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Somerset

Issue No 151 August 2017

FREE

Bee helpful! We are still not doing enough to help bee pollination

Sensational cordials from summer fruits Forde Abbey – gardens of sheer delight

SUMMER VEGETABLE GROWING PROBLEMS SOLVED

Exclusive 8 PAG

E PULL OU T GUIDE TO GARD ENING SPEAKER S

August garden events and outings throughout Somerset

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Up Front!

‘Deep summer is when laziness finds respectability.’ - Sam Keen

OUR HIGHLIGHTS OF THE GARDENING CALENDAR OVER THE COMING WEEKS IN SOMERSET

GARDEN OPEN OF THE MONTH

BABBS FARM

Westhill Lane, Bason Bridge, Highbridge TA9 4RF A plantsman’s garden in the Somerset Levels, gradually created out of fields surrounding an old farmhouse and still being developed. Trees, shrubs and herbaceous perennials have been planted with an eye for form and shape in big flowing borders; there are various ponds, both formal and informal, a box garden, patio area and conservatory. Open for the NGS: Sunday 27th, Monday 28th August, 2pm-5pm. Admission: £4, children free. Home-made teas, Dogs allowed. Not suitable for wheelchairs. Garden also open by arrangement May to September. Contact Sue & Richard O’Brien on 01278 793244.

TAUNTON FLOWER SHOW STAYS LOYAL TO ITS ROOTS Taunton Flower Show organisers are getting ready for what could be the last time the event is staged in Vivary Park in the centre of the town. The ‘Chelsea of the West’ - the country’s longest-running flower show - takes place on Friday and Saturday, 4th and 5th August. Entry for children is free and this year’s show includes food and craft areas, a children’s village, a plant village, gardeners’ question time, wine tasting, honey making, live music and the floral and competition marquees. Taunton Flower Show has a ‘county show’ theme but remains true to its horticultural origins with some outstanding plant nurseries attending plus traditional marquee flower presentations. Organisers are looking at a possible new venue next year after Taunton Deane Borough Council demanded a vastly increased fee to hire Vivary Park. www.tauntonfs.co.uk has full ticket details and timings of events.

High summer in the lavender fields There’s the chance on every weekend during late July and August to see the sensational lavender fields grown by Lavender & Co on the slopes of the Mendip Hills in Axbridge.The lavender field will be open to visitors for every Saturday and Sunday from 11am to 4pm. The last date for 2017 is Monday, 28th August. Harvesting takes place in June and July so you will be able to buy freshly cut lavender on your visit. Visitors are welcome to walk around the field or can just sit and enjoy the view and the peace, perfume and tranquility of the field. There is a shop and cafe for light refreshments. Well-behaved dogs on a lead are welcome. There’s free admission and parking. Lavender & Co is a single estate lavender field on Cheddar Road, Axbridge by Pass, Axbridge. ww.lavenderandco.co.uk www.countrygardener.co.uk

Hartwood House a gem of a garden Visitors will love the gardens at Hartwood House, tucked away near the Quantock Hills, ten miles from Taunton and five miles from Williton. The gardens, open on Bank Holiday Monday, 28th August for ‘Medecins Sans Frontieres’ (Doctors Without Borders), from 2pm until 5.30pm. Admission is £4, children free. There are cream teas and plant stalls. Good wheelchair access. WC – teas and toilet facilities easily accessed by wheelchair users. Dogs on leads are welcome and there’s ample parking. The house is signposted between Bishops Lydeard and Williton. Any queries call 01984 667202. Hartwood House Garden, Crowcombe Heathfield, Taunton TA4 4BS 3


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...In Somerset

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A LOOK AT NEWS, EVENTS AND HAPPENINGS IN SOMERSET

NEWS SKILLS GALORE AT NEW FORDE ABBEY GARDEN FESTIVAL Gardeners looking to maximise their crops and learn new harvest skills this autumn will be heading to Toby Buckland’s new Garden and Harvest Festival at Forde Abbey, near Chard in Somerset on 16th and 17th September. A host of local artisans are bringing their expertise to the two-day event, with talks, workshops and demos on vegetable growing, bulb growing, applepressing and seed collecting. Host Toby Buckland says, “Sometimes the best new skills are the old ones, those integral to making the most of the harvest. With Forde Abbey on the borders of three of the most productive counties in the country it’s the perfect place to celebrate this abundant time.� Local experts include Axminster flower grower Grace Alexander who will be teaching visitors how to grow flowers for cutting and arranging. Creator of Longrun Meadow’s Green Cathedral at Taunton and Forde Abbey’s new willow tunnel Stefan Jennings, is at Forde Abbey on Sunday demonstrating how to make willow garden sculptures. Also to look out for Emma and Jess from Dorset company Hog & Tallow on making botanical soaps. The Gastro Garden – grow your own beer with beer sommelier Ben Richards. Cooking demo’s with Ed Mello and The Pig at Bath chef Kamil Oseka

Devon Distillery’s Festival Gin Demo Yurt – workshops and demos on using natural dyes with Flora Arbuthnott, The Thirsty Gardeners build your own Apple Press, baking with edible flowers, Artisan Marquee – crafting for all ages using natural woodland, garden and seashore materials with NatureMakes More than twenty local craftspeople selling watercolours, textiles, ceramics, hand-made jewellery, glass and wood crafts Chapel Displays – Ready Veggie CakeBake Competition, Simple Pleasures bulbs. Apple Identification Tables. Garden Tours & Demo’s – Forde Abbey Tree Tours with Kevin Croucher of Thornhayes Nusery. Kitchen Garden Tours with head gardener Danny Burlingham. Seed Collecting with Toby Buckland. Scything with scythe trainer Chris Riley. Making meadows with Meadow in My Garden owner Paul Jupp. Tickets – £10 in advance online, Under16s free, £8.50 for groups more than 10 and garden clubs; VIP tickets £50 including lunch. Time - Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th September 10am to 5pm at Forde Abbey, Chard, Somerset TA20 4LU For information and tickets www.tobygardenfest.co.uk

Axminster flower grower Grace Alexander

Willow sculpting Stefan Jennings

Emma Burlingham and Jess Evans from Dorset company Hog & Tallow

Vacuuming up wildf lower seeds on the Bath Skyline

Yellow rattle seed (Rhinanthus minor)

A giant vacuum is being used to collect wild flower seeds on the Bath Skyline so that they can be spread over meadows and improve plant diversity. National Trust rangers are using a seed collector that looks and works just like a vacuum cleaner to collect the seed of the yellow rattle plant. Yellow rattle acts as a parasite on the roots of grasses, and causes them to grow less vigorously, allowing more space for other plants. It is hoped that by developing yellow rattle on other areas of the Bath Skyline, a more diverse wildflower-rich grassland will develop, and provide an ideal habitat for pollinating insects to flourish. www.countrygardener.co.uk

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GARDENERS’ CUTTINGS IN SOMERSET

NGS LEADS INITIATIVE FOR HEALTH AND WELL-BEING Gardens throughout Somerset which open for the National Garden Scheme are some of the most popular in the country To support this the NGS has launched its’ first ever week dedicated to promoting the positive impact gardens can have on health and wellbeing. The timing of the week will be chosen at county level .All of the gardens taking part will open free of charge for a small, private group of people who would not usually get the opportunity to enjoy a garden, or for whom garden visiting is not always possible, either because of health or social reasons. The new initiative run by the National Garden Scheme has been created in partnership with its beneficiary charities, which have all invited groups along to some of the open gardens. This has helped to make a key link between the topic of gardens for health and these beneficiary charities, for example Macmillan Cancer Support have partnered with the National Garden Scheme further this year to raise awareness of getting active in a garden. These private openings will allow the National Garden Scheme to build upon their work with The King’s Fund in 2016, when the report “Gardens and Health: Implications for Policy and Practice” was released. This special week will demonstrate that access to a garden does indeed help to improve mental and physical wellbeing.

Historic Wells garden hosts rare plant fair The Bishop’s Palace lies at the heart of the historic City of Wells and is a place full of secrets, stories and stunning scenery, and home to the Bishops of Bath and Wells for 800 years .Surrounded by a breathtaking moat you can cross a flagstone drawbridge, under the portcullis and experience a gem in the heart of the City of Wells. The historic gardens host a new Summer Rare Plant Fair on Sunday, August 20th and visitors will see the garden at its high summer best. There are 14 acres of gardens to explore, including the beautiful well-pools from which the city takes its name. There is evidence that a garden existed here even before Bishop Jocelin began work on the Palace c.1206. Over the years the gardens have changed as successive bishops have added their legacy. In August, many of the garden’s features will be at their peak, including the Hot Border; the huge Wells Border with repeat flowering roses and late summer perennials; and the Garden of Reflection will be at its best with bright annuals filling the stained glass window themed garden. The fair is open from 10am to 4pm, and adult entry, which includes entry to both the fair and garden costs just £5. There are 17 top class exhibitors booked from across the country Full details, including a list of the nurseries attending the event, can be found at www.rareplantfair.co.uk The Bishop’s Palace, Wells, Somerset BA5 2PD. 6

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Avalon Marshes seek funding award Somerset’s Avalon Marshes, acknowledged as one of the finest remaining lowland wetlands in Britain, has reached the finals of the National Lottery Awards 2017 in the Best Environment Project category. The funding would secure the future of the project. Avalon Marshes is a varied and beautiful piece of Somerset including meadows, woods, reed-beds and lakes, plus the mystical Isle of Avalon containing Glastonbury Tor. The wetlands are home to marsh harriers, bitterns and otters, while the area has 10,000 years of human history, giving a rich archaeological heritage. The project has unlocked the potential of this magical area that had huge potential to be discovered, explored and enjoyed by local communities. Access to the nature reserves in the area was relatively limited before and has dramatically improved as a result of the new bird hides, access trails and visitor facilities. You can help the project to succeed by voting online at www. lotterygoodcauses.org.uk/project/ avalon-marshes-somerset


65 Northmead Road, Midsomer Norton

GARDEN Visits THE BEST GARDENS TO VISIT compiled by Vivienne Lewis

It’s high summer, perfect for leaving your own garden and visiting others where there’s sculpture or music to stimulate and entertain, and family-friendly gardens for all ages to enjoy. We have chosen a selection in the counties we cover, private gardens opening their gates to raise funds for worthy charities, and we have included a few that are opening for the first time this year. If dogs are not mentioned, they are not allowed in. We advise checking wherever possible before starting out on a journey, as circumstances can force cancellations. www.ngs.org.uk

Gardens featuring art or music SEDGEWELL COACH HOUSE GARDENS

Olchard, Devon TQ12 3GU

WINSFORD WALLED GARDEN

Halwill Junction, Devon EX21 5XT Home of the painter, Dugald Stark, whose studio is open, these redesigned historic walled gardens are brimming with colourful planting, large restored Victorian glasshouses and romantic ruins, bamboo grove, pergola, fruit, vegetable and herb areas. Open for the NGS: Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th August, 10am-5pm. Admission £5, children free. Home-made teas. Owner is wheelchair bound so access is good. Dogs allowed. For other opening times and information, call 01409 221477, email dugald@dugaldstark.co.uk or visit www. winsfordwalledgarden.org.uk.

Gardens that tick both the art and the family friendly boxes, sculptor Heather Jansch’s 14 acres four miles from Newton Abbot have stunning driftwood sculpture made from recycled materials, fabulous views from a woodland trail down to a stream-bordered water meadow walk, pools, herbaceous border, and a medicinal herb garden. There’s plenty of seating, bring a picnic. Open for the National Gardens Scheme: Saturday 19h August, Sunday 20th August (11am - 5pm). Home-made teas. Admission £4.50, children free. Dogs allowed. Most sculpture is on level areas near the house. Limited disabled parking but there is a drop off point. No wheelchair accessible WC. www.heatherjansch.com

WEST SILCHESTER HALL

Bramley Road, Silchester, Hampshire RG7 2LX Near a Roman site eight miles from Basingstoke, with a large studio featuring an exhibition of the owner’s paintings, cards and prints, this two-acre garden has spectacular herbaceous borders, a wild garden surrounding a natural pond, and a kitchen garden. Open for the NGS: Sunday 6th August, 2pm-5.30pm. Admission £4, children free. Home-made teas for St Michael’s Hospice. Mostly wheelchair access. Dogs allowed. Visitors also welcome by arrangement. Contact Mrs Jenny Jowett on 01189 700278 or visit the website at www.jennyjowett.com www.countrygardener.co.uk

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ANNALAL’S GALLERY

THE BEST GARDENS T O V ISI T IN AUGUST

BUTLER’S FARMHOUSE

25 Milhams Street, Christchurch, Dorset BH23 IDN

Relax and listen to live jazz in the garden in this one-acre garden surrounding a 16th century farmhouse with views of the South Downs. It’s mainly herbaceous with a rainbow border, small pond, Cornishinspired beach corners, a ‘poison’ garden, secret jungle garden. Open for the NGS: Saturday 12th, Sunday 13th August, 2pm-5pm. Admission £6, children free. Home-made teas. Mostly wheelchair access. Visitors also welcome by arrangement, and accommodation offered. Contact Irene Eltringham-Willson on 01323 833770 or email: irene.willson@btinternet.com www.butlersfarmhouse.co.uk

An enchanting cottage, the home of Royal Academy artists Anna and Lal Sims, has a small garden on three levels. The ‘Pencil gate’ leads to a colourful scented Victorian walled garden where sculptures and paintings hide among the plants, and there’s a studio and garden room. Open for the NGS: Sunday 6th August (24pm). Admission £3, children free. Unsuitable for wheelchairs, and for dogs. Visitors welcome by arrangement. Telephone: 01202 567585 or email: anna.sims@ntlworld.com www.annasims.co.uk

Butlers Lane, Herstmonceux, East Sussex BN27 IQH

Family friendly gardens KIA-ORA FARM AND GARDEN Knowle Lane, Cullompton, Devon EX15 IPZ

There’s lots for all the family to enjoy in this ten-acre garden with lawns, lakes and ponds, with swans, ducks and other wildlife, roses, herbaceous borders and rockeries. Find Humpty Dumpty and Little Miss Muffet in the Nursery Avenue, then try the novelty crazy golf. Next openings for the NGS: Sundays 6th August, 20th August, 27th August, Bank Holiday Monday 28th August, Sunday 10th September, 2pm-5.30pm. Admission £3, children free. Home-made teas (not for NGS charities). Accessible to coaches, for more details go to www.kia-orafarm.co.uk

BATH PRIORY HOTEL

Weston Road, Bath, Somerset BA1 2XT All ages will love to explore the three acres of walled gardens close to the city centre, with billowing borders, croquet lawn, wild flower meadow, ancient trees, and kitchen garden supplying the restaurant. Member of the Royal Horticultural Society (among ‘Recommended Gardens’), and the gardens open for the past 14 years under the National Garden Scheme. Open for the NGS on Thursday 24th August, 2pm-5pm. Admission £3, children free. Home-made teas. Refreshments in aid of Dorothy House. Gravel paths and some steps. Telephone: 01225 331922 or email: info@thebathpriory.co.uk www.thebathpriory.co.uk 8

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New garden openings THE OLDE COTTAGE

CAMBERLOT HALL

Dippertown, Lewdown, Okehampton, Devon EX20 4PT An attractive cottage garden set in the tiny hamlet of Dippertown, with a range of mixed borders, and wildlife pond at the top; view the sweep of trees and shrubs leading to a more formal lawn area. Productive kitchen garden. Open for the NGS: Saturday 5th August, Sunday 6th August, 11am-4pm. Admission £5, children free. Home-made teas. Not good access for wheelchairs. Dogs allowed.

Camberlot Road, Lower Dicker, Hailsham, Sussex BN27 3RH

A three-acre country garden with a view across to the South Downs, created from scratch over the last five years, with a lavender lined driveway, naturalistic border, vegetable garden, newly planted white border and exotic garden. A wildflower meadow is in development. Opening for the NGS: Saturday 5th August, Sunday 6th August, 2pm-5pm. Admission £4, children free. Home-made teas. Evening opening Friday 25th August, 5pm-8pm, offering wine. Gravel drive and some uneven ground. Please note: Correct postcode is BN27 3RH, not BN27 1QH as published in the Garden Visitor’s Handbook 2017 & Sussex County Booklet.

WUDSTON HOUSE

High Street, Wedhampton, Devizes, Wiltshire SN10 3QE

65 NORTHMEAD ROAD

Midsomer Norton, Radstock, Somerset BA3 2SH Tucked down a long drive, a plantsman’s haven, with colour-themed spaces, perennials and foliage, potager with greenhouse, hens, fruit and gravel garden. A pleached hornbeam tunnel leads to a pond; raised terrace, with plentiful seating. Open for the NGS: Sunday 20th August, Thursday 24th August, 2pm-5pm. Admission £4, children free. Home-made teas. Dogs allowed.

Nick Macer and James Hitchmough (who pioneered flower meadows at the 2012 Olympic Park) have been extensively involved in this developing garden, started in 2010 following completion of the house, with formal gardens, a perennial meadow, pinetum and an arboretum. Open for the NGS: Sunday 27th August, 2pm-5pm. Admission £10, children free, with home- made teas included in admission. Pre-booking essential, please visit www.ngs.org.uk/events or phone 01483 211535 for information & booking. Partial wheelchair access. www.countrygardener.co.uk

9


Campanula carpatica

Who doesn’t love the ‘little bells’? Gill Heavens challenges you not to fall for the charms and beauty of campanulas - the classic cottage garden plants

Who doesn’t love a campanula? Hopefully I will be able to win over any dissenters, who will learn to adore this classic, cottage garden plant with so much to offer. Campanula in Latin means “little bell”, referring to the shape of many of the genus flowers, which in turn leads to the common name, Bellflowers. There are over 500 species, consisting of spring and summer flowering perennials, annuals and biennials, ranging in height from five centimetres to two metres. They typically enjoy both sun and part-shade and thrive in a rich, well-drained soil. One of the most useful bellflowers in the garden is Campanula carpatica, the Carpathian Bellflower. It won’t be a surprise to hear that they are native to the Carpathian Mountains, an extensive range which extends through Central to Eastern Europe. The leaves are oval with a toothed rim and the upturned flowers are prolific. There are many good varieties to choose from. They include Campanula carpatica var. turbinata ‘Jewel’ (admittedly a bit of a mouthful) which has deep violet blooms and reaches just 10cm in height and the taller ‘Chewton Joy’ which is clear blue with light centres and reaches 30cm. They are invaluable for the front of the border, in a large rock garden, or softening walls or path edges as they form a dense floriferous carpet. Having a much different habit is Campanula lactiflora which hails from the Caucasus and West Asia and is commonly known as the Milky Bellflower. It has narrow, oval leaves, above 10

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which conical clusters of large open-faced, lilacblue flowers are held on branching stems up to 1.5m tall. They bloom for a long period from early summer to late autumn and make good bed fellows with roses. The cultivar ‘Loddon Anna’ is a splendid dusky-pink and ‘Superba’ has dramatic large violet-blue flowers. In spite of their strong stems they will need to be staked, otherwise they are trouble free and will reward you for little effort. The Clustered Bellflower, Campanula glomerata, is a British native. It is very beautiful but unfortunately has Genghis Khan tendencies. An indication of this urge to invade is its range in the wild, which is from Europe to Japan and much of the US. However if you stick with the less vigourous cultivars you should be safe. Campanula carpatica var. turbinata ‘Jewel’


These include Campanula glomerata ‘Superba’ which has large purple flowers on rounded heads up to 75cm tall. The slightly smaller, white flowered, Campanula glomerata var. alba ‘Schneekrone’ is also a good choice. They have oval leaves, both at the base and on the downy flowering stems. To maintain healthy plants, divide and replant regularly. If you dead head often you may get a second flush of flowers later in the year. Another beauty is Campanula persicifolia, the Peach-Leaved Bellflower. It will bless your garden with flowers all summer long and these papery, outward facing, blooms are much loved by bees. Unfussy and tolerant of many conditions, this evergreen perennial will thrive in light woodland as well as full sun. Another bonus is that slugs seem to ignore it. That alone is reason enough to grow it! There are many fine cultivars to choose from, including the skyblue, double-flowered ‘Pride of Exmouth’ ‘and ‘Fleur de Neige’, a pure double white. ‘Chettle Charm’ is an especially lovely variety, white with a blue edge, as if dipped in ink. All of these make excellent cut flowers. There is always an exception to the rule and Campanula zoysii is the tricky one of the pack. The Crimped Bellflower is for those who like a challenge, and have a rockery! They come from the South Eastern Alps and are named after Karl von Zoys, an Austrian botanist. This diminutive alpine reaches only 5cm tall with a spread of a meagre 10cm. Winter wet is an anathema and to have any chance of survival it must have extremely well drained, alkaline, conditions. Oh and molluscs love them! However, when you have witnessed the lavender blue flowers, the end of which appear to have been pinched together, you may well be charmed into attempting to cultivate this prima donna.

Campanula rapunculus is also known as the Rampion Bellflower and, although attractive in its own right, is grown for quite a different reason. Food! Over the centuries it has been extensively grown across Europe, there is even a reference to it in Shakespeare. The leaves are used like spinach and the root Campanula glomerata, the Clustered Bellflower and a British native tastes of radish or parsnip; small ones eaten raw, larger ones cooked. It can be found in the wild in mid to southern Britain, and is thought to have been introduced rather than a real native. With few pest and disease problems and care confined to a little staking on the taller species and a good mulch with organic material once a year, campanulas are undemanding garden residents. They are a synch to propagate, either by division, cuttings or seed. In fact many will do the job for you! Campanulas have a glorious combination of qualities that add up to the perfect garden plant. They are easy to grow, long flowering, come in a range of sizes to suit many positions and, most importantly, are stunningly beautiful. I rest my case.

Campanula carpatica var. turbinata ‘Jewel’

Campanula lactiflora

11


SPECIALIST TREES

TREES ARE PROTECTORS

- not threats

Mark Hinsley argues we need to see the role of trees as helping and protecting us and not worry overly about how their presence might cause accidents In 1926, the first year in which road traffic fatalities were recorded, 4,886 people lost their lives in a total of over 124,000 crashes. Between 1951 and 2006 a total of 309,144 people were killed on our roads and 17,600,000 were injured. Even in our present times of much safer roads and vehicles 1,810 people lost their lives last year and 182,560 suffered injury. Last year there were 31,000,000 cars on our roads – that works out at one nasty incident for every 168 cars. How many of you have got rid of your car because you don’t like the risk? Between 1999 and 2009 there were 64 fatalities in the UK relating to trees. The average number of people ending up in A&E due to accidents involving trees is 55 per year. This compares to 262,000 due to footballs, 10,900 from children’s swings, 6,000 when putting on one’s trousers and 2,200 because of wheelie bins. According to the Forestry Commission, there are 3,814,000,000 trees in the UK – and 123,000,000 of them are not in woodland. Even if we pretend that none of the accidents occurred in woodland, that works out at one nasty incident for every 2,016,393 trees. How many of you have got rid of a tree because you didn’t like the risk? And it is not even as simple as that: Hands up all those who think that cars will protect you from the effects of rising urban temperatures as our climate changes? Rising temperatures in towns and cities are of great concern to people with respiratory problems. The phrase urban heat islands may be familiar to you; or perhaps you have noticed that the weather forecasters give different night time temperatures for our towns than they do 12

for the countryside – and the town ones are always higher? Hard surfacing exposed to full sun during the day absorbs heat and radiates it back out again at night holding up urban temperatures even after the sun has gone down. The shade from trees is one of the very few things that helps to control urban temperatures, making both day and night more tolerable during hot spells. Hands up all those of you who think cars will protect your property from storms? Yes, I did say ‘protect’. Something we learnt in 1987 was that people were at far greater risk in their homes from falling masonry than they were from falling trees. Most people would be surprised to discover how many trees growing around buildings were originally planted as wind breaks. In the past they recognised how dangerous high winds can be around buildings. They knew that you are much less likely to survive the roof of your house blowing off than a tree blowing over on to it, and a falling roof tile can be more dangerous than a falling branch. The anthropomorphic bit: When you were young maybe you had a bigger brother or perhaps a big friend? This person did seem a little frightening and you were a bit wary at times, but you knew that, if any nasty people tried to hurt you, your big friend would protect you. That is the role of your tree; it seems a bit frightening at times – but mostly it protects you. So if you call me out to look at a perfectly healthy tree that you want me to try and have removed just because you don’t want the risk from it- you may be in danger – but it won’t be from the tree! Mark Hinsley is from Arboriculture Consultants Ltd www.treeadvice.info

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ENJOY COLOUR IN YOUR GARDEN

all Summer long

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JAPANESE MAPLES Acer palmatum varieties

LOCKYER FUCHSIAS Hardy Exotic Plant Centre Visit our new cacti and succulent house.

We also have a new range of restio and protea as well as great ranges of bamboos, tree ferns, ferns, cannas, gingers, bannas and shrubs, perennials, trees.

Open every day 10am-5pm Lower Henlade, Taunton, TA3 5NB (5 mins from J25, follow A358 to Yeovil, then signs to the Mt Somerset Hotel)

Tel: 01823 443701 www.deserttojungle.com

SHEDS & FENCING

Summer Houses, Log Cabins, Decking, Home Offices, Workshops, Play Houses, Chicken Houses Compound A, Dunball Wharf, Bristol Road, Bridgwater TA6 4BJ Telephone 01278 686267

1000s available for collection or mail order (Dept SCG) Lansbury, 70 Henfield Road, Coalpit Heath, Bristol BS36 2UZ

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

TEL: 01454 772219 Nursery Open Most Days Mar-Sept 10am-1pm and 2.30pm-5pm PLUS

Various Special Nursery Open Days with FREE talks and demos April - Sept

Send SAE for descriptive catalogue. Visitors welcome Mon-Sat 9am-1pm & 2pm-5pm

Please ring for further details and before visiting to avoid disappointment

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

DVD's 'Fuchsias The Easy Way' and 'Fuchsias Advanced Techniques' £14.99 plus £1.50 P&P

Tel: 01202 874283 enquiries@barthelemymaples.co.uk www.barthelemymaples.co.uk

MAIL ORDER DESCRIPTIVE CATALOGUE ON WEBSITE

www.lockyerfuchsias.co.uk

Reach a passionate and affluent audience of gardening enthusiasts

a

West Somerset Garden Centre MART ROAD, MINEHEAD, SOMERSET TA24 5BJ

Over 120,000 copies distributed every month

Fir Tree, Galhampton, Nr Sparkford, Yeovil BA22 7BH Telephone 01963 440464 Fax 01963 441244

If you would like to advertise your business or service in our Somerset magazine, please contact

Open 7 days a week www.promptcabins.com

ava@countrygardener.co.uk Tel: 01278 671037

Willowbrook Nursery and Garden Centre your local family-run garden centre A wide choice of award-winning shrubs, bedding, trees, herbs, climbers, perennials, alpines, roses, soft and top fruit and much more. We also have a well-stocked shop, Pet & Bird Centre, Aquatic Centre, Shed, Cafe & Tea Room serving home cooked food.

On the main A38 between Taunton & Wellington www.willowbrooknurseryandgardencentre.co.uk

TELEPHONE 01823 461324

LARGE COVERED PLANT SALES AREA PLAN FOR SUMMER PARTIES

Superb Rattan Patio Sets and Pod Chairs Wooden Arbours, Benches and Picnic Bench Sets Solar Lights, Chimeneas & Barbecues Superb quality Perennials for late summer colour

LATE AUGUST - SPRING FLOWERING BULBS ARRIVE How about meeting up with friends in our garden café? Professional landscaping service

TAKE A LOOK AT OUR NEW WEBSITE AND SHOP ONLINE NOW OPEN 7 DAYS A WEEK MON-SAT 8AM-5PM SUN 10AM-4PM

01643 703612 Email: wsgc@btconnect.com www.westsomersetgardencentre.co.uk

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13


COMPILED BY KATE LEW IS

Events in Somerset

throughout August

Here’s a selection of events in Somerset for your diary. We take great care to ensure that details are correct at the time of going to press but we do advise readers to check wherever possible before starting out on a journey because sometimes circumstances can force last minute changes. 1st August FOLKSY THEATRE: ‘TWELFTH NIGHT’ Forde Abbey, Chard, Somerset TA20 4LU 01460 221290

celebrity and will judge show entries. Friday 4th 10.30am-7pm, tickets £14; Saturday 5th 10am-6pm, £12. Children, 17 and under free. Tickets available through Taunton Visitor Centre,or online via www.tauntonfs.co.uk 5th August HARVEST FESTIVAL AT FEED BRISTOL Avon Wildlife Trust, Bristol, 0117 965 7086 Free event at Feed Bristol - fun for the family with kids activities, live music, cafe and hot food. Celebrate the seasons and see the project, eight acres of prime food-growing land at Stapleton, supporting community groups and schools, promoting health, wellbeing and education through outdoor activities. 12pm-5pm.

Folksy Theatre bring out all the fun of Shakespeare’s comedy of mistaken identities, with live music, bold characters and audience interaction. Bring along picnics, blankets and folding chairs. Tickets bookable through Folksy Theatre at www.folksytheatre. co.uk or from the Forde Abbey Gift Shop. On the gate: £15 adults, £12 concession, £10 children. Entry from 6pm. 7pm start. The performance will go ahead whatever the weather.

11th August ‘THE WIND IN THE WILLOWS’ Bishop’s Palace, Wells, Somerset BA5 2PD 01749 988111

4th/5th August TAUNTON FLOWER SHOW Vivary Park, Taunton, Somerset TA1 3QE

Boxtree Productions return to The Bishop’s Palace with their new production of the family favourite. Dress according to the weather as the show will always go on! Picnic rugs and low back camping chairs are welcome. BBQ and bar available. Doors open 6pm; 6.30pm start. Tickets £9-£40.

Fun for everyone at the annual longest running flower show in the centre of the county town, with horticulture at its heart. Toby Buckland is guest 14

the Charcoal Burner’s Camp, where the estates team will explain how Hestercombe’s charcoal is made. The garden’s chefs will give tips on cooking outdoors, then a fireside supper. 6pm8.30pm. £15 per person. www.hestercombe.com 28th August BANK HOLIDAY FAMILY FUN DAY Somerset Wildlife Trust, Westhay Moor Nature Reserve, Glastonbury, Somerset BA6 9TX 01823 652400

Join in family activities from nature trails to wildlife crafts, search for bugs and examine them closely under a microscope, or take a gentle wonder on a wildlife walk. 10.30am-3pm, £5 per person. Booking essential: diane. jones@somersetwildlife.org 30th August OWLS, BATS AND BIRD CALLS Leigh Woods, Bristol, BS8 3QB (National Trust) 0344 249 1895

16th August FIRE AND FOOD Hestercombe Gardens, Cheddon Fitzpaine, Taunton TA2 8LG 01823 413923 An evening of fire and food. Meet head gardener Claire who’ll lead you up to Country Gardener

Join wildlife expert Ed Drewitt for a summer evening watching birds and bats, learning how to use bat detectors to detect individual species, and trying to spot the majestic tawny owl. Meeting point at the North Road entrance to Leigh Woods. 7.15pm9.15pm Adults £10.50, children £7.50, booking essential.


JOBS IN THE GARDEN

Jobs in the

AUGUST GARDEN

High summer is the best time to get outside and just enjoy the garden. Don’t worry about doing endless gardening jobs in August just remember to keep everything watered. Here are a few of the jobs which will however need doing in August.

Water and water some more Plants can really suffer during hot dry days in August, so make sure you have a regular watering regime. Water butts should be brimming so make good use of this free supply to keep the garden looking fresh. If you’re going away on holiday, ask a neighbour to pop round and water the garden in your absence. Offer to reciprocate when they go away too! If that’s not an option, fill some glass or plastic bottles with water. Punch holes in the lid and push them neck down into the soil around particularly vulnerable plants. The water will soak slowly into the soil. This suits veg crops and anything in a container. New plantings should always take priority, and remember to water deeply and with less regularity so that the roots of plants are drawn down into the soil rather than teased to the surface. Irrigate in the evening when evaporation is diminished and only water when you need.

Time to think of seeds for next year Those plants that are useful as seed donors should be allowed to go to seed. Gather as soon as it ripens, identifying the means of dispersal before ripening so that you don't come back to empty cases. Tie paper or muslin bags over plants that fling their seed to collect them. Euphorbia, legumes and perennial geraniums are good examples. Dry seed thoroughly in an airy room and label the envelopes before storing in a plastic container in the fridge or a cool corner.

SOW GREEN MANURE If you find yourself with some free space after harvesting, think about growing a green manure. They improve the soil and suppress weeds. Try mustard, alfalfa, buckwheat, clover, Hungarian grazing rye or phacelia. Green manures are ideal whenever a patch of land is going to be free of crops for six weeks or more, and they are particularly useful to vegetable gardeners and allotment holders. Although many green manures can be sown all year round, they can be sown in late summer to give early autumn crops a great start. They have many benefits. As they grow they form a green carpet that prevents weeds from growing and some have the ability to absorb nitrogen from the air, which is transferred to the roots and released when dug into the soil, giving a boost to the vegetables that follow.

Ventilate and shade your greenhouse

Sunny days can make the greenhouse very hot indeed. Make sure you open all the vents and doors on your greenhouse. If it’s still too warm and your plants are wilting then cool your greenhouse with either greenhouse shade netting or weather sensitive shading that you paint on to the glass.

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15


GET SET F OR AUTUMN

Dig up the last of the potatoes and store surplus in paper sacks. Plant out leeks and brassicas if you haven't done so already and sow spinach, winter lettuce and rocket to take you through to the autumn. Now is the time to order bulbs for an autumn delivery. Try and remember where the gaps are that need to be plugged. Get your colchicum early so that you can enjoy their blooms this autumn. Plant autumn crocus corms now at three or four times their own depth in drifts at the front of the border, between small perennials, or in rock gardens, troughs or pots.

Off with their heads Deadhead regularly to prolong flowering. This is best done on a daily basis so that it never becomes a chore, watering with one hand, deadheading with the other. Deadhead recurrent blooming roses to keep them going until autumn, but leave the rugosa roses now to develop hips.

Six trusses on your tomatoes? August is the month when all the hard work caring for your tomatoes could easily go wrong. So keep your plants under control Cordon tomatoes will still probably be heading for the sky. Tie their stems to support stakes and nip out any sideshoots that appear. Nip out the growing shoots once they reach the top of the support if they are in the greenhouse, or once you have six trusses outside. Remove any lower leaves to allow air to circulate. Irregular watering can lead to problems with blossom end rot in tomatoes, splitting of root vegetables and flower abortion in runner beans. Help prevent this by watering well during dry spells. 16

Country Gardener

Time to take herb cuttings August is an ideal month to take cuttings of woody herbs such as rosemary, sage and lavender. Take new growth that hasn’t flowered this year. Cut just below a leaf joint for a cutting seven to ten centimetres long to 10cm long. Remove the lower leaves and dip the end in a hormone rooting solution, before replanting in gritty compost. If you have trouble getting rosemary and lavender to root, try a heel cutting. Carefully peel off a 10cm long side shoot from the main stem, ensuring a small ‘heel’ of bark remains on the cutting. Dip this in rooting solution and replant as before. Don’t forget to trim lavender after it finishes flowering to encourage bushy new growth in the spring. If you don’t prune them, they will look bare and woody next year.

ALSO IN THE VEGETABLE GARDEN

• Weeds can also compete with vegetables for water, and act as hosts for pests and diseases, so don’t give up on hoeing. • Remember to raise marrows off the ground slightly, to prevent them discolouring from contact with the soil. • Continue earthing up celery, putting a layer of paper between the stems and the soil. • Take care when thinning out any late-sown carrot seedlings to prevent the scent released attracting carrot fly females.


ADVICE

Country Gardener

ADV ICE

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

Organic alternative to hormone rooting powder

The two cut solution for lavender plants

Organic growers don’t use hormone rooting powders for a couple of reasons, firstly the most important active ingredients are synthetic plant hormones, produced in chemical plants not real plants, and secondly many contain fungicides to prevent infection which can damage plant growth and yield. One of the most important active synthetic ingredients of hormone rooting powder is Indole-3-butyric acid, fortunately this plant hormone is also naturally present in weeping willows. So why not try making your own alternative? A willow tea can be made using either the bark of a willow, or preferably, as it Willow bark tea makes a perfect rooting aide doesn’t harm future growth the free spring yellow branch shoots. There are a number of ways to make the tea but this works well. Simply cut the shoots into three centimetre lengths in warm water for a good 48-72 hours, leave for a day and then dip your cuttings in the tea and plant. Put in the fridge the mixture seems to last for three to four days.

Lavender plants either as individuals or as part of a hedge are notorious for going downhill quickly. They can switch very quickly for being perfect to woody, straggly and tired. One way to refresh is to prune twice a year. The first cut in August needs to be surprisingly hard. Take the shears and trim it right back, removing the old flowers and their stalks, and another two or three inches of foliage so that for a while the bushes look like grey hedgehogs – just the lowest few pairs of tiny emerging whiskery grey shoots in evidence. The bushes recover during the next few weeks and become pleasing hummocks for winter. Then in February (or March if the weather The first lavender cut in August needs to be fairly brutal is revolting), give the bushes a light trim and away they go. This keeps them compact and dumpy, which for a lavender hedge is particularly important.

Summer pruning of wisteria By late summer wisteria can be well past its best as the vines put out a mass of leaves and shoots. A clear plan of what is happening will help unravel the complexity of the plant. Pruning is not difficult. The aim of training and pruning is to create a framework of lateral branches to cover the available space. Summer pruning is important so you need to select new stems to tie in as part of the framework. Tie in shoots horizontally to curb vigour and promote flowering. Prune the current season’s green growth in July or August -and you can be quite severe. This will encourage flower bud formation. Cut back all whippy green shoots not required to five or six leaves. Pruning really does make a difference with bigger flower Summer pruning of wisteria is buds for next year. as important as the autumn

Invasion of the pea moth There’s very real disappointment at this time of year to find your pea crop affected by pea moths. Pea moth is a small greybrown moth whose larvae feed in the pods of garden peas. When pea pods are opened for shelling, one or more creamy white caterpillars, up to 14 mm long, with dark dots on the body may The mess created by pea moths be found eating into the peas. There are piles of caterpillar excrement near the damaged peas. Adult pea moths emerge in June-July, when the females seek out pea plants on which they lay their eggs. They are attracted to pea plants that are in flower. You can avoid all this with quick maturing cultivars such as ‘Feltham First’ or ‘Kelvedon Wonder’ which encourage flowering outside the moths brief egg laying period. For other cultivars which become affected there are sprays available. The advice is to spray the plants with an approved pesticide once at the beginning of flowering and again two weeks later. All of the sprays are synthetic pyrethroids.

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17


Forde Abbey Gardens, Somerset

‘One of my top three gardens in England’ I guess all of us head gardeners have our own ideas about what makes a great garden. Yes, on one level it is about the quality and pedigree of the plants, trees and shrubs and the design created for them. It’s also about being able to manage change and offer visitors something different to see and enjoy not just from year to year but from season to season. And like all the great estate gardens it’s about using the land in its natural form, its slopes and contours as well as aspect and light. But more of that later. I first went to Forde Abbey gardens 15 years ago as a bit of ‘know it all’ student. I was on a blitz of visiting some West Country gardens and my mentor Roy Lancaster urged me to see Forde Abbey. I took to the place Water is never far from you at Forde Abbey straight away. I loved the open spaces and remember especially the dahlias and the kitchen garden to die for with lines of hearty cabbages and lettuces forming patterns of intense colour and texture with dahlias and argyranthemums flowering alongside the central path. I went back to the gardens for the first time on a blistering hot day in June a few weeks ago with my two boys who loved the informal layout of the gardens where there’s lots of room as well as hidden places for children to explore. I still think this is one of the great gardens in this country. 18

Country Gardener

Paul Webb former National Trust head gardener returns to Forde Abbey gardens after fifteen years and remembers why he rates it as a great garden

It has clearly evolved and still evolving. Change is another of my factors which goes into creating great gardens. Planting with perennials for example will give you a choice of what blooms when and you can build a garden with different moods. If something blooms forever you stop appreciating it so you need to bring change into any garden and keep looking ahead.

Water is a wonderful feature throughout here. The centrepiece of the whole garden is the Long Pond, which leads to a Tempietto, a small, domed temple at one end. There is a bog garden, and a series of cascades and canals known simply as The Ponds so you are never far from the beauty and calm that water brings to any garden. The bog garden I learn was made from a silted area of the Great Pond; it employs the 800-year-old monastic leat and now produces a colourful display of skunk cabbages (Lysichiton americanus) and early-flowering primulas (Primula rosea). And of course there’s the wonderful powered fountain looking spectacular on the day we went which is a thrill to young and old.


I’ve always advocated not paying too much attention to colour but to focus on texture and size contrast instead and that’s what I think happens here and is done so well. Often people get caught up in a mantra of colour combinations and don’t think about anything else. So gardens can end up looking like perfectly matched outfits rather than inviting outdoor spaces. Nature doesn’t pay attention to colour so why create something which is so obviously unnatural. Forde Abbey’s gardens extend over 30 acres and the informal layout of the gardens is one of its strengths. This isn’t a claustrophic planters’ garden but one full of open spaces where the lawns lead you from one area of interest to another. There’s beauty and interest throughout; set off with ancient and mellowed stone walls. Some trees survive from the 1700s although there have clearly been a lot added rhododendrons, azaleas, acers, magnolias and irises, Meconopsis and calocedrus decurrens and more. Along one side of the Long Pond runs a deep herbaceous border which is a high summer delight, a mix of asters, rudbeckias, eupatoriums and dahlias but I would guess offers something different in the autumn. There is more colour up on the Mount where the acidic soil is perfect for a variety of rhododendrons and azaleas, camellias and magnolias. What I like about it more than anything is that Forde isn’t the finished article. Most of the garden you’ll see if you visit was laid out by Sir Francis Gwyn in the early 18th century. It is still being added to and subtle changes made. A new willow tunnel is now in place and starting to look spectacular in the structure it brings. A garden is never the finished article, but more like a chapter that is constantly being written, re-written and edited to bring improvements and changes, however subtle, which will bring the visitor back for more. Forde Abbey hosts the new two day Toby Buckland Garden & Harvest Festival on Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th September. Entrance £12.50. Discounted ticket information and more about the festival online at www.tobygardenfestival.co.uk

Tree collecting - an aristocratic pastime Devon nurseryman Kevin Croucher from Thornhayes Nursery looks ahead to his special festival guided tours of Forde Abbey’s woodland delights If you go to a large country estate in Britain, you will find woodland and hedgerow trees, but also generally a park and an arboretum, where various generations have collected or are still collecting their arboreal beauties. Forde Abbey is such an example. Since becoming a private house in the 16th century, successive occupants have planted a splendid collection of trees both rare and otherwise. So there are some venerable and ancient specimens of species from around the world, planted in the 18th or 19th centuries, up to more recent plantings. To get a flavour of this fine collection of trees, on both days of Toby Buckland’s Garden & Harvest Festival on September 16th and 17th I will be leading a guided tour to look at some of these woody beauties. I have been visiting Forde Abbey for four decades and admiring large specimens of such rarities as Montezuma Pine Pinus montezumae, Cut Leaved Lime Tilia platyphyllos ‘Laciniata’, Keaki Zelkova serrata, Red Oak Quercus rubra and Swamp Cypress Taxodium distichum to name a few. Since Roman times, landowners have introduced trees from abroad, to supplement our relatively narrow range of native species. Primarily this was for practical reasons. The Romans introduced Sweet Chestnut Castanea sativa for its timber and nuts. Sycamore Acer Forde Abbey a fine example pseudoplatanus for timber and Larch Larix of generations collecting decidua likewise in the 1620s. However, by arboreal beauties the 1640s trees were deliberately introduced for ornament not utility. John Tradescant the Elder and Younger, possibly the first commercial nurserymen in Britain were introducing plants from Europe including Russia and the new American colonies. Horse Chestnut Aesculus hippocastanum and Lebanon Cedar Cedrus libani were introduced. Even so, as the 18th century progressed, most major plantings by the great “Landskip” Gardeners, such as “Capability” Brown were mostly native trees. However, by the 19th century, foreign plants were flooding in as commercial nurseries grew and the demand amongst landowners to collect and outdo each other gathered pace. This desire to collect the interesting, rare and exotic is still common amongst gardeners, large and small scale. If are an avid tree lover, someone who is interested but wanting to learn more, or a grandparent who wants to imbue a love of trees in a youngster, join me for a stroll. There will be elements of history, botany and vitally and some humour. Don’t be put off by Latin names, just be prepared to get passionate about trees. Amongst some people being a tree hugger is a term of derision and criticism, but it’s not valid as far as I am concerned. So whether you want to admire the canopy, stroke the bark, or learn a little botany and history, come and commune with some of natures wonders. Join Kevin Croucher’s Tree Tours at Forde Abbey on Saturday 16th August and Sunday 17th August. The tours start at 12.30pm on each day. Meet at the Festival Plant Creche on the Lower Lawn. The tours are free and will take roughly an hour. www.countrygardener.co.uk

19


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20

Country Gardener


Speakers’ List 2017/18

Welcome to Country Gardener’s comprehensive annual guide to gardening speakers and lecturers

Our popular and much in-demand service of garden speakers has this year again been expanded, updated and revised. It also includes a number of new speakers. It provides new options, new ideas and possibilities as you plan your meetings. We have full details of each speaker including a synopsis of their areas of expertise and the subject matter of their talks and lectures. Illustration: holly@hellopaperclip.co.uk

If you come across speakers who have not been listed in this guide please let them know about it so we can include them in a later edition or update our information online. We hope this Country Gardener specialist service helps you to find the right speaker on the right subject for your garden club or society perhaps offering someone different for your meetings over the next twelve months. In our guide you can find how far the speaker is prepared to travel; what he or she will charge; what subjects they specialize in and if they have plants for sale at the end of the meeting.

www.countrygardener.co.uk21

www.countrygardener.co.uk


Speakers’ List 2017/18 APPLEGATE, SUE

£B

LANGPORT Tel: 01458 250666

CANDLIN, BEN

Email: susannah.applegate@btinternet.com

15 LONG PARK, WOODBURY, EXETER EX5 1JB Tel: 07763 348148

1. Peonies and Irises

Email: office@bencandlin.co.uk

B

As a commercial grower of Peonies and Irises, my talks include practical advice about propagation and husbandry of Peonies and Irises to optimise the flowering potential of these lovely plants. Talks include a slide presentation of flower types and cultural operations lasting about 45 minutes, followed by a practical “Hands-On” demonstration of how best to plant and care for Peonies and Irises to achieve years of rewarding flowers from a single plant.

2. Plant to Plate From Plant to Plate is an illustrated talk of the work within the UK Fresh Produce Industry to supply Farm Assured food to Farmers Markets and Supermarkets. Challenges of the future such as Food Security to provide for a huge increase in World Population Growth, Climate Change and Efficient Management of Water are also identified. A selection of Seasonal, UK grown produce may be available for sale following the talk. Sue of Hurst Brook Plants has been growing Peonies and Irises since the 20th century and delivers an informative and entertaining talk with testimonials available from gardening and horticultural societies

BARBOUR, ROSS OLD COURT NURSERIES, WALWIN ROAD, COLWALL WR13 6QE Tel: 07896 309494

£B

www

Email: oldcourtgdc@btinternet.com Website: www.autumnasters.co.uk

1. Looking forward to winter 2. Bulbs for the unusual

1. The fascinating world of Aroids

CARL WOODMANS WORLD 1 BROOMHILL COTTAGE, BROOM HILL, HUNTLEY GL19 3HA Tel: 01452 830 258

LAVENDER FIELDS, HARTLEY PARK FARM, SELBORNE ROAD, ALTON, HAMPSHIRE GU34 3HP Tel: 01420 511146 Email: info@thelavenderfields.co.uk

1. Lavender Story Experiences of growing and selling lavender, our products, plants, visits and open days.

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D

Email: rvcheek@btinternet.com

Chelsea Flower Show

Creating 20 very different exhibits from bronze to gold.

Irresistible garden plants for butterflies

3.

Insectivorous plants

4.

Plan your garden holiday..?

5.

Windowsill beauty all year plus effective fly catching. Choose from 50 destinations from Cornwall to Costa Rica.

Holly, Ivy & Mistletoe Entertaining Winter Talk.

MANY OTHER TALKS, ask for details.

Widely experienced and qualified, Roy progressed from Gardener to Director of parks and gardens around Britain. As senior lecturer and curator of gardens in Somerset he amassed ten thousand different plants, ten national collections and created new hybrids, diverse gardens and gold medal exhibits at Chelsea. Now Chairman of an RHS trials forum, international tour leader, judge, advisor, designer and writer.

Country Gardener

COX, MYRA 51 CHURCH ROAD, EAST HUNTSPILL, NR HIGHBRIDGE, SOMERSET TA9 3NG Tel: 01278 784110

£D

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1. Transforming a bunch of flowers while explaining the work and my life as a Cinnamon Trust Volunteer 2. Reminiscing with Flowers and/ or Vintage Memorabilia 3. Christmas Cracker fun with Flowers

3. Bees and their products

35 WEMBDON RISE, BRIDGWATER, SOMERSET TA6 7PN Tel: 01278 451814/07788593674

1. Path to Paradise: A journey thro’ Stourhead’s Landscape 2. Austen’s Arcadia: Georgian Gardens of Jane Austen 3. Capability Brown’s 300th Anniversary: Visionary or Vandal?

Email: coxmyra20032000@yahoo.co.uk

2. Besoms and Gypsy Flowers

e.g. bringing them winging in with just five new plants.

B

£B

1. Trugmaking by a miserable old trugger /I think that’s what the wife called me

2.

£C

B

Email: woodmansworld@live.co.uk

CHEEK, ROY

£B

Email: dawncollins_highbury@hotmail.com

3. Plants of the Canary Isles

3. Roses need friends too

BUTLER, TIM

www

HIGHBURY HOUSE, 93 CHAPMANSLADE, WESTBURY, WILTS, BA13 4AN Tel: 01373 832287 B

2. UK Subtropical Gardening

D

5. Flummoxed by Ferns?

COLLINS, DAWN

Website: www.bencandlin.co.uk

1.

4. The Picton Garden 21st Century (and not a daisy in sight).

£B

£B

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CROUCH, KATHERINE 2 POUND COTTAGES, DONYATT, ILMINSTER, SOMERSET TA19 0RT Tel: 07594 574150 / 01460 53284 Email: crouchee@aol.com Website: www.katherinecrouch.com

1. New tricks for old gardeners 2. First time at Chelsea - and winning Gold! 3. Winning BBC Gardener of the Decade 4. Plants That Should be Better Known

DODD, SUE & SMITH, SUE TREETOPS, 11 STONY RIDING, CHALFORD HILL, STROUD, GLOS, GL6 8ED Tel: 01453 882127 Email: sue-smith@11treetops.co.uk

1. Wild flowers of the Cotswolds – Myth & Magic 2. Gardening for butterflies and moths 3. The fascinating story of Britain’s wild orchids

£C

www

D

£A

B


£A Price band £0-50

£D Price band Variable

£B Price band £51-100

£E

£C Price band £100+

DOWN, FELICITY CLEEVE NURSERY, CLEEVE, BRISTOL BS49 4PW Tel: 01934 832134

Price band Expences Only Slide presentations included

A

Website

B

Radius covered upto 50 miles

Plants or items for sale

C

Radius covered upto 100 miles

Radius covered 0-25 miles

D

Radius covered 100+ miles

£C

www

Email: info@cleevenursery.co.uk Website: www.cleevenursery.co.uk

Talks include:

www

A

1. Great Foliage Plants

SpeAkerS gALore! The Speakers List is our comprehensive annual guide to gardening and gardening speakers and lecturers.

2. Climbing and Wall Shrubs 3. It Starts With A Pot! 4. Plants for the Flower Arranger 5. Plants grown for Fragrance throughout the year

If you would like to be part of our hugely popular Speakers List next year contact

6. Encourage wildlife into your garden

Ava Bench on 01278 671037 or email ava@countrygardener.co.uk

DOY, CARADOC PO BOX 28, TOPSHAM, EXETER EX3 0WY Tel: 01392 877225 Email: info@CaradocDoy.co.uk Website: www.CaradocDoy.co.uk

1. Plant Hunters & Pioneers 2. The Lobb Brothers and Their Famous Plants 3. The Story of Veitch Orchids

£D

30 BELMORE LANE, LYMINGTON, HANTS SO41 3NJ Tel: 01590 610292 Email: alan@bowercotgardendesign.co.uk

1. Primulas & Auriculas 2. Gardening with native plants 3. The shady garden Other talks available.

£D

YELVERTON, DEVON, PL20 7BY Tel: 01822 841895 or 0781 775 7446 www

Email: suefisher@talktalk.net

www

D

1. Create a beautiful wildlifefriendly garden 2. Grow Up! Gardening on the vertical 3. Making the most of a small garden

£B

FITZGERALD, ROSEMARY

C

BEGGARS ROOST, LILSTOCK, BRIDGWATER, SOMERSET TA5 1SU Tel: 01278 741519 Email: ro@lilstock.eclipse.co.uk

Talks on how wild and garden plants interact. Lovely slides from UK, Ireland, and countries including Morocco, Iceland, Sweden and southwest China. Contact me to discuss ideas! www.countrygardener.co.uk

£C

JOLLIFFE’S COTTAGE, STOUR ROW, SHAFTESBURY, SP7 0QW Tel: 01747 858697

www

Email: jonathangarratt82@gmail.com Web: www.studiopottery.co.uk

1. “Back to Nature? Some of us never left.” (My own story, current work) 2. Breaking the Rules. Container gardening with a twist. 3. Sensory gardens. 4. A history of the flowerpot. 5. Landscapes. 6. Sculpture in gardens and green spaces.

GRIFFITH, STEPHEN

£D

14 LILAC COTTAGE, SWYRE, DORCHESTER, DORSET, DT29DN Tel: 01308 897846 Web: www.abbotsburygardens.co.uk

D

A

Jonathan has 35 years experience of making woodfired terracotta pots and has come to know a wide variety of “players” in the gardening scene.

Email: sjgriff@hotmail.co.uk

Website: www.suefishergardens.co.uk

See website for full list of talks or please ask for a leaflet. Caradoc is an historical gardening storyteller, writer and Chelsea exhibitor with over 30 years horticultural experience.

EDMONDSON, ALAN

FISHER, SUE

GARRATT, JONATHAN FRSA

1. 2.

D

Abbotsbury Gardens, Past Present and Future Various Horticultural Travel talks ie; Chile, Borneo, Crete

Email me for complete list

£C

C

HAIG, GAVIN FRCS THE CASTLE LODGE, CASTLE STREET, BAMPTON, DEVON, EX16 9NS Tel: 01398 332419

£B

Email: gavinhaig@googlemail.com

1. Creating a Wildlife Garden 2. The Healing garden 3. Celebration of Devon/ Somerset Wildlife

B

Practised as Surgeon and Doctor with a passion for attracting wildlife to our gardens. Developed award-winning Wildlife Garden at Tiverton Hospital. 23


Speakers’ List 2017/18 HASTINGS, DEBORAH 3, CROSS PARK, HIGH BICKINGTON, UMBERLEIGH, DEVON EX37 9BA Tel: 01769 560515 Email: ragrugtextiles@btinternet.com Website: www.ragrugtextiles.com

£D

C

1. The Plant Hunters 2. Gardening in Gold and Silks 3. Victorian Gardens

17 VALLEY VIEW, CLUTTON BRISTOL BS39 5SN Tel: 01761 452036 Email: clutton.glads@btinternet.com

NETHERFIELDS, FROG LANE, NORTH NIBLEY, GLOS GL11 6DJ Tel: 07876 196074 Email: margiehoffnung@gmail.com

2. Blaise Castle – A Stranger at

£D

7 CRANBROOK ROAD, EXETER, DEVON EX2 5HG Tel: 01392 214869

Other talks in relation to the above can be tailored to suit your society.

4. Rejuvenating a Tired Garden

www

B

Email: thedancingmaster@outlook.com Website:

B

Six centuries of English dance:

OFFICE F11, 10 WHITTLE ROAD, FERNDOWN, DORSET, BH21 7RU Tel: 01202 876177

£B www

C

Email: enquiries@treeadvice.info Website: www.treeadvice.info

1. The Churchyard Yew 2. Trees in your Garden 3. Trees and the Law Please contact us to discuss requirements. 24

6. Pests and diseases A qualified Horticulturalist formerly involved in weed research and has led walks in the Dolomites.

3. The Creative Shrub Garden

Please telephone or e-mail for details.

5. Christmas Swags, Garlands and Table Decorations

KEARNEY, HELEN

6. 52 Weeks of Colour in Your Garden.

Email: helen@elderfarm.co.uk www.elderfarm.co.uk

mediaeval pavans to Victorian quadrilles. Can cover whole period or focus on one historical era; always illustrated with literary references, live music and some audience participation.

HINSLEY, MARK ARBORICULTURAL CONSULTANT

5. Wild flowers in a land of fallen Giants

2. Roses Galore: How to Grow Perfect Roses

A qualified Garden Designer and Horticulturist with experience of both large and small gardens.

www.northsquarehistoricaldance.wordpress.com

3. Plants for Shade (in conjunction with Long Acre Plants) 4. Plant poisons and potions

1. Garden Design Made Easy

£D

The Speakers List is our comprehensive annual guide to gardening and gardening speakers and lecturers. If you would like to be part of our hugely popular Speakers List next year contact Ava Bench on 01278 671037 or email ava@countrygardener.co.uk Country Gardener

D

2. Wild Flowers in the Dolomites

3. Garden Visiting – A Very British Tradition

D

Tel: 01934 712729 or 07779 072292

1. Weeds and their Control (including identification)

Email: elzholman@btinternet.com

11 QUARRY COTTAGES, YEOVIL, SOMERSET BA22 9UR Tel: 01935 472771

C

Email: adrian@nzzone.net

HOLMAN, ELIZABETH

£B

2 WESTWELL LANE, THEALE, WEDMORE, SOMERSET, BS28 4SW

Blaise – the development of the park & landscape with particular reference to Humphry Repton

£A

HUTCHISON, ADRIAN

1. Rosemary Verey 1918-2001 -

1. Growing and Showing Sweet Peas 2. Classic, Rare and Unusual Bulbs 3. So you think you know Gladiolus!

HINCHLIFFE, ANN

£C

Her Contribution & Legacy to C20 gardening

Gardening in Gold and silks how plants have been depicted in textiles. A display of my work and demonstration how some flowers are created in goldwork, stump work and silk ribbon embroidery.

HAZELL, GILL

HOFFNUNG, MARGIE

ELDER FARM, GREENHAM, WELLINGTON, SOMERSET, TA21 0JY Tel: 01823 674386

£B

www

1. Hedgerow Medicine - Learn

B

LAWS, BILL

£B

44 PARK STREET, HEREFORD HR1 2RD Tel: 07742 825813

C

how to recognise common plants and make useful medicines. 2. Kitchen remedies - Find out the amazing properties of some of the herbs and spices in your kitchen. 3. Medicinal Herb Farmer - Learn about my off grid 5 acre small holding and my work as a Medical Herbalist. Covers Devon and Somerset.

Email: billlaws@wyenet.co.uk Website: www.billlaws.com

www

1. Fifty Plants That Changed the Course of History 2. A Curious History of Vegetables 3. Artists’ Gardens Author Bill Laws’ talks are based on his books, Fifty Plants That Changed the Course of History, Artists’ Gardens and A Curious History of Vegetables.


£A Price band £0-50

£D Price band Variable

£B Price band £51-100

£E

£C Price band £100+

LOGUE, VICTORIA WHITEHALL FARMHOUSE, SEVENHAMPTON, CHELTENHAM, GLOS, GL54 5TL Tel: 01242 820772 / 07711 021034 Email: victoria@wfplants.co.uk Web: www.wfplants.co.uk

£B

www

C

1. Gardens of Versailles 2. Islamic Gardens 3. Medieval Gardens 4. Landscapes of Vietnam and Cambodia 5. How to attract wildlife in your garden 6. Seasonal Colours Please contact me for more information on travel charges and a full listing of my talks which are all based on personal experience and travel. A former lecturer, I have developed a strong interest in the relationship between gardens and people.

B

Radius covered upto 50 miles

Plants or items for sale

C

Radius covered upto 100 miles

Radius covered 0-25 miles

D

Radius covered 100+ miles

PAKENHAM, CAROLINE THE OLD MANOR, RUDGE, FROME, SOMERSET BA11 2QG Tel: 01373 830312

£B

B

1. The cultivation and uses of unusual herbs 2. Getting ready for winter Money from the talks is donated to the Wessex Therapy Center for Multiple Sclerosis. I always bring a large variety of herbs for sale and demonstration plus my book Making Jellied Preserves and the jellies.

PHILIPPS, LOIS

MEADOW COTTAGE, 42 RIVAR ROAD, SHALBOURNE, MARLBOROUGH, WILTSHIRE SN8 3RL Tel: 07740 636455 / 01672 871265

C

2.

“Green Manures, Catch Crops and Cover Crops” – What’s the

3.

“The Art and Science of Compost making” – the gardener’s friend!

difference and what are the benefits?

£B

B

PICTON, HELEN OLD COURT NURSERIES & THE PICTON GARDEN, WALWYN ROAD, COLWALL WR13 6QE Tel: 07971 522891 Email: oldcourtnurseries@btinternet.com

1. Daisy Days - Michaelmas daisies the rise, fall and renaissance 2. A Plantaholic’s Wonderland 3. It’s not time for bed yet rethinking autumn in the English Garden

REED, MERVYN THORNBURY, SOUTH GLOUCESTERSHIRE Tel: 07429629588

£B

www

D

Contact me by e mail for details of talks. Don’t be selective, love all seasons for each has its own beauty.

www.countrygardener.co.uk

THE COACH HOUSE, TRAMLINES, OKEHAMPTON, DEVON EX20 1EH Tel: 01837 54727 Email: paul.dartmoor@virgin.net Website: www.paulrendelldartmoor.co.uk

1. Devon’s Water Wildlife 2. Wild Plants Of Devon 3. The Secret Wildlife On Dartmoor

£A

www

D

The speaker can offer over 40 talks about history, wildlife and landscapes of Devon and Cornwall. All talks are illustrated and last about one hour.

SpeAkerS gALore! The Speakers List is our comprehensive annual guide to gardening and gardening speakers and lecturers. If you would like to be part of our hugely popular Speakers List next year contact Ava Bench on 01278 671037 or email ava@countrygardener.co.uk

£A

SHELDRICK, CAROLINE

£B

MIDDLE PATH, KEBLE ROAD, FRANCE LYNCH, STROUD GL6 8LN Tel: 01453 884092

Email: mervyn.reed@talktalk.net

1. Photographic Presentations with Horticulture in mind 2. I can be your Plant Doctor 3. Question Time

RENDELL, PAUL

£B

Email: l.philipps@btinternet.com 1. “Down to Earth”- learning to look after and love your soil – from testing to feeding!

1 STANLEY COTTAGES, BLAISDON LONGHOPE, GLOUCESTERSHIRE GL17 0AL Email: NMignotte@aol.com

A

Website

Email: carriepakenham@gmail.com

I run a very small nursery in the Cotswolds specialising in easy and unusual hardy herbaceous plants. My talks are based on practical experience and observation. I am also a beekeeper.

Tel: 077 66 197 129

Price band Expences Only Slide presentations included

1. Practical Propagation – Seeds, Cuttings and Beyond. 2. Getting the Most from your Garden – Extending the Flowering Season without replacing all your plants. 3. Gardening with and for Wildlife 4. Private gardens in Cape Town and Johannesburg and the South African plants we can grow

MIGNOTTE, NATHALIE

www

B

Email: cjsheldrick@gmail.com www.carolinesheldrickmedicalherbalist.co.uk

1. The Physick Garden

D www

2. Flowers in Healing 3. Medicinal Garden Plants

25


Speakers’ List 2017/18 SMITH, MICHAEL J H 2,THE WEIND, WORLE, WESTONSUPER-MARE, SOMERSET BS22 9BN. Tel: 01934 642960

1. 2. 3.

Caring for your Houseplants Seed raising and Propagation All year round colour in the garden

£A

C

I have been giving talks to Garden Clubs and Societies for over 40 years on many aspects of Horticulture. Please contact me for a full list of talks and presentations.

SQUIRES, MIKE & EDNA

£A

1 FEEBERS COTTAGE, WESTWOOD, BROADCLYST, DEVON, EX5 3DQ Tel: 01404 822118 Email: feebers@onetel.com

1. Feebers Garden 2. Plant Heritage Others by request. Mike & Edna are long time members of Plant Heritage and are widely travelled with long involvement in RHS Shows. The garden is open for groups.

26

C

STEPHENS, HARVEY HOLLYGROVE COTTAGE, WINDSOR GREAT PARK, WINDSOR, BERKSHIRE SL4 2BU Tel: 07824362135 Email: harvey.stephens@thecrownestate.co.uk

£C

STAPLEY, CHRISTINA

£B

D

38 WENHILL HEIGHTS, CALNE, WILTS, SN11 0JZ Tel: 01249 821087

www

1. Savill Garden and the Royal Landscape, Windsor 2. Great Gardens of Russia 3. The RHS AGM, plants worthy of the Award of Garden Merit 4. The Wonders of Chile’s National Parks 5. Are you barking up the wrong tree Harvey trained at Kew before living and working in Israel and Russia for four years. He has joined expeditions to the Himalaya, South Africa and South America. He is a committee member of the RHS Woody Trials Panel and has been Head of the Savill Garden within Windsor Great Park for the past five years. Harvey enjoys sharing his interest for highly ornamental plants and great gardens with a very broad spectrum of audiences. The talks are all accompanied by high quality images taken by Harvey and presented in a powerpoint display.

Country Gardener

Email: christina.stapley@tiscali.co.uk Website: www.heartsease-herb-books.com

1. Herbs in the Kitchen Garden 2. Herbs to Aid the Gardener 3. Wild Plants of the Scilly Isles

B

The Speakers List is our comprehensive annual guide to gardening and gardening speakers and lecturers. If you would like to be part of our hugely popular Speakers List next year contact Ava Bench on 01278 671037 or email ava@countrygardener.co.uk


£A Price band £0-50

£C Price band £100+

£B Price band £51-100

£D Price band Variable

STONES, CHRISTINE MA BA DOWN HOUSE, PRIESTLANDS, SHERBORNE DORSET DT9 4HN Tel: 01935 813686 / 07966 378734 Email: stonescj@hotmail.co.uk www.gardenhistorytalks.wordpress.com

1. INDIAN GARDENS

£E

B

– Ingenuity and hard work. Please see website for details of more talks

£C

Email: andrew@atpgardening.co.uk Website: www.atpgardening.co.uk

WHITE FAN TALKS, ‘STARSHINE’, 15 HALF MOON COURT, BUCKFASTLEIGH, DEVON TQ11 0GA Tel: 01364 644028 Mob: 07792517145

C

£D

D

Email: terry@terry-underhill.co.uk Website: www.terry-underhill.co.uk

1. From the Mountains to the Garden 2. Mediterranean Plants in the Garden 3. Autumn Colour Many other talks. Highly qualified, wide experience including TV, Radio and Magazines. See website for more titles.

Radius covered upto 100 miles

Plants or items for sale

B

Radius covered upto 50 miles

D

Radius covered 100+ miles

£B

WILSON, JEREMY

£A

17 SEYMOUR DRIVE, TORQUAY, DEVON, TQ2 8PY D

Email: dave.usher@hotmail.com

Tel: 07964 824673 Email: info@garden-together.co.uk

1. Gertrude Jekyll - Her Plants & Designs. 2. The Restoration of Hestercombe Gardens 3. Bedding Plants for your Gardens 4. Care and management of trees & shrubs 5. The history of our gardens 6. The answer lies in the soil 7. Herbaceous Plants

B

1. Camellias 2. The Scented Garden Ex Head Gardener of private estates and now specialist camellia grower of over 250 varieties

WRAY, NICK

£B

CURATOR, UNIVERSITY OF BRISTOL BOTANIC GARDEN TEL: 01179 629220

C

Email: n.wray@blueyonder.co.uk

David, a professional gardener for over 30 years was Head Gardener at Hestercombe for 18 years. He is interested in all aspects of ornamental gardening and has given talks to a wide variety of groups. Contact him for a free brochure on any of his talks.

WESTONBIRT, THE NATIONAL ARBORETUM TETBURY, GLOUCESTERSHIRE GL8 8QS Tel: 0300 067 4873 Email: lyndsay.ball@forestry.gsi.gov.uk

Fully illustrated lectures by well known speaker including:

1. The development of the new University of Bristol Botanic Garden

£A

www

B

Website: www.forestry.gov.uk/ westonbirt-groups

Naturalist Both talks have powerpoint presentations. Long journeys can only be undertaken in the summer months, from April till October.

FAIRLIGHT, MILL CROSS, RATTERY, SOUTH BRENT, TQ10 9LA Tel: 01364 72314

C

2. Flora of the Western Cape of South Africa

1. Strawberries & Other Garden Fruits 18th Century to Present Day 2. Round The Year with Gilbert White 18th Century Gardener &

UNDERHILL, TERRY MHORT

Radius covered 0-25 miles

www

3. VICTORIAN GARDENS

TOWNSEND, PENELOPE

A

10 ROWBARTON CLOSE, TAUNTON, SOMERSET, TA2 7DQ Tel: 01823 278037

– A look at the other amazing women who have shaped our gardens.

1. Off the beaten track, hidden gems 2. Glorious gardens, a gardeners choice 3. Art of Topiary & Ornamental Hedges 4. Stumperies, ferns & shady friends

Slide presentations included

Website

USHER, DAVID

2. NOT JUST GERTRUDE JEKYLL

MINEHEAD, SOMERSET, Tel: 01643 818092

www

£D

- From the sub-continent to England.

TOLMAN, ANDREW

Price band Expences Only

£B

www

D

Bring Westonbirt to you with The Wonders of Westonbirt talk, covering the seasons, events and future direction at the beautiful National Arboretum, presented by knowledgeable volunteer speakers.

WILLIAMS, CATHERINE THE HAVEN, HART LANE, RUARDEAN, GLOUCESTERSHIRE, GL17 9UT Tel: 01594 541118 or 07767 690009 Email: mail2@thegardenlady.me.uk Website: www.thegardenlady.me.uk

1. Planting and Plant Care 2. How to love your garden 3. Design and Create a Garden to be Proud Of Many other talks available, please ask for more details.

£B www

B

3. An Introduction to Microclimates in your Garden 4. Garden plants and their pollinators 5. The gardens and landscapes of Sicily 6. Darwin the botanist and his travels aboard the Beagle

WYNNE-JONES, DAVINA HERBS FOR HEALING, BARNSLEY HERB GARDEN, NEAR CIRENCESTER, GLOS GL7 5EE Tel: 07773 687493

£B

C

Email: davina@herbsforhealing.net

1. Herbs for Healing - practical uses of plants for good health 2. Herb Gardens, historic and modern. 3. The influence of my mother, Rosemary Verey, on me and others.

Can’t wait until next year?

Why not advertise your speaker services in our Classifieds section? Call Ava Bench on 01278 671037 or email ava@countrygardener.co.uk www.countrygardener.co.uk

27


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Country Gardener GGP Country Gardener 260x170 FAW.indd 1

01/04/2016 09:05


A cordiAl p ast ime Elizabeth McCorquodale looks at the delights of using all the spare summer fruit in the garden to make sensational cordials Making cordials is a very pleasurable pastime. It is slow and measured without any of the crucial checking and measuring of other types of preserving and there is a lot more on offer than the delicious but commonplace elderflower cordial. Cordials can be made with fruit (think blackcurrant) and leaves (lemongrass and mint perhaps?) as well as all sorts of flowers. They are all made in the same way; first extract the scents and flavours of the ingredients by steeping and boiling, then add the sugars, strain and bottle. Simple. You can make cordials from any fruit or flavoured and fragranced leaf or flower, but to make it worthwhile the flavours of the raw ingredients need to be strong or you may end up with little more than sweet water. Desert and cooking apples don’t really earn their place on the cordials list, producing, as they do, a rather insipid syrup unless they are teamed with another, stronger flavoured fruit such as rhubarb, but sharp, well-flavoured crab apples make an exquisite hot winter cordial especially if you add cinnamon and cloves to the mix. Making fruit cordials can be a one or a two-day task, depending on how you strain it. I like to go out early to pick the ingredients, prepare it and bottle it the same day. I can only do this because I strain my fruit twice, once pressing it through a colander to remove the skins, pips, stones and stalks, then through a fine muslin to clear it. Because you will be straining it twice, the first time you can squeeze and press it (this is the time-saver and a definite nono in most recipes) knowing that the liquid will be clear when it emerges from the second straining. Traditionalists strain it once, allowing it to drip through a fine muslin suspended over a bowl overnight.

Fruit C ordial

There are many fruits that don’t immediately come to mind when thinking of cordials which make superb, flavoursome drinks. Strong, sharp flavours like rhubarb and sloes and bullace plums are ideal, as are the gluts of hedgerow produce like elderberries and rosehips. The process is the same for all of them, the only difference is how much sugar to add, and this will depend not only on the variety of fruit, but on the sugar content of that particular picking. You can increase or decrease your recipe depending on how much fruit you have available. Don’t be afraid to experiment by adding spices or other flavours at the boiling stage or by combining complementary fruits. 450 g (1 lb) fruit 140ml (1/4 pint) water For every 570 ml of fruit juice (once processed) add 180g – 350g sugar Thoroughly clean and sterilise all equipment and bottles. Prepare your fruit by chopping small or crushing gently with a potato masher or the end of a rolling pin. Put the fruit and water in a heavy saucepan and bring it to a gentle boil. Cook until the fruit softens and the

www.countrygardener.co.uk

29


juices run. Remove from the heat, set aside and allow to cool. When it is cool pour the fruit and liquid through a colander. Press the pulp down to extract as much juice as possible then pour the strained juice through another colander lined with muslin. This time do not press or squeeze the juice, but instead allow the juice to drip until no more drips through. This may take an hour or so, but will not need any more than that. When the fruit stops dripping, measure the juice and add between 180g – 350g sugar to each 570ml of fruit juice. The amount of sugar added will depend on the tartness of the fruit. Put the juice and the sugar in a clean, heavy bottom pan and bring to the boil, stirring all the while. Boil only long enough for the sugar to dissolve completely, then remove from the heat, cover and allow to cool for a few minutes. Pour the cordial into the sterilised bottles using a jug or ladle and a funnel. Fill the bottles to the very top and immediately add the lid. When the bottles are cool, tighten the lids properly, wipe the outside of the bottles and add your labels. You can save the pulp from your cordial making to use in pies or chutneys.

Flower and Leaf C ordials

Cordials flavoured with flowers or leaves need more time to steep in order to extract all their subtle flavours. Citric acid is often used for flower cordials as a mild flavour enhancer and a preservative. You can make all cordials without the citric acid (which is available from chemists and brewer’s shops) but it may not keep as well. I have heard that substituting apple cider vinegar for the citric acid works just as well but I have not tried this myself. When preparing flowers remove as much of the stalks as possible as they are often bitter and can be unpleasantly pungent. 1 litre or 2 pints of gently compacted flowers and/or leaves (this is about 20 large elderflower heads, larger stalks removed) 500g sugar The juice and rind of 2 or 3 unwaxed lemons 2 tsp citric acid Thoroughly clean and sterilise all equipment and bottles. Shake the flowers to remove any hitchhikers. Unless you really can’t help yourself, don’t wash the flowers, as this will remove some of the scent. Chop and bruise the leaves and separate flowers from any thick stalks. Place the flowers and/or leaves, citric acid and the rind and juice of the lemons into a saucepan and bring to a rolling boil. Stir, remove from heat, cover with a close fitting lid and set aside to steep for 24 hours. The following day strain the liquid through muslin into a clean saucepan. Discard the pulp. When most of the liquid has drained through, add the sugar and bring to a gentle boil. Cook only until the sugar is completely dissolved then remove from the heat and, with the lid on, allow it to cool slightly. Pour the cordial into sterilised bottles, cover with the lids and set aside. When cool enough to handle, screw the lids on properly, wipe the bottles over and label. When playing with recipes substitute oranges or limes for the lemons if the remaining ingredients demand it. 30

Country Gardener

Flowers for cordials Elderflower Lime (linden) Anise hyssop Meadowsweet (like elder with a hint of almonds) Roses Lavender Calendula Gorse (a real classic) Bergamot Carnations and pinks Borage

Fruit for cordials Black, white and redcurrants Plums, gages and sloes Gooseberries Rosehips Crabapples Rhubarb Elderberries Leaves for cordials Mint - so many flavours to choose from! Lime basil Lemongrass Lemon balm Lemon verbena


HIGH SUMMER DAYS OUT

Treat yourself TO A

HIGH SUMMER DAY OUT August, and high summer, and there’s a real opportunity to make the most of what is one of the busiest few weeks in the year when it comes to places to go and things to see. It’s a peak time for shows of all varieties and the famous agricultural shows the west country is known for can be a great day out. Gardens are working especially hard in the holiday season to stage events and appeal to holiday visitors. The list includes abbeys to formal gardens to arboretums, National Trust and garden open events, great houses with their great gardens to open air events. Again we have selected a few of our favourites which this month alongside some great gardens and horticultural shows include gardening masterclasses and a special Rare Plant fair in sensational surroundings in Wells.

August Fair 20th August The Bishop’s Palace, Wells, Somerset BA5 2PD

www.rareplantfair.co.uk Please visit our website for full details of admission fees and times of opening.

Hartland Abbey & Gardens

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

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

The one-day show not to miss! The popular Melplash Show is a showcase and celebration for local farmers, producers, growers and craftsmen. The event has become one of the leading agricultural shows and returns on Thursday, 24th August to the West Bay Show Grounds in Bridport. The finest cattle, sheep, pigs, goats, donkeys, horses, as well as farm produce, rural crafts, horticulture and handicrafts from the local area are on show. For the youngsters, there is a packed programme of hands-on activities in the Discover Farming and Farmers for the Future marquees. With a full programme of special attractions including performances by the Stampede Stunt Company, a food hall packed with award winning local food, over 300 trade stands, two indoor craft marquees, a countryside area,

GILLINGHAM & SHAFTESBURY

AGRICULTURAL SHOW ‘The Show where town & country meet’

Wednesday 16th August 8.30am - 6.00pm Attractions include: The Adrenaline Tour Quad & Motorcycle Stunt Show Over 500 trade stand including 14 tractor dealers Competitive classes for Dairy & Beef Cattle, Sheep, Poultry, Grain & Fodder. K.C. Dog Show Huge Horticulture, Home-Handicraft Marquee including Fruit & Veg, Flowers & Floral Decoration, Photography, Honey, Cookery, Handicraft, Wine & Cordial - With many classes especially for children Held at the Turnpike Showground SP7 9PL 2 miles north of Shaftesbury - Free Car Parks Tickets (pre-show prices in brackets) Adult £15 (£12) Child (5-16yrs) £4 (£3) Family ticket (2 adult = 3 Children) £37 (£29)

Disabled facilities - Dogs on leads

CALL: 01747 823955 EMAIL: enquiries@gillshaftshow.co.uk WEB: www.gillshaftshow.co.uk FACEBOOK: GillandShaftshow

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HIGH SUMMER DAYS OUT fun fair and lots more, visitors are guaranteed a full days entertainment. Visit www.melplashshow.co.uk for more information.

Welcome toads, rats, badgers and moles Not all garden creatures are universally welcomed, but on Saturday, 5th August the gardeners at The Garden House will be happy to see the cast of Boxtree Productions as they bring ‘Wind in the Willows’ to life at the lake! Also at the Garden House there’s the chance to learn from head gardener Nick Haworth, as he shares the secrets of designing and maintaining borders. ‘The Gardening Masterclass - How to Design Borders’ course is on August 16th, when the magnificent borders in the two acre walled garden are at their peak. Whether you are planning your first garden or trying to bring order back into your borders, this course will give you a lift and help you plan confidently. Members £30, nonmembers £32. Book online www.thegardenhouse.org.uk /events or call 01822 854769

Cadhay Manor – August timing is perfect A trip to Cadhay Manor in Ottery St Mary is especially worthwhile during August. The two medieval stew ponds are worth the visit alone. Water lilies which were planted

after the ponds were dredged, are making a good show. Zantedischia Aethiopica, Marlecea Carnea and Rose Arey Water Lilies were planted, to replace the rather basic lily. The gardeners have had to work hard to keep the blanket weed at bay with the hot weather, but the pond was drained earlier in the season and as much as possible was removed, There is now barley straw by the water input which has made it more manageable. Cadhay is open on Fridays between 2pm and 5.30pm. The house and gardens are open over the August Bank Holiday weekend. www.cadhay.org.uk for more information. Cadhay Manor, Cadhay, Ottery Saint Mary EX11 1QT

Agricultural show with gardeners in mind With 73 of the 200 classes devoted to fruit, vegetables and flowers, the Horticultural marquee at the Gillingham & Shaftesbury Agricultural Show on Wednesday,16th August is a mecca for gardening enthusiasts. The fragrance and atmosphere is very special and the displays need to be seen to be believed. Entries are staged on the morning before showday and judged that afternoon, so that the marquee is open for visitors all day at this traditional one day agricultural show. For schedules call 01747823955 or email enquiries@gillshaftshow.co.uk Gillingham & Shaftesbury Agricultural Show, Turnpike Showground, Motcombe SP7 9PL.

n ay pe id n O y Fr oo n er er ev aft

OAK FAIR 26th & 27th AUGUST 10am-5pm WEST BAY BRIDPORT DT6 4EG

TRADITIONAL COUNTRY SHOW

A SPECIAL EVENT FOR THOSE INTERESTED IN WOODCRAFT, TIMBER, THE COUNTRYSIDE AND CONSERVATION. ON THE A3030 NR STURNMINSTER NEWTON, DORSET

enjoy the best of agriculture by the sea

Advance tickets available on-line

at www.melplashshow.co.uk

www.stockgaylard.com

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

season ticket £12pp Member of Historic Houses Association

CADHAY, OTTERY ST. MARY, DEVON, EX11 1QT 01404 813511 www.cadhay.org.uk

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

Gardens Open

Tuesdays & Thursdays in July & August 2.00pm to 6.00pm Admission £3.00 Cream teas ~ Gift shop ~ Plant sales             Clanfield ~ Oxfordshire ~ OX18 2SU  32

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

Country Gardener


Oak Fair is a great Dorset day out The Oak Fair at Stock Gaylard in Sturminster Newton on Saturday, 26th August and Sunday, 27th August is a wonderful show that makes a superb end of holiday’s day out for the family in North Dorset. You will enjoy the 200 plus stalls and exhibitors showing the depth of rural skills found locally, local food to enjoy during the day or take home to cook later, demonstrations of axe wielding, falconry and heavy horse loggers in the arenas, plus activities and workshops in the children’s area For more information regarding ticket sales and opening times please visit www.stockgaylard.com

Rare Plant Fair at the Bishop’s Palace, Wells

The historic gardens of the Bishop’s Palace at Wells host a new summer Rare Plant Fair on Sunday, 20th August. The Bishop’s Palace has in the past been a popular venue and this new event allows visitors to see the gardens in their summer glory. In August, many of the garden’s features are at their peak, including the Hot Border; the huge Wells Border with repeat flowering roses and late summer perennials; and the Garden of Reflection will be at its best with bright annuals filling the stained glass window themed garden. The fair opens from 10am to 4pm, and adult entry, which Water lilies delight at Friars Court includes entry to both the fair and garden costs j£5, which Enclosed within the remaining arms of a 16th century moat, is a substantial reduction on normal garden entry. There the gardens of 17th century Friars Court in Oxfordshire are 17 exhibitors booked to attend the fair, lunches and divide into ‘room-like’ areas of borders and specimen trees. refreshments are available at The Bishop’s Table café and The front of the house boasts ponds of water-lilies whilst restaurant. Full details, including a list of the nurseries a woodland walk lies beyond the imposing Yew Arch and attending can be found at www.rareplantfair.co.uk ‘Monet’ style moat bridge. The Bishop’s Palace, Wells, Somerset BA5 2PD The grounds of Friars Court are open Tuesdays and Thursdays throughout August from 2pm to 6pm. And for September sale at West Kington Nurseries those who want to enjoy the hospitality this historic family West Kington Nurseries near Chippenham in Wiltshire are house has to offer home-made cakes and cream teas are planning their giant plant sale weekend for a few weeks served in the garden room with plants for sale. time. The specialist herbaceous and alpine growers will be www.friarscourt.com opening to treat readers to another special sale on Saturday, Friars Court, Clanfield, Oxfordhire OX18 2SU. 9th and Sunday, 10th September in aid of local charities, Tel: 01367 810206 including Wiltshire Air Ambulance through the catalogue sales. The weekend is set to provide a huge choice of plants for all seasons at bargain prices, from perennials to roses and topiary. Last year the event raised just under £2500 for local charities. Gardening experts will be on hand to give advice. 9am - 5pm Saturday 9th and 10am - 4pm Sunday 10th September. Nr Chippenham, Wiltshire. www.wknurseries.co.uk Tel: 01249 782822

One of the finest gardens in Britain Summer open air theatre bonanza at Hartland Abbey

Buckland Monachorum, Yelverton, Devon PL20 7LQ 01822 854769 office@thegardenhouse.org.uk

www.thegardenhouse.org.uk

ENJOY COLOUR IN YOUR GARDEN

all Summer long

West Kington Nurseries West Kington, Nr Chippenham, Wiltshire SN14 7JQ Tel 01249 782822 www.wknurseries.co.uk

MASSIVE PLANT SALE! “PROBABLY THE LARGEST PLANT SALE IN THE WEST!”

For the latest garden news, events & advice - don't miss COUNTRY GARDENER

SEPTEMBER 9th & 10th SATURDAY 9AM-5PM SUNDAY 10AM-4PM FREE ENTRY OVER £2,400 RAISED LAST YEAR FOR LOCAL CHARITIES

The 2017 open-air performances at Hartland Abbey promise to keep theatregoers of all ages and tastes well rewarded with some fantastic productions from different travelling theatre companies. The perfect reason to get together with family and friends, bring rugs or picnic chairs and enjoy a night under the stars! Many people make a longer day out visiting the fascinating house with its beautiful gardens and a lunch or tea in the Old Kitchens Tea Rooms before the performance begins. There will be a bar and a barbecue at every performance so there is no need to bring a picnic unless you would like to. The performances include: ‘The Lost World’ by Sir Arthur Conan on Wednesday, 26th July at 5pm, ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ by William Shakespeare on Thursday, 27th July at 7pm, ‘Billionaire Boy’ by David Walliams on Wednesday, 2nd August at 5pm, ‘The Emperor’s New Clothe’s by Hans Christian Andersen on Friday 11th August at 5pm, ‘The Mikado’ by Gilbert and Sullivan on Wednesday 23rd August at 7pm and ‘The Merry Wives of Windsor’ by William Shakespeare on Monday 28th August at 5pm. For tickets and all details please see www.hartlandabbey.com

www.countrygardener.co.uk

33


TIME Off

COMPILED BY KATE LEW IS DIARY EVENTS FROM CLUBS AND ORGANISATIONS AROUND SOMERSET

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

JULY 25th FOSSEWAY GARDEN CLUB AGM 01749 860438 ENMORE & DISTRICT GARDENING CLUB ‘KEEPING HENS IN THE GARDEN’ – CHARLOTTE POPESCU Details on 01278 671609 MERRIOTT GARDENING CLUB ‘CLIMBING PLANTS’ – GOLD CLUB Details on 01460 72298 ISLE OF WEDMORE GARDENING CLUB ‘AUTUMN – THE FORGOTTEN SEASON’ – DON EVERITT Details on 01934 712161 27th TAUNTON FLORAL ART CLUB ‘C’EST LA VIE’ – BARBARA CLATWORTHY Details on 01984 624518 28th MINEHEAD GARDEN CLUB ‘PLANTS OF THE CANARY ISLES’ – BEN CANDLIN Details on 01643 704119

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29th YATTON HORTICULTURE SOCIETY VILLAGE HALL Details on 01934 832790 THE TITHE BARN, COTLEY, NR CHARD, TA20 3EP WAMBROOK FLOWER SHOW Details on 01460 239429

AUGUST 5th BARRINGTON & DISTRICT GARDENING CLUB, VILLAGE HALL FLOWER SHOW 2pm – 4pm CASTLE CARY GARDENING ASSOCIATION ANNUAL OPEN SHOW Details on 01963 240837 HOLFORD GARDENERS GROUP MEMBER’S FLOWER SHOW Details on 01278 741130 NAILSEA & DISTRICT HORTICULTURAL SOCIETY SOCIETY SUMMER SHOW AT NAILSEA SCHOOL 12noon – 5pm Details on 01275 855342 QUEEN CAMEL & DISTRICT HORTICULTURAL SOCIETY ANNUAL SHOW AT MEMORIAL HALL Details on 01935 850961

Country Gardener

9th KILMERSDON GARDENERS ‘PLEIONES FOR PLEASURE’ – PAUL CUMBLETON Details on 01761 233325 10th EAST COKER GARDENING CLUB ‘BONSAI’ – JOHN TROTT Details on 01935 862447 STALBRIDGE GARDEN SOCIETY ‘PLANTS FOR SPECIFIC PLACES’ –CASTLE GARDENS Details on 01963 362670 12th HALSE HALSE COUNTRY FAIR AND FLOWER SHOW 12.30pm start COMPTON DUNDON & LITTLETON VILLAGE SHOW AT MEADWAY HALL 2.30pm MINEHEAD GARDEN CLUB FLOWER SHOW AT WEST SOMERSET COLLEGE 2pm – 5pm Details on 01643 704119 PURITON VILLAGE HALL FLOWER SHOW Details on 01278 684027 NORTH CADBURY GARDENING CLUB, VILLAGE HALL ANNUAL SHOW


SEAVINGTON GARDENING CLUB FLOWER SHOW Details on 01460 929605

DULVERTON GARDENING CLUB DULVERTON FLOWER & PRODUCE SHOW Details on 01398 323462

13th WESTFIELD FARM, CHEW MAGNA FOREST GARDEN LUNCH www.westfield-farm.co.uk

TICKENHAM FLOWER SHOW www.tickenhamflowershow.org.uk

18th CARHAMPTON GARDENING CLUB ‘THE FASCINATION OF FOLIAGE’ – DON EVERITT Details on 01643 821085 19th DOWNEND HORTICULTURAL SOCIETY, ASSEMBLY ROOMS, BRISTOL 72ND SUMMER FLOWER SHOW Details on 0117 9571703

24th TAUNTON FLORAL ART CLUB ‘WELL READ’ – ALISON FINCH Details on 01984 624518 26th WELLINGTON SCHOOL WELLINGTON FLOWER SHOW Details on 01823 662366 www.wellingtonflowershow.co.uk

TIMSBURY HORTICULTURAL SOCIETY ANNUAL FLOWER SHOW Details on 01761 412941

26th/27th THE SALTHOUSE FIELDS, CLEVEDON CLEVEDON FLOWER SHOW Details on 01275 876803 www.clevedonflowershow.co.uk

STALBRIDGE GARDEN SOCIETY ANNUAL PRODUCE & FLOWER SHOW AT STALBRIDGE HALL Details on 01963 362670 21st BURNHAM HORTICULTURAL SOCIETY MINI SHOW & FUN NIGHT WITH CHEESE & WINE

2015

Issue No 1 Spring 2016

Hampshire

Sussex

Issue No 82 Winter 2015

Cotswo lds

Issue No 118 November

FREE

FREE

FREE

THE LAST HURRAH!

Jobs to do in the winter garden

PRIMULAS get ready to welcome Spring

can combat How fruiting plants autumn the sombre greys of

perennials Perfect late flowering COPING UNDERSTANDING AND GARDEN WITH FROSTS IN THE events galore Autumn gardening lds throughout the Cotswo

NIAS SUCCEE D WITH GARDE ops to come Dreaming of snowdr Getting down and dirty les with winter vegetab hire throughout Hamps Gardening events beyond to Christmas - and

k

k

www.countrygardener.co.u

drop-in sessions.

www.countrygardener.co.u

£3 per child.

for these fun n. with the Barber-Surgeo medieval medicine and crafts. 2-4pm. Experience Tuesday 27th October Roadshow. Fossil identification 1-4pm. Rock and Fossil onb.org.uk/discoverycentre Thursday 29th October 3JH www.cotswoldsa

Join us in half-term

Fosse Way, Northleach,

DO YOU HAVE ANY EVENTS YOU’D LIKE TO PUBLICISE?

It’s free!

NS OPEN TO VISIT

EARLY SEASON GARDE Gardening events

galore throughout

Planting for a wildlife

Sussex

haven

k www.countrygardener.co.u www.garsons.co.uk

TITCHFIELD Fontley Road Titchfield Hampshire PO15 6QX 01329 844336

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

Gloucestershire, GL54

Are you part of a garden club or society? Please send us your diary for the year - we’d love to include your talks and shows Send them into us by email to: timeoff@countrygardener.co.uk or by post to: Mount House, Halse, Taunton, TA4 3AD. Your event can also be listed online at:

www.countrygardener.co.uk

Sign up and start adding your events today

www.countrygardener.co.uk

35


Hartwood House is transformed into a hidden gem by Vivienne Lewis

Gradually transformed from grass paddocks and overgrown woodland, the garden at Hartwood House is now superb and opens to the public for charity Some garden owners describe their garden as a ‘hidden gem’. That’s certainly true of Hartwood House. Tucked away near the Quantock Hills, ten miles from Taunton and five miles from Williton, not far from the old railway station at Crowcombe Heathfield on the West Somerset Railway, the house lies in a quiet woody lane sheltered by mature trees. Over the past 25 years retired Naval commander David Freemantle and his wife Rosemary have created a fantastic two-acre garden from a series of paddocks and woodland. When they first saw Hartwood House it was surrounded by grass, woodland and an old overgrown cider orchard, with some mature beech trees and oaks including one that’s 400 years old, and a couple of flower borders near the house. Now the house walls are adorned with climbers, roses and this summer what must be the tallest Echium in the area, 17 feet high, reaching a bedroom window; looking across from the terrace, beyond the lawns there’s a graceful collection of conifers and deciduous trees, flowering shrubs and herbaceous borders.

“Bit by bit, the acreage has been brought under control”. A formal garden has themed colour borders including a white border, an orange/yellow ‘hot’ border and a blue border, and in central position a circle of tall ‘Dublin Bay’ crimson roses surrounds a water feature. There are eight acres surrounding Hartwood House, much of it woodland. Many new trees have been planted, unusual specimen trees that give colour and interest throughout the year, with thousands of spring bulbs, colourful roses and perennials, and splashes of autumn colour among the evergreen conifers. “My wife is the artist, who has had the eye for placing plants and trees,” says Cdr. Freemantle. “I am the artisan.” The trick of placing white at a distance draws the eye, and is achieved by the strategic placing of white seats – a circular white wooden bench around an old tree, a white Lutyens bench at the edge of the lawn, in front of a shrubbery and near a beautiful Wedding Cake Tree, Cornus contraversa variegata. It’s work still in progress: they have replanted with native trees, cut grass paths, and have seen the wild flowers increase every year, spring flowers, primroses and bluebells, heath orchids later. It’s a haven for birds and butterflies. Bit by bit the acreage was brought under control, good 36

specimen trees, shrubs and plants were bought at specialist nurseries, making a superb garden packed with interest and variety. There are rhododendrons, a Pawlonia (Foxglove tree), tree peonies, hostas beneath the trees that are amazingly free rom slug damage, a Chilean fire bush, a red oak, an oak leaved beech, and a Ginkgo tree. In late summer the gardens are still full of interesting and unusual plants. Visitors can look out for Heptacodium miconioides with elegant folded leaves and scented white flowers, Cercidiphyllum japonicum which gives off a burnt sugar smell throughout the garden, a wide range of hydrangeas, in particular a border of unusual ones the Freemantles brought back from France, various dogwoods, a Pterocaya (wing nut) with long catkins, and a large old mulberry, Morus nigra. David and Rosemary Freemantle have also run a very successful bed and breakfast business for more than 20 years, many visitors attracted by the vintage trains running on the West Somerset Railway, a pleasant ten minute stroll away. Hartwood House Garden, Crowcombe Heathfield, Taunton TA4 4BS, opens on Bank Holiday Monday 28th August for Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders), from 2pm until 5.30pm. Admission: £4, children free. Cream teas and plant stall. Good wheelchair access. WC – teas and toilet facilities easily accessed by wheelchair users. Dogs on leads welcome. Ample parking. Signposted between Bishops Lydeard and Williton. Ten minute walk from Crowcombe Heathfield Station on the West Somerset Railway. Any queries call 01984 667202.

Hartwood House

Country Gardener

Bed and Breakfast

Enjoy this garden at your leisure Come and stay

Website hartwoodhousebandb.co.uk Email hartwoodhouse@hotmail.com Telephone 01984 667202


LET THE TRUMPETS

SOUND!

Producing masses of huge, fragrant flowers in a range of colours, brugmansias are ideal plants for the greenhouse or summer garden

When you grow brugmansias you get a plant with a big reputation. Spectacular, easy to grow and relatively easy to get hold of, these ‘angel trumpets’ are part of the Solanaceae family which also contains less glamorous tomatoes and potatoes as well as deadly nightshade. Brugmansias are fantastic small trees to cultivate. They grow super fast, and within three years are mature enough that most trees will be well over your head and putting out tons of big, fragrant flowers. You’ll find brugmansias at garden centres in spring — usually sold with the annuals. Brugmansias are not hardy, but if left in the ground and given a mulch during winter, they may come back from ground level. They are best grown in pots and given protection for the winter. The plants you have bought need to be potted up into bucket sized pots for summer, use a rich soil something like 50 per cent multipurpose and 50 per-cent John Innes number 3, as they are hungry plants. Keep them watered well in hot weather, they prefer sun but will manage in semi shade. Spraying the plants under the leaves with a hose will help to keep undesirable insects at bay, best not to do this in hot sunshine, wait till the evening. When the stems branch they will then usually start to form buds, which will slowly enlarge and the flower will start to unroll. If you have bought a pink brugmansia it will start to look like a yellow flower, but will then change to pink. When the first frosts are forecast, bring them in under cover, it

doesn’t have to be a hot place, just so long as it does not freeze. The plants can be cut back to aid storing, but try to retain as many forks on the branches. Keep the plants on the dry side. The following year the plants will need potting into a bigger pot, and then in later years the roots and soil can be cut back by at least half, and new soil added, otherwise you will need bigger and bigger pots to keep it happy. All parts of the plant should be kept away from children and animals, and they should not be allowed to put any part in the mouth. You can repot, if necessary, in early spring once growth commences. When it is impractical to increase the pot size, top dress annually by removing a layer of compost and replacing with fresh compost All parts of the plant are highly toxic if ingested and sap may be an irritant. PRUNING AND TRAINING These large shrubs are naturally vigorous, but tolerant of hard pruning. You can cut back to within an inch of older wood, ideally leaving a balanced framework of branches. Carry out pruning annually in October when the plant is moved back indoors. There are a couple of ways to increase brugmansia; The easiest method is to propagate from semi-ripe and softwood cuttings about 10-15cm long. Insert cuttings into sandy, free-draining compost with bottom heat of 18-21°C (65-70°F) in spring or late autumn.

Varieties to choose Brugmansia arborea ‘Knightii’ (maikoa) AGM: has, scented, double, white flowers borne from late spring to autumn. B. × candida ‘Grand Marnier’ (angel’s trumpet) AGM: bears trumpet-shaped, night-scented apricot flowers up to 30cm (12in) long from summer to autumn. Leaves are large and have wavy margins – up to 60cm (24in) long. B. suaveolens (snowy angel’s trumpet) AGM: has tubular, bell-shaped, night scented flowers in shades of white, yellow or pink from early summer to autumn.

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37


Taking your garden skills

up a level Do you want to take your gardening skills to the next level? Growing a plant or two can be easy, but becoming a confident, knowledgeable and successful gardener will almost certainly require an upgraded set of gardening skills. Fortunately, anyone can learn them. It’s more a question of how much time you want to commit and what level you want to reach and what practically you want to add to your skill base. The demand for gardeners to add to their skill base continues to thrive. For the third year in a row it seems gardeners are enrolling in real numbers in everything from basic one day gardening skills right up to the RHS General Certificate in Horticulture which could be the base for a career in gardening. Day courses and weekend sessions show are where the real demand is. Organic gardening , garden design, propagation, composting and understanding soil preparation head the list with flower arranging showing the biggest single growth in terms of new students. Garden design courses continue to top the list where many hobby gardeners are keen to learn new skills and apply them to plans for their own gardens. The boom in learning is set against a recent claim that Britain has lost a lot of its gardening skills which need to be re-learnt. The claim is the loss of knowledge stems from people born after it became common for both parents to work so basic gardening skills were not handed down from parent to childbecause there was no time in a busy working schedule. A survey by the RHS interviewed 500 people from three different generations about their gardening habits, and found that less than 1 per cent of parents were taught gardening in school. This was in comparison to 55 per cent of grandparents, according to the survey. So what are the skills being sought which go to making a more complete gardener? 38

Soil testing For the gardening beginner, this will not present much concern at first. After all, as long as the soil is a nice rich loam, anything will grow. But eventually, as you progress in gardening, you’ll find the acidity or the alkalinity of your soil will have effects on certain plants and you’ll need to make amendments,and know how and why.

Improving gardening soil Self-sufficiency and gardening go hand in hand for the more adept gardener. An inferior soil is not a deterrent for growing plants. Rather, it’s a chance for them for skill to be shown working out or improving the soil just the way they like it.

Composting While you can buy compost from garden supply stores, a skilled will want to make their own and do it successfully. They’ll also make their own compost in their own DIY compost bins.

Dealing with pests No gardener at any level will ever say they have never been bugged by pests in their garden. So dealing with pests organically is definitely a must-have skill for every gardener for safer and healthier plants.

Pruning As you progress in gardening, you’ll find pruning as an essential garden practice both in landscaping and vegetable gardening. It’s an art which needs to be learnt for the sake of your garden

Propagating plants from cutting Growing more plants from cuttings is probably one of the best measures for a gardening expert. It’s truly a feat not all gardeners have great success at, but growing more plants from cuttings can be convenient. You’ll need to master this technique to be a certified gardener.

Companions planting Plants, like people, have likes and dislikes too. As a gardener, being able to understand this matrix in plants allow

Country Gardener


you to grow organically and grow more in limited spaces. Knowing what plants grow well together will help prevent pests and diseases naturally.

Garden design A huge subject which can be overcomplicated but which relies on understanding strong garden shapes ,proportions and sizes and how plants fit in with landscapes and an eye for the final result

Organic gardening A much sought after skill in producing a true organic garden knowing the practices, materials and products to use and how to care for the soil organically and with it plant raising and effective weed and pest control. There are, of course, a huge range of courses on offer but here’s two we’d draw your attention to:

COURSES TO ENJOY AND GAIN REAL KNOWLEDGE John Horsey offers courses in garden history and horticulture at Burrow Farm Gardens near Axminster on the Devon, Somerset and Dorset borders. These ‘Interest’ courses run for one day per week over the academic year with no assessments or examinations. They encourage learning through a relaxed environment with the support of plant identifications and practicals in the lovely surrounds of Burrow Farm Gardens which cover 13 acres with a wide range of garden styles and a plantsman’s garden. In the lecture room there are excellent visual images and good class discussions supported by professional teaching. The Garden

History Course will not run this year due to last year’s course requesting an extra year. It will next run from September 2018 looking at the range of garden styles, plants, people and influences from the very first gardens in the ‘Fertile Crescent’ to the Present Day. You will have an enjoyable day, gaining knowledge and making new friends whilst you learn, visit www.johnhorseyhorticulture.co.uk or e-mail johnatrivendell1@btinternet.com for more details.

ROSS BARBOUR TUTORIALS TO MAKE YOU A REAL GARDENER Ross Barbour has more than 30 years experience in managing gardens from one and a half acres to more than 20. Having spent many years working on private estates he is now based at Old Court Nurseries and the Picton garden near Malvern and is offering a range of tutorials to help you grow and maintain your own garden. These range from rose pruning and propagating your own new plants to looking ROSS BARBOUR holistically at your garden Helping you to help your garden and how to merge the need One-one or group tutorials for ornamental value and available, at home or at the desire to look after and Old Court Nurseries. encourage the diversity Topics covering all aspects of wildlife in your garden. of horticulture and garden oldcourtgdc@btinternet.com maintenance. oldcourtgdc@btinternet.com Tel: 01684 540416 Tel: 01684 540416

GARDEN HISTORY AND GARDENING COURSES from John Horsey Horticulture The Garden History Certificate

The Diploma in Horticulture

The course traces the development of gardens through history from the first gardens in the Fertile Crescent of the Middle East through to Present Day Gardens. It investigates historical styles, people, influences and the role of heritage plants.

This Diploma covers the range of gardening and horticultural topics, improving practical skills, and developing plant knowledge.

Our courses are offered over the year on a one day per week basis following the academic timetable.

Now enrolling for September 2018.

Now enrolling for September 2017.

We aim to impart knowledge and skills in a comfortable relaxed environment without the stress of conventional examinations and assessments. You can gain information, make new friends and have an enjoyable day. Courses are run at Burrow Farm Gardens near Axminster. The gardens extend to 13 acres with a wide range of garden plantings, styles and plants. For more information on the courses please email johnatrivendell1@btinternet.com or visit www.johnhorseyhorticulture.co.uk Tel: 07811 446682 / 01460 68905

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39


CLASSIF IED Accommodation

Accommodation: Holiday Cottages

Carmarthen Bay South Wales Cosy chalet in the beautiful Tamar Valley,

on the Devon/Cornwall border; All mod cons and equipment for self-catering; convenient for public transport: near or far; and many optional activities. Sleeps 2 comfortably and + 2 children if preferred. Tel: 01822 832688

Gloucestershire, Cosy annexe for two

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

Seafront chalet situated on estuary. Sleeps up to 6. Seaview. Well Behaved Dogs Welcome. For brochure Tel: 01269 862191 Cornwall, near St Just. Chalet, sleeps 4, heated indoor pool, open all year – near gardens/coast, golfing nearby. Prices from £260 pw. 01736 788718 Bosworlas near Sennen/St Just, Cornwall. Cosy Cottage, rural views, Sleeps 2-4 01736 788709 www.bosworlas.co.uk 32ft caravan sleeps 4. Set in two acres of Worcestershire countryside overlooking lake. Central heating. Hot tub,log burner. Private garden. Details on Sunbrae B&B site or ring 01905 841129 Somerset, Spacious Scandinavian log cabin in quiet country lane near village. 2 double bedrooms plus large sofa bed. Fully equipped. Suitable for disabled. Open all year. Pet friendly. Tel: 01278 789678. email: kathsouthview@sky.com

Accommodation Abroad

Delightful cosy Shepherds Hut for 2 on Cotswold Farm Pretty villages, Bustling market towns excellent walking NT and gardens Tel: 01242 604189 www.pinnockwoodfarm.co.uk Glorious North Devon. Only 9 cosy caravans on peaceful farm. Wonderful walks in woods & meadows. Easy reach sea, moors & lovely days out. £125-395pw. Discount couples. Nice pets welcome. 01769 540366 www.snapdown.co.uk 40

Beautifully romantic cottage for two In sunny SW France just 30 mins from Bergerac airport. www.maison-bb.com

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

Peace, Privacy, and Stunning Views! 4* Delightful cosy cabin for 2, nestling between Wye and Usk Valleys. Shirenewton village and pubs closeby. Wonderful walks, splendid castles and bustling market towns. Perfect for all seasons. Dogs welcome! Tel: 01291 641826 lynne@bryncosyn.co.uk www.bryncosyn.co.uk

Creekside Cottages, Near Falmouth, Cornwall Waters-edge, Rural & Village Cottages Sleeping 2-8. Peaceful & Comfortable. Available year round. Dogs Welcome. Open Fires. Call us on 01326 375972 for our colour brochure www.creeksidecottages.co.uk 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 www.cowshedcottage.co.uk Self-catering cottages in countryside near Lyme Regis. Japanese food available. www.hellbarn.co.uk 01297 489589 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 ayrepj@aol.com


CLASSIF IED Pembrokeshire, Wales 4 star luxury cottages in idyllic surroundings. Fully equipped, open all year. Children & pets welcome. Tel: 01239 841850 www.valleyviewcottages.co.uk Forest of dean 2 bedroom comfortable cottage. Village location on edge of Forest. Well equipped, C/H & wood burning stove. Dogs welcome. 01550 722976 Lanlivery near Eden and other Cornish Gardens lovely woodland lodge 2/4 people www.poppylodgecornwall.co.uk 01726 430489 Devon. Tamar Valley. Pretty cottage sleeps 2-4. Wood burner, garden, small dog welcome. 02073 736944/07940 363233 www.northwardshippon.co.uk Padstow house, 4 + baby, gardens, parking, Wi-Fi, Camel trail (bike storage), beaches. holidaysat55@gmail.com 07887 813495 Carmarthenshire. A charming holiday cottage, rural setting, stands alone, Sleeps 3. Short breaks available. Pets welcome. 01239 711679

Accommodation With Beautiful Gardens

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 www.romanacres.com

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

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 www.penricecastle.co.uk 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 www.foxwoodlodge.co.uk

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

Antiques

International dealer requires records (all types) old gramophones, phonographs, music boxes, radios, valves, telephones, early sewing machines, typewriters, calculators, tin toys, scientific instruments etc. Parts also wanted. TOP CASH PRICE PAID 07774 103139 davepauled1@yahoo.com

Bed & Breakfast

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

Quality B&B Truro Cornwall. Ideal for visiting beautiful cornish gardens and coast. £40 pppn 01872 241081 4 Star Gold Award B&B in Stoulton, Worcestershire. Luxury accommodation in beautiful surroundings. Perfectly situated to visit Worcester, The Malvern’s, Pershore, Cheltenham and Cotswolds. Taunton Farmhouse B&B/ 01905 841129 www.sunbrae.co.uk Granary Conversion Taunton Country House B&B Ideal Nearby Hestercombe Gardens, location for Malvern Autumn Garden Willows and Wetlands Visitor Centre. Show and surrounding gardens.Visit Tel: 01823 443549/ www.littlebridgehouse.biz or Tel: 01885 07811 565309 482471 for details. www.thornfalcon.co.uk Explore Devon and be spoilt. 2 nights DBB £190 per couple. Farmhouse hospitality. Great trip advisor reports. Somerset 5* Restaurant with Rooms. www.eastraddon-dartmoor.co.uk Close to many NT Gardens, Houses and 01566 783010 Dorset Coast. Countryside Location with Lovely Garden. Pet Friendly www. Paignton, Devon, 4* B&B. Ideal location littlebarwickhouse.co.uk 01935 423902 for coast, countryside and NT gardens. En-suite rooms, garden, parking. Green Charming B&B in garden cottage Tourism Gold Award. 01803 556932 annex. Double with en-suite. Village location near Jurassic Coast, Bridport. Tel: www.harbourlodge.co.uk 01308 488177 www.countrygardener.co.uk

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CLASSIF IED Cards & Prints

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

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

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flyscreens4u@sky.com

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Fruit Trees

Apple trees from £8 Over 100 varieties Dessert, juicing, cider & cookers to suit your farm, garden or smallholding

Tel: 01404 841166 sales@adamsappletrees.co.uk www.adamsappletrees.co.uk

Garden Buildings Leigh Goodchild Ltd

Garden Buildings

PROFESSIONAL GARDENER

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Polytunnels FREE BROCHURE

Adam’s Apples Many other fruit trees & bushes. Discounts for wholesale, community projects & schools. Advice and free catalogues.

DIRECTLY FROM A

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

Polytunnels from £345 available to view by appointment 01363 84948 info@ferrymanpolytunnels.co.uk

www.ferrymanpolytunnels.co.uk

Property Services

Agricultural Tie Specialists, Removal, Wisteria Pruning, Improvement, Lawful Use. Tel: 01386 554041 Oxfordshire, surrounding area. Richard info@parsonsonplanning.co.uk Barrett wisteriapruning@tiscali.co.uk Seed Specialists 01865 452334

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

Call Leigh 07971 251261 www.leighgoodchild.com

Advertise here... Call on 01278 671037 for details, or email: ava@countrygardener.co.uk 42

Burrow Farm Gardens www.burrowfarmgardens.co.uk

Tel: 0800 0854399

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

Dalwood, Axminster, EX13 7ET Country Gardener


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Ex display sheds. Stables, field shelters, garages, summerhouses, offices, workshops/agricultural 01935 891195

Specialist Nurseries & Plants Water Lilies

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

Buy online at www.waterlily.co.uk

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

Tel: 01884 266361 www.dulford-nurseries.co.uk Dulford Nurseries, Dulford, Cullompton, Devon EX15 2BY

Unusual greenhouse building around 30’ x 10’9’ CERTIFIED ORGANIC VEGETABLE PLANTS Visit us at Kitley Farm, Yealmpton, PL8 2LT Or order plants at

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Thornhayes nursery Devon’s specialist tree grower for a wide range of ornamental, fruit, hedging trees and a selection of choice shrubs.

Editorial Publisher & Editor: Alan Lewis alan@countrygardener.co.uk Tel: 01823 431767 Time Off: Kate Lewis timeoff@countrygardener.co.uk Distribution Pat Eade pateade@btinternet.com Tel: 01594 543790

Tel: 01884 266746 www.thornhayes-nursery.co.uk Advertising Sales Ava Bench Somerset & Classified ava@countrygardener.co.uk classified@countrygardener.co.uk Tel: 01278 671037 Cath Pettyfer Devon & Dorset cath.pettyfer@countrygardener.co.uk Tel: 01837 82660

Some glass needs replacing. Already dismantled. Buyer to collect. £250 ONO to clear. Market Drayton, Shropshire. Tel: 01630 653161

Wholesale Nursery Tel 01404 41150

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

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Country Gardener

Wanted Old Radio Valves And Audio Valves. Tel: 02392 251062

SPECIALIST TREE & SHRUB GROWERS

or visit our gardens in Weymouth

Putton Lane, Chickerell, Weymouth DT3 4AF

Wanted/For Sale

Corina Reay Cotswolds corina@countrygardener.co.uk Tel: 01823 410098 Rob Houghton Hampshire & Sussex rob@countrygardener.co.uk Tel: 01614 283230

Trimplant Nursery, Combe Raleigh, Honiton, Devon sales@trimplants.co.uk www.trimplants.co.uk Design & Production Aidan Gill aidan@countrygardener.co.uk Gemma Stringer gemma@countrygardener.co.uk

Accounts Sam Bartholomew sam@countrygardener.co.uk Tel: 01823 430639

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

www.countrygardener.co.uk

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BROWNE’S GARDEN CENTRE FOR A LARGE SELECTION OF SHRUBS, ROSES, CONIFERS, FRUIT AND ORNAMENTAL TREES. TERRACOTTA AND GLAZED POTS, FENCING, PAVING AND AGGREGATES PLUS ALL YOUR GARDENING SUNDRIES. NATIONAL GARDEN GIFT TOKENS

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Makers of good quality Willow hurdles and garden items.

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Always something new and unusual Herbaceous perennials, shrubs and climbers Pansies, violas and polyanthus Tools, seeds and compost Glazed and frostproof terracotta pots National Garden Gift Vouchers On the A38 Wellington by-pass

www.chelstonnurseries.co.uk

Tel: 01823 662007

Discover

Marwood Hill Gardens

Exmoor Baskets and Hurdles are located on the DevonSomerset border in the heart of the West Country. 01398 323391 / 07980 759099

www.exmoorbasketsandhurdles.co.uk

ENJOY COLOUR IN YOUR GARDEN

WHITE POST NURSERY

all Summer long

Langford Budville

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Traditional hand made products using English willow locally grown from a renewable source.

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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.

Relax in beautiful surroundings with home made cream teas and lovely freshly cooked lunches. To book ring 01823 401517 Mini digger & driver hire, garden landscaping & design ideas Ring Andy 07788 292004

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

Open 10am to 5pm 7 days from Spring - Autumn

Tel: 01271 342528 | www.marwoodhillgarden.co.uk Marwood Hill Gardens, North Devon EX31 4EA

01823 400234/07887 654802 www.white-post.co.uk

www.devonlogstores.co.uk 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

For the latest garden news, events & advice - don't miss COUNTRY GARDENER

Avonfield Gardens

Marsh Road, Hilperton Wiltshire BA14 7PL Tel 01225 571331

We offer a wide range of high quality trees, shrubs, conifers, alpines and herbaceous perennials, complemented by a range of key gardening products such as composts, fertilisers, tools, seeds terracotta and glazed pots and garden sundries. The centre prides itself on excellent levels of service, horticultural advice and a clear no-nonsense, no-gimmicks approach.

Open Mon-Sat 9am-5.30pm Sun 10am-4pm

Orchard Park, Shaftesbury Rd, Gillingham SP8 5JG T: 01747 835544 E: info@orchardpark.uk.net MON - SAT 9 - 5.30 SUN 10 - 4.30 Discover more at www.orchardpark.biz

44

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Country Gardener


in summer

Problem solving Why are my ‘Shirley’ tomatoes rotting at the end furthest from the stalk? Blossom End rot is a common problem with greenhouse tomatoes. It is caused by nutrient deficiency in the developing fruit that in turn is caused by a lack of water at crucial times. Once you see the blackened end there’s nothing you can do. It can be prevented by keeping the compost constantly moist, especially in hot spells Why do my currants have blistered leaves? The blisters are caused by the currant blister aphid. The good news is that by the time you have noticed the problem, the aphids will have moved on. The leaves may look awful but the fruit shouldn’t suffer. Using a wash on the leaves might help. My strawberry bed has gone mad this year and is a mass of plants. I’m not sure how to solve this as there are too many plants in too small a space. It’s best to think of strawberries as a three-year crop, otherwise they get tired and diseased. If your plants appear healthy, take some strong runners with a good amount of soil and move to a new piece of ground. Or you can ruthlessly cut out all the runners each autumn. Use the runners nearest the mother plants to start a new strawberry bed. My two ‘Bramley’ apple trees had scab last year. Is there a way of preventing it? A mild attack of apple scab will only cause cosmetic damage so you should be able to store the fruit if the skin isn’t too badly cracked. The fungus overwinters on twigs and fallen leaves so clear up and dispose of all the leaves and prune out twigs with scabby swellings. That should start to improve things. I’ve grown sweetcorn for this first time but how do I know when it is ready to pick and eat? It's harvest time when the cobs stop swelling and the tassels at the top start to dry and wither away. As a double check, peel back the leaves carefully and push a finger nail into one grain. The liquid, which spurts out, should be milky. If it is watery give it a day or two and try again. Apple scab - a mild attack will only cause cosmetic damage

High summer tends to be the time when problems start to take over in the vegetable and fruit gardens. We’ve taken time out to answer some of the problems sent in to Country Gardener over the past few weeks

My onions have a fluffy white growth on them and look really poorly. This is most likely to be downy mildew, a disease which attacks members of the onion family in warm, damp weather. The first signs are the leaf tips turning yellow early followed by the downy growth. Those affected won’t store so you need to be ruthless and discard them. Longer term avoid damp or shady areas , opt for a four year crop rotation and try some resistant varieties such as ’ Santero’ or ‘Hylander’ Every time I try to grow leafy summer veg it bolts away. What am I doing wrong? Leafy veg such as pak choi, rocket, coriander, spinach and mustard greens are all prone to bolting in hot, dry weather and especially in greenhouses. The answer is to keep the soil moist and water two or three times day but sparingly. Sow little and often and pick while young. It is late June and my greenhouse is full of mildew and fungal diseases The most common problem with greenhouse growing is overcrowding. If plants are spaced too closely they are a lot more susceptible to fungal diseases such as grey mould or mildew. If you want to lessen any potential problem you can always space your crops a little bit further apart. This increases the airflow through the crop. How do I stop rust on my leeks? Rust attacks strikes from midsummer to autumn and is worst in warm humid conditions. There is little you can do for your current crop but you can still use your leeks - simply cut away the infected areas. Plant hygiene is the key. Destroy any infected plant debris don’t put it in the compost heap. Try to practice crop rotation and choose rust resistant leek varieties. Increase the spacing between plants. An old exhibitor's trick is to smear petroleum jelly on the infected areas. This will seal the spores in and prevent them from spreading to the rest of your crop.

Rust on leeks is worst in warm, humid conditions

Bottom end rot can be prevented by consistent watering

Harvest sweetcorn when the tassels start to dry and wither

www.countrygardener.co.uk

45


THE COLOUR

PURPLE

Smaller and sharper than plums, damsons may not have a lot of charisma but they come alive when they arrive in the kitchen from the garden Damsons are not a commonly grown fruit, but they were once. They have been grown in England for hundreds of years, and vast orchards existed right up until the Second World war but apparently tastes change. Thankfully there are signs of a comeback for this very particular fruit. Damsons are as rich and intense a fruit as you could hope to find and it is no wonder that fame comes with its association with luscious jams. All damsons are self-fertile, so you only need to grow the one tree, but traditional growers believed their trees were particularly prolific because of their pollination by wild bullace and sloe, and so you may get better crops if you plant a couple of varieties, or have a well populated hedgerow nearby. The north of England’s fondness for the fruit indicates their tendency to do well in less-than-ideal growing conditions, and damsons will succeed in all but heavy clay soil. So, if you think your conditions aren’t good enough for fruit, try a damson. The damson, for all its idiosyncratic taste and colour, is really just a form of plum, Prunus instititia, and older than the domestic plum, Prunus domestica. It comes from Eastern Europe and the western fringes of Asia and was brought to Italy more than 2,000 years ago from Damascus, thereby giving it its name Damsons are always a surprise. They don’t have a great deal of charisma. All the outward signs are of some kind of lesser plum, not quite fat or juicy enough, and the tree is often hardly more than a scrawny outgrown shrub. Yet the taste and the colour have great intensity. While plums get good press, damsons are not widely grown enough. How often do you see the fruit in shops?. All members of the plum family like rich, wet soil, although only damsons really relish our strong winds and very cold snaps of winter weather. Damsons work well in pies and crumbles as well as being delicious on their own, stewed. Pickled damsons make a wonderful accompaniment to cold meat. 46

Damson jam is the richest and best there is and damson cheese is a luxury. It is the most intense colour that the garden and kitchen can muster. That intensity was used to make commercial dye for wool and leather and, in the 19th century, when every well-dressed woman had a pair of leather gloves, dyeing leather with damson juice was an important small rural industry in these parts. Damsons are not difficult to grow. They will come true from a stone and will produce fruit within 15 years.

WHAT VARIETIES TO GROW Most damsons are self fertile, that is they pollinate themselves with no need for another tree, however confirm this with the nursery or outlet where you buy your tree. ‘Merryweather’ produces the biggest of all damson fruits and is a heavy cropper, the fruit lasting well into autumn on the tree. ‘Bradley’s King’ was first recorded just over a decade ago and has fruits sweet enough to be eaten raw. ‘Fairleight’ has a good longer season and produces larger oval blue-black fruits than some varieties. Alternatively apart from the traditional varieties, you can buy a tree grafted on to a rootstock that will control the amount of growth. ‘Pixy’ is a dwarfing rootstock, and ‘St Julien A’ is a larger rootstock making a tree up to 12ft, and is also used for peaches and apricots. ‘Brompton’ is vigorous and used for standards and half-standards. Because it comes true from seed, the damson has quietly carried on down the years so that the fruit you eat from your scruffy tree in the back garden tastes the same as the fruit the crusaders brought back from Damascus..

Country Gardener


Cleeve Nursery Everything for your Summer Garden! The Box Tree CafĂŠ open 10.30 - 4.00 for tasty food and fantastic coffee every day!

Cleeve Nursery, Cleeve, Bristol BS49 4PW Tel 01934 832134 Email info@cleevenursery.co.uk www.cleevenursery.co.uk cleevenursery.co.uk/blog/

Somerset Country Gardener August 2017  

The August 2017 Issue of Somerset Country Gardener Magazine