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Somerset

Issue No 150 July 2017

FREE

LET LILIES

lighten up YOUR GARDEN Plant for late summer colour

Top tips to hire a gardener

Open gardens with a vegetable growing theme Hundreds of high summer gardening events throughout Somerset

www.countrygardener.co.uk A family run business that has been growing since 1967 CROCKERTON, WARMINSTER, WILTSHIRE 01985 217413

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BATH ROAD, BITTON, BRISTOL 0117 932 3110


Coates English Willow growing willow since 1819

NATURAL, SUSTAINABLE FENCING AND GARDEN PRODUCTS We offer a full range of willow hurdles, trellis and arches. Standard sizes from £29 or bespoke sizes available on request. In-situ service also available - we will come and weave your fencing on site. Please ring 01823 490249 for a quotation and delivery charges.

PH Coate & Son Ltd, The Willows & Wetlands Visitor Centre, Meare Green Court, Stoke St Gregory, Taunton, TA3 6HY

Please visit our website for further details

www.coatesenglishwillow.co.uk


Up Front!

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

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

GARDEN OPEN OF THE MONTH

- Henry James

SOMERSET GARDENS OPEN TO CELEBRATE HARDY PLANT SOCIETY

PARK COTTAGE

Wrington Hill, Wrington, Bristol, Somerset, BS40 5PL Take a colourful journey through one and a quarter acres of this established, herbaceous perennial garden owned by Mr and Mrs J Shepherd, with countryside views and plenty of seating. The potager, jungle, rainbow border, white garden and 90ft double herbaceous borders are divided by high hedges. A large Victorian-style greenhouse displays tender plants. Open for the NGS: Wednesday 12th July, Saturday 22nd July, 11am-5pm. Admission £4, children free. Home-made teas provided by Wrington Pop-Up Vintage Cafe; proceeds to Weston Hospicecare. Mostly good wheelchair access, some narrow bark chip paths. Narrow flagstone bridge with steps. For more details email ParkCottageGarden@gmail.com

Counting down to Taunton Flower Show Taunton Flower Show takes place on Friday 4th and Saturday 5th August, when the town’s picturesque Vivary Park will host the UK’s oldest, longest-running flower show. With food and craft areas including rural crafting demonstrations, a children’s village, ‘Gardeners’ Question Time’, wine tasting, honey-making, a brass band, choir and live music; there will be plenty going on to entertain old and young. Over 200 traders will be selling a variety of merchandise from handcrafted gifts to garden equipment and furniture in what is one of the highlights of the Somerset gardening calendar. www.tauntonflowershow.co.uk

As part of the celebrations to mark the Diamond Jubilee of The Hardy Plant Society this year, more than 60 society members are opening their gardens to the public. Many have never been open to the public before and in Somerset two gardens will be open in July. Each garden is charging an entry fee, similar to those charged for gardens open under the National Garden Scheme. Most of this money will go to a charity nominated by the owner, and these include the Motor Neurone Association, Medical Research for Children, Children’s Hospice South West and Parkinson’s UK. THE SOMERSET GARDENS ARE: 1. The George House, which opens Saturday, 8th July and Sunday, 9th July. A sheltered, south-facing garden the home of Dr Robin Goodfellow in a third of an acre rising steeply up the Mendip Hills with splendid views across the moors to Glastonbury Tor. George House, The Square, Axbridge, BS26 2AP. Open 10am to 4pm. Entrance £2.50, children free. 2. On Tuesday July 18th Simon and Sue Youell’s two acre garden Braglands Barn at Stogumber opens from 2pm to 6pm for the society scheme. The garden has been created since 1995 and has wonderful mixed borders of perennials, shrubs, tress and grasses with many rare and unusual plants. Braglands Barn, Stogumber, Somerset TA4 3TP.

Wellington summer show plans for another record breaker The summer Wellington Flower Show at Wellington School promises to continue the record breaking year for the event on Saturday 26th August .The show which is held twice a year moves to the ARC, next to the Princess Royal Sports Centre, South Street, Wellington TA21 8NT. The August event is set to have some new exhibitors as well as welcoming back regulars. The summer schedule for classes is now available online at www.wellingtonflowershow .co.uk and also in the library and at Nurtured by Nature. Any queries should be addressed to the Secretary, Sheena Page at pagelang1@gmail.com

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DESIGN

CONSTRUCT

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Country Gardener


...In Somerset

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A LOOK AT NEWS, EVENTS AND HAPPENINGS IN SOMERSET

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

Tree Tours

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

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

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

Ston Easton tour of majestic hotel gardens Somerset’s lavish country house hotel at Ston Easton Park is hosting a garden tour on Thursday, 29th June. The tour will welcome guests to enjoy 36 acres of parkland in all its glory, as it bursts into full bloom. Guided by Ston Easton Park’s head gardener Stephen Hargreaves, guests will be shown around the majestic

Burnham Nurseries stages two day orchid festival Burnham Nurseries are staging their second summer orchid on their site at Forches Cross near Newton Abbott with a summer orchid festival on Saturday, 8th July and Sunday, 9th July. The festival is free and runs from 10am to 4pm on both days. The line up for the two days will include displays, expert talks, advice and open discussion meetings – including a beginners guide to orchids. Burnham Nurseries, Forches Cross, Newton Abbot, Devon TQ12 6PZ. Tel: 01626 352233.

gardens, designed by the great English landscape architect Humphry Repton – Ston Easton Park is the last remaining Repton landscape in Somerset, with iconic 18th Century features including a love seat, lost grotto and original stone bridge. Ston Easton Park’s tour starts at 11am and costs £35 including two-course lunch and a glass of wine. Alternatively, an overnight stay to include the tour costs from £99. Call 01761 241 631 or email reception@stoneaston.co.uk Ston Easton Park, Ston Easton, Bath BA3 4DF.

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GARDENERS’ CUTTINGS IN SOMERSET

Prior Park recruits youngest head gardener

The youngest head gardener in the National Trust has started worked at Prior Park Landscape Garden in Bath. Alice Palfrey, 29, already has seven years of National Trust Alice Palfrey gardening. She comes to her role with experience of looking after Prior Park, and enthusiasm to take the garden forward and continue the process of restoring it to its 1764 state and the time of creator Ralph Allen’s death. Alice’s introduction to gardens and tree work came as a teenager with weekends spent helping her father, an arboricultural professional, with tasks in private gardens..’ Alice took up a full-time volunteer gardener/ranger position with the National Trust at Dyrham Park in 2010. The opportunity to work in both a formal garden and open parkland gave her experience with varying landscapes, and she developed a preference and passion for wider landscapes, as well as the tractors and chainsaws that come as part of the job. Alice joined the Bath Skyline ranger team, before deciding that landscape gardening was for her and becoming a full time Prior Park gardener in 2013. Looking forward, which projects is Alice looking forward to getting stuck into? The restoration of the 18th-century dams are high on the list of priorities, plus a big emphasis on planting. Alice explains how the Cabinet, at the top of the garden would have been a showcase piece of 18th-century planting, crammed full of botanical treasures. Alice will of course ensure that only species present in Britain during creator Ralph Allen time will be used. Completing the list of top three priorities is a desire to restore the thatched house - one of the lost Georgian garden structures, a little retreat by the lakes for visitors to enjoy. Prior Park Landscape Garden Ralph Allen Dr, Bath BA2 5AH. Tel 01225 833422

JULY PLANT FAIR AT CANNINGTON’S WALLED GARDENS The Walled Gardens at Cannington, near Bridgwater, host a new Rare Plant Fair on Sunday, 2nd July. The gardens have classic and contemporary features such as the ‘hot’ herbaceous border; the ‘Blue Garden’; the sub-tropical walk; and a Victorian style fernery. The gardens are also home to a Plant Heritage National Plant Collections of deschampsia and santolina, displayed in a modern prairie style planting in the collections garden. Now in their 23rd season, the plant fairs are held in prestigious gardens, each with its own character. Plant nurseries are carefully selected to ensure they are genuine growers who produce most or all of the plants that they sell themselves. The fair opens from 11am to 4pm, and adult entry is £4.95. Full details, including a list of the nurseries attending, can be found at www.rareplantfair.co.uk. The Walled Gardens of Cannington, Church Street, Cannington, Nr. Bridgwater, Somerset TA5 2HA.

HESTERCOMBE HOSTS SUMMER EVENTS The popular Somerset gardens at Hestercombe near Taunton have two July dates for gardeners. A ‘Birds and Butterflies Walk’ takes place on Tuesday, 4th July at 10am. Brian Hill from Somerset Ornithological Society leads a morning of bird and butterfly spotting in the gardens. Brian will help identify birds by their song and tell you about which species make Hestercombe their home for the summer. He’ll also take you into the wildflower meadow for butterfly spotting. The walk will last 90 minutes. Normal admission applies. Then on Tuesday, 11th July there’s a garden photography workshop from 10am to 1pm when professional photographer Mark Gawthorne from Devon Photography School runs a morning workshop. You’ll get tips on composition, colour and framing shots. The cost is £30 plus half price garden entry. Hestercombe Gardens, Cheddon Fitzpaine, Taunton, Somerset TA2 8LG 6

Country Gardener


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

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Muriel Jones Field Allotments

GARDEN Visits THE BEST GARDENS TO VISIT compiled by Vivienne Lewis

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

MURIEL JONES FIELD ALLOTMENTS

Birchill Lane, Feltham, Frome, Somerset BA11 5ND

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

LITTLEFIELD GARDEN

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

98 pretty allotments on a five-acre site with a range of gardening styles from the traditional allotment to a more relaxed approach. A rural setting on the outskirts of Frome with views of Longleat Forest across the river and into the trees and Cley Hill in the distance. Flowers, fruit and vegetables in abundance. Visitors are welcome to bring a picnic. Open for the NGS: Tuesday 4th July, 11am5pm. Admission: £4.50, children free. Homemade teas. Viewing area over allotments designated for wheelchair users. Accessible WC. Dogs allowed. Contact: Frome Allotment Association www.fromeallotments.co.uk 621332 Email: amandasabin1@hotmail.com Partial wheelchair access. Dogs allowed. 8

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


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

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

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

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

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


THE BEST GARDENS T O V ISI T IN JULY

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

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

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

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

Country Gardener


New garden openings in July IVANHOE

LANDFORD VILLAGE GARDENS,

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

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

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

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

www.countrygardener.co.uk

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How to employ a gardener

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

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

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

Employing a gardener - your experiences

quotes from local gardeners by setting out your requirements.

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

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

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

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

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13


Lilium lancifolium

Lilies

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

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

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Lilium martagon

Lilium regale

Lilium pardalinum

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

Lilium candidum

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15


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SPECIALIST TREES

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

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

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17


Time to enjoy

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

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

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

Backdoorshoes have the solution!

Worried about ruining your shoes or even slippers when you pop out to the garden?. Backdoorshoes were established ten years ago and developed to solve the problem of how to make quick trips into the garden without getting wet socks. Lightweight, waterproof, durable and comfortable, they have removable washable insoles and are made of a foam formula that will not crack or perish. They slip on and off easily, so there’s no fiddling with boots or laces, making them perfect for when you need to nip out to the compost bin, feed the animals or pick herbs for a recipe. Backdoorshoes come in a growing range of unique, vibrant designs, including the brand new Poppy Explosion. Also new is the men’s Chunky Tread range, available in sizes 8 to 14, with a pod sole to make them more durable and comfortable and a slightly higher back for a more secure fit. For more information visit www.backdoorshoes.co.uk

Teakunique - stylish practical and strong Investing in good quality and attractive garden furniture is one of the best ways to improve the quality of outdoor living at home. Teakunique is a family business passionate about elegant outdoor living. However you enjoy your garden, Teakunique can play a part with a range of stylish, practical and strong teak furniture, all designed to complement each other, and suit different personal styles and spaces. For

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ADVICE

Country Gardener

ADV ICE

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

Black spot on roses

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

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

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21


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

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

Don’t let the moles take over

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

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

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

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

Six out of seven tea bags are not compostable

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

Ready to eat in four weeks

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

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Cuttings Extra Bath celebrates Jane Austen’s bicentenary Bath is hosting a range of events to commemorate the bicentenary of Jane Austen’s death on 18th July and celebrate her life and works. They range from the annual Jane Austen Festival to photo tours, commemorative brews and improvised comedy.

The Jane Austen Festival

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Featuring dance workshops, concerts, talks about Jane Austen and tours of Bath, the Jane Austen Festival from 8th September to 17th September begins with the Grand Regency Costumed Charity Parade on 9th September.

Willowbrook Nursery and Garden Centre your local family-run garden centre

St Swithin’s Church: Commemorative Event

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.

A short service to commemorate Jane Austen’s death at St Swithin’s Church on 22 July,at 2pm. After the service in the church where Jane’s parents were married and where Jane’s father is buried there will be a display of Regency dancing and readings. Price £10 per ticket

The Pump Room’s Jane Austen Tea Featuring in Northanger Abbey as a place where men and women ‘paraded up and down for an hour, looking at everybody and speaking to no one’, nowadays Bath’s Pump Room boasts an elegant restaurant. You can celebrate the bicentenary with afternoon tea of Georgian specialities including ginger beer, Bath chap and ham hock terrine, mini Bath bun, egg custard tart and rhubarb syllabub. Price £26.

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

TELEPHONE 01823 461324

GREENSHUTTERS

Flowerbed in Parade Garden

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Jane Austen novels still make a good read 200 years after her death. To commemorate them Bath’s Parade Gardens have constructed a commemorative flowerbed, designed to look like an open book. Price £1.50 www.visitbath.co.uk/things-to-do/jane-austens-bath

Ticknell has new Stihl cordless range available Tincknell Country Store are one of the selected dealers to have exclusive stock for the launch of the new Lithium-Ion Cordless Battery range of power tools from Stihl. They are designed for working in small gardens, and the cordless grass trimmer, hedge trimmer and blower are light, well designed and ready for operation right away thanks to their integrated battery. The price at £99, includes the tool and the integrated battery. First stocks arrived in store during June. George Barber, STIHL product specialist at Tincknell Country Store Wells says “as perhaps the longest standing Stihl approved dealer in the UK, having been so since 1981, we are delighted to have been selected to launch this new product-line and very much look forward to welcoming a new customer base to the STIHL brand and to our stores.” Tincknell Country Stores at Bristol and Wells www.ticknellcountrystores.co.uk

01823 390063 www.greenshutters.co.uk Fivehead, Taunton, Somerset, TA3 6PT on the A378 between Taunton and Langport

EVERGREENHEDGING.co.uk GREENSHUTTERS NURSERIES & GARDEN CENTRE

Specialists in Conifer and Laurel Hedging 01460 281265

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23


JOBS IN THE GARDEN

Jobs in the

JULY GARDEN

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

Camellias set to bud

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

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

Country Gardener

Time to thin your fruit trees

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


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

HEADING OFF Act fast to tackle blight

NET GAIN

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

Remember to feed the roses

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

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

P lus

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

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WORMING YOUR WAY

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

Country Gardener

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Homemade box wormery under construction

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

Commercial wormeries are readily available

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27


GREAT PLACES T O V ISI T

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

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

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

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

Country Gardener


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

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

Powderham Castle’s American Garden

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

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

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

July Fairs

HOME OF DEVON

23rd July Highnam Court, Nr. Gloucester GL2 8DP 30th July Castle Bromwich Hall Gardens, Birmingham B36 9BT

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

FREE

RETURN VISIT

Nynehead Court

TERMS AND CONDITIONS APPLY

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

Nynehead Court, Nynehead, Wellington TA21 0BW Tel: 01823 662481 Email: nyneheadcare@aol.com

www.nyneheadcourt.co.uk Visit our Facebook page for details of forthcoming events.

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

01794 340460

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

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www.powderham.co.uk 29


GREAT PLACES T O V ISI T

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

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

Pecorama

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

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

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

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

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

®

®

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

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

season ticket £12pp Member of Historic Houses Association

CADHAY, OTTERY ST. MARY, DEVON, EX11 1QT 01404 813511 www.cadhay.org.uk 30

Presses Pasteurisers Barrels & Bottles Orchard Care And much more Tel: 01404 890093 www.vigopresses.co.uk

Country Gardener


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bishop’s Palace

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

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

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

T 01749 988111 ext.200 32

www.bishopspalace.org.uk Country Gardener


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

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

Loseley Park

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

Hartland Abbey & Gardens

GILLINGHAM & SHAFTESBURY

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

AGRICULTURAL SHOW ‘The Show where town & country meet’

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

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

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

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

Disabled facilities - Dogs on leads

One of the finest gardens in Britain

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

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

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www.thegardenhouse.org.uk

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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.

JUNE 17th/18th MERE GARDENING CLUB OPEN GARDEN WEEKEND 18th BARRINGTON, NR ILMINSTER OPEN GARDENS IN AID OF ST MARGARET’S HOSPICE 2pm – 6pm www.somerset-hospice.org.uk/opengardens-2017 20th BARRINGTON AND DISTRICT GARDENING CLUB ‘OFF THE BEATEN TRACK’ – ANDREW TOLMAN HOLFORD GARDENER’S GROUP ‘REMARKABLE TREES OF STOURHEAD’ – EMILY UTGREN Details on 01278 741130 22nd TAUNTON FLORAL ART CLUB ‘JOYOUS JUNE’ – ANDREW LLOYD Details on 01984 624518 24th/25th HIGHER GROUND MEADOW, CORSCOMBE, DORCHESTER, DT2 0QN OPEN GARDENS WEEKEND 10am – 5pm www.highergroundmeadow.co.uk

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ZEALS, BA12 6NA OPEN GARDENS & FLOWER GALA 1pm – 5pm Details on 01747 841359 25th LANGFORD COURT GARDEN OPEN DAY 12noon – 5pm Details on 07909 970218 LOWER SEVERALLS, CREWKERNE OPEN GARDEN FOR HARDY PLANT SOCIETY 11am – 5pm Details on 01460 73234 NUNNEY VILLAGE, NR FROME OPEN GARDENS 11AM – 5PM Details on 01373 836105 27th ENMORE & DISTRICT GARDENING CLUB ‘WILLOW SCULPTURES WITH PRACTICAL DEMONSTRATIONS’ – NICK HEAL Details on 01278 671609 MERRIOTT GARDENING CLUB ‘PELARGONIUMS’ – BRIAN CARLSON Details on 01460 72298 30th MINEHEAD GARDEN CLUB ‘ALL YEAR ROUND COLOUR IN THE GARDEN’ – MICHAEL J SMITH Details on 01643 705108

Country Gardener

JULY 1st BREWERY HOUSE, SOUTH STOKE, NR BATH GARDEN OPEN DAY IN AID OF CANCER CHARITIES CONGRESBURY HORTICULTURAL SOCIETY SUMMER SHOW & VILLAGE FETE Details on 01934 833557 PLANT HERITAGE SOMERSET GROUP ‘HERBS FOR HEALING’ – DAVINA WYNNE JONES Details on 01278 451631 1st /2nd WESTON VILLAGE (BATH) GARDENING CLUB VILLAGE OPEN GARDENS 1pm – 5pm Details on 01225 427377 2nd NYNEHEAD COURT, NR WELLINGTON OPEN GARDENS, Tour with head gardener Justin Cole 2pm Details on 01823 662481 5th EAST HUNTSPILL GARDEN CLUB CREAM TEA AT SOUTHVIEW, CATHERINE STREET, TA9 3PX Details on 01278 789678


6th CASTLE CARY GARDENING ASSOCIATION ‘RESUSCITATION & INCANDESCENCE’ – MATT SIMPSON Details on 01963 240837 9 WESTFIELD FARM, CHEW MAGNA FOREST GARDEN LUNCH www.westfield-farm.co.uk th

12th KILMERSDON GARDENERS ‘A BRIEF HSTORY OF DORSET GARDENS’ – ALAN EASON Details on 01761 233325 NAILSEA & DISTRICT HORTICULTURAL SOCIETY ‘CONTAINER GARDENING’ – JON MASON Details on 01275 855342 13th CHEW VALLEY GARDENING SOCIETY ‘THE BISHOP’S PALACE GARDED, WELL – AN UPDATE’ – JAMES CROSS Details on 01275 333456 EAST COKER GARDENING CLUB MEMBERS’ SUMMER EVENT Details on 01935 862447 15th/16th 165 NEWBRIDGE HILL, BATH, BA1 3PX SCULPTURE TO ENHANCE A GARDEN Details on 07793 085267 www.thehiddengardensofbath.co.uk

16th HONEYHURST FARM, RODNEY STOKE NGS OPEN GARDEN 2pm – 5pm

25th FOSSEWAY GARDEN CLUB AGM 01749 860438

17th BURNHAM HORTICULTURAL SOCIETY ‘CLIMBING PLANTS’ – GOLD CLUB 18th BARRINGTON & DISTRICT GARDENING CLUB ‘CARE & MANAGEMENT OF TREES AND SHRUBS’ – DAVID USHER HOLFORD GARDENERS GROUP MEMBERS’ GARDEN MEETING Details on 01278 741130 LANGPORT FLOWER CLUB ‘DESIGNING FOR SUMMER’ – MICHAEL BOWYER Details on 01458 259257 19th NORTH CADBURY GARDENING CLUB, VILLAGE HALL ‘LIFT THE LATCH, AN ALL YEAR ROUND GARDEN’ – DAVID & PAULINE WRIGHT 20th STOWEY GARDENERS ‘PLANT HUNTERS & PIONEERS’ – CARADOC DOY Details on 01278 671831

THE LAST HURRAH! Hampshire

combat plants can mn How fruiting greys of autu the sombre

Issue No 82

Winter 2015

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

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sessio urgeon. fun drop-in with the Barber-S and crafts. for these tion half-term medieval medicine Experience w. Fossil identifica centre October 2-4pm. Rock and Fossil Roadsho b.org.uk/discovery Tuesday 27th 1-4pm. www.cotswoldsaon 29th October GL54 3JH Thursday Gloucestershire,

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35


COMPILED BY KATE LEW IS

Events in Somerset

throughout July

Here’s a selection of gardening 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 sometime circumstances can force last minute changes. 6th/13th/20th/27th July SUNSET DEER PARK WALKS NT Dyrham Park, Bath. 0117 9372501

Enjoy a leisurely guided walk around the park as the golden hour sets in. The light will be perfect for capturing some very special images. 7.30pm – 9.30pm. £8. 8th–23rd July SWEET PEA FORTNIGHT Forde Abbey, Chard. 01460 220231

Two weeks are set aside every year at Forde Abbey to celebrate the beauty and charm of sweet peas. Around 80 varieties line the pathways and borders and posies and seeds are sold in the gift shop. 11th July GARDEN PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP Hestercombe Gardens, Taunton. 01823 413923 36

landscape in Somerset. Wander along the banks of the cascading River Norr, and explore the impressive kitchen gardens, 10.30am - 4pm. £4.50 donation to the National Garden Scheme on arrival.

Join professional photographer Mark Gawthorne from Devon Photography School for a morning workshop focusing on composition, colour and framing to produce evocative images. 10am – 1pm. £30. 25th July BUBBLE WALKABOUT IN THE GARDEN NT Barrington Court, Ilminster, 01460 241938

A modern take on a very traditional pastime and fun for all the family. Enjoy being mesmerised as giant bubbles are created and then set free across the south lawn. 1pm – 4pm

29th July SOMERSET WILDLIFE TRUST FEATHERED FRIENDS Westhay Nature Reserve, Westhay. 01823 652400

Improve your bird identification skills and learn more about the feathered friends who make Westhay Moor their home. 10.30am – 3pm. £5. 29th July OUTDOOR THEATRE: ‘THE COMEDY OF ERRORS’ WITH THE LORD CHAMBERLAIN’S MEN NT Tyntesfield, Wraxall. 0844 800 4966

26th July NGS OPEN DAY Ston Easton Park, Bath. 01761 241631 The Lord Chamberlain’s Men invite you to join them on the Croquet Lawn for Shakespeare’s farcical, slapstick comedy of mistaken identity, Pack a picnic and settle in for a very entertaining evening. 6.45pm – 9pm. Adult £16, child £8, group/family tickets available. Grab a map and take a leisurely stroll through the only remaining Repton Country Gardener


www.devonlogstores.co.uk

Enjoy more of the Country Gardener experience by visiting our website

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

For further details call Nick on 01392 681690

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

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37


CLASSIF IED Accommodation

Gloucestershire, Cosy annexe for two

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

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

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

Sidmouth, Devon Lovely self-catering house. Sleeps 4. Undercover parking. 10 mins walk to seafront. Tel: 01934 862840 Email: newlands49@aol.com www.sidmouth-stayatnewlands.co.uk

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

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

Country Gardener

4* Delightful cosy cabin for 2, nestling between Wye and Usk Valleys. Shirenewton village and pubs closeby. Wonderful walks, splendid castles and bustling market towns. Perfect for all seasons. Dogs welcome! Tel: 01291 641826 lynne@bryncosyn.co.uk www.bryncosyn.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 Shakespeare Country/Cotswolds. Sleeps 5. Dogs. Brochure Tel: 07757 784074 www.newparkholidaycottage.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 Lanlivery near Eden and other Cornish Gardens lovely woodland lodge 2/4 people www.poppylodgecornwall.co.uk 01726 430489

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


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

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

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

Taunton Farmhouse B&B/ Granary Conversion

Sidmouth Devon Holiday bungalow in AONB overlooking Donkey Sanctuary. Sleeps 4. April – October. Ideal for walkers, nature lovers and children. jandtmercer@gmail.com www.sandwaysholidaycottage.co.uk 07842 514296 Devon. Tamar Valley. Pretty cottage sleeps 2-4. Wood burner, garden, small dog welcome. 02073 736944/07940 363233 www.northwardshippon.co.uk 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 Padstow house, 4 + baby, gardens, parking, Wi-Fi, Camel trail (bike storage), beaches. holidaysat55@gmail.com 07887 813495

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

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

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

Bed & Breakfast

4 Star Gold Award B&B in Stoulton, Worcestershire. Luxury accommodation in beautiful surroundings. Perfectly situated to visit Worcester, The Malvern’s, Pershore, Cheltenham and Cotswolds. 01905 841129 Accommodation With www.sunbrae.co.uk Beautiful Gardens Country House B&B Ideal location North Devon near Clovelly. 3 delightful for Malvern Autumn Garden Show cottages situated in 12 acres of idyllic and surrounding gardens.Visit www. countryside. Sleeps 2-4. 1 Wheelchair littlebridgehouse.biz or tele 01885 friendly. Prices from £190 p.w. Brochure: 482471 for details. 01237 431324 www.foxwoodlodge.co.uk www.countrygardener.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 39


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

Cards & Prints

Garden Buildings Leigh Goodchild Ltd

Garden Buildings SIMON BUNCE

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

Call Leigh 07971 251261 www.leighgoodchild.com

Garden Furniture UKs leading supplier of Teak Furniture for the Garden

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

ANNECOTTERILL

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

www.millhousefineart.com

Fly Screens

www.merristem.co.uk Gardens To Visit

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

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

Tel. 01297 553100 info@millhousefineart.com

FdSc Hort. MCI Hort. 01626 836279 / 07903943757 office@merristem.co.uk Garden Design | Tree Services Garden Maintenance Based in Bovey Tracey

Tel: 01256 809 640 sales @chicteak.co.uk www.chic-teak.co.uk

Garden Services Wisteria Pruning, Improvement, Oxfordshire, surrounding area. Richard Barrett 01865 452334 wisteriapruning@tiscali.co.uk

Burrow Farm Gardens www.burrowfarmgardens.co.uk

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

Dalwood, Axminster, EX13 7ET

Garden Tools/Sundries flyscreens4u@sky.com

Fruit Trees

Adam’s Apples Apple trees from £8 Over 100 varieties Dessert, juicing, cider & cookers to suit your farm, garden or smallholding Many other fruit trees & bushes. Discounts for wholesale, community projects & schools. Advice and free catalogues.

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

Advertise here... ...from just £2 per word 40

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

ANDREW TOLMAN

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

Tel: 07546 874083 / 01643 818092 andrew@atpgardening.co.uk www.atpgardening.co.uk

Country Gardener

BUY RECOMMENDED GARDENING TOOLS AND SUNDRIES DIRECTLY FROM A

PROFESSIONAL GARDENER

www.arthurandstrange.co.uk info@arthurandstrange.co.uk

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


CLASSIF IED Thornhayes nursery

Polytunnels FREE BROCHURE

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

Polytunnels from £345 available to view by appointment

Tel: 01884 266746 www.thornhayes-nursery.co.uk

01363 84948 info@ferrymanpolytunnels.co.uk

www.ferrymanpolytunnels.co.uk

Property Services

DORSET WATER LILY COMPANY

Agricultural Tie Specialists, Removal, Lawful Use. Tel: 01386 554041 info@parsonsonplanning.co.uk

UK’s largest selection of established, pot grown water lilies; Speciality hardy exotics, tropical waterside, marginals and moisture loving bogside.

Specialist Garden Products

Landscaping & Design Service.

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

MALVERNCOPPICING.CO.UK BEAUTIFUL RUSTIC TIMBER GAZEBOS AND GARDEN STRUCTURES FROM SUSTAINABLY MANAGED LOCAL WOODLANDS

Tel. 01684 574865 Mob. 07443520040 Email. info@malverncoppicing.co.uk

Tel: 01935 891668

Email: dorsetwaterlily@uwclub.net

www.dorsetwaterlily.co.uk

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

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

Specialist Nurseries & Plants Water Lilies

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

Buy online at www.waterlily.co.uk or visit our gardens in Weymouth

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

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

Wholesale Nursery CERTIFIED ORGANIC VEGETABLE PLANTS Visit us at Kitley Farm, Yealmpton, PL8 2LT Or order plants at

www.growersorganics.com Tel: 01752 881180

Tel 01404 41150

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

Try Trimplant Nursery, Combe Raleigh, Honiton, Devon sales@trimplants.co.uk www.trimplants.co.uk

Putton Lane, Chickerell, Weymouth DT3 4AF

Advertise here...

Advertise here...

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

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

41


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

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

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

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

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

Country Gardener


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

Bodnant Garden, Conwy

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

Country Gardener 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

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

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

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

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

43


Top 10 cut flowers

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

1.

SWEET PEA

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

2.

LILY

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

3.

SUNFLOWER

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

4.

TULIP

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

5.

GLADIOLUS

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

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

6.

ROSES

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

7.

EUCALYPTUS

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

8.

DIANTHUS

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

9.

PEONIES

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

10.

GYPSOPHILA

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

Country Gardener


Sedum spectabile 'Autumn Joy’

Rudbeckia 'Herbstsonne’

Colour in the

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

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

Anemone x hybrida 'Honorine Jobert’

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

Geranium 'Rozanne'

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Who needs

LINNAEUS?

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

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

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

Country Gardener


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Somerset Country Gardener July 2017  

The July 2017 issue of Somerset Country Gardener Magazine

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