Page 1



How do you like


Autumn harvesting, baking, juicing and preserving – from your orchard


autumn garden

P lus

Autumn fo ra Growing li ging, quorice, Fabulous folia Growing m ge, elons

Growing fruit in TINY SPACES


bumper gardening events in Dorset

Full preview: Toby’s Harvest Festival at Forde Abbey 15th and 16th September



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



Check web site for details Stuckton, Fordingbridge SP6 2HG Tel: 01425 655150 Open 10am - 4pm Every day Come to us for plants direct from the grower, you’ll get the best prices and plants that are fresh, full of vigour and bursting with life

● Pansy and Viola packs £1.25 ● Polyanthus packs £1.99 ● Autumn basket plants inc. Ivy £1.25 ● Autumn cyclamen 15 for £12 ● Bulbs to plant now from £1 per pack ● Pot pansies 18 for £6 ● Primrose packs £1.99 ● Winter Baskets from £4.99 ● Extensive new range of Terracotta pots ● Chrysanthemums from £2.99 ● Full range of composts, fertilisers and garden chemicals For frequent special offers join our Email list on the Baskets and Blooms web site. 2


Erin 75ltr Multi-Purpose Compost £3.50 Erin 100ltr Chipped Bark £4.99 Erin 35ltr Growbag only £1.85 Miracle-Gro 50ltr Enriched Compost £3.95 Country Care 50ltr Mushroom Compost £2.65 Country Care 50ltr Horse Compost £2.65 Country Care 50ltr Topsoil £2.65 1ltr Perennials from £2.50 1ltr Aquatic Plants £4.99 Vegetable 6 Packs £1.99 Roses from £6.99 100 year old olive trees £399.00

TIMBER AND PROJECTS • • • • • • • • • • •

6x6 Fence Panel only £20.95 6x5 Fence Panel only £18.95 6x4 Fence Panel only £16.95 6x3 Fence Panel only £14.95 Tanalised 3x3 Post 2.4mtr £5.90 Tanalised 4x4 Post 2.4mtr £9.50 Tanalised Decking 120 x 32mm £1.95/mtr Tanalised 4x2 (100x47) 3mtr £6.00 Garden Gates from £29.95 Tanalised Sleeper 250 x 125mm £27.50 Huge Trellis stock priced from £6.95

BESPOKE GATE MAKING SERVICE In-Excess are proud to offer a bespoke gate making service. We can produce virtually any type of gate or door, made to your specifications. For more details please see a member of staff in store.

Tea Room Opening Times Open 9.30am-4.30pm Mon–Sat, 10am–3.30pm Sun Country Gardener

Up Front!

“Now in September the garden has cooled, and with it my possessiveness. The harvest has dwindled, and I have grown apart from the intense midsummer relationship that brought it on.” - Robert Finch


Forde Abbey Harvest Festival promises bumper weekend

Forde Abbey provides festival setting

The second Toby Buckland Harvest Festival takes place at the wonderful gardens of Forde Abbey on the Dorset and Somerset border on Saturday, 15th and Sunday,16th September. There’s more than 160 exhibitors showing a mix of seasonal plants including roses, camellias, herbaceous perennials, herbs and heuchera, plus garden tools and sculpture, and a wide range of artisan craft and locally-produced food. Speakers include including Guardian writer and presenter Alys Fowler, Matt Biggs from BBC Radio 4’s Gardeners’ Question Time, actor and gardener John Challis and Jim Buttress. Plus the Blue Peter gardener Lee Connelly. There are also tours of the garden and harvest themed workshops. Tickets £10 online at www.tobygardenfest. or £12.50 on the gate. Forde Abbey, Chard TA20 4LU.

Late summer delights at Bridport show

The twice yearly shows held in Bridport are a highlight of the year for the Bridport and District Gardening Club and the good news is that you don’t have to be a gardener to take part, and you don’t even have to be a member as all the classes are ‘open’. The Late Summer Show takes place on Saturday, 1st September. The nominated charity for 2018 is the Sidney Gale Care Home Bridport, amenity fund. Bridport United Church Hall, East St, Bridport DT6 3NN

Dorset Show works to keep things new and fresh For over 175 years Dorchester Agricultural Society has celebrated agriculture and rural life in Dorset. The first show was held in 1840 and this has now developed in to the two-day Dorset County Show which takes place on Saturday, 1st and Sunday, 2nd. The show is still mainly run by farming families and those with an interest in farming, horticulture, food and the countryside. The show is continually developing and introducing new attractions such as the shopping marquee, heavy horse village and the Dorset artisan craft marquee. As well as the traditional competitive classes from homecraft to farm produce there’s also a strong gardening presence. Well-behaved dogs on non-retractable lead welcome. Online tickets are £14 and £17 at the gate.

MAPPERTON HOUSE STAGES 16TH ONE DAY GARDEN FAIR Mapperton House, the well known Jacobean manor house near Beaminster, is hosting the 16th Autumn Garden Fair on Sunday, 16th September .There will be nearly 30 stands. New to the fair are Paddock Plants and Whinwhistle Nursery with succulents and seasonal cut flowers. There will be the opportunity to take a guided tour of the house, explore the extensive garden and visit The Sawmill Café and the Mapperton shop. One day event for charity at Mapperton House The event raises funds for local and national charities such as the Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance, Oxfam and Multiple Sclerosis. This autumn the Earl and Countess Sandwich have chosen Cancer Research UK as the charity to benefit from the shared proceeds. The fair runs from 10am to 4pm and, entry is £3 with under 16s free. Mapperton House, Mapperton, Beaminster DT8 3NR.


Mark Hinsley

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

Arboricultural Consultants Ltd.

TREE ADVICE & REPORTING Established 1994

We are a Dorset based company offering a friendly, professional tree consultancy service for all areas of the South.

We specialise in:

■ Tree Condition Advice and Surveys

New to Wolvercroft this Summer

• New selection of BBQ products, including charcoal, disposables and gas • New range of indoor plants and accessories, including cacti and orchids • We now stock a range of Flo Gas (propane, butane and patio/BBQ gas) • New delivery service for all products, including gas bottles and patios Top quality plants available

Available from September

■ Tree Liability Assessments and Management Plans

• Trees • Shrubs • Climbers • Roses • Herbaceous • Alpines...

Pansies and spring flowering bulbs, including tulips and daffodils.

■ Tree Preservation Order Advice

and much more!

■ Planning Applications - Advice and

Reports (to BS5837 standards)

• New drinks menu, including alcoholic


drink options available

• Full breakfast menu served until 11.30am • Tea, coffee and cakes available all day • Home cooked lunches and snacks • Large selection of gluten free options • Clotted cream teas

01202 876177

• A wide range of gifts, including jams, chutneys,

biscuits, cards, puzzles and much much more!

FORDINGBRIDGE ROAD, ALDERHOLT, SP6 3BE 01425 652437 Registered Charity No. 1014697

Facebook “f ” Logo

CMYK / .ai

Facebook “f ” Logo

CMYK / .ai

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

m$  $&k*( ( &


CELEBRATION DAY FOR WILDLIFE GARDENERS Dorset’s most wildlife friendly gardeners have been rewarded for their efforts. Dorset Wildlife Trust’s Wildlife Friendly Gardening Competition awards ceremony, was sponsored by The Gardens Group. From a homeless hostel to a sculpture park, this year’s entries saw an unprecedented crop of contenders, featuring all shapes and sizes of gardens including the smallest of courtyards and the most striking of meadows. A new innovation award was also introduced for 2018, to encourage gardeners to share their inventive and environmentally friendly ways of welcoming wildlife into their Dorset gardeners - inventive gardens. when it comes to helping wildlife Mike Burks, managing director of sponsors The Gardens Group, said “Every year we see a higher standard of wildlife friendly gardening on display, and it is a privilege to visit the much-needed corridors being created for the county’s wildlife. Wildlife friendly gardeners are moving ever more into the mainstream.� Award winners Large gardens: Philippa Forrest, Shaftesbury. Medium gardens: Anne Smart, Weymouth. Small gardens: Lyn Parsons, Bournemouth. Gardens in rented accommodation: Lorraine Bickle, Branksome. Community gardens: Monique Gudgeon, Sculpture by the Lakes in Pallington. Innovation Awards: Michael House in Grosvenor Gardens, Boscombe. Best new garden: Kerrie Froude Sherborne. Organised by Dorset Wildlife Trust, the Wildlife Friendly Gardening Competition is an annual scheme-championing gardeners in Dorset who create wildlife havens in their gardens, no matter how big or small their space. Gardeners of all ages can enter their garden into the competition, as long as it is in Dorset.

The story of ‘The Fossil Lady’ to be performed in Tintinhull Mary Anning, the woman known for her pioneering work discovering fossils on Lyme Regis beach, will be celebrated by Tintinhull Local History Group when they present The Fossil Lady of Lyme in Tintinhull Village Hall, on Wednesday 26th September. The two-act play written and performed by Alison Neil recreates the life story of Mary Anning, who was born in Lyme Regis in 1799 and was a self-educated fossil hunter and collector. As a woman, one who sold these ‘curios’ to visitors to the town, self-educated and not well off, she was not accepted by the scientific community of the day, but was eventually credited with the discovery of the plesiosaur and was consulted on anatomy as well as on fossils. In 2010 the Royal Society included Anning in a list of the ten British women who have most influenced the history of science. Novels have been written about her life and

discoveries, including Tracy Chavelier’s Remarkable Creatures and the tonguetwister ‘She sells sea shells on the seashore’ is thought by many to be about her. The performance of The Fossil Lady of Lyme, the story of Mary Anning starts at 7.30pm at Tintinhull village hall, Vicarage Street, Tintinhull BA22 8PY. There’s free parking and light refreshments will be available. Proceeds will be going to Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance and Tintinhull Village Hall Charity Trust. Tickets at ÂŁ10 each can be purchased from Flora. or call 01935 822376.



KNOLL GARDENS OPEN FOR NGS Knoll Gardens in Wimborne opens again for the NGS on Friday 7th September from 10am to 5pm with normal admission price. Knoll’s naturalistic planting style mimics nature, building on the way plants co-exist in naturally occurring communities to create a glorious garden that is both beneficial to wildlife and packed with year-round interest. An inspirational garden to visit, Knoll is full of practical planting ideas as well as providing plenty of peaceful seating areas. Knoll Gardens, Hampreston, Wimborne, Dorset, BH21 7ND.

Specialist plant fair at Athelhampton House Athelhampton House in Puddletown, one of the finest manor houses in England, stages a specialist plant fair on Sunday, 9th September from 10am to 3pm. There will be 25 specialist nurseries in the line up plus blacksmith, willow makers and crafts. The event is organized by the Plant Heritage Dorset Group and the £7 admission includes the chance to look around the beautiful gardens. Athelhampton House, Puddletown DT2 7LG.

Living life to the fullest

Keeping active is good for us; it helps us feel more energetic and happier. As we get older, it’s important for our health and wellbeing to do things we enjoy and remain stimulated. Care South, a leading provider of residential and home care services across the south of England recommends pursuing a wide range of different activities that reflect your interests and hobbies, which they regularly organise at their portfolio of homes. Gardening features heavily in their activities. Activities include regular outings and entertainment, live music and gardening sessions – the benefits of all of these are well documented and assist with mobility, as well as trigger emotional responses - often reminding residents of happy memories of when they were younger. Pet therapy and animal handling workshops also offer sensory stimulation and help to reduce stress and anxiety, promote social interaction and improve mood and speech fluency, particularly in the elderly living with dementia. Care South’s residential care homes across the south of England offer high quality, innovative care that can be adapted to suit all needs. For more information, please visit

Luxury home competition extended A competition to win a £3million luxury home has been extended, giving the opportunity to win Avon Place - a six-bedroom, stylish and contemporary Huf Haus - until 31st December. With a maximum of 250,000 tickets available, one ticket holder will win the property, located in Avon Castle, near Ringwood in Hampshire. The house boasts six double bedrooms, five with en-suite facilities, seven reception rooms that include a games/snooker room, cinema room with 65 inch screen and multiple sitting rooms, plus a hi-tech kitchen. Tickets are £25. To be in with a chance to win, register and answer a question at

The long-term solution to patio black spots Following record breaking temperatures this summer alfresco living has been on our minds more than ever. However, this raises the issue of how to improve the look of garden stonework? Stonework deteriorates every year regardless, without the added pressure of continuous and intensive jet washing, which is not only laborious but can cause further damage to the surface of patios, driveways and terraces. But is there an alternative? From the first day stonework is laid, the next time it rains, millions of microspores are deposited. These originate from trees, initially as tiny spores, similar in size to pollen. Propelled 6

by the wind, they travel for miles, until it rains, when they are watered into the pores of the stone. For the first twelve months they lay dormant, until they begin to establish themselves by feeding off the minerals in the stone, finally germinating after two years, and appearing on the surface as ‘patio black spots’. At this point they are almost impossible to remove. Jet washing has little or no impression, and by focusing the pressure washing continually on one spot, damage can be caused by the vibration of the jet delaminating or eroding the surface. The Patio Black Spot Remover and Preventer system removes those hideous black spots and cleans and restores the original colour to all garden stonework, plus prevents their return! The Patio Black Spot Removal Company is offering Country Gardener Readers free delivery on all orders until October.

Country Gardener

Mega Home or Mega Cash?

You decide!

Win the home of your dreams for just £25




to enter • Contemporary Huf Haus • Private location • 7,000 sq. ft. • Cinema room • 60ft. of direct river frontage • Fishing rights • Bespoke built BBQ house

You could be the proud owner of this £3 million Mega Home. There are only 250,000 tickets available, so don’t miss out on the chance of a lifetime.

Enter today at

What's included in the prize • All stamp duty fu • All fitted furniture • All kitchen appliances • Solicitor costs – up to £1,500 incl. VAT

*Terms Terms and conditions apply T


PERFECT to the core by Kate Lewis If you have an apple glut on your hands again this year don’t despa

ir, you just need to take advantage of how versatile the fruit can be in the kitche n

With more than 5000 known varieties of apple, it’s a shame that many people are limited to eating only the small selection offered in supermarkets and greengrocers. For those lucky enough to grow the trees of this incredibly versatile fruit in their garden, the options of flavour, colour, character and use are lengthy. In spite of such a huge range of cultivars the choice of trees at garden centres is not extensive, but with careful planning you can achieve fruit almost all year round. The older, often tastier, and more interesting varieties are often only sold via specialist nurseries but are well worth seeking out. When choosing which trees to plant it is worth thinking about what you want to use the fruit for. Ultimately the choice should come down to use and to flavour. Do you want the apple to cook, eat, make cider from, or a combination of all three? Also consider whether you want varieties which ripen successionally to keep you covered over a long period, or if you want a bigger harvest with trees that ripen at the same time. Apples are best grown outdoors in rich, fertile and welldrained soil. They are hardy and will thrive almost anywhere, except under glass in waterlogged ground or in a frost pocket. Although generally happiest as freestanding trees, many varieties can be trained over arches, up walls, or as espaliers, making them useful for smaller plots. Another consideration with limited space is to choose a variety that is self-fertile – that can pollinate itself. Although a small proportion of apple trees are self-pollinating, the majority will need a pollination partner nearby – another variety which flowers around the same time to ensure cross pollination can take place.

Harvesting and storage

Apples are classified into four flowering season groups- early, mid season, mid season/late and late. A general rule is that the later the variety, the longer it will store. The harvest of the early flowering varieties can begin as early as July, but, 8

like early potatoes, these don’t keep well and are best eaten straight away. The later ripening varieties – from late September onwards – are best left on the trees as long as possible until hard frosts are imminent. When harvesting be careful not to tug the apples away from the tree as this can damage the spurs. Instead lift the fruit gently in the palm of your hand and gently twist. If it is ripe to pick the apple will come away with the stalk attached. Some varieties store better than others; the lates benefiting from storage to bring them to perfection. While a few samples can be stored in the fridge - but will need to be brought to room temperature to be enjoyed at their best – all varieties suit being kept in a cool, dry, frost-free environment such as a garage, shed, dry cellar or unheated spare room. Traditional storage racks are the best option, but wrapping in newspaper is a good second best. Store them in a single layer and make sure they don’t touch each other. The later varieties will keep for up to six months in these conditions but monitor them carefully and discard any that are deteriorating.

In the kitchen

Although few people would baulk at eating apple crumbles right through the winter, it seems a shame to not take advantage of the apples’ versatility in the kitchen. When cooking with apples it is worth knowing whether you want it to hold its shape. Dividing apples into ‘cookers’ and ‘eaters’ isn’t black and white as some varieties cross between the two. Instead consider separating them into those that hold their shape – ideal for an classic apple tart – and those that froth when cooked – a Bramley being the perfect example for a baked apple. As a rule the sweeter the apple the more likely it is to hold its shape. Apples make a perfect pairing with many cuts of meat – a sharp apple will cut through the fatty notes of pork and black pudding, and go equally well with game dishes.

Country Gardener

Another good pairing is with an oily fish like mackerel – try it smoked or grilled alongside apples in a salad, or even in a mousse or mixed through pasta. Apples give a wonderful sweetness and texture to other types of salad and can often be found combined with celeriac in a remoulade, or nuts in a Waldorf salad. To start your day take a lead from 19th century Swiss doctor and nutritionist, Maximilian Bircher-Benner, who believed apples had cured him of jaundice as a young man. Correct or not, he did leave a legacy of a self-named quick and nutritious breakfast – bircher muesli, made by soaking oats and adding milk and grated apple. On the sweet side consider pushing the boundaries away from the traditional and (understandably) much-loved tarts, crumbles, and strudels to trifles, pancakes, ice cream or the Scottish oaty dessert, cranachan. Apples work wonderfully with berries, especially sharp fruits such as blackcurrants, elderberries, or the perfect seasonal pairing, blackberries. In spite of storing well it is likely that many apple growers will still have a glut on their hands in early autumn. Fortunately apples contain a naturally high level of pectin which makes them perfect to be preserved and enjoyed


Fills 8 x 225g jars Ingredients: • 1kg cooking apples, peeled, cored & cut into chunks • 600g blackberries • 400ml cider • a little apple juice • 800g granulated sugar • 50ml apple brandy, or other brandy plus extra to seal jar Method: 1. Put the apple chunks and blackberries into a preserving pan with the cider and slowly bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and allow the fruit to simmer until it is completely soft, like a puree. 2. Add the sugar and cook on a low heat, stirring to help the sugar dissolve, then turn the heat up. Cook until you reach setting point (104.5°C on a sugar thermometer, although the high pectin content may result in a lower set point. Alternatively use the wrinkle test – when the jam starts cooking put a side plate in the fridge. When the jam looks heavy and glossy put a spoonful on the cold plate, put back in the fridge for a few minutes then push the jam with your finger, looking for a wrinkle. 3. Take off the heat and remove any scum from the surface of the jam. Stir in the brandy and pot in warm, dry sterilized jars. Leave for around ten minutes and then pour an extra slug of brandy over each pot. Cover with waxed paper discs and seal. Keeps for a year. Refrigerate after opening. (Copyright: Diana Henry)

through the winter. Although delicious as the star of a jam or jelly, they also combine perfectly with many of the hedgerow fruits ripening around the same time - sloes, damsons, medlars, elderberries and blackberries. Adding fresh herbs like thyme or rosemary add an extra depth of flavour to your jam or jelly. Investing in a juicer is also an option if you have a glut of dessert apples. Fresh apple juice can be bottled and stored in the fridge or freezer. To freeze raw apples simply peel, core, chop and put in airtight and labelled containers. Apple puree can also be frozen. Dried apples make a healthy snack and can be made in the oven if you don’t own a dehydrator. Core and slice the apple through the equator to a thickness of 2mm, sprinkle with cinnamon and bake in a low oven (160°C / 140°C fan / gas mark 3) until dried out and lightly golden.


Ingredients: • 225g selfraising flour • 2 tsp ground cinnamon • 115g unsalted butter, diced & chilled, plus extra for greasing • 115g light brown sugar • 1 large egg, beaten • 6-8 tbsp milk • 225g Bramley or Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and diced • 100g sultanas • 2 tbsp demerara sugar Method: 1. Heat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas mark 4. Grease and line a deep 20cm cake tin with baking parchment. 2. Mix the flour and cinnamon together in a large bowl. Add the butter and rub into the flour with your fingertips, until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. 3. Stir in the light brown sugar, then the egg, followed by 6-8tbsp milk – enough to achieve a smooth, thick batter. 4. Add the apples and sultanas and mix to combine. Scrape into the prepared tin and level out. Sprinkle over the demerara sugar. Bake for 30-40 minutes until golden and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. 5. Allow to cool in the tin for 15 minutes then carefully turn out onto a wire rack. Best served still warm with ice cream or custard. (Copyright: BBC Good Food)


! e r fo e b t a th d r a e h ’t n e v I ha

out on senses in the garden by finding Gill Heavens concludes her series ard around us every day what reassuring sounds can be he Several years ago, my gardener colleague and I were caught by a member of the public in what appeared to be an act of flagrant tree hugging.

Images above clockwise left to right: Euphorbia mellifera - an escalating hum can be heard; Windchimes - adding vibrant sounds to the garden; Suikinkutsu - calm and relaxing sounds in the garden 10

In fact we were pressing our ears to the stem, listening to the inner workings of a eucalyptus. No less bizarre I suppose. As the sap rises it makes a distinct gurgling. Although we are not all lucky enough to possess a mature eucalyptus to cuddle up to, there are still plenty of things to hear in the garden. The process of hearing is called audition and begins when sound waves enter our ears, which are cleverly designed to funnel these sounds inwards. Then an ingenious combination of vibration, pressure, fluid filled canals and hair cells transport these waves to our brains for interpretation. Country Gardener

All that effort, we really should pay more attention to the sonata surrounding us! The first thing we might notice in our gardens, especially on a sunny summer’s day, is the sound of our wildlife friends. Diminutive insects can create a thunderous symphony. Anyone who has followed an escalating hum and found the honey spurge, Euphorbia mellifera, alive with pollinators will confirm this. In the autumn there is a similar riotous performance on ivy flowers. The birds make a similarly robust contribution: the robin singing, a thrush tap tapping a snail shell, or perhaps the slap of a pigeon’s wing clap. Crickets and grasshoppers stridulate, rub their legs or wings together to make the chirruping sound so instantly recognisable. Frogs and toads might be croaking their whereabouts. At night these sounds change and as our sight

diminishes our hearing increases; a hedgehog rooting about for delicacies, the owls declaring their territory, the flicker of a moth or the spine chilling screech of fox. All a joy. Next we might notice the noises that plants make. These melodies are most obvious to us when exacerbated by an outside force, such as wind or rain. The groaning of boughs, the rustling of leaves, the dripping. The aspen, Populus tremula, is particularly designed for dancing in the breeze. Its leaf stalks are flattened to catch the wind, another common name is quaking aspen. Bamboos creak and grasses whisper. Once dry the penny-like seeds of honesty rattle. But plants do make noises on their own, roots move through the ground, boughs stretch. On a sunny day the pods of broom, cytissus and its cultivars, will crack open with a shocking pistol shot. Botanists call this dehiscence and it ensures the seeds are flung far and wide. Others, such as impatiens, have the same explosive habit. There is some scientific evidence to suggest that plants can communicate with each other audibly, out of the range of us mere humans. This, as yet, mysterious language is used to warn of impending pest strike, or perhaps even when you are approaching with your secateurs. Some noises are not so welcome. Most of us wish our gardens to be private and secluded, a sanctuary, a haven. The M4 motorway at the end of the garden or a power tool maniac next door are not the ideal accompaniments to blissful lounging with a piĂąa colada. Careful planting can dampen obtrusive noise of road or neighbour but more effective is a fence or wall. An evergreen hedge is your best green bet. Another trick is to introduce diversionary sounds in your own garden. The most widespread way to do this is to create a water feature. And there are a lot of options to choose from. Pick wisely, as each variety promotes a different mood: an exhilarating gushing torrent, a bubbling fountain or gently lapping pond. A traditional Japanese combination of water feature and instrument is the suikinkutsu, which is placed next to the stone basin used for bathing before the tea ceremony. It is comprised of an inverted ceramic pot with a small hole in the top, down which

water drips onto a small reservoir below. The effect is one of calm and relaxation. There are a host of different wind driven features available including chimes and more elaborate sculptures, created in varying materials which in turn produce unique melodies. When we are designing our gardens sound can also be taken into account. Driveways created from gravel can be an early warning that someone is approaching and therefore a great security measure. How our sense of hearing is relevant in the garden is perhaps a little less obvious than sight or even taste. This is in part due to our inability to become intimately aware of our surroundings. Perhaps we should make more time to sit and just listen. Whether it is the sound of children laughing, the groaning we make as we bend, or the dawn chorus, they are all part of our experience in the garden. And it can be extremely noisy!

Cytissus praecox ‘Allgold’ - the sound of pods cracking open on a sunny day

Impatiens walleraina - its pods explode to ensure seeds are spread far and wide

ing in the breeze

Populus tremula, designed for danc


Is your freezer full of apples pies? What else can I

do with my surplus apples this year?

If the delicious taste of freshly pressed apple juice isn’t reason enough, here are our top five tips for using your surplus apples this year

1. Create your own tasty apple juice Apple juice really is easy to make and juicing equipment is simple to operate: • Collect your surplus apples; rule of thumb, if you wouldn’t eat it don’t juice it! • Wash them in fresh water • Crush them in an apple crusher or manually by pounding in a bucket with a length of clean timber – chopping isn’t enough and liquidising is too much! You want to create small chunks around 5mm in diameter. • Press the crushed apples in an apple press You can drink your juice straight off the press, keep it in a fridge for up to 3 days, or, for longterm storage, freeze it in cartons or pasteurise it (using a pasteuriser) in strong glass bottles or bag-in-boxes. Buying good quality apple juice can cost £2-£3 a bottle or carton, so making your own all helps with the weekly budget! Making apple juice also has a number of other benefits: • It is an excellent way to use up your surplus apples when you’ve got enough in store and your freezer is full of stewed apple! • They are your apples and you know their origin. They are of good quality and probably chemical free. The juice you make will be pure and fresh pressed. • Apple juicing is a fun and fulfilling activity. It’s also a great excuse for a get-together with family, friends or neighbours. From gathering the apples, to using the equipment, to sampling the juice as it runs off the press, there’s something for everyone to do. Many community groups have been set up as a result.

2. Make your own cider! Cider is fermented apple juice. Cider making is the traditional way of preserving apple juice and turning it into a very palatable alcoholic beverage. You may be surprised that home made cider is more fruity and potent than many commercial brands but many of the latter contain no more

than 30% apple juice, the manufacturers having succumbed to the temptation to dilute the product. Here’s your chance to discover the real thing! It’s one more, and some would argue the best, traditional way of preserving apple juice! Making cider is really quite straightforward. With a cider making kit of fermenters, yeast, hydrometer, campden tablets and syphon tube, you could have your own fruity and potent cider in a few months’ time.

3. Store your apples You may be too busy for juicing over the next couple of weeks, or you may want to blend apple varieties that have ripened at different times. Alternatively, you may wish to use your apples for cooking and eating at a later date. Pick your apples slightly under-ripe for storage, they will continue to ripen during storage. Store the apples in a cool (but not frosty), dark and reasonably moist place – a shed or cellar is ideal.

4. Dried apple rings Drying is the oldest known method of preserving food. Flavour and aroma are concentrated as water is removed from produce, accounting for the often more intense flavour of dried products when compared to their fresh equivalent. The vitamins, minerals and other nutrients in the food are not affected by drying. Dried foods will store without the need for preservatives or refrigeration.

5. Bottled fruit Bottling in preserving jars is a time-honoured way of preserving fruit and is one of the only methods (along with fruit drying) that keeps natural flavour and texture fairly intact without the use of any chemicals or artificial additives. Fruit is preserved by heating it to a sufficiently high temperature so that spoiling bacteria are destroyed. As the preserving jars cool, a vacuum is created, the process is really simple: • Prepare your jars • Pack jars with fruit • Place jars in a Preserving Cooker • Remove jars and check seal • Store in a dry, dark, cool place Vigo Presses supplies everything you need to make the most of your glut this autumn. For more information about their range of products visit their website or call 01404 890093.

Look out for Vigo Presses demonstrations at Toby’s Harvest Festival at Forde Abbey on September 15th and 16th 12

Country Gardener

Make the most of your fruit! Press it Steam it

o Dry it o Bo�le it o Make cider o Orchard care

tel: 01404 890093 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




Quality Trees and Shrubs Amenity trees from whip to standard, fruit (including heritage apples) and hedging. Conifers and broadleaves. Range of choice shrubs. Advisory/design service.

Thornhayes Nursery, Dulford, Open 8am-4pm Mon to Fri also 9am-1pm Sat Cullompton, Devon EX15 2DF Tel: 01884 266746

Path Patio & Decking Cleaner Helps restore the natural colour of virtually any outdoor surface the organic way. No scrubbing or rinsing required, simply apply and walk away.

✔ Organic ✔ Effective ✔ Safe for pets

Use Algon to clean patios, driveways, decking, wood, polytunnels, garden furniture and much more!

Available at most garden centres or for more information contact us 01772 823370



Country Gardener

A regular look at queries and problems sent into Country Gardener from readers looking for practical help and advice over a range of gardening problems and opportunities


The flowers on all of my agapanthus this summer have been eaten away. No one seems to know what has happened? This is a relatively new threat to agapanthus and is cause by the larvae of tiny agapanthus gall midge. Affected buds fail to open and either dry up or rot. If the infestation occurs as the flower spike is developing, the entire flower head may collapse or fail to develop. Numerous creamy yellow or orange maggots, up to 3mm long, may be found inside the buds, crawling around in a watery liquid. The only thing to do is remove and destroy infested flower heads. And badly infested plants and then re-pot container grown plants, replacing growing media to remove pupating or overwintering larvae. The RHS is currently researching potential chemical and biological controls. The tiny agapanthus gall midge As the larvae develop inside the plant tissue it is likely to be very difficult to can destroy flowers target them with spray controls. The tiny gall midge lays eggs on the plant and the larvae develop inside the individual flower buds, inside the flower head sheath or in the petals of flowers that have gone over. The larvae can then cause the bud to be deformed and discoloured and often fail to open, as their feeding activities convert the plant material into a gall. The severity of the damage can range from a couple of buds failing to collapse of the entire flower head.

I love sweet potatoes and would like to grow them in my vegetable patch but I am told they are difficult to grow and attract diseases too easily.

More gardeners than ever before are growing sweet potatoes

Sweet potato tubers need a sheltered sunny spot 14

More of us are growing sweet potatoes and it is a myth that they attract diseases. Sweet potatoes are traditionally grown in warmer climates but don’t be put off. New, hardier cultivars mean that now you can grow sweet potatoes in the UK. Despite its name the sweet potato is not a potato at all! This tasty root vegetable is a member of the Ipomoea family. Plants are best grown from cuttings or taken from plants overwintered in a frost-free greenhouse or windowsill. They can be grown from bought tubers but these may be less robust cultivars ill suited to outdoor growing. They are often treated with an anti-sprouting Country Gardener

agent too, so scrub them clean before planting. Place tubers in moist vermiculite, perlite or sand in a warm propagator or airing cupboard to encourage sprouting. Remove the shoots, with a sharp knife, when they are three inches longlong and pot them into small pots of cutting compost and root them in a warm propagator. Treat cuttings from overwintered plants in the same way. If grown outdoors, sweet potatoes need moisture-retentive, free-draining soil, in a sheltered, sunny position (they are particularly happy in organic rich sand). Prepare the ground as necessary. Use black polythene, to warm the soil and suppress weed growth. Lay the polythene over the soil several weeks before planting, from late March or April as the soil starts to warm up. Grow the plants on in a bright, frostfree position in the greenhouse or on a sunny windowsill, until late May until early June, potting on as necessary.

I’ve spent hours this year watering and watering the garden in an effort to keep things alive but longer term is there a way I can get my soil to be more prepared for longer drier spells? Soil management has been vital in the garden this summer and there are things you can do longer term if gardens are to be hit by similar heatwaves year after year. Many soils tend toward either the sandy side, draining away the water they receive almost immediately, or the clay side, which compacts and makes it hard to access water even if it is retained for a long time. One of the best ways to aid any type of soil is to add in organic matter such as compost or peat moss, either of which will do a good job of absorbing water and draining it away over time. The added benefit of organic matter is that it also feeds the soil, pumping it full of nutrients that the roots are trying to find anyways. This will not only help your plants grow, but it will also give them continuous access to the water they need on those particularly hot days.

Hordes of flies have been common sight this summer

Our garden has been plagued this summer by hordes of smaller flies and midges. It has become more of a problem the more the summer goes on. Is there anything we can do? These flies tend to swarm above your lawn and garden. In large groups, they’re called hordes or clouds, and they tend to prefer damp soils that are full of decaying materials. You may notice them more in the hottest days of summer, especially during storms. Unlike some of the other culprits on this list, gnats are more of a nuisance than a threat and in the right ratio they may actually help with pollination and move decomposition processes along. However, if you have a horde that you want gone one of the simplest things to do is remove things that attract them. This means physically clearing damp or decaying vegetation they love so much and removing standing water sources. Use a timer to control when and how long you water to avoid creating more stagnant water sources moving forward. Mulch is also a haven for gnats, so while it’s tempting to pile it on to suppress weeds, try to keep your layer of mulch less than three inches thick.

I have been trying to grow melons in a sunny corner of the garden where the heat bounces off and seemed ideal but clearly I am doing something wrong as the fruits never seem to develop. Digging in high quality compost will help keep soil moist

A layer of mulch can be good for avoiding excessive evaporation on hot days. A layer of wood chips, for instance, may get very hot, but the water that has drained through them into the soil will take much longer to evaporate back out again. You’ll still need to move it aside a little to evaluate how dry the soil is, but it will be well worth the effort. Most people don’t think of weeding this way, since they tend to weed gardens simply to maintain the health of their plants and the beauty of their garden beds, but weeding is actually an excellent moisture-saving measure, too. For one thing, weeds greedily slurp up the water that could otherwise be used by your preferred plants.

Growing melons can be very hard work. They need a lot of feeding and take up a lot of space. Unless you have a very large container and a lot of space you may need a smaller melon cultivar. Most seed catalogues have a few varieties they recommend and it is worth looking out for them. Most melons have deep roots and require quite of bit of well-drained, loose soil. Some gardeners say that they give each melon plant at least five square feet of soil. Ideally, your container should be at least 16 inches deep to Patience is needed to successfully accommodate the roots. grow your own melons Melons like to sprawl over as much space as possible unless they are contained. The best way to do this is a trellis. This keeps the fruit off of the ground and also prevents the plant from sawing itself in half on the edge of your container. Melons take a long time to mature. The vines get hungry during this lengthy process, which means they need a lot of feeding with a balanced fertiliser. So, yes growing melons this way can be a challenge but get it right and it’s a wonderful option for your garden.


Forde Abbey prepares to

celebrate autumn and harvest-time FESTIVAL HIGHLIGHTS

A two day celebration of the autumn harvest is the central theme to the Toby Buckland Harvest Festival which returns for a second year to the sensational gardens at Forde Abbey on the Somerset and Dorset border on Saturday, September 15th and Sunday, September 16th. The abbey is the perfect place to celebrate the harvest with its abundant walled garden and dahlia-filled borders.

• More than 150 exhibitors, with a mix of seasonal plants including roses, camellias, herbaceous perennials, herbs and heuchera, plus garden tools and sculpture, and a range of artisan craft and locally-produced food. • High quality speaker programme including the well-known Guardian writer and presenter Alys Fowler, Matt Biggs from BBC Radio 4’s Gardeners’ Question Time, actor and gardener John Challis and Jim Buttress. Plus the Blue Peter gardener Lee Connelly bringing his own brand of fun children’s entertainment and horticultural enlightenment! • Two-days of demos and workshops with garden and craft experts sharing their knowledge of harvest skills.

WHEN: Saturday 15th September 10am-5pm and Sunday 16th September 2018, 10am-5pm WHERE: Forde Abbey, Chard, Somerset TA20 4LU SATNAV: TA20 4LU

Forde Abbey is easy to get to by car and parking is free or if you want to go by train the nearest station just five miles away. Most of the site is accessible for wheelchair users though there are some sloping gravel paths. Dogs on leads are welcome in the grounds (not the house) and visitors are asked not to leave dogs in the car. Alys Fowler

Lee Connelly

Matt Biggs

John Challis


Speaker Timetable – Great Hall

SATURDAY 15TH SEPTEMBER 11am Matt Biggs with Toby Buckland Matthew is a gardener, writer and regular panellist on BBC Radio 4’s Gardeners Question Time who is fascinated by plants and their stories. His latest book, ‘Secrets of Great Botanists and What They Teach Us About Gardening’ is published by Octopus, this October. Midday John Challis with Jim Buttress Actor and author John Challis, best known for playing Boycie in Only Fools and Horses is speaking on both days of the festival, sharing the trials of restoring a home and garden in the grounds of an ancient Herefordshire abbey and signing copies of his book Wigmore Abbey: The Treasure of Mortimer. 2pm Making a Perfume Garden with Parterre at Keynestone Mill Ever wondered how perfume is made from plants? Dorset perfumier shows you how. CHAPEL 3pm Gardeners Q&A with Toby, Matt Biggs & Jim Buttress 16

SUNDAY 16TH SEPTEMBER 11am Alys Fowler with Toby Buckland Writer and presenter Alys is known for her love of growing veg and flower crops, and her fascinating column and videos for The Guardian which charts her wide range of adventurous interests from gardening, to walking and kayaking. Midday John Challis with Jim Buttress Jim Buttress, TV gardener and author best known for BBC’s The Big Allotment Challenge. His horticultural career has taken him from superintendent of the Royal Parks to RHS shows judge and head judge of Britain in Bloom. 2pm Seaspring Seeds breeder of the Dorset Naga, Joy Michaud - Top Ten Tips for Growing Chillis and Peppers 3pm Gardeners Q&A with Toby, Alys Fowler & Jim Buttress

Country Gardener


Demo Tipi Talk Times

SATURDAY 15TH SEPTEMBER 10.30pm Get Jamming – Lillie O’Brien on making perfect conserves, heavy on fruity flavour and low on sugar. 11.15am Eat Your Enemies – Aldetha Raymond from the Candide gardening app reveals flavoursome weeds you can eat. 12.30pm Avoiding Plastics in the Garden - with Sally Nex. 1.30pm Wreath-Making – Catherine Nix from My Scented Home shows how to make a seasonal wreath from wheat. 2.30pm Artisan Charcuterie Demo - Local chef Ed Versluys from Mello View shares his tips learnt from running his Dorset smallholding for an afternoon of charcuterie.

SUNDAY 16TH SEPTEMBER 10.30am Cut Flower Growing – Which flowers to sow for home-grown not-flown cut flowers and handtied demo with Georgie Newbery. 11.15am Eat Your Enemies – Weeds can be a cooking ingredient - Aldetha Raymond. 12.30pm Avoiding Plastics in the Garden - with Sally Nex 1.30pm Composting & Compost Teas – Forde Abbey’s head gardener Joshua Sparkes talks compost teas and the science behind soil health. 2.30pm Trill Farm Cookery Demo – Old Dairy Kitchen chef Chris Onions and Trill Farm gardener Ashley Wheeler – what to grow for unique veggie dishes fresh from your plot.


Garden Talks & Tours

SATURDAY 15TH SEPTEMBER All day Jam & Pickle Surgery – Bunnies’ Love with trouble-shooting advice on making delicious chutneys, pickles and jam. TOP LAWN All day Scything with Chris Riley – Dorset trainer Chris demonstrates scything techniques. EAST LAWN All day Circus Skills – BEHIND THE ABBEY All day Try out Vigo Presses range of crushers and presses. EAST LAWN All day Learn to knit - TOP LAWN All day Paper Flower Making with WildHive – handcraft a realistic bloom from paper that never needs watering or dead-heading. (Ages 11-plus) ARTISAN MARQUEE All day Apple Pressing – BEHIND THE ABBEY All day Kitchen Garden Tasters – WALLED GARDEN 11am Photography Taster – Award winning photographer Andrew Maybury explains technique, composition and lighting for better pics of your garden. £15 HERBACEOUS BORDERS 12pm Making Meadows - Find out how to grow a meadow with Paul Jupp from Meadow in My Garden. Meet at the Meadow Swirl 12.30pm Tree Tour - Kevin Croucher of Thornhayes Nursery takes you on a tour of Forde Abbey’s rare and unusual trees. Meet at PLANT CRECHE

Country Gardener ticket offer for Forde Abbey Harvest Festival We’ve a special offer for Country Gardener readers for the Toby Buckland Harvest Festival at Forde Abbey on Saturday, 15th September and Sunday, 16th September. Just bring along this coupon and save £2.50 off a single ticket or £5 off entry for two people. The entrance price is just £10.

SUNDAY 16TH SEPTEMBER All day The Tree Listening – Tune in to the inner workings of the trees with Alex Metcalf’s sensitive microphones which pick up the inner rumblings of the xylem at work. TOP LAWN All day Scything with Chris Riley – Dorset trainer Chris demonstrates scything techniques. EAST LAWN All day Circus Skills - BEHIND THE ABBEY All day Try out Vigo Presses range of crushers and presses. EAST LAWN All day Learn to knit - TOP LAWN All day Paper Flower Making with WildHive – handcraft a realistic bloom from paper that never needs watering or dead-heading. (Ages 11-plus) ARTISAN MARQUEE All day Apple Pressing – BEHIND THE ABBEY All day Kitchen Garden Tasters – WALLED GARDEN 11am Photography Taster – Award winning photographer Andrew Maybury explains technique, composition and lighting for better pics of your garden. £15 HERBACOUS BORDERS 12pm Making Meadows 12.30pm Tree Tour - Kevin Croucher of Thornhayes Nursery. Meet at PLANT CRECHE * Times TBC, please check timetables online nearer the time.



£5 OFF for a couple £2.50 OFF for a single visitor Country Gardener exclusive offer Abbey, Chard, Somerset, TA20you 4LU show ticket Forde entry price £10 when ticket at the entrance

Saturday 15th & Sunday 16th September, 10am-5pm



- the best month to be visiting gardens September is a favourite month for those looking for a day out visiting gardens. The heat of the summer has died down, the schools are back and there’s a more relaxed feel to organising and enjoying a day out. The hot dry weather of June and July has presented a challenge for owners and head gardeners as the summer has changed to look of many gardens. So September this year might have later blooms and a different feel to it but the many beautiful gardens throughout the south of England and south west are also now ready to welcome early autumn visitors. There’s a huge choice of where to go and what to do. We’ve just a few ideas for you to think about – all much loved and cared for gardens.


September is a really special time to visit Hartland Abbey and its gardens near the spectacular North Devon coast. Peace will have returned to the valley after the school holidays and there will still be plenty to see in the walled and woodland gardens, especially the beautiful hydrangeas in the shrubberies which have loved the warmth of summer combined with the cool of the trees. The walks to the beach will be beautiful in the autumn light, the Michaelmas daisies flowering and the pumpkins and squashes will be fattening in the walled gardens and the house will still be disclosing its history and secrets until closing on September 30th before starting again for Daffodil Day in March next spring. Hartland Abbey Hartland, Bideford EX39 6DT. Tel: 01237 441496

Expressions Holidays has special offer for Country Gardener readers

This is the perfect time of the year to see the perennial grasses planted several years ago at Cadhay Gardens just outside Ottery St Mary in Devon for their drought resistance and the autumn colours, particularly the spindles and sun flowers. The dahlias will continue to provide colour right through to the first frost. The very dry and hot June and July has meant that everything is a bit early this year but the gardens are lucky to have spring fed Medieval ponds which give a very vibrant backbone to the gardens. Cadhay remains open on Friday afternoons until the end of September. Cadhay House, Cadhay, Ottery Saint Mary, EX11 1QT. The Picton Garden is home to more than 420 varieties of Michaelmas Daisy. This one and a half acre plantsman’s garden West Kington Nurseries is a gem that begins to glow with the West Kington, Nr Chippenham, Wiltshire SN14 7JQ first of the asters in August and as Tel 01249 782822 autumn advances the colours intensify reaching a crescendo in late September MASSIVE PLANT SALE! and early October. The unusual trees and “Probably the largest plant shrubs, chosen for their autumn colour, sale in the West!” as well as autumn bulbs, alpines and • Huge range of plants late flowering herbaceous continue the • Bargain Prices interest on late in the season creating a • Professional advice unique garden visiting experience. The • Refreshments adjacent nursery is well stocked with SEPTEMBER 8th & 9th many of the plants seen in the garden. Saturday 9am-5pm Sunday 10am-4pm Tel: 01684 540416 Free Entry

Tucked away on the lower slopes of the Malverns

Expressions Holidays is offering Country Gardener readers a reduction of £150 per person for booking before 31st October. Expressions Holidays arranges garden tours for small groups of up to 14 people to the regions of Tuscany, the Amalfi Coast, the Italian Lakes and the Rome area. Each tour with local garden guides shows you the most outstanding gardens, their history and planting. Prices start at £2,590 per person (double or twin share) and a single supplement from £300. Gardens visited (depending on the tour) include visiting La Mortella, Ninfa, Villa Taranto and Villa Garzoni. Fully protected by ATOL 3076. Contact Expressions Holidays on 01392 441275 for full details. 18

Cadhay Gardens splendid - despite the summer heat

Over £2,500 raised last year for local charities

Hartland Abbey & Gardens

A SPECIAL DAY OUT IN A SPECTACULAR CORNER OF NORTH DEVON Visit this historic family home with its fascinating architecture, collections and exhibitions. Beautiful 18thC Walled and Woodland gardens and wildflower walks to the beach at Blackpool Mill. Film location for ‘The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society’. * Dogs welcome * Holiday Cottages * House, Gardens and Café: until 30th September, Sunday to Thursday 11am - 5pm (House 2pm - last adm. 4pm)

For all information and events see Hartland, Nr. Bideford EX39 6DT 01237441496/234

Old Court Nurseries & The Picton Garden Overbeck's in Salcombe Take in the view when you visit our sub-tropical paradise. Garden, Museum, Shop and Tearoom. Open daily until 28 October from 11am to 5pm. Call 01548 842893 for details #nationaltrust

When you visit, donate, volunteer or join the National Trust, your support helps us to look after special places for ever, for everyone.

The Michaelmas Daisy Specialists since 1906 111 years of knowledge, passion and plants

© National Trust 2017. The National Trust is an independent registered charity, number 205846. Photography © National Trust Images\National Trust/Eric McDonald.

n nk nd pe Ba ke O st ee gu y w Au ida ol H

Come and enjoy a very different plant experience in this 1.5 acre garden which is home to a National Collection of Michaelmas daisies of more than 420 varieties. The garden and nursery has many rare and unusual plants with an emphasis on autumn interest.

HOUSE, GARDENS & TEAROOM Open every Friday 2pm - 5.30pm until 28th September Also August 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


One of the finest gardens in Britain Free entry to tea rooms, plant centre and shop Buckland Monachorum, Yelverton, Devon PL20 7LQ 01822 854769

September Fairs


September Adwell House, Nr. Thame, Oxfordshire OX9 7DQ 16th September Llanover House, Nr. Abergavenny NP7 9EF Please visit our website for full details of admission fees and times of opening.

The small family team looks forward to welcoming you and is always there to help. • Open everyday 11am - 5pm September until 20th October. • Garden admission £3.50

Tel: 01684 540416 Old Court Nurseries, Walwyn Road, Colwall WR13 6QE



Replanting at The Garden House extends the season The very best in late summer and early autumn colour schemes will be on show in September at The Garden House on the fringes of Dartmoor. The walled garden hots up as the curtain raiser to the fantastic acer display later in October. This year the long borders in the walled garden at this popular garden are looking more vibrant than ever, as the planting has been remodelled to provide a longer period of interest and colour. The borders take up the entire width of the two acres of walled garden, with packed planting that blends flame oranges, bold pinks, deep chocolates and startling blues. The borders are unusual as they are separated into ‘rooms’ by a snaking hedge of Phillyrea angustifolia. This evergreen plant is a member of the olive family, and it’s been sculpted over the years to a waist-high, knifeedge-hedge. Of course the dahlias pick up the pace at this time of year and the medieval barn that was thatched in spring has softened to a warm gold, which is adding a new dimension as a backdrop. If you haven’t visited The Garden House in September, you are in for a treat. The Garden House, Buckland Monachorum, Yelverton, PL20 7LQ.

GARDENS AT BISHOP’S PALACE ARE AN AUTUMN DELIGHT Autumn is one of the best times of the year to visit Bishop’s Palace, Wells which has been the heart of the city for 800 years. Hidden within the ancient ramparts and protected by the moat there are 14 acres of stunning, tranquil gardens. Two years ago the gardens were formally acknowledged by the RHS and made a ‘partner garden’ -a status only awarded to gardens of outstanding and exceptionally high standards of planting and design. That says it all really when it comes to visiting the palace gardens. You should also look out for special one-off events, exhibitions and workshops which are an added attraction for visitors. From Saturday, 15th September a new sculpture trail ‘ Human Nature’ opens, made up of ten striking pieces of art located throughout the gardens. Also this autumn there’s a series of Heritage Skills workshops introducing traditional artisan crafts. There are daily organised tours of the gardens. Visit for more details.

Stunning colour at West Kington Nurseries -despite the heat It’s been a challenging summer but with the hard work of the dedicated team at West Kington Nurseries the plants are growing well, providing stunning colour and blooms in time for the giant plant sale weekend. Visitors will have the opportunity to enjoy the huge range of herbaceous and alpine plants in varieties hard to find elsewhere. Visitors are invited to fill their wheelbarrows, enjoy the refreshments on offer, meet the team and talk with gardening experts. Entrance is free and parking is available. Families and dogs on leads are welcome. It is not only a fantastic opportunity to buy plants at bargain prices but to also raise money for local charities including the Wiltshire Air Ambulance through catalogue sales. To take advantage of West Kington Nurseries ‘open to the public week-end’ 9am tp 5pm Saturday ,8th and 10am to 4pm Sunday, 9th September. Nr Chippenham, Wiltshire. Tel: 01249 782822 20

Country Gardener

OVERBECKS IN SEPTEMBER A SPECIAL DAY OUT The subtropical feeling of Overbeck’s Garden is in full swing by the time September arrives. Over the summer the growth of the plants has been fuelled by the warmth of the sun to create a jungle of lush foliage. Arguably no herbaceous plant is more impressive than the tree like banana plants that dominate an area so profusely it’s known as the Banana Garden. Beneath them thrive exotic ginger lilies with their fragrant flower spikes in shades of red, yellow and white. Dozens of palms give structure to the garden, some intentionally planted in rows to create avenues, and others use their architectural leaves to create their own impromptu arch over a path. Emerging from the undergrowth and heading to higher ground allows you to orientate yourself once more with views looking north, up the Salcombe estuary, or to the east and the headland of Prawle Point. Overbeck’s, Sharpitor, Salcombe TQ8 8LW.

Two Rare Plant Fairs in September The 2018 season of Rare Plant Fairs draws to a close in September. Every event is set in an interesting and unique garden, with full garden entry included in the admission price. The first fair in September, on Sunday, 2nd September, is set in the beautiful grounds and gardens of Adwell House, near Thame in Oxfordshire, an idyllic spot just on the edge of the Chiltern Hills. The fair supports the work of local charity Aspire Oxford, and is open from 11am to 4pm. The final fair is the popular event at Llanover House, near Abergavenny in Monmouthshire, on Sunday, 16th September. This is a 15-acre listed garden and arboretum with lakes, streams and cascades, created by the Rhyd y Meirch stream as it flows through the garden. The fair is open from 11am to 4pm. Admission to both fairs is £5 for adults, children under 16 free. Visit for details of the events, including admission charges and a list of the exhibitors attending.

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

14 acres of RHS partner gardens See the Wells that give the City its name New Garden Sculpture Trail begins 15th Sept Daily Guided Tours & Horticultural Tours Heritage Skills Workshops begin September Community Garden & Contemporary Garden of Reflection • Cafe & Shop- Annual Membership available

T 01749 988111 ext.200 9


SMALL GROUP TOURS TUSCANY Visits: Poggio Torselli, Villa Vignamaggio, WITH GUIDED VISITS Villa Geggiano, Villa Grabau, Villa Reale 9 Sep OF ITALIAN GARDENS 2018: 2019: 19 May, 9 Jun, 8 Sep From £2,650 per person

• Maximum 14 people per group • Local garden guides and guided garden visits included • Six nights in 4 or 5 star hotels, two per tour • British Airways flights included Special offers may apply - full details on our website

LAKES COMO AND MAGGIORE Visits: Villa Babbianello, Villa Carlotta, Villa Monastero, Isola Bella, Isola Madre 2019: 14 May, 4 Jun, 25 Jun, 3 Sep From £2,630 per person

AMALFI COAST, CAPRI & ISCHIA Visits: Villa Rufolo, Villa San Michele Axel Munthe, La Mortella 2018: 13 Sep 2019: 9 May, 23 May, 13 Jun, 12 Sep From £2,790 per person






Visits: Villa d’Este, Lante, Ninfa, Landriana, Castel Gandolfo 2018: 12 Sep 2019: 22 May, 12 Jun, 26 Jun, 11 Sep From £2,590 per person


Founded 1989

Please call us 01392 441275



JOBS IN THE September garden

In many ways September can be regarded as the start of the new gardening year. The slide from September into winter can be quick but there’s still time to take stock of the successes and failures of this year and make plans to ensure that next year will be the best ever. Also, if you are starting out from scratch you will have plenty of time to prepare the ground whilst planning your dream allotment.

Save yourself money with perennial cuttings

Time to lift and divide perennials Summer-flowering herbaceous perennials can be lifted and divided from the end of August onwards. Most perennials need to be divided every three to five years, as the plants get too big for the space and become congested. Gently dig out the plant you want to divide, being careful not to damage the roots. Use a garden fork to separate the plant into two sections, working from the crown outwards. A good trick is to push two garden forks in back to back, and pull the handles together to split the plant. Shake off any excess soil and replant in your chosen spot as soon as possible, remembering to water frequently as it gets established. You can be quite severe when dividing. If you have just divided a plant into two try and get a third lot of roots this year.


Hardy annuals such as pot marigold (calendula), larkspur, nigella and honesty can be sown direct into the soil in the garden now. To create a mixed display for next year, mix together all the seeds with some sand and sow them over a bare patch of soil to create a colourful flowerbed that will be a riot of colour early next summer. Make sure the soil is weed free before sowing and rake it level. Sow the seeds and then gently rake them into the soil, before watering well.

Tender perennials like fuchsia, petunia, salvia, verbena, penstemon and chrysanthemum are all propagated by cuttings. It’s a great way to grow more plants almost for free, and there’s something really satisfying about seeing plants you created yourself. Find some strong, young growth that hasn’t flowered this year, and cut just beneath a leaf joint, making a cutting of between two and three inches. Strip off the leaves from the lower stem, leaving just one or two pairs. Dip the end in hormone rooting powder and replant in pots of compost mixed with some horticultural grit. This aids drainage and promotes good root growth. Put the pots in a propagator or push wooden coffee sticks in the soil around the cutting and cover with a plastic bag (except pelargoniums). Leave somewhere bright and warm, but out of direct sunlight, for six to ten weeks.

Looking rosy for taking cuttings If you have a rose you would like to propagate, try taking some cuttings. Cut several lengths from this year’s growth, each one six to 12 inches long, and insert into a trench, the base of which should be filled with sand for drainage. Cover and water it. It takes approximately four to eight weeks for the cutting to take root and grow a new set of leaves.

TRY SEPTEMBER BULB PLANTING THIS YEAR Although you can wait until November to put tulip bulbs in, there is a strong argument that September is a better month to get as many bulbs as you can in the ground so they can start growing. If you have ordered your bulbs by post, when they arrive make sure you prioritise the woodlanders, such as the anemone, dog tooth’s violet and trillium. Good bulb companies will have sent these in bags of moistened compost. Unpack “dry” bulbs – the narcissus, tulips and camassia, etc – and leave in a cool, airy place out of reach of mice until you can get them planted.


Country Gardener



Country Gardener


Autumn Flowering Bulbs


Leucojum (Acis) autumnalis 'September Snow' (Autumn Snowflake), dainty nodding bell shaped white/pink flowers before leaves

Per3 Per10 Per5 Colchicum: 'Purple and Pink' mix, a mix of5+ varieties for September/October flowering Per25 Colchicum: byzantinum 'Innocence', white with purple lips Qty_. speciosum 'Album', the Per3 classic white Qoblet Qtv . 'Waterlily', spectacular rose lilac double Qtv Per10 Crocus kotschyanus, violet-blue /yellow Qty_ speciosus, lilac blue darker veins Qty_ Per20 speciosus Conqueror, large dark blue mauve flowers with bright orange stamens Qtv Per100 Crocus: pulchellus, pale lilac/ yellow. Qty_ . pulchellus 'Zephyr', white/grey. Qty_ Per20 sativus, 9/10 'Saffron' mauve, veined purple. Qty , soeciosus 'Albus', white. Qty Per50 Cyclamen hederifolium, 15 2/ 0 flowering July to November, variable light or dark pink Per5 sometimes white flowers with darker eyes, with large finely variegated leaves. Per 100 £70.00 Per20 Cyclamen hederifolium 'Album', white flowered form Per3 Per5 Sternbergia lutea (Lily of the Field), large, bright yellow globular flower, leaves in spring Per25

Indoor Flowering Bulbs

Hyacinths (Prepared) size16/17: Anna Marie, pink. Qty_. Blue Pearl, Dark Blue Qty_. Delft Blue, mid-blue Qty_. Jan Bos, rosy red Qty_ . Miss Saigon, purple Qty_ White Pearl, white Qtv . Woodstock, dark burgundy Qty Narcissus (Prepared): 'Ariel', compact early white Qty_ 'lnbal', low scent, white Qty_. 'Ziva', strong scent, single pure white Qty_. 'Avalanche', white with yellow cup Qty_ *Keep bulbs in the fridge to hold back flowering.* Erlicheer, double cream white Qty Hippeastrum (Amaryllis): 2 /3 stem bulbs 'Apple Blossom', pink/white Qty_ 'Christmas Gift', green/white. Qty_ 'Gervase', rose pink flamed red. Qty_ . 'Lagoon', rose/lilac. Qty_. 'Red Pearl', dark red. Qty_. 'Terracotta Star', orange/brown Qty_. White Nymph', double Qty Sub-total

Price £5 .00 £15.00 £10.00 £45.00 £7.50 £22 .00 £2 .00 £8.50 £4.50 £10 .50 £4.00 £15.00 £7.00 £3.50 £15.00

Per5 Per25

£4.50 £20.00

Per5 Per10 Per50

£4.00 £7.50 £36.00

Each Per3 Per10

£7.50 £20.00 £63.00

Order Quantity

Order Value


Sub -total Allium & Daffodils and Narcissus


Sub -total Cottage Garden


Sub -total Tulips


Sub -total Autumn & Indoor Bulbs


Carriage: Orders will be dispatched by courier/post from early September and there is a £7.50 P&P charge for delivery NOTE: Additional carriage charges are applicable for Scottish Highlands, Ulster and offshore islands incl /OW


TOTAL including carriage


PAYMENT - There is a choice of payment method By Cheque, please make payable to Riverside Sth West. By Bank Transfer use Sort Code 53-50-55 Account 58136916 By Debit Card please complete the details below Q[ ask us to call you for details fY'/e do not process the payment until dispatch). Debit Card details Cardholder Name...................................................................................... Card N2 Expiry date _____. _____ CVC (The last 3 numbers on reverse of card) _ _ _ DELIVERY - Delivery will be made by carrier or post to the address shown on your order. We do not ask for a signature, so please tell us where you would like your order left. For example "if out, please leave in the greenhouse". This saves you having to call in at a depot to collect your parcel, if not at home when the delivery is made. Name........................................................................................................................... Postcode........................................... Address......................................................................................................................................................................... Delivery instructions Note: We comply with the requirements of the General Data Protection legislation. Our policy may be found on our website If you are happy to receive news and updates by email, please register on our website or tick box here [ ] CARING FOR YOUR BULBS - On arrival, please unpack your order and store the bulbs in a well ventilated and frost free environment until planting. All bulbs are packed separately, with details on each bag. Riverside Sth West, Brook House, The Green, Kilmington, Devon, EX13 7RG website: Tel No: 01449 741551 email:


Country Gardener



The roots of this historic plant which need patience to grow provides the sweetest naturally-occurring substance in the world It doesn’t occur to many of us to grow liquorice at home. It is surprisingly a member of the pea family and it’s a stranger to garden centres. But it is quite easy to find seeds and try it out and all the major seed merchants will stock them. Many think it must be a tender exotic plant, especially when they see the feathery leaves and delicate blue flowers. But Glycyrrhiza glabra, the only culinary strain of liquorice, is a tough customer. A native of south-eastern Europe and south-western Asia, it survives, thrives even, in climates as diverse as Scandinavia and Spain and is happy in most areas of Britain. But you will need to be patient as the first harvest can take place three years after planting. Liquorice has been grown for centuries and was first used as a sweetener and for cough and cold remedies by the Greeks, ancient Egyptians and Romans. During medieval times liquorice was grown extensively by monks. Production was revived in Tudor times, according to local legend, when dried roots were washed ashore from wrecked Armada galleons and their sweetness rediscovered by boys who clenched them between their teeth. Nick-named ‘Spanish’ to this day, the herb was grown on an industrial scale for sweet manufacturers; its botanical name Glycyrrhiza is Greek for ‘sweet root’ and below its distinctive foliage and pretty purple-blue flowers, its roots are indeed the sweetest naturally-occurring substance in the world.

Glycyrrhiza globra is a tough and hardy customer

For a plant that will, after four or five years, reach five or six feet in height and spread three feet within a single season, you’ll be lucky to see growth of one foot in the first year. It feels counter-intuitive to put it at the back of a border but many people who have grown it suggest this is the best place for it. It creates a lovely backdrop for shorter plants and as it is soft, bends and sways in the breeze. It should have space around it for harvesting. In the wild, liquorice grows on riverbanks. It prefers to have its feet wet and its head in the sun, and can stand some drought and a variety of soils, though it likes a rich loam by choice and will repay a feed every so often. The one thing the plants really can’t stand is wind, as they get battered easily. Sow seeds in trays or pots from March to May or during September and October and sow the seed on the surface, do not exclude light. Either gently press the seed into the compost or lightly cover with vermiculite. Germination will normally take from 14 to 20 days but can be slow and erratic. When large enough to handle transfer the seedlings into small pots using a good quality potting compost. The deciduous plants are fully hardy and can be planted outdoors once the danger of frost has passed in late May or June after acclimatising them to outdoor conditions for ten to 15 days. The plants produce blue or pale violet and white flowers during August and September. If the plants are grown for the roots they can be harvested in the autumn once the foliage has died back. It is important to harvest liquorice once it reaches maturity as the roots can grow up to 13 feet. The first harvest can take place three years after planting. Lift the plants in autumn, remove the larger roots required for use, leaving the smaller ones to provide a crop the following year. Replant immediately to prevent the plant drying out. The root can be used raw or used as a flavouring. The roots can be cut into eight-inch lengths and dried for later use. Ignore the main tap root holding the plant firm; look for bright, yellow-brown rhizomes just below the surface and cut the slender roots cleanly with a sharp knife. Wash the tenderest, then enjoy the old-fashioned, earthy experience of chewing a liquorice stick; releasing the sweet sap until just the stringy ‘toothbrush’ remains.


What it takes to win

Britain in Bloom? We are a nation of gardeners and perhaps nothing demonstrates this more than the passion that goes into entering the annual Britain in Bloom competition. Run by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) since 2001, the competition has gone from strength to strength, and now involves an estimated 200,000 volunteers across the UK. All over the south and south west, small councils, towns and villages have been working hard to get their floral presentations right. And the next few weeks marks the culmination of all the hard work when regional the national judging takes place. This year everyone has had to battle the dry, heatwave conditions, making the task of keeping plants and displays in tip top condition difficult.

The judging criteria The Britain in Bloom competition is organised into 17 regional competitions which lead on to the national finals. Categories are dictated by size and vary from small village to urban community. The competition is judged on three main criteria: • Horticultural achievement • Environmental responsibility • Community participation

Organising the judges’ visit A maximum of four people should accompany the judges on their tour. Ideally these should be people who have been involved in the entry and so able to answer any questions. The time allowed for a tour varies: for example, an entry in the Small Village category will be allocated one hour, whilst a Small City qualifies for three hours. At Amberol we have been working with Britain in Bloom groups for almost 40 years, and we have a good idea what the judges are looking for and how to ensure that the results of all the planning, planting and primping are shown to their best advantage on the day.

Top tips for a successful judging 1. Plan the route. Make sure you plan and walk the tour route prior to the visit. So before judging, ask independent observers to walk the route, compile a snagging list and give their feedback. A fresh pair of eyes may notice areas for improvement. Remember that the entire tour route is subject to judging, including what they see from one stop to another. 2. Share your vision. All finalists can give a 15 minute presentation on judging day which the RHS advise should be made at the start. The presentation should give an overview of year-round working, demonstrating the range of activities. The presentation isn’t judged, but it is a chance to showcase things they may not see on the tour. 28

As hundreds of volunteers throughout the south and southwest prepare for judging day, Patience AtkinsonGregory offers advice on managing the judges’ visit

3. Sell the entry. Whilst the foundation of a successful entry is a comprehensive, year-round plan, it’s also important to make a positive impression on the tour. Don’t be afraid to sell yourself – enthusiasm is infectious. 4. Be diverse. Your route should encompass as much of the community as possible, including a range of diverse areas and projects. 5. Mapping the route. Make sure you provide the judges with a map of the route to highlight any activity. The better informed the judges are, the better they will be able to judge your entry. 6. Manning the route. Although only four people should accompany the judges, volunteers can be stationed at different features to speak about what they have done and to demonstrate the range of community involvement. 7. Get some great PR. Judges are happy to be photographed and to answer questions from the local press, so plan this into your day, with a maximum time allocation of 15 minutes. 8. Aim for variety. When planning your route, it’s worth considering residential and community gardens, including allotments as this forms part of the judging criteria.. 9. The portfolio. This is an important part of your entry. Whilst it isn’t judged, it should complement the tour and provide the judges with as much detail as possible, including information about year-round activities that they may not be able to see first-hand. The judging tour is your chance to shine, so do your research, make careful plans, make the most of the opportunity – and above all enjoy it! Patience Atkinson-Gregory is managing director of horticultural manufacturer Amberol who supply self-watering containers, benches to Britain in Bloom groups, councils, schools and businesses. or call 01773 830 930.

Country Gardener

Retirement - time to be active not passive

Whether you are retired or facing retirement a new survey has the answers to what it takes to enjoy later life

A new survey has just revealed the key to what people think are the ingredients for an enjoyable later life. It comes down in the end to a budget, good friends, a plan and having a focus in your life. LaterLife Learning, an organisation focuses on the right sort of planning and preparation for retirement. “Of course part of the answer lies in budgeting as ruthlessly as you can” says Anne Palfrey a retirement consultant. “For others, it’s the surfeit of time, not the shortage of money, that is the challenge”. Where to find help with educational courses and funding - Retired people and those over 60 have a number of different resources when it comes to finding information on education and funding. Agencies such as SAGA, Help the Aged, and Age Concern will all supply information on free and subsidised educational courses.. Giving volunteering a try - Many organisations would not be able to exist or go about their good work without the help of volunteers, so as a result there are thousands of volunteering opportunities available. It’s worth taking a look at Previously known as CSV (Community Service Volunteers), the UK’s volunteering and social action charity has a retired and senior volunteer programme for those aged 50 and

above. Local groups drive people to hospital appointments, knit clothes and soft toys for needy children, and manage allotments. Garden delights at Watermoor House - Watermoor House in Cirencester is a handsome Georgian manor that offers residential care home for later retirement years. They welcome people from the age of 70 and offer comfortable rooms for up to 37 residents. One of the key features of the home is the extensive garden, which adjoins St Michael’s Park. It’s a pleasant view for their residents and many engage in creating Dedicated care for older people window boxes to bring the in a homely environment beauty of the garden to their room. A new patio garden is underway next to the refurbished dining room. Watermoor House invites you to view their website, Watermoor Road, Cirencester Facebook or to pop in for a Charity Number: 1168947 visit. 01285 654864 Tel: 01285 654864

Discover the freedom renting in retirement can bring ...


Loders Gate, Downington, Gloucestershire

GARDEN Visits THE BEST GARDENS TO VISIT compiled by Vivienne Lewis

There are the first signs of autumn, but with it comes the promise of wonderful late colour. Meanwhile, there are plenty of lovely gardens to visit that are open for charity. Here’s a selection in the areas we cover. We advise checking where possible before making a journey as circumstances can force closure in private gardens.

We’re introducing a key to facilities on offer at the gardens: Refreshments available Plants usually for sale Wheelchair access to much of garden

Visitors welcome by arrangement Coaches welcome consult owners Accommodation at this venue



Sprats Hatch Lane, Winchfield, Hook, Hampshire RG27 8DD

Lower Hope Estate, Ullingswick, Hereford, Herefordshire HR1 3JF

A chocolate box thatched cottage, featured on film and TV, and a smallholding alongside the Basingstoke Canal (unfenced), with a profusion of wild flowers, perennials and home grown annuals pollinated by the garden’s bees and fertilised by the donkeys. Open for the NGS on Sunday 2nd September, 2pm-6pm, £4 admission, children free. Opening with The Millennium Barn.

Outstanding five-acre garden with lawns, herbaceous borders, rose gardens, white garden, Mediterranean, Italian and Japanese gardens; natural streams, manmade waterfalls, bog gardens, woodland, lime avenue to lake. Open for the NGS on Sunday 16th September, 2pm-5pm. Admission: £6. children £1.

WHITEWOOD LODGE Norton Lane, Whitchurch, Bristol BS14 0BU There are lots of seats to see wonderful views of Maes Knoll, an ancient hill fort in this ¾ acre garden ecologically developed over 30 years from a field, with a pond, orchard, herb area, woodland walk and mature trees and beds. Open for the NGS on Saturday 15th September, 1pm-4pm. Admission £4, children free.


Partial wheelchair access Unsuitable for wheelchairs Dogs on short leads

Country Gardener

HAZELBURY MANOR GARDENS Wadswick, Box, Wiltshire SN13 8HX

LODERS GATE Fairford Road, Downington, Lechlade, Gloucestershire GL7 3DL A plant lover’s haven of 1½ acres, with long deep borders of herbaceous plants, ornamental grasses and yew hedging in the front, repeated in walled garden to rear of house, beyond find a large garden with two wildlife ponds, small wooded area, greenhouse, lawns, mature trees, rose garden, herbaceous and shrub borders. Open for the NGS on Saturday 1st September, 1pm-4.30pm. Admission: £5, children free.

Eight acres of Grade II landscaped organic gardens set around a 15th century fortified manor (not open) with an Edwardian garden; yew hedges, topiary, pleached beech, large variety of plants fill 5,000 square metres of planting, many native or herbal. Vegetable gardens, orchards, megalithic circle and wild flowers extend beyond the formal gardens. Open for the NGS on Wednesday 12th September, 11am3pm. Admission £5, children free.

THE RED POST HOUSE Fivehead, Taunton, Somerset TA3 6PX With views aligned on Ham Hill, a third of an acre walled garden with shrubs, borders, trees, circular potager, topiary, and a further 1½ acres with various planting, lawn, vineyard and orchard. Mown paths, longer grass, summerhouse with sedum roof, belvedere. Open for the NGS on Sunday 16th September, 2pm-5pm. Admission: £3.50, children free.

STONELEIGH DOWN Upper Tockington Road, Tockington, Bristol BS32 4LQ Redesigned in 2014 by the current owners and still developing, densely planted with a wide variety of trees, shrubs and bulbs; the south-facing gardens’ curved gravel pathways connect the themed areas that flow into each other: sub-tropical, wildlife and oriental ponds. Open for the NGS on Saturday 1st & Sunday 2nd September, 1pm-5pm. Admission £4, children free.



TWO QUAYS HOUSE Gweek, Helston, Cornwall TQ12 6UG Open on Saturday 15th September from 11am until 4pm for the Children’s Hospice South West, Two Quays House is in a beautiful riverside location overlooking Helford River. Admission is free but visitors are requested to bring seedlings and cuttings to share. 50 per cent of proceeds to CHSW. Parking available at Gweek Seal Sanctuary. For more details email or call 01326 221710.

MIDNEY FARM near Somerton, Somerset TA11 7HT Opening for St Margaret’s Hospice from 11am until 4pm on Saturday 22nd September, a stunning grade II listed 16th century farmhouse, complete with beautiful tithe barn, surrounded by gardens and walks. Spot the wildlife while exploring the woodland; enjoy the tranquillity of the two-acre lake and picnic beside it. Admission £2.50. More details on 01935 709182 or email

KENTLANDS Whitestone, Exeter, Devon, EX4 2JR A new opening for the NGS, this two-acre south facing garden with distant views across Exeter towards west Devon and Sidmouth was started in 2010 and is still developing; mainly perennials with some shrubs, large salvia collection, orchids and alpines, productive vegetable garden with poly tunnel, fruit cage and fruit trees. Open for the NGS on Sunday 16th September, 11am-4pm. Admission £4, children free. Contact David & Gill Oakey on 01392 811585 or email:



East Prawle, Kingsbridge, Devon TQ7 2BX

East Burton Road, East Burton, Wool, Dorset BH20 6HF

In a stunning location, with 180˚ view of the sea, Ash Park nestles at the foot of the escarpment, with three and a half acres of sub-tropical gardens, woodland glades, ponds and hidden seating areas; cannas, hydrangeas, ginger lilies, salvias and dahlias. Open for the NGS on Saturday 15th and Sunday 16th September, 11am-5pm. Admission: £5, children free.

A half-acre plantlover’s garden with abundant summer perennials, old roses scrambling through trees and late seasonal exuberant plants amongst swathes of tall grasses. Wildlife pond and plants to attract bees and butterflies; tiny woodland; cacti. Open for the NGS on Sunday 16th September, 2pm5pm, admission £3.50, children free. Contact Ron & Angela Millington on 01929 463872 or email:


Country Gardener

Visit us for

Compost • Seeds • Pots • Tools • Gloves & Wellies • Watering Equipment • Garden Paints • Pet Supplies • Logs, Kindling & Coal • Plants and much much more...

Spring Flowering Bulbs Plant now for spring colour! Our best ever range of spring flowering bulbs in stock from mid August

Station Road, Sturminster Newton Dorset, DT10 1BD. 01258 472788



ee le r Tr t Sa mbe y n e r er Pla ept h C ry th S pm e rs y 15 to 3 Nu da m r tu Sa






Quality plants available all year Opening times: Monday to Friday 8am to 4pm Saturday and Sundays March to October 10am to 4pm Off New Road Roundabout, Northbourne, Bournemouth, BH10 7DA 01202 593537 Sheltered Work Opportunities Project

Stewarts Christchurch Garden Centre, Lyndhurst Road, Christchurch BH23 4SA Tel: (01425) 272244

Stewarts Abbey Garden Centre, Mill Lane, Titchfield, PO15 5RB Tel: (01329) 842225

Registered Charity No 900325

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 MILTON-ON-STOUR, GILLINGHAM, DORSET, SP8 5QA TEL: 01747 824015


Large traditional family-run nursery Wide selection of trees, shrubs, perennials & fruit bushes 4-acre woodland garden Many unusual plants Tea Rooms Hours: Mon-Sat 9am-5pm Sun & Bank Holidays 10am-5pm MACPENNY’S NURSERIES BRANSGORE Burley Rd, Bransgore, Nr Christchurch BH23 8DB Tel: 01425 672348

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.

Athelhampton House DT2 7LG Sun 9th Sept 2018 10am - 3pm 25 Specialist Nurseries & Growers (+ Blacksmith, Willow Makers & Crafts) End of season bargains Organised by

Stewarts Broomhill Garden Centre, God’s Blessing Lane, Broomhill, BH21 7DF Tel: (01202) 882462

Send SAE for descriptive catalogue. Visitors welcome Mon-Sat 9am-1pm & 2pm-4.30pm


£7 Admission Includes Gardens & Grounds

Barthelemy & Co (DCG), 262 Wimborne Rd West, Stapehill, Wimborne, Dorset BH21 2DZ

Tel: 01202 874283 33

Focus on foliage “Here at Kilver Court we have recently explored the possibilities of foliage in a monumental project to completely re-design our 100 metre mixed herbaceous border.” Kilver Clourt head gardener Matt Rees-Warren has some expert advice on using different coloured foliage in your plantings with some very specific ideas The late, great, Christopher Lloyd had the foresight to say many years ago: “for it is an indisputable fact that appreciation of foliage comes at a later stage in our (gardeners’) education, if it comes at all”. Lloyd, the doyen of gardening famed for his innovative planting at his Great Dixter home, was a gardener to his bones and what he means, and understands, is as you watch your garden going through season after season, you begin to realise that if a plant comes into leaf in April and May and finishes in October and November and only flowers for four to six weeks in between, you’re going to be looking at the foliage far more than the flowers. With this great wisdom in mind, it follows that we must consider the colour, shape and form of the plants foliage maybe as much as the flowers. This in turn will lead to a more responsive and refined garden with plantings that please for a longer period of time and in more subtle ways. Images from top to bottom: Acanthus mollis; Canna ‘tropicanna’; Artemisia ‘valerie finnis’ 34

It isn’t, of course, an entirely new idea or overlooked aesthetic to plant plants for their foliage. For many, many years hostas, ferns, stachys and heuchera Country Gardener

have been used primarily for that purpose, as have specimen trees and shrubs like acers and euonymus. However, I believe it is massively under utilised and in a literal and metaphorical shadow to the exuberant flamboyance of flowers. The first thing to consider is that foliage has its own, admittedly more limited, spectrum of colour and understanding this helps us to realise the many possibilities and choices on offer. They fall loosely into groups of greens, silvers and purples, but with each having more elegant tones within them and it’s these that I want to concentrate on. The purples are by far the broadest and most interesting collection and can include: reds, bronze/browns, blacks and have of course many different shades of purple. I particularly admire the tidy habit and purple/green leaves of Eupatorium rugosum ‘Chocolate’, spending most of it’s time unchanged until topped with frothy white flowers at the summers end. Phormium ‘Evening glow’ is a sharp, clear pinky red and also one of the more tender, so don’t let it sit in wet soil. Lobelia cardinalis ‘Queen Victoria’

Eupatorium rugoum ‘Chocolate’

Lobelia cardinalis ‘Queen Victoria’

Phormium ‘Evening glow’

with its purple black leaves and blood red flowers, or the spectacular annual Ricinus communis ‘Carmencita’ are both invaluable with the complementary colours of their bloom. I also don’t think you can look beyond the many cannas ‘Tropicana’, ‘Shenandoah’, dahlias ‘David Howard’, ‘Karma choc’ and heucheras ‘Obsidian’, ‘Ginger ale’ that are available, with many more varieties than I’ve the space to list.

choose a more pale offering like ‘Inca Gold’. Another plant you wouldn’t normally associate as a ‘foliage plant’ would be Kniphofia but varieties like ‘Caulescens and ‘Percys Pride’ add slivers of silvery blue long before the rocket flowers burst on to the scene.

Silvers are a little more concise but still widen to include grey greens and glaucous blues. They are also slightly more demanding in that most silvery coloured plants come from a Mediterranean or similar climate and don’t take too well to our wet winters – even if it seems as if we are a Mediterranean country after this scorching summer.

Greens break down into lime/yellow, mid green and dark green. Lime greens are synonymous with late spring and rightly so as most plants break from the ground with fresh, zingy, chartreuse leaves but some hold that all summer and some of my favourites are Angelica archangelica, Hosta ‘Sum and Substance’ and Canna ‘Pretoria’. Mid green obviously includes too many plants to mention but if you wanted a plant to smack of green Euphorbia pasteurii would be my recommendation.

If you want big, bold, architectural plants in this range you wouldn’t go far wrong using the coastal blue shafts of Yucca gloriosa or the monster that is Cynara cardunculus with its silver grey thistle-like leaves. For more subtle additions the Achilleas have a soft grey/green foliage that blends well with similar tones - try to stay away from the garish coloured flowers and

Euphorbia pasteruii

For straight silver your best bet may be the Artemisia ‘Valerie Finnis’ - of a much more appealing habit and reliability than its more famous brother ‘Powis Castle’.

Dark greens however, are a little more fun to experiment with. Eriobotrya japonica or Loquat will stay as a shrub for a long time before becoming a small tree in our climate so can be used in borders. Acanthus mollis has

Ricinus communis ‘Carmentica’

beautiful dark matt green leaves with towering spires of flower in mid summer and columns of yew have, of course, been used for a long time, to great effect, to add structural elements and darker tones. Here at Kilver Court we have recently explored the possibilities of foliage in a monumental project to completely re-design our 100 metre mixed herbaceous border. Our owner, Roger Saul, had the flash of inspiration to turn the traditional border on its head and design in a foliage first, colourist style, thus enabling the border to flow, along its length, through the colour spectrum of foliage, not flowers. Using the whole plant in your designs and thoughts means that from the first moment the leaves arrive until the last disappears in autumn you are utilising its shape, form and colour - you’ll be amazed how this changes the way you look at planting out the garden. With careful diligence a border or other area with perennial or deciduous plants, can begin its pleasing effect in early May, when the leaves are fully formed, still reach the flowering heights of July, and then fall back on its careful orchestrated background into autumn. 35



planting trees

Mark Hinsley urges some sensible forward thinking when it comes to positioning a tree-or somebody is going to end up with a dilemma

I came across an interesting situation recently. An historic post box on the move - slowly pushed off its Not a job – just something base by a badly sited Witch elm I noticed in passing. In the photograph is an 1870s model Hexagonal Penfold Post Box, designed by John Wornham Penfold (1828–1909). It is an iconic design that you will occasionally see all over the country. This post box has probably stood on this corner for almost 150 years. Behind the post box is a Wytch elm. Elms have been ravaged by Dutch Elm Disease since the 1970s, and it is unusual to see one of this size. You can see from the photographs that the elm is in the process of pushing the post box off its base. Because trees have to increase in girth every year to be alive, it is inevitable that it will continue to do so until the post box is destroyed. This elm, though quite large, is nowhere near 150 years old – so the Post Box definitely came first. I would estimate that, around 70 years ago, somebody made the choice to plant this elm where it is. The consequences of that decision are about to come home to roost. The post box is a piece of history and a very longstanding element of the character of this location. On the other hand, 36

the tree is large and prominent and makes a significant contribution to the visual amenity of the area. In addition, the tree has other benefits relating to wildlife conservation and the general quality of the environment. If either of these items could choose to be where they are, the ‘fault’ would lie with the tree. It came second and the problem it is causing was predictable from the moment it was planted. I do not know if this tree/post box relationship has become a local issue - yet - and I have not identified the site because I do not wish to become embroiled in somebody else’s local politics! But I am sure you can imagine how the two camps will set up. Some will want the post box to be preserved in its historic location, whilst others will consider the tree to be much more important. The post box is not replaceable, although it could be relocated elsewhere. The tree is replaceable, but it is too big to move. I have no reason to suspect that the post box will cease to be a functioning post box any time in the foreseeable future, whilst the tree could fall victim to Dutch Elm Disease at any time. Digital communication is rendering the function of the post box less important as climate change is making the functions of the tree more so. What would you do? In my experience it is usually the historic structure that wins the argument, the deciding factor being the ease with which a new tree can be planted near the site in a sustainable location. That is the frustration of situations like this. If the person who planted this elm had planted it just 1m further away from the post box it would not be a problem now, 2m and it would not be a problem ever. Doesn’t it make one want to go back in time and give somebody a slap? So gentle reader, to quote Ned Stark, ‘Winter is coming’. Trees will be planted. Please have a thought for future arboriculturists and Conservation Officers and plant trees in locations that take account of their mature size, not the skinny twig that you just bought from the garden centre. Mark Hinsley is from Arboriculture Consultants Ltd.

Country Gardener

F ORAGING IN SEP TEMBER Countryside trips in early autumn can be bountiful and nutritious, but make sure you only take what you need With the hedgerows laden with fruits and nuts early autumn is the perfect time to go foraging. Foraging guidelines: • Make sure you do not damage natural habitats • Do not trespass • Leave plenty behind for wildlife • Never pull a plant up by its roots • Take a good field guide (Food for Free by Richard Mabey is recommended) with you and ensure you can positively identify what you forage, do not consume any plant you are not sure of. BILBERRY Identification: short shrub, look like miniature versions of cultivated blueberries, Found patchily across the UK and northern Europe on windswept heaths and moors. Flowers in May and June with berries in the autumn. Also known as whortleberry, myrtle berry, huckle berry, and, in Scotland, blaeberry. Not popular for sale due to the length of time taken to pick a decent quantity. Delicious eaten straight off the bush or as a topping for cakes or cheesecakes. BLACKBERRY Identification: Found in hedgerows, woodland, heath and scrub across Britain. Clustered berries that start green, then turn dark purple. A scrambling shrub with many thorns giving it its old country name of ‘bramble’. • Folk lore says they should not be picked after 10th October (Michaelmas in the old calendar) because the Devil would have spat on them the previous evening. • Early fruits are sweeter and can be eaten raw off the twig, use the rest in pies, jams, syrups, wine and infused vinegars. • Blackberries are high in fibre, vitamin C, folic acid and antioxidant. An infusion of the leaves is said to ease a sore throat – either drink or gargle with it. CRAB APPLE Identification: Deciduous trees up to 10 metres tall. Often grow alone in old woods and hedgerows. Cupped, five-petalled flowers and oval leaves. Round fruit. Found all over the UK. • Have been common in England, Wales and Southern Scotland for thousands of years. • Name come from its ‘crabbed’ appearance from the gnarling and twisting of its twigs with growth. • The fruit is much smaller than ‘normal’ apples, about 2cm in diameter. They are very bitter and cannot be eaten raw.

• Best known recipe is crab apple jelly – the very high pectin level means that it sets very well and other fruits can be added to make a variety of jellies. DAMSON Identification: Small tree with occasional spiny, brownish and downy branches. Small white flower followed by small, rounded blackish-purple fruit. • A wild plum, big sister of the sloe. Unlike sloes, damsons are sweet and can be eaten directly from the tree. • Can be found tucked in among old hedgerow shrubs, at the edges of fields or in native woodland. • Rich in Vitamin C and also contain sorbitol which helps to regulate the digestive system hence their use as a laxative. • Good for making chutney, gin or vodka or preserved in syrup. ELDERBERRIES Identification: woody plant, grows up to 30 foot high, bark on its trunk and branches, several little umbrella-shaped flower clusters in elder summer which turn into berries in late summer. Normally found in the hedgerow, nitrogen rich areas such as around rabbit warrens. • Berries are found between August and September. They are not as useful as the flowers but are often used for wine and in jams, jellies and vinegars. • Many superstitions surround the elder – e.g. burning its timber in the house will release the devil; an Elder planted near the house will protect its inhabitants from evil. • Elderberries are known to carry a very effective antidote to many strains of flu. A tincture made by boiling the berries with sugar, lemon and cloves is a delicious treatment. ROSE HIPS Identification: the red and orange seed pods of rose plants commonly found in hedgerows and woodland fringes. Pale pink flowers in June and July followed by hips in the autumn. Long, fine, thorny branches. • Avoid thorns when gathering by wearing gloves. Carefully snip or pull the hips close to the base of each pod. • Rose hip syrup has been used as a cure for the common cold for generations. It was consumed in vast quantities during World War 2 to make up for the lack of fresh fruit and vegetables. • The syrup is the basis for nearly everything made from the hip – ice cream, sorbet, jelly, flavouring.


CLASSIF IED Accommodation Hampshire coast, New Forest, Milford on Sea – village centre holiday apartment sleeps 2-3, private parking. Wonderful walks, lovely all year round. 01590 644050 Lazydaze Holiday Chalet. Nestled Between The Quantocks, Exmoor & Blue Anchor Bay. 5 Miles From Minehead. Sleeps 3. Private Enclosed Garden. Dogs Welcome. Phone Jan For Brochure & Details On 01984 641321 Glorious North Devon. Only 9 cosy caravans on peaceful farm. Wonderful walks in woods & meadows. Easy reach sea, moors & lovely days out. £125395pw. Discount couples. Nice pets welcome. 01769 540366

Bosworlas near Sennen/St Just, Cornwall. Cosy Cottage, rural views, Sleeps 2-4 01736 788709 Cornwall, near St Just. Chalet, sleeps 4, heated indoor pool, open all year – near gardens/coast, golfing nearby. Prices from £260 pw. 01736 788718

Creekside Cottages, Near Falmouth, Cornwall

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

Accommodation Holiday Cottages

Pinnock Wood Shepherd Hut A Bespoke Craftsman Built Shepherds Hut situated on a working livestock farm in an area of outstanding natural beauty. Ideally located for visiting all Cotswold Towns and Villages. Excellent walking Tel: 01242 604189

Gloucestershire, Cosy annexe for two

non-smokers, lovely garden, beautiful countryside. Pets welcome. Special rates for Xmas. Tel: 01452 840531 38

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

Self-catering cottages in countryside near Lyme Regis. Japanese food available. 01297 489589 Carmarthenshire A charming holiday cottage, rural setting, stands alone, Sleeps 3. Short breaks available. Pets welcome. 01239 711679 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 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 Country Gardener

Three Cotswold Barn Conversions Sleeps 4-10 people. Visit England Four Stars In between Upton House, Hidcote and Chastleton or Karen on 01608 684240

Accommodation with Beautiful Gardens North Devon near Clovelly. 3 delightful cottages situated in 12 acres of idyllic countryside. Sleeps 2-4. 1 Wheelchair friendly. Prices from £190 p.w. Brochure: 01237 431324

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

CLASSIF IED Garden Furniture

Gardens to Visit UKs leading supplier of Teak Furniture for the Garden

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

Tel: 01256 809 640 sales

New Dawn Furniture

Burrow Farm Gardens

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

Dalwood, Axminster, EX13 7ET





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

Bed & Breakfast

Tel: 01243 375535

Garden Plant Supports See me at Toby’s Harvest Festival 15/16 Sept

Home Services


Somerset 5* Restaurant with Rooms. Close to many NT Gardens, Houses and 07770 720 373 Dorset Coast. Sculpture by the lakes in Dorset. Pet Friendly 01935 423902 Artist blacksmith with a forge in Axminster designing and manufacturing garden plant supports, structures and furniture. Charming B&B in garden cottage Commissions welcomed. annex. Double with en-suite. Village location near Jurassic Coast, Bridport. Tel: 01308 488177 Country House B&B Ideal location for Garden Services Wisteria Pruning, Improvement, Oxfordshire, Malvern Autumn Garden Show and surrounding area. Richard Barrett 01865 surrounding gardens. Visit 452334 or Tel: 01885 482471 for details.


Specialist Garden Products Log cabins


Cards & Prints

01935 891195

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 2018 catalogue Mill House Fine Art Publishing, Bellflower Gallery, Market Place, Colyton, Devon EX24 6JS

Tel. 01297 553100


Yenstone Walling Dry Stone Walling and Landscaping Patrick Houchen - DSWA member. Tel: 01963 371123

Garden Offices

Ex-display buildings for sale | Anything to order

Advertise here... ...from just £2 per word


CLASSIF IED Specialist Nurseries & Plants

Discover the Diversity of Hardy Geraniums! We stock up to 200 varieties throughout the year

Free printed catalogue & emailed guide available upon request.

Mail order

Call Gary: 01684 770 733 UK and or 07500

600 205


DORSET WATER LILY COMPANY The Uk’s largest selection of established pot grown water lilies for public and landscape supply.

Speciality hardy marginals and moisture loving bogside.

Catalogue available or visit us MON/ FRI or SAT 9 - 4pm, Yeovil Road, Halstock BA22 9RR

Consultation/Design & Landscape Service Tel: 01935 891668

Growers of many plants suitable for coastal areas including hedging plants All propagated and grown in Devon Established suppliers to landscape designers

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.

Tel: 01884 266746

Wanted/For Sale Wanted Old Radio Valves And Audio Valves. Tel: 07557 792091


Mushroom Compost, Farm Yard Manure, Horse Manure, Top Soil, Wood Chip Mulch, Wood Chip, Compost and Chicken Manure. ALL £1.50 PER BAG PLUS DELIVERY

For more information or advice call Nick on 01404 891684 / 07860 459745

Facebook “f ” Logo

Wholesale Nursery Tel 01404 41150

Looking for young, hardy garden plants to grow or plant?

Try Trimplant Nursery, Combe Raleigh, Honiton, Devon

Advertise here...


...from just £2 per word

Visit us at Kitley Farm, Yealmpton, PL8 2LT Or order plants at Tel: 01752 881180

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

Advertise here... ...from just £2 per word Terracotta Pots

The Terracotta Pot and Gift Shop

Advertise here... Call on 01278 671037 for details, or email: 40

Enjoy more of the Country Gardener experience by visiting our website

Stockists of frostproof pots and garden ornaments from Greece and around the world as well as a host of other bits and pieces Open every day

More news & events, plus exclusive features can be found online

Eastoke Corner, Hayling Island, Hants. PO11 9LU

Country Gardener

Many free and paid advertising opportunities

CMYK / .ai

Facebook “f ” Logo

CMYK / .ai

WIN one of five NIWAKI SECATEURS in our 2018 readership survey draw

ask readers to let us know their views on the Every four or five years at Country Gardener we cing the best magazine possible magazine. It is part of our efforts to go on produ you to topics you would like us to cover, how easy it is for We want to learn more about your interests, what find the magazine and any other views you have. ki GR Lightweight secateurs – Japanese made, worth As an incentive, we have five sets of high quality Niwa £60, which set the standard for quality and value.

into a prize draw, from which five Every readership survey form we receive will go of secateurs. lucky reader’s names will be drawn to win a pair

Firstly a few questions about you: 1. Which age group are you? £ 18-25 £ 26-35 £ 36-45 £ 46-55 £ 55-65 £ 66-75 £ Over 75 2. Do you have any children under the age of 16? £ Yes £ No Now a few questions about your own garden and gardening: 3. What size of garden do you have? £ Small -1-2,000 sq ft £ Medium- 2-4,000 sq ft £ Large-10,000 sq ft £ More than half an acre 4. Do you grow your own fruit or vegetables? £ Yes £ No 5. Which of the following would you expect to buy in the next 12 months? £ Garden Plants £ Garden Accessories £ Garden tools (power) £ Garden tools (hand) £ Vegetable seeds £ Compost £ Bird feed/ wildlife product £ Shed/greenhouse/other garden building etc 6. Do you have or plan to have a pond or water feature in your garden? £ Yes £ No 7. Which services may be of interest to you in 2019? £ Tool or plant hire £ Landscaping £ Garden design £ Fencing £ Tree surgery £ General gardening help- lawn mowing, garden tidying 8. How often do you use garden centre cafes/restaurants? £ Every visit £ Most visits £ Some visits £ Never 9. How important is it to you to know about gardening services/ products which are available locally to you? £ Very important £ Quite important £ Not important A few questions about getting hold of a copy of Country Gardener and reading it: 10. How often do you see Country Gardener? £ Every issue £ Quite often-once every two or three issues £ Very occasionally 11. Typically how many people read your copy of the magazine beside you? £ No one else £ 1 to 3 people £ More than three 12. Has reading Country Gardener resulted in you: £ Visiting a garden featured in the magazine £ Buying a product advertised in the magazine £ Telling someone about a product advertised in Country Gardener £ Contacting an advertiser £ Buying a particular plant £ Keeping an advert or article for future reference for a long term project 13. Do you read any other gardening magazines regularly? £ No, mainly just Country Gardener £ Occasionally £ Frequently 14. Listed below are some of the regular features in Country Gardener. Tick the features which most appeal to you: £ Jobs for the Month £ Classified advertising £ Local gardening news £ Plant profiles £ Readers stories £ Garden Visits £ Time Off information on local events Some questions about the internet and our online information: 15. Do you use the internet? £ Yes £ No

16. Do you use the internet to search for: Garden products: £ Never £ Occasionally £ Frequently Local services: £ Never £ Occasionally £ Frequently Places to visit: £ Never £ Occasionally £ Frequently 17. Do you use: Facebook £ Yes £ No

Twitter £ Yes £ No

18. How often do you visit our website £ Never £ Occasionally £ Frequently 19. How often do you use the internet as a result of reading something in Country Gardener Magazine? £ Never £ Occasionally £ Frequently Finally some last questions about getting out and about: 20. How often do you visit an open garden during the year? £ Very occasionally £ Three or four times £ Four to eight times £ Above eight times 21. Do you travel far to visit a garden? £ Only visit local gardens £ Travel out of the county £ Travel longer distances 22. How often do you visit a garden centre or nursery? £ Once a week £ Once a month £ Less frequently £ Never 23. Which of the following are you a member of: £ RHS £ National Trust £ RSPB £ Wildlife Trust £ English Heritage £ Soil Association £ Local gardening club £ Others ___________________ 24. Which of the following would you like to hear about: £ RHS Chelsea Flower Show £ Hampton Court Show £ County show £ Gardening holidays £ Garden lectures £ Malvern Show £ Toby Buckland Garden Festivals £ Others ___________________ 25. Are there any issues, topics, or themes that you’d like to see in upcoming issues of Country Gardener? ................................................................. .................................................................

Thank you for taking time to fill in this questionnaire. If you wish to enter the Country Gardener Reader Survey prize draw then fill in the coupon and return to: Mount House, Halse, Taunton, Somerset, TA4 3AD. Name . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Address . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ..................................................... ..................................................... Postcode. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Tel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Email . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Prize draw only available for UK residents

Return your completed survey by Friday 28th September.




Here’s a selection of Dorset gardening events to look out for over the next few weeks. Thank you to all those gardening clubs who have sent us their details of events for us to publicise. Please remember to 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 so that anyone interested can find out further information. Please add what edition the event should go in. 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








Country Gardener







Lynch Lane The New Forest’s leading centre offering you the quality and choice of Trees, Shrubs and Hardy Plants grown on our own 25 acre nursery.

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

The Gardeners Garden Centre Our shop is filled with a wonderful range of Autumn offers. We have everything you need to get planting straight away! Autumn bulbs are in stock, so plant now to ensure a colourful Spring display. Relax in ‘Camellias’, our Coffee Shop and Restaurant, where you can enjoy coffee, tea, and a selection of lunch specials prepared fresh every day

National garden gift vouchers sold and accepted here

Why not try our restaurant?

THE GARDENERS RETREAT All day breakfast served from 9am-3pm Monday-Saturday 10am-11.30am Sunday Lunch time special Monday-Saturday 2 Meals for £10

Visit our website, for info and gardening tips! EVERTON, on A337, Near LYMINGTON. 01590 642155

Sunday lunch choice of 4 meats served 12pm-2.30pm Or just come in for a tea or coffee and a slice of homemade cake

Open every day 9-5.30, Sunday, 10.30-4.30

Telephone: 01305 759503 43



Established 1901

162a South Street, Bridport, Dorset DT6 3NP

• Building aggregates, block & stone • Aquarium gravels and rocks • Water filtration gravels • Horticultural aggregates and cobbles • Pebble dashing and decorative aggregates • Caledonian cobbles and boulders • Decorative paving & garden features including Bradstone and Brett Stone products

Any quantities available, large or small Crane lorry available for delivery of materials in 1.000kg tonne bag Tel: 01308 422179 Fax: 01308 421956 OPEN TO RETAIL AND TRADE



10 40L sacks only £21.50 a load £35

Visitors Welcome Mon-Fri 9.00am-4.30pm all year round Sat 10.00am-4.00pm Apr-May




Koirin, Crossroads Nursery, Woodlands, Wimborne, Verwood Road, Dorset BH21 8LN (Near Verwood) Mail Order Available

60L - 6 for £20, £3.70 per bag


01202 740795

Tel: 01202 824629 Sorry, we don’t accept credit/debit cards





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

Heucheraholics Nursery Open Days 2018

Sat Sept 1st - Sun Sept 2nd & Sat Oct 6th - Sun Oct 7th Come and join us on our nursery and take the chance to rummage around in the best selection of Heucheras in the Kingdom. All the latest varieties and trusty old favourites. Top tips on getting the most out of your plants.

New varieties for this year include Heuchera ‘Megan’, Heuchera ‘Dizzi Blonde’ and Heuchera ‘Green Goddess’


• Wheelchair friendly • Well behaved dogs may bring their owners! • Tea and Cakes all day! SEE YOU THERE - JOOLES AND SEAN Boldre Nurseries, Southampton Rad, Lymington, Hants SO41 8ND Tel: 07973 291062 / 01590 670581 Heuchera ‘Megan’

- New for 2018


Country Gardener

Stockists of Country Gardener Dorset Country Gardener is available free of charge throughout the area at the outlets listed below where we have included postcodes to make it easier for you to find them. For amendments to details or deliveries call Pat Eade on 01594 543790 email Abbotsbury Abbotsbury Sub Tropical Gardens, DT3 4LA Beaminster Cilla and Camilla, DT8 3AS Little Groves, DT8 3HB Mapperton House, DT8 3NR Visitor Centre, DT8 3QW Bishops Caundle Bishops Caundle Community Shop, DT9 5ND Blandford Forum Bartletts, DT11 7EG C & O Tractors, DT11 7TF Langton Nursery, DT11 9HR Tourist Information Centre, DT11 7AW Bournemouth Cherry Tree/SWOP, BH10 7DA Parks Perennials, BH10 4HZ Broadwindsor Broadwindsor Craft Centre, DT8 3PX Bridport Bartletts of Bridport, DT6 3EX CW Groves Nurseries, DT6 4BA John Bright Fencing and Country Store, DT6 5HT Tourist Information Centre, DT6 3LF Washingpool Farm Shop, DT6 5HP Cerne Abbas Village Store & Post Office, DT2 7JF Chickerell Bennett’s Water Gardens, DT3 4AF Child Okeford Goldhill Organic Farm Shop, DT11 8HB Oasis Plant Centre, DT11 8EQ Christchurch Coastal Garden Buildings, BH23 4SA MacPennys Nursery, BH23 8DB Stewarts Garden Centre, BH23 4SA

Tourist Information Centre, BH23 1AS Corfe Mullen Naked Cross Nursery, BH21 3SP Cranborne Cranborne Garden Centre, BH21 5PP Dorchester Athelhampton House, DT2 7LG Flyte so Fancy, DT2 7DX GCS Agricentre, DT1 1PE Highwood Garden Machinery, DT1 1HW Kingston Maurward College, DT2 8PY Mole Country Stores, DT1 1ST The Potting Shed, DT1 1BY Townsend Fencing, Pulham, DT2 7DX Woodsford Nursery, Crossways, DT2 8BT Fordingbridge Wolvercroft World Of Plants, SP6 3BE Ferndown Avon Heath Country Park, BH24 2DH Haskins Garden Centre, BH22 9DG Gillingham Garden Machinery Service, SP8 4HZ Gillingham Library, SP8 4UA Orchard Park, SP8 5JG Thorngrove Garden Centre, SP8 4RE Hampreston Knoll Gardens, BH21 7ND Trehane Nursery, BH21 7ND Holt Stewarts Garden Centre, BH21 7DE Holywell NEW The Emporium & Plant Centre, DT2 9PW

Iwerne Minster Village Store & Post Office, DT11 8LW Lytchett Matravers Woodlands Nursery, BH16 6AG Marnhull Robin Hill Stores, DT10 1PH Milton-on-Stour Plant World Nursery, SP8 5QA Minterne Magna Minterne Gardens, DT2 7AU Morcombelake Felicity’s Farm Shop, DT6 6DJ Owermoigne Kate’s Farm Shop, DT2 8HN OHE Garden Machinery, DT2 8BY Poole Chestnut Nursery, BH15 1TN Compton Acres, BH13 7ES Upton Country Park, BH17 7BJ Victoria Horticulture, BH13 6AS Shaftesbury Ben Johnson Garden Machinery, SP7 9QJ Greenacre Farm Shop, SP7 9ND Ludwell Stores, SP7 9ND Tourist Information Centre, SP7 8AE Sherborne Bailey Ridge Plants, Leigh, DT9 6HU Castle Gardens, DT9 5NR Fat Fish Aquatics @ Castle Gardens GC, DT9 5NR The Grange at Oborne, DT9 4LA Tourist Information Centre, DT9 3NL Stalbridge Stalbridge Post Office, DT10 2LH Williams Nursery, DT10 2RQ Stour Provost Hill Top Nursery, SP8 5LY Stourton Stourhead NT, BA12 6QF Sturminster Newton Harts Garden Supplies, DT10 1BD

Three Legged Cross Brackendale Nurseries, BH21 6SD Tolpuddle Farmgate Shop Upwey MyPlants, DT3 5LG Wishing Well & Water Gardens, DT3 5QE Wareham Holme for Gardens, BH20 6AQ Purbeck Pets & Equestrian, BH20 4JU Tourist Information Centre, BH20 4LR West Parley Plowmans Plants, BH22 8SW Weymouth CC Moore, DT4 9XB Goulds Garden Centre, DT3 6AD Lynch Lane Garden Centre, DT4 9DN Wyke Regis Horticultural Society, DT4 9PY Wimborne Allendale Centre, BH21 1AS Allendale House, BH21 1AS Barthelemy & Co, BH21 2DZ Canford Magna Garden Centre, BH21 3AP Pamphill Dairy Farm Shop, BH21 4ED Serles House, BH21 1EN The Oaks Garden Centre, BH21 3BA The Priest House Museum & Garden, BH21 1HR Tourist Information Centre, BH21 1HR Vines Farm Shop, BH21 3RW Wimborne Model Village, BH21 1DY Wyevale, BH21 2DN Witchampton Witchampton Community Shop, BH21 5AP Woodlands Koirin Azalea Centre, BH21 8LN

Country Gardener Magazine Editorial Publisher & Editor: Alan Lewis Tel: 01823 431767

Distribution Pat Eade Tel: 01594 543790

Time Off: Kate Lewis

Advertising Sales Cath Pettyfer - Devon & Dorset Corina Reay - Cotswolds Tel: 01837 82660 Tel: 01823 410098

Ava Bench - Hampshire, Somerset & Classified Tel: 01278 671037

Accounts Sam Bartholomew Tel: 01823 430639

Design & Production Aidan Gill Gemma Stringer

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.


Fruit for a tiny garden

Choosing dwarf varieties, planting in containers and growing fruit on walls are all wonderful ways to make the most of supplying fruit from a small area A large acreage of your own is the aspiration of many gardeners, but having a small plot shouldn’t dampen your grow-your-own goals when it comes to fruit. Many types of fruit are associated with large allotments or, at the very least, a good-sized garden, but they can often be grown in alternative situations. Select dwarf varieties for instance to grow crops in a smaller space. Most soft and tree fruit will clamber up walls or grow in miniature form, so that even the smallest garden can bulge with a large crop of fresh, delicious fruit.

GROWING FRUIT IN CONTAINERS Most fruiting plants are happy in a pot. They can be taken inside to protect them from frost (essential for tender plants, such as lemons). Growth is restricted, which stimulates fruit production and stops the plant reaching its usual size. It also means monsters such as figs, which would otherwise be too big for a tiny plot, can be grown. Blueberries turn their noses up at alkaline soil, but grow contentedly in a tub of ericaceous compost. Plus, almost anything can be put in a pot – even a few raspberry canes attached to a post or a gaggle of strawberries. Dwarf fruit trees are also brilliant in containers, just mix water-retaining crystals into the compost and feed with a potash-rich fertiliser in early spring.

DWARF TREES Most fruit trees are grown on rootstock – the roots of a different variety or different fruit are attached to the young tree to give it certain characteristics. Dwarf fruit trees are those grown on rootstock that stunts growth to around two metres. You need M27 rootstock for a tiny apple tree, Quince C for pear, Gisela 5 for cherry and Pixy for plum. Dwarfs are sometimes available in ‘Minarette’ form – a vertical single stem.

WALLS OF FRUIT Using dwarf trees, you can coat the walls, trellis and fencing of your garden with fruit. The plants must be coaxed into specific shapes to save space and encourage fruiting; buy these readyformed or train them yourself. A fan shape is best for peaches, apricots and cherries, and 46

espalier (an elegant structure of horizontal tiers) for apples and pears. Both require sizeable walls. The best for the tiny garden is the cordon, a tree trained into a single stem and leant at 45 degrees, usually in sequence (75cm-1m apart). Try the sweet, juicy red apple ‘Fiesta’, the compact pear ‘Concorde’, the tasty redcurrant ‘Jonkheer van Tets’ and the gorgeous little plum ‘Opal’.

EDIBLE ARBOURS Some rampant fruiting plants can be used to create shady retreats. Thornless blackberry varieties (such as the heavy-cropping ‘Loch Ness’) will clothe an archway, kiwi fruit (such as the beautiful large-leaved ‘Jenny’) will romp over an arbour and a dessert vine will coat a pergola with lovely big leaves and delicious bunches of grapes. Both ‘Phoenix’ (white grapes) and ‘Muscat Blue’ (black) taste good and crop outside in the UK. Plant in full sun and cut them back hard in winter.

FRUITFUL BORDERS To save space, dot bush fruits, such as the thornless ‘Pax’ gooseberry and the compact ‘Ben Sarek’ blackcurrant, through flower borders and use stepover fruit as edging. A stepover is a tiny hedge formed by an apple or pear tree; technically it’s a single-tiered espalier trained to part into horizontal stems 30cm high along the border edge. Buy them ready-trained or prune them into shape yourself.

PRUNING Prune fruit bushes and trees at the right time of year and in the correct way to keep plants small and encourage a big crop of fruit.

BUYING THE RIGHT PLANTS Most fruit prefers a sunny position, but if your garden is in semi-shade, you can grow apples, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, redcurrants, gooseberries and rhubarb. Forget tender fruit, such as citrus and kiwi, if you live up north. All the varieties above are self-fertile. Self-sterile varieties need a pollinating plant. With the exception of strawberries and exotics, most fruiting plants should be autumn planted on a day when the ground is neither soggy nor frozen. Come spring, they will begin to flower, coating your mini orchard in a layer of blossom. Country Gardener

Advance tickets on sale now!

Forde Abbey, Chard

15th & 16th September Returning to Forde Abbey this year, we are looking forward to an even greater spectacle in the beautiful grounds. We’re delighted that actor JOHN CHALLIS, better known as Boycie from Only Fools & Horses was so popular with Powderham visitors we have lured him back to be with us at Forde Abbey, plus we have the wonderful ALYS FOWLER, RHS judge JIM BUTTRESS, MATT BIGGS of Gardeners’ Question Time fame and… drum roll…. the BLUE PETER GARDENER!

Plus... ...The demo tipi makes welcome comeback with NEW workshops on paper-flower making with WILDHIVE’S BEE WATSON, photography lessons with ANDREW MAYBURY, tree talks from KEVIN CROUCHER of THORNHAYES NURSERY plus all the favourites from last year – cider-drinking, apple-pressing, basket-weaving and much more to be announced in the coming months!




k .u o .c t s e f n e d r a g www.toby



Dorset Country Gardener September 2018  

The September 2018 issue of Dorset Country Gardener Magazine

Dorset Country Gardener September 2018  

The September 2018 issue of Dorset Country Gardener Magazine