Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Lincolnshire Show - A woodland Walk!

Well have we had a bit of fun this week!

As my local followers will know the Lincolnshire Agricultural Show starts tomorrow and for the first time Applewhite Garden Design have been involved!

Our brief:  Can you do something with this!.... and make it look good all year round...

We only had a few weeks to think about the project.  Having just watched the Chelsea flower show I had loads of exotic ideas in mind, but sadly not the Chelsea Designer budget to go with them - so no grand statues! 

My first call was to our nursery Welland Vale to see what plants they had in stock, and suss out which ones would look their best in a few weeks time. My second call was to Green Mile Trees to see what could be made available for the show.

Armed with this information I set about planning a design.  

I was faced with a large Eleagnus shrub (in the middle of the picture), not a favourite of mine and a rather unruly euonymous.  The latter is a great shrub for any garden; comes in many variations, small or large, evergreen and can be clipped.  

With only one free day to plant up and Martin on another garden project, Kerry and I set off at the crack of dawn.  First stop was at Pete's who tipped a load of bark chippings in the back of the truck with his forklift and then we were on our way. 

12 hours later... and with heavy aching limbs we had finished our garden.  But the best part of the whole experience was all the help we were given.  Our dear friend Jane drove from Hough to bring the Bee Hive, 3 Show Stewards helped clear all our rubbish away, one steward bought us both an ice cream, two plumbers set up our watering system, one steward washed our bee hive and Andy the police dog trainer helped alarm our Bee Hive.  Did I mention that Kerry was tall and blond!

A big thank you to all....

Martin and I finished off the next day, including giving the Police dog garden some extra bark!!!


Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Guru in the Garden

Today was a real treat for me.  Charles Williams came to visit Belvoir to give us advice and help on a new planting scheme.

Charles owns and runs Caerhays Castle Gardens in Cornwall and is a senior partner at Burncoose Nursery.  His great grandfather bred the original x williamsii strain of camellias at Caerhays in the 1920s and they are the holders of The Plant Heritage National Collection of Magnolias.

It is over a year since I have seen Charles so there was a lot to catch up on.  First visit was the Japanese Garden and the camellias he planted 6 years ago.  Most of these are looking good and have survived our last two very cold winters without too many causalities..

Our next stop was the Spring Gardens.  My biggest problem was curtailing the thousands of questions I had for him, to a few hundred.  To make sure I didn’t look a complete numpty, running round the garden with a clip board, I resorted to making discrete notes on my mobile.  What I hadn’t bargained for was my mobile phone being on predictive text! Instead of having a comprehensive list of latin names I have a complete load of rubbish ......  It was a fun day!

Here are some of the views on our travels

Charles’s last visit was in Spring 2011 when we planted over 250 rare and unusual acid loving trees on newly cleared sites.  These were planted in the baking hot sunshine so there was a serious worry about watering.  The day we finished, the drought was announced and as we all know, the heavens opened – although disappointing for us - it was probably a life saver for those trees.  We have only lost about 5, which is good going. 

I think our Guru was pleased!

View from the far end of Spring Gardens

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Early Summer Cottage Garden flowers

At last the ground is warming up and the plants are putting on tremendous growth, making up for the cold early spring; alas hot on their heels are the weeds.  In an ideal world by now your borders should be so covered in flowers that weeds struggle to find room to grow.  The theory is good, but I still seem to be filling up wheel barrow after wheel barrow with cleavers, nettles and the infamous ground elder!

But here are a few treats from the early flowering summer borders:

Pink Hawthorn

Sambucus underneath a silver birch with pink persicaria 

The lovely tall white allium 'Everest'

I think this is Allium Aflatunense

The more unusal centaurea montana Purple Heart