunity to share your challenges and ideas and get plenty of sensible, practical knowledge. Matt will be using examples of garden design around the garden to show you how to think, plan and create as a designer. Both courses can be booked online. The Garden House, Buckland Monachorum, Yelverton, Devon PL20 7LQ.

Stunning garden rooms at Pecorama Pecorama is one of East Devon’s leading visitor attractions and home to the Peco Millennium Celebration Garden. Designed by Chelsea Flower Show medal-winner Naila Green, five stunning garden ‘rooms’ based on a celestial


theme, feature herbaceous plants and shrubs from around the world. Also found within the grounds are the mile-long Beer Heights Light Railway, with its fleet of miniature steam locomotives and the Peco Model Railway Exhibition, which houses superbly detailed layouts in every major gauge. Full catering facilities, indoor and outdoor play areas for younger visitors and free parking combine to create a great day out for all the family. Pecorama, Beer, Devon. EX12 3NA. Tel. 01297 21542 email

Vigo Presses offer the chance to make your own produce Have you ever been to your farm shop or local farmers market and wondered how they preserve their lovely produce?

           Hidden beauty in rural Oxfordshire

Gardens Open Tuesdays & Thursdays June, July & August 2.00pm to 6.00pm

Cream teas ~ Gift shop ~ Plant sales             Clanfield ~ Oxfordshire ~ OX18 2SU  n ay pe id n O y Fr oo n er er ev aft



HOUSE, GARDENS & TEAROOM Open every Friday 2pm - 5.30pm until 29th September Also Summer Bank Holiday weekend - Saturday, Sunday & Monday

HOUSE & GARDENS: adult £8, child £3 (last guided tour 4pm) GARDENS: adult £4, child £1,

season ticket £12pp Member of Historic Houses Association

CADHAY, OTTERY ST. MARY, DEVON, EX11 1QT 01404 813511 30

Presses Pasteurisers Barrels & Bottles Orchard Care And much more Tel: 01404 890093

Country Gardener

You can give it a go yourself, with the prestigious Vigo Presses Steamer or Dryer. Steamers are perfect for extracting pure juice for drinks or jellies from black, red and white currants; berried fruits like elderberries, loganberries, blackberries, blueberries and raspberries; rhubarb, hard fruits like crab apples and quinces and stoned fruits like damsons, sloes and plums. Drying is the oldest known method of preserving food and there is a multitude of uses for dried products. As the food desiccates, water is withdrawn, eliminating both fermentation and rot and mould forming bacteria. The flavour is concentrated and vitamin, nutrient and mineral content is not affected. Dried fruits make delicious and wholesome snacks, perfect for those hungry ‘in-between meal’ moments. Visit for inspiration on preserving your produce this year. Vigo Presses Ltd, Unit 4 Flightway, Dunkeswell, Honiton, Devon EX14 4RD. Tel: 01404 890093

Mid August day out at Gillingham and Shaftesbury show The Gillingham and Shaftesbury Agricultural Show takes place on Wednesday, 16th August. With 73 of the 200 classes devoted to fruit, vegetables and flowers, the horticultural marquee is a mecca for gardening enthusiasts.. Entries are staged on the morning before showday and judged that afternoon, so that the marquee is open for visitors all day at this traditional one-day agricultural show. Gillingham & Shaftesbury Agricultural Show, Turnpike Showground, Motcombe SP7 9PL. For schedules call 01747823955 or email

Thatched cottage holiday delight for garden lovers Set in three quarters of an acre of beautiful landscaped gardens, surrounded by fields and nestled within easy reach of the market town of Romsey, Hampshire, this cosy, homely thatched country cottage provides a peaceful location, ideal for a really relaxed holiday break for up to five people. Many places of interest are within easy reach such as Mottisfont Abbey gardens and the New Forest National Park which offers ample walking, cycling and other outdoor pursuits as well as wildlife spotting opportunities. Bedlinen is provided free of charge and there is parking for two cars. Visitors assured a clean cottage and warm welcome. Call Mrs Crane on 01794 340460 for further information.

Hill Close Gardens Trust Hill Close Gardens are the only remaining set of Victorian detached gardens open to the public. You can find out about their unique history and take a step back in time to 1896. There are 16 individual plots overlooking Warwick racecourse and some have brick built summerhouses where you can shelter and find out about the plots previous owners. Many events take place throughout the year including ‘Murder on the Terrace’ by Heartbreak productions on Tuesday 25th July. You can visit the ‘green’ visitor centre that turns into a

HILL CLOSE VICTORIAN GARDENS WARWICK Come and explore 16 restored Victorian gardens Open weekdays NovMarch: 11-4pm

Open every day April-Oct: 11am-5pm with Tearoom Sat, Sun and Bank Hol Mon Murder on the Terrace – by Heartbreak productions Tues 25th July 17:30 - Late £13.50 / £11 cons Art in the Gardens Sat 19th - Sun 20th August Art / Crafts / Workshops / Tearoom Normal entrance fees. Heritage Weekend – Free entry for all Sat 9th - Sun 10th September Garden entry £4.00 Child £1.00 HCGT & RHS Free Tel. 01926 493339 Access by racecourse to Bread & Meat Close, Warwick CV34 6HF. 2 hrs free parking.


GREAT PLACES T O V ISI T tearoom on weekends and bank holidays. Tel: 01926 493339.

Water lilies delight at Friars Court Enclosed within the remaining arms of a 16th century moat, the gardens of 17th century Friars Court in Oxfordshire divide into ‘room-like’ areas of borders and specimen trees. The front of the house boasts ponds of water-lilies whilst a woodland walk lies beyond the imposing Yew Arch and ‘Monet’ style moat bridge. The grounds of Friars Court are open Tuesdays and Thursdays throughout June ,July and August from 2pm to 6pm. And for those who want to enjoy the hospitality this historic family house has to offer home-made cakes and cream teas are served in the garden room with plants for sale. Friars Court, Clanfield, Oxfordhire, OX18 2SU. Tel:01367 810206

Summer Outdoor Theatre season at The Bishop’s Palace This summer you can combine a love of theatre with a love of the outdoors with the new season of performances at The Bishop’s Palace, the 800 year old home of the Bishops of Bath & Wells in Wells. On 29th and 30th June and 2nd July the recently formed Wells Theatre Company brings a new production of

Bishop’s Palace

Shakespeare’s ‘Hamlet’ to the gardens. The Palace welcomes back The Lord Chamberlain’s Men, whose production of ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ was a sell out last year. On Sunday, 30th July, they’ll be bringing Shakespeare’s farce ‘A Comedy of Errors’ to the South Lawn. There’s a return to Family Theatre on Friday, 11th August, with Boxtree Productions’ rendition of ‘The Wind in the Willows’. The final production in the season is another Shakespeare performance ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ on Sunday, 30th August. All productions will take place in the open air and will continue regardless of the weather. The Bishop’s Palace & Gardens, Wells, Somerset. BA5 2PD. Tel: 01749 988111

Summer Days Out at The Bishop's Palace • • • • • • •

14 acres of stunning, RHS Partner gardens Free daily tours of Gardens & Palace Outdoor Theatre Season June-August The Taunton Garrison 22nd -23rd July Family Fun Fridays weekly during holidays New locally sourced Café menu Group discounts available (10+) See our Events Calendarfor full details

T 01749 988111 ext.200 32 Country Gardener

Three Rare Plant Fairs in July The 2017 programme of Rare Plant Fairs continues in July with three fairs including two new events. The first is at The Walled Gardens of Cannington, near Bridgwater in Somerset, on Sunday,2nd July. The gardens have classic and contemporary features such as the ‘hot’ herbaceous border; the’ Blue Garden’, the sub-tropical walk; and a Victorian style fernery. Sixteen exhibitors will be attending, which runs from 11am to 4pm. There’s another new fair at Highnam Court Gardens, near Bristol, on Sunday, 23rd July. These gardens have been restored to their former glory, with many new additions made to complement and enhance the original design by owner Roger Head. The fair runs from 11am to 4pm, with 19 exhibitors, and supports the work of local charity Cobalt Health, who support patients with cancer and dementia. Finally there’s a long-running event at Castle Bromwich Hall Gardens, in Birmingham, on Sunday ,30th July. This unique example of an English Baroque Garden is being restored as near as possible to the period 1680-1762. This fair runs from 11am to 4pm, with 15 exhibitors. Visit for full details of all the events, including a list of exhibitors.

Garden show returns to Loseley Park for seventh year The Garden Show at Loseley Park returns on Friday, 28th to Sunday ,30th July 2017 for the seventh season. It’s the final of

Loseley Park

the three popular series of garden shows this year following on from Firle Park in April and Stansted Park in June. The show takes place in the showground right beside the beautiful Loseley House and Gardens. With a vast range of exhibitors in marquees and gardens to enhance your home and garden there is something for everyone in these three shows including plenty of children’s entertainment and lots of fun. Loseley Park is a place to visit, to enjoy the grounds, the garden and house. The show opens from 10am to 5pm daily and entrance price is £7 for adults, £3 for children 15 or under and there a re family and group ticket bookings available. The Garden Show Tel:01243 538456

Hartland Abbey & Gardens


Spend a day visiting this beautiful house and gardens followed by Outdoor Theatre on the lawn

AGRICULTURAL SHOW ‘The Show where town & country meet’

Wednesday 16th August 8.30am - 6.00pm Attractions include: The Adrenaline Tour Quad & Motorcycle Stunt Show Over 500 trade stand including 14 tractor dealers Competitive classes for Dairy & Beef Cattle, Sheep, Poultry, Grain & Fodder. K.C. Dog Show Huge Horticulture, Home-Handicraft Marquee including Fruit & Veg, Flowers & Floral Decoration, Photography, Honey, Cookery, Handicraft, Wine & Cordial - With many classes especially for children

Visit this historic family home with its fascinating architecture, collections and exhibitions. Beautiful 18thC walled and woodland gardens and wildflower walks to the beach. * Delicious light lunches & cream teas * * Dogs welcome * Holiday Cottages * House, Gardens and Café: until Oct 1st Sun to Thurs 11am - 5pm (House 2pm - last adm. 4.15pm)

For all information and theatre events see Hartland, Nr. Bideford EX39 6DT 01237441496/234 (Only 1 mile to Hartland Quay)

Held at the Turnpike Showground SP7 9PL 2 miles north of Shaftesbury - Free Car Parks Tickets (pre-show prices in brackets) Adult £15 (£12) Child (5-16yrs) £4 (£3) Family ticket (2 adult = 3 Children) £37 (£29)

Disabled facilities - Dogs on leads

One of the finest gardens in Britain

CALL: 01747 823955 EMAIL: WEB: FACEBOOK: GillandShaftshow

Buckland Monachorum, Yelverton, Devon PL20 7LQ 01822 854769




Here’s a selection of gardening events to look out for during the next few weeks throughout Dorset. Send us details of your event at least ten weeks before publication and we will publicise it free of charge. Make sure you let us know where the event is being held, the date and include a contact telephone number. We are keen to support garden club events and we will be glad to publicise talks and shows held during the year where clubs want to attract a wider audience, but we do not have space for club outings or parties. We suggest that garden clubs send us their diary for the year for events to be included in the relevant issue of the magazine. Please send to Country Gardener Magazines, Mount House, Halse, Taunton TA4 3AD or by email to We take great care to ensure that details are correct at the time of going to press but we advise readers to check wherever possible before starting out on a journey as circumstances can force last minute changes.











25th BRACKENWOOD, GOD’S BLESSING GREEN, HOLT, BH21 7DD GARDEN PARTY IN AID OF P.L.A.N.E.T.S Details on 01202 886445 WIMBORNE WIMBORNE IN BLOOM 11am – 5pm Details on 01202 880131

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Issue No 82

Winter 2015

Please send us your diary for the year we’d love to include your talks and shows

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Spring 2016

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Send them into us by email to: or by post to: Mount House, Halse, Taunton, TA4 3AD.




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November 2015


Issue No 118




TITCHFIE LD Fontley Road

Titchfield Hampshire PO15 6QX 01329 844336

ESHER Rd Winterdown Esher West End, Surrey KT10 8LS 01372 460181



Events in Dorset

Here’s a selection of gardening events in Dorset for your diary. We take great care to ensure that details are correct at the time of going to press but we do advise readers to check wherever possible before starting out on a journey because sometime circumstances can force last minute changes. 1st July OUTDOOR THEATRE: ‘OTHELLO’ Priest’s House Museum and Garden, Wimborne, 0333 6663366

Bring a picnic and settle in for an evening’s entertainment full of jealousy, love and ambition courtesy of Dorset theatre group SISATA. 6.30pm. £12.50. 4th July JURASSIC COAST BOAT TRIP FROM LYME REGIS NT Golden Cap, nr Bridport, 01395 222144

throughout July

8th–23rd July SWEET PEA FORTNIGHT Forde Abbey, Chard. 01460 220231

Two weeks are set aside every year at Forde Abbey to celebrate the beauty and charm of sweet peas. Around 80 varieties line the pathways and borders and posies and seeds are sold in the gift shop. 13th /14th July EVENING GLOW WORM HUNT NT Hambledon Hill, Child Okeford, 0344 2491895

Head out into the twilight with Clive Whitbourn to discover the secrets of the downland and view one of the best displays of glow worms in the south west. 9pm – 11pm. Adult £7, child £3.

Knoll Gardens, Hampreston. 01202 873931 Join medical herbalist Kate Scott on a gentle walk revealing the secrets of Knoll Gardens’ natural medicine chest. The walk will be followed by a workshop on herbs used to treat common ailments. 10.30am - 1pm, £35.00. 16th July OPEN GARDEN Springhead Trust, Fontmell Magna, 01747 811853

North Dorset’s day and residential centre for creative and sustainable living opens the gates to its stunning gardens. Explore the Grade II 18th century mill building, a spring filled lake, stalls and a talk by Edward Parker at 2.30pm. 21st July RESTORING AND RECREATING FLOWER-RICH GRASSLAND The Kingcombe Centre, Dorchester, 01300 320684

15th July SATURDAY SPECIAL; PLANT MEDICINE WALK AND WORKSHOP Cruise along a stretch of Jurassic Coast and learn more about this historic coastline with detailed commentary from geologist Richard Edmonds and National Trust adviser Tony Flux. £16. 11am - 1.30pm, 2pm – 4.30pm.


Visit Kingcome at the peak of the wild flower season and learn how to create a wild flower meadow or restore a species-rich grassland using local seed and low-impact techniques. 9.45am – 4pm. £65. Country Gardener

Enjoy more of the Country Gardener experience by visiting our website

Made from sustainably harvested locally grown timber, these log stores are sturdily and attractively designed, yet light enough to be easily moved. Also wheelie bin/recycling storage and cycle stores. Available in a range of sizes suited for the courtyard/patio or larger garden.

For further details call Nick on 01392 681690

features ts, plus exclusive More news & even e can be found onlin unities advertising opport Many free and paid

new and improved


CLASSIF IED Accommodation

Gloucestershire, Cosy annexe for two

non-smokers, lovely garden, beautiful countryside. Pets welcome. Tel: 01452 840531

Bosworlas near Sennen/St Just, Cornwall. Cosy Cottage, rural views, Sleeps 2-4 01736 788709

Peace, Privacy, and Stunning Views! Delightful cosy Shepherds Hut for 2 on Cotswold Farm Pretty villages, Bustling market towns excellent walking NT and gardens Tel: 01242 604189

Sidmouth, Devon Lovely self-catering house. Sleeps 4. Undercover parking. 10 mins walk to seafront. Tel: 01934 862840 Email:

Carmarthen Bay South Wales Seafront chalet situated on estuary. Sleeps up to 6. Seaview. Well Behaved Dogs Welcome. For brochure Tel: 01269 862191

Somerset, Spacious Scandinavian log Accommodation Abroad cabin in quiet country lane near village. 2 double bedrooms plus large sofa bed. Fully equipped. Suitable for disabled. Open all year. Pet friendly. Tel: 01278 789678. email: 32ft caravan sleeps 4. Set in two acres of Worcestershire countryside overlooking lake. Central heating. Hot tub,log burner. Private garden. Details on Sunbrae B&B site or ring 01905 841129 Beautifully romantic Glorious North Devon. Only 9 cosy cottage for two caravans on peaceful farm. Wonderful In sunny SW France just 30 mins from walks in woods & meadows. Easy reach Bergerac airport. sea, moors & lovely days out. £125395pw. Discount couples. Nice pets welcome. 01769 540366 Accommodation: Holiday Cornwall, near St Just. Chalet, sleeps 4, Cottages heated indoor pool, open all year – near Self-catering cottages in countryside gardens/coast, golfing nearby. Prices near Lyme Regis. Japanese food available. from £260 pw. 01736 788718 01297 489589 38

Country Gardener

4* Delightful cosy cabin for 2, nestling between Wye and Usk Valleys. Shirenewton village and pubs closeby. Wonderful walks, splendid castles and bustling market towns. Perfect for all seasons. Dogs welcome! Tel: 01291 641826 Forest of Dean 2 bedroom comfortable cottage. Village location on edge of Forest. Well equipped, C/H & wood burning stove. Dogs welcome. 01550 722976 Shakespeare Country/Cotswolds. Sleeps 5. Dogs. Brochure Tel: 07757 784074 Wye Valley/Forest of Dean. Fully equipped 4-star single storey cottage. Two bedrooms both en-suite. Central heating/bedlinen provided. Rural retreat with shops/pubs one mile. Short breaks available. Warm welcome. Tel: 01594 833259 Lanlivery near Eden and other Cornish Gardens lovely woodland lodge 2/4 people 01726 430489

Creekside Cottages, Near Falmouth, Cornwall Waters-edge, Rural & Village Cottages Sleeping 2-8. Peaceful & Comfortable. Available year round. Dogs Welcome. Open Fires. Call us on 01326 375972 for our colour brochure

CLASSIF IED Pembrokeshire, Wales 4 star luxury cottages in idyllic surroundings. Fully equipped, open all year. Children & pets welcome. Tel: 01239 841850

Penrice Castle Gower 16 holiday cottages on an 18th century Estate on the Gower Peninsula with beautiful Grade I listed historic park and gardens. Tel: 01792 391212

Charming B&B in garden cottage annex. Double with en-suite. Village location near Jurassic Coast, Bridport. Tel: 01308 488177 Explore Devon and be spoilt. 2 nights DBB £190 per couple. Farmhouse hospitality. Great trip advisor reports. 01566 783010

Taunton Farmhouse B&B/ Granary Conversion

Sidmouth Devon Holiday bungalow in AONB overlooking Donkey Sanctuary. Sleeps 4. April – October. Ideal for walkers, nature lovers and children. 07842 514296 Devon. Tamar Valley. Pretty cottage sleeps 2-4. Wood burner, garden, small dog welcome. 02073 736944/07940 363233 Cornwall. Village location between Truro and Falmouth. Fully equipped renovated cottage. Peaceful garden. Off road parking. Ideal for 2 adults. No children/animals. Good public transport. Good pub and shop. Easy reach of Heligan and Eden. 01279 876751 Padstow house, 4 + baby, gardens, parking, Wi-Fi, Camel trail (bike storage), beaches. 07887 813495

Near Stratford-upon-Avon Lovely self-catering cottage in peaceful location: Large garden, Sleeps 2. Perfect for famous gardens, NT properties & Cotswolds. Tel: 01789 740360

Nearby Hestercombe Gardens, Willows and Wetlands Visitor Centre. Tel: 01823 443549/ 07811 565309

Antiques International dealer requires records (all types) old gramophones, phonographs, music boxes, radios, valves, telephones, early sewing machines, typewriters, calculators, tin toys, scientific instruments etc. Parts also wanted. Top cash price paid 07774 103139

Gloucestershire Quality Bungalow B&B Ensuites, rural, large garden with sheep and fruit. Ideal Cotswolds, Malvern’s, walking, cycle storage, ample parking, Wi-Fi £37 p.p.p.n. Tel: 01452 840224

Bed & Breakfast

4 Star Gold Award B&B in Stoulton, Worcestershire. Luxury accommodation in beautiful surroundings. Perfectly situated to visit Worcester, The Malvern’s, Pershore, Cheltenham and Cotswolds. 01905 841129 Accommodation With Beautiful Gardens Country House B&B Ideal location North Devon near Clovelly. 3 delightful for Malvern Autumn Garden Show cottages situated in 12 acres of idyllic and surrounding gardens.Visit www. countryside. Sleeps 2-4. 1 Wheelchair or tele 01885 friendly. Prices from £190 p.w. Brochure: 482471 for details. 01237 431324

AA 5 Star Gold Award B&B SE Cornwall Ideal location for many gardens. 10% discount use code CG10, min 2 nights, ex July/Aug Tel: 01579 321260 39

CLASSIF IED Somerset 5* Restaurant with Rooms. Close to many NT Gardens, Houses and Dorset Coast. Countryside Location with Lovely Garden. Pet Friendly 01935 423902 Quality B&B Truro Cornwall. Ideal for visiting beautiful cornish gardens and coast. £40 pppn 01872 241081 Paignton, Devon, 4* B&B. Ideal location for coast, countryside and NT gardens. En-suite rooms, garden, parking. Green Tourism Gold Award. 01803 556932

Cards & Prints

Garden Buildings Leigh Goodchild Ltd

Garden Buildings SIMON BUNCE

Superior cedar greenhouses by Gabriel Ash. Free survey and quotes; all work undertaken.

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Garden Furniture UKs leading supplier of Teak Furniture for the Garden

A range of over 200 greetings cards and prints from the flower paintings of


We sell to both individuals and trade. No order too small. Contact us for your free 2017 catalogue

Fly Screens Gardens To Visit

IA GARDENS AUREL Open every weekend and Bank Holidays 10am - 4pm ♦ ♦ ♦ Tea Room ♦ ♦ ♦ For group bookings and coaches please call: 01202 870851 Aurelia Gardens, Newman’s Lane, West Moors, BH22 0LP

Mill House Fine Art Publishing, Bellflower Gallery, Market Place, Colyton, Devon EX24 6JS

Tel. 01297 553100

FdSc Hort. MCI Hort. 01626 836279 / 07903943757 Garden Design | Tree Services Garden Maintenance Based in Bovey Tracey

Tel: 01256 809 640 sales

Garden Services Wisteria Pruning, Improvement, Oxfordshire, surrounding area. Richard Barrett 01865 452334

Burrow Farm Gardens

13 Acre Garden Open 10am-6pm Tea Room, Nursery & Gift Shop

Dalwood, Axminster, EX13 7ET

Garden Tools/Sundries

Fruit Trees

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Drystone Walling and Paving Mortared work also undertaken. Patrick Houchen - DSWA member. Tel: 01963 371123


Professional Garden Services Services include Consultations, Garden Design, Borders, Orchards & Meadows. Specialist Pruning; Climbers, Fruit & Topiary. Supply of Trees, Plants & Bulbs. Talks on Gardens & Plants.

Tel: 07546 874083 / 01643 818092

Country Gardener



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CLASSIF IED Thornhayes nursery


Devon’s specialist tree grower for a wide range of ornamental, fruit, hedging trees and a selection of choice shrubs. Courses, expert advice, arboretum, display fruit garden.

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Agricultural Tie Specialists, Removal, Lawful Use. Tel: 01386 554041

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Tel: 01935 891668


DULFORD NURSERIES SPECIALIST TREE & SHRUB GROWERS Growers & suppliers of the widest range of Native & Ornamental Trees, Shrubs & Hedging in the West Country

Tel: 01884 266361 Dulford Nurseries, Dulford, Cullompton, Devon EX15 2BY

Specialist Nurseries & Plants Water Lilies

Direct from the National Plant Collection® at Bennetts Water Gardens in Dorset

Buy online at or visit our gardens in Weymouth

Forton Nursery Top quality Perennials, Shrubs and Trees. Located in Forton village, near Chard TA20 4HD Tel 01460 239569 Closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

Wanted/For Sale Wanted Old Radio Valves And Audio Valves. Tel: 02392 251062 Help wanted in a mature garden in a village near Bishops Lydeard, six miles out of Taunton, sorting out and replanting an overgrown border. Please contact on 01823 432914.

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Call on 01278 671037 for details, or email:

Call on 01278 671037 for details, or email:


Gardens on tour! Summer time, holidays and the chance to cast garden visits a bit wider. We’ve selected seven inspirational gardens for Country Gardener readers around the country which offer something really unique and special.

Swiss Garden, Bedfordshire A magical Regency-era landscape garden with an alpine theme, recently restored with a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund with plants from all over the world, ponds, bridges, rose arbours, miniature buildings, a grotto and fernery. Within 10 acres you can wander among splendid shrubs and rare trees; around tiny islands and ponds; and over intricate ironwork bridges. At the centre of this romantic scene is the tiny thatched Swiss Cottage, lined with intricate fretwork and perched on a grassy knoll. Hidden nearby is a breathtaking fernery and grotto, full of dazzling light and mysterious darkness. Visit 9.30am-5pm until the end of October. Swiss Garden, Old Warden Park, Old Warden, Biggleswade, Bedfordshire SG18 9ER

The Beth Chatto Gardens, Essex Gardens established by renowned plantswoman, a masterclass in how to deal with tricky growing conditions, both dry and wet. The whole garden was built from scratch from fallow fields along a backbone of 350-year-old oaks, still the most fabulous occupants in this magical place. Covering six acres, these beautiful gardens have become world famous. Original problem areas have been transformed by the use of plants suited to the conditions into gravel, water and woodland gardens. Also visit the highly-regarded nursery next door. Visit: Mon-Sat 9am-5pm, Sun 10am-5pm, until October. Beth Chatto Elmstead Market, Clacton Rd, Elmstead, Colchester CO7 7DB

Levens Hall, Kendal, Cumbria The best-loved topiary garden in England, although originally conceived by a Frenchman, Guillaume Beaumont, in 1694. Today rich in immaculate topiary forms and splendid new herbaceous borders. There are ten wonderful acres of gardens waiting to be explored and enjoyed. They include the unique collection of ancient and extraordinary topiary characters sculpted from box and yew. Further on, beyond the romantic old orchard and separated by the great beech hedges, lie magnificent herbaceous borders. These are traditionally double in format and are amongst the finest to be found in England. Visit: open through to 5th October 10am to 5pm. Closed on Fridays and Saturdays. Levens Hall, Kendal, Cumbria LA8 0PD

Chelsea Physic Garden Founded in 1673 as an apothecary’s garden, in a warm microclimate by the river Thames, to train apprentices in medicinal plants. It is still on a grid system with ordered beds and many unusual plants. It’s a place in London to find peace and tranquillity in this beautiful botanical garden in three and a half acres. You’ll also find one of the oldest rock gardens in Europe, a herb garden with culinary and medicinal plants, botanical order beds, glasshouses, rare plants and tender species; as well as the largest outdoor olive tree in Britain. Take a self-guided historical or medicinal walk and discover the newly added Garden of World Medicine showing the use of plants medicinally by tribal societies. Visit: through to 30th October every day 11am to 5pm. Garden only Mondays. Chelsea Physic Garden, 66 Royal Hospital Road, London SW3 4HS Tel 020 7352 5646 42

Country Gardener

The Courts Garden, Wiltshire A great example of an arts and crafts English formal garden, set in seven acres around an 18th century house. Originally created between 1900 and 1921. The Courts Garden was based on a Hidcote Manor in Gloucestershire model, it is now freshened and superbly planted and maintained. The garden is designed as a series of rooms. Amazing topiary work and cloud-pruned hedging. Visit: Thurs-Tues, 11am-5.30pm, until 30 October. Holt, Bradford-on-Avon BA14 6RR

Bodnant Garden, Conwy

Bury Court, Surrey A contemporary courtyard garden designed by Piet Oudolf, specialising in grasses and hardy perennials. This quirky garden is not particularly big, it has a relevance to ordinary gardens. The planting combinations are mesmerising. Bury Court is a handsome collection of brick and flint buildings, old and new, including a farmhouse, oasts and a magnificent barn, all set among fields, and this naturalistic planting was clearly always going to suit its rural character. Look out for masterful use of modern-styled topiary, including a circle of iron trellis covered with tightly clipped silver weeping pear (Pyrus salicifolia ‘Pendula’). The minimalist front garden, designed by Christopher BradleyHole, is also worth a view. Visit: Open the last Wednesday of every month, 11am3.30pm, until the end of September. Bury Court Bentley, Farnham GU10 5LZ

Country Gardener Editorial Publisher & Editor: Alan Lewis Tel: 01823 431767 Time Off: Kate Lewis Distribution Pat Eade Tel: 01594 543790

Advertising Sales Ava Bench Somerset & Classified Tel: 01278 671037 Cath Pettyfer Devon & Dorset Tel: 01837 82660

An 80-acre National Trust hillside garden with views across the valley towards Snowdonia. Bodnant is a fine piece of landscape garden history dating from a time when wealthy families would build beautiful houses and gardens. There are formal gardens and water gardens close to the house, then you go out into the natural, informal gardens with rhododendrons and mature trees. It encompasses everything English garden design is about, without being kitsch. Visit: every day, 10-5pm. Bodnant Garden, Bodnant Rd, Tal-y-cafn, Colwyn Bay LL28 5RE.

Corina Reay Cotswolds Tel: 01823 410098 Rob Houghton Hampshire & Sussex Tel: 01614 283230

Design & Production Aidan Gill Gemma Stringer

Accounts Sam Bartholomew Tel: 01823 430639

The Country Gardener magazines are distributed FREE at Nurseries, garden centres, National Trust Properties, open gardens, garden machinery specialists, country stores and farm shops in each county. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored or made available in any form, without the written permission of the copyright holder and Publisher, application for which should be made to the Publisher. Unsolicited material: do not send or submit your only version of manuscripts and/or photographs/transparencies to us as these cannot be returned to you. While every care is taken to ensure that material submitted is priced accurately and completely, we cannot be responsible or liable for any loss or damage suffered. Views and/or opinions expressed in this publication do not necessarily represent those of Country Gardener or the Publisher.


Delphiniums –


'Langdon's Pandora'

‘Sungleam’ delphinium

Delphiniums add great height to gardens in a range of colours 44

Delphiniums, also known as larkspur, are tall perennials with spikes of colourful flowers. Every traditional cottage gardener aspires to a stand of handsome delphiniums in July. And so these giants have kept their popularity for over a hundred years despite being demanding plants to grow. The reason is straight forward. Delphiniums add vertical presence and they come in a seductive range of colours few flowers aspire to. This includes every shade of blue, cream, white, mauve and pink - colours that fit perfectly into the summer colour palette. Delphiniums need sun to prosper and they also need fertile, enriched soil that is airy and well-drained. The best varieties of delphinium have been named by raisers and they need to be propagated from cuttings taken in March and April. Often it is only possible to get one cutting per year. These soft-stemmed cuttings should be four inches in length. Remove the lower leaves and use fungicide if you wish. Plunge into a 50 per cent mixture of compost and perlite, or pure perlite, and place somewhere warm out of the sun to speed root growth. Pot up into John Innes no 2, once rooted, and then harden off and plant outside in May or later. Delphiniums bloom in early summer, but if you cut them back as soon as the flower starts to fade you could get a second display at the end of August. Divide large clumps of delphiniums in March and April, replanting into freshly enriched ground. If you cut delphiniums back hard after flowering delphiniums sometimes give you a second flush. Delphiniums make good cut flowers. Delphiniums are top-heavy plants and they need staking firmly once they reach a foot in height. This can be done with tall, semicircular metal plant supports or bamboo canes, or twiggy hazel supports. For this reason delphiniums are often teamed with roses and tall herbaceous campanulas and hardy geraniums, so that they emerge from the behind. Country Gardener

Delphiniums are one of the most seductive and handsome of all cottage garden flowers which you can grow in a wonderful range of colours

Don't tie individual stems in, just support them with framework. Mulch delphiniums with well-rotted compost after flowering. A dusting of blood, fish and bone is also beneficial. Slugs are partial to delphinium foliage and they devour it early in the year, mainly because it’s the first soft-leaved herbaceous plant through the ground. A September application of nematodes in the area close to delphiniums decimates the population in autumn and helps greatly. Grit, liberally sprinkled through the shoots, will also help. If you can get the shoots away undamaged, to height of a foot, that is half the battle. Mildew disease can be prevalent in dry years but plants recover. It often affects purple varieties more. Fasciation produces flattened stems and it may be caused by a growth check due to cold weather. Again plants do recover - it’s a just temporary condition. Grow delphiniums with traditional shrub roses like the creamy hybrid musk 'Penelope'. Place dark varieties close to the foamy white flowers of Crambe cordifolia or use them as a warm up act behind herbaceous phloxes.

Delphinium varieties to try 'Celebration' - a pale-cream with a dark eye 'Langdon’s Royal Flush' - a magentapink 'Min' - a dark-eyed lavender blue) 'Langdon's Pandora' - a black-eyed mid-blue 'Fenella' - a black-eyed gentian blue 'Blue Nile' - a white-eyed dark blue 'Black Knight' - a deep indigo delphinium 'Bruce' - a deep-violet with a dark eye 'Magic Fountain' series - compact delphiniums with dense flowers in white, blue and purple 'King Arthur' series - tall plants with white-eyed purple flowers

Sedum spectabile 'Autumn Joy’

Rudbeckia 'Herbstsonne’

Colour in the

late summer garden Don’t say goodbye to the colour and wonders of your high summer garden. With a bit of planning you can still have vibrant colours right through to early autumn and beyond

How often have you hear gardeners say ‘Oh my garden looks its best in spring’. Late-summer drabness is often taken for granted and by July we are saying there’s nothing to look forward to. Which is of course nonsense. Why waste your garden's best performance on the matinee? Hold it back for the main event: August, when it's warm enough to sit out and enjoy it. So the message is don't say goodbye to summer too soon. Thanks to today's warmer climate, summer can often stretch into early October, and the traditional midsummer floral display seems like a flash in the pan. Where once we threw all the big guns at June and July, you now need a second set of lateflowering plants to see you through September and October. Flowers that peak in late-summer are wide-ranging, as are shrubs, climbers and herbaceous perennials. Most fashionable annuals, exotics and tender perennial patio plants should also stay in flower until late-September, or even early October, if properly looked after. Don't overlook ornamental grasses, which can lift a border into the designer league. Late-summer flowering plants are seen as high maintenance, yet there are plenty of easy-to-grow plants ready to deliver a hit of colour and form at this time of year. Sedum spectabile 'Autumn Joy' is one. By the end of August its plump flower buds are bursting with promise, like a class of five-year-olds sat cross-legged with their hands in the air. The architectural fleshy leaves look great next to the lightness of Cosmos 'Purity' and it's a big hit with butterflies and bees.

Anemone x hybrida 'Honorine Jobert’

Just as the rest of the garden starts to run out of puff, Helianthus 'Lemon Queen' is like a substitute with fresh legs that comes on and scores the winning goal. You'll look forward to seeing it every year. At two metres it is likely to be the tallest plant in the border, and that creates a dramatic skyline. Despite its height it doesn't need staking, which is another reason why gardeners love it. An alternative with just as much oomph is Rudbeckia 'Herbstsonne'. It has chunkier flowers and the colour is more intense but it's still a great addition at this time of year. For tall plants to look good you need a few shorter ones nearby. Phlox are perfect for this – they look great, smell great and are easy to grow. There’s the beautiful white variety 'Mount Fuji' so when the excitement of my alliums and lavender is over. Give them some leaf mould in the autumn; your efforts will not go unrewarded. Phlox prefers the sun so if you have shade you could try one of the Japanese anemones which actually come from China. These plants have almost cornered the late-summer flowering market and with good reason. They're reliable, easy to grow and despite their delicate appearance are as tough as they come. The variety Anemone x hybrida 'Honorine Jobert' is tall, elegant and white, whereas A. hupehensis 'Pamina' is shorter and pink. Both are gorgeous, especially if teamed with the blue flowers of Geranium 'Rozanne', which will have been flowering since May but will still have enough juice in the tank to continue until the hard frosts. But it's not only colour that can deliver interest at this time of year; shape is important, too. Two favourites are the little and large of the grass world. Deschampsia cespitosa 'Goldtau' is just above knee height and produces a cappuccino froth of blond flowers, which lasts through to winter. And towering above it at two metres tall is Chinese silver grass Miscanthus sinensis 'Malepartus'. The silvery plumes of this skyscraper are beautiful and dramatic. Summer and autumn wouldn't be the same without it. Both these grasses prefer the sun but will cope with partial shade.

Geranium 'Rozanne'


Who needs


Grenville Sheringham argues that Latin names aren’t always the easiest answer for gardeners when it comes to plant identification and suggests a simpler option Most newcomers to gardening are puzzled by the long and seemingly unpronounceable Latin names on the plant labels in their local garden centre. They are then relieved to find the small print confirming their suspicion that the hedging plant they are looking at labelled ‘Ligustrum ovalifolium’ is in fact the common privet they are seeking. As our plant knowledge grows, we accept these etymological mouthfuls as part of our gardening life, and only complain when, for example, the Kaffir Lily we have always known as schizostylis is now to be known, for no apparent reason, as hesperantha. Many of our best loved plants are still generally referred to by their common names, even on radio and TV gardening programmes. And I’m sure our next door neighbour would think we were just showing off if I referred to his laurel hedge as ‘Prunus laurocerasus’. So why do we need Latin names? Well, as botanists delight in telling us, the vast majority of plants in the world don’t have common names. This is true, but the vast majority of plants are not garden plants, and the majority of garden plants do have common names. Ah yes, say the botanists, but some are known by several different common names which can cause confusion, and again they are right, but this usually only applies to wild flowers rather than garden plants. In fact confusion more frequently arises from misuse of Latin names. I have heard several different plants referred to as ‘Syringa’ or ‘Japonica’, for example. Besides, some plants now have two or three accepted Latin names, depending on how up to date you are with name changes. When Carl Linnaeus invented his scientific classification system back in the 18th century, he classified plants according to what they looked like. Those that looked most alike were put together in the same family. Now that we have sophisticated techniques like DNA analysis, minute differences in a plant’s DNA are being used as a reason to reclassify it, and give it a new name. Botanists maintain that Latin names are universally accepted and understood and form a clear means of identification of a plant on an international level. That’s fine for botanists, but most of us gardeners don’t go to international conferences, and have enough trouble deciding whether cotoneaster is pronounced ‘co-tony-aster’ 46

or ‘cotton-easter’, without having Carl Linnaeus invented his scientific classification system back in the 18th to communicate century, when he classified plants with a Japanese according to what they looked like professor. Perhaps it is time that gardeners insisted that every popular garden plant is given a once-for-all garden name, whether it be a Latin name or long-accepted common name. Think of the effort this would save the amateur with little time available even for learning the established names of the multitude of garden plants now available, without having to keep up to date with name changes. Why, I wonder, do we accept changeable Latin names for garden plants, when fruit, vegetables and farm crops always carry common names? Imagine asking a farmer how his hordeum vulgare (barley) was coming along, or asking your local farm shop if they have any solanum tuberosum (potato). Perhaps it is a sort of snobbery we have about plants we grow for pleasure that we don’t have when it comes to plants we grow for food. We are probably all guilty of feeling a sense of smugness when, for instance, we casually inform a curious non-gardening friend that the young tree we have just planted is a metasequoia glyptostroboides, rather than telling them it is a Dawn Redwood. Maybe one day we shall see an enterprising farm shop offering pick your own fragaria (strawberries). It is interesting that the fashion for using Latin names has never caught on in any other aspect of the natural world.

"Perhaps it’s time gardeners insisted that every popular garden plant is given a once-for-all garden name". So how can we defeat the botanical boffins and ensure that, if we must use Latin names, our garden plants retain the names that have become familiar to us rather than constantly changing? Inertia, or the art of ignoring change, can work if we stick together and ignore the change for long enough. Take azaleas, for example, which botanists have been telling us for years are actually rhododendrons, but we don’t believe them, and we just carry on calling them azaleas anyway. Flower power to the people!

Country Gardener

The Garden Shop AT HARTS Station Road, Sturminster Newton, Dorset 01258 472788


Marwood Hill Gardens

Discover the stunning views at Marwood Hill Gardens, 20 acres of private gardens with lakes in North Devon. The gardens are a wonderful haven in which to relax and enjoy the impressive collections of plants, shrubs and trees and experience the views and peaceful atmosphere.

Specialist Plant Sales At Marwood, we aim to provide something a little bit different, something which you can take home.



Tel: 01271 342528 | Marwood Hill Gardens, North Devon EX31 4EA

JAPANESE MAPLES Acer palmatum varieties We produce and grow the largest selection available in the UK. Plants are pot grown and suitable for garden, patio or bonsai.

Send SAE for descriptive catalogue. Visitors welcome Mon-Sat 9am-1pm & 2pm-5pm Barthelemy & Co (DCG), 262 Wimborne Rd West, Stapehill, Wimborne, Dorset BH21 2DZ

Tel: 01202 874283

COME AND VISIT US THIS SUMMER FOR ALL YOUR GARDENING NEEDS ✽ The best selection of plants in the local area ✽ Huge range of pots, composts and sundry items ✽ Seasonal bedding plants and bulbs ✽ Many special offers!

Open 9am - 5.30pm Mondays - Saturdays and 10am - 4pm on Sundays




CANFORD MAGNA Garden Centre Probably the biggest stockist of Daro-cane, conservatory and outdoor garden furniture in the South-west

Over a 100 cane suites, sofas and chairs on display. Plus vast range of outdoor garden furniture on display. All available for immediate delivery. All you would expect from a garden centre, plus many plants potted on-site, example landscaped areas and help and advice for your garden from our team. Ladybird CafĂŠ, serving hot and cold food and drink all day.

Canford Magna Garden Centre 170 Magna Road, Wimborne, Dorset, BH21 3AP T 01202 579571 E

Opening Times Open every day (excluding Easter Sunday, Christmas day and Boxing Day) Monday - Saturday 9am - 5.30pm Sunday 10am - 4pm

Dorset Country Gardener July 2017  

The July 2017 issue of Dorset Country Gardener