Archive for the ‘ Gardens to Visit ’ Category

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Top Ten Garden Tasks for Autumn


The Abbey Gardens, Dorchester

1. Tidy up!

Autumn is a great time for those who love wielding the clippers – all that summer growth will need a trim back now to keep the garden tidy. But many off-cuts will strike well in the humidity right now so think about planting some of your cuttings out into pots.

2. Dig out the debris

Remove plant debris and diseased leaves from flowers and vegetable patches. Dig up the annuals – plants that last only a season – and put them on the compost heap. Flowering perennials – plants that spring up year after year from their roots – should be cut back. Remove yellowing or dead leaves or flowers before rot develops and remove any weeds hidden under the plant foliage.

3. Start composting

Winter gives cuttings and leaves a chance to break down and produce nutrient-rich compost, which will be ready for boosting the garden in the new year. Now is also a really good time to turn your compost heap. It will heat up nicely and then gently rot over winter.

4. Embrace autumn colour

Deciduous trees, such as acers, will provide lovely autumn colours from foliage, bark and berries. Autumn flowers such as crocus and amaryllis add colour, too. Cyclamens come in white and a range of pink shades with glossy green leaves, and add a welcome dash of vibrancy.

5. Plant for the future

This is a good time of year to plant spring bulbs, such as daffodils and tulips, and new perennials – the soil is still warm but moisture levels are increasing. There is still time for plants to establish themselves before the real cold sets in. This is also a good time of year to plant or move shrubs and trees to allow them to anchor down before the growing season. Reflect on what was and was not successful in this year’s planting scheme so that you can adapt your plans for next year.

6. Venture into the interior

Ventilate conservatories during the remaining warmer days to prevent soaring temperatures, but reduce ventilation once the cooler, windy autumn weather sets in. Use shading paint or blinds to help to keep them cool. However, as light levels fall, reduce the shading as well as the watering of any houseplants.

7. Love your lawn

For a lovely lawn next spring, start to mow less frequently and raise the height of the grass as the growth rate slows down. Scarify your lawn by raking out dead grass and moss that has built up over the summer. Follow this with applying an high-potassium autumn lawn feed, which will release the correct balance of nutrients throughout the winter.

8. Cover up the furniture

When there is no more need for garden furniture, store it in the shed or garage to protect it from the winter weather and allow it to dry out. If you can’t do this, cover it with a tough waterproof sheet securely fixed down, taking care to allow plenty of air to circulate so that the furniture is not damp all winter. Wooden items, such as benches or pergolas, may benefit from a treatment of chemical preservative.

9. Give wildlife a hand

Encourage birds into the garden by providing extra food. Place the feeder near a tall shrub, fence or mature tree to provide protection from predators. Plant berry-bearing plants for an extra source of food for birds and other wildlife. Firethorn, rowan and holly plants are recommended.

10. Protect your pond

Cover your pond with a net to stop falling leaves polluting the water, but make sure you clean it regularly to prevent the net from sinking into the pond. If it contains fish ensure that they can continue to breathe by preventing the water from freezing. Make sure the pond is at least 8ft deep because fish live in the deepest levels during the winter months.

Daily Telegraph Top 10 Hellebore Days Out


Top 10 hellebore days out

These subtle but stunning plants will be flowering soon.

Helleborus

Was Helleborus – as some historians believe – the plant on which the 33 year old Alexander the Great fatally overdosed in Babylon in 323 BCE?  We’ll probably never know!  But we love these understated beauties.  Check out this great list of Hellebore Days Out courtesy of The Daily Telegraph

Weather alert: Check all info before leaving home as some events may have been affected by weather conditions.

The Hardy Plant Society, Kent Hellebore extravaganza, Feb 15, 11am to 4pm, Goodnestone Park Gardens, Wingham. Talk on hellebores at 12.30pm by Tim Ingram (ticket only). Specialist nursery displays and sales of winter-flowering plants. Adults £5, seniors £4.50, under-16s £1 www.hpskent.co.uk).

Bosvigo, Cornwall Special hellebore day, Feb 14, 10am-4pm, Bosvigo House, Truro, in aid of Shelterbox. Newly created woodland walk through drifts of snowdrops, hellebores, wood anemones, epimediums, erythroniums and scented narcissus. Refreshments available (01872 275774; www.bosvigo.com).

Ashwood Nurseries, West Midlands Hellebore weekends, Jan 31 & Feb 1, Feb 14 & 15, 10.15am to 3.30pm, Ashwood nursery, Kingswinford. Guided tours (1h 30m), no need to book, go ”behind the scenes” and learn about the hellebore breeding programme. Entry £2, proceeds to charity (01384 401996; www.ashwood-nurseries.co.uk).

Harveys Garden Plants, Suffolk Hellebore open days, Feb 20 & 21, 9.30am to 4.30pm, Harveys Garden Plants, Bury St Edmunds. More than 1,000 hellebores for sale each day, advice and practical demonstrations, guided tours at 11.30am, 1.30pm and 3.30pm. Free. (01359 233363; www.harveysgardenplants.co.uk).

Coton Manor Garden, Northamptonshire Open for snowdrops and hellebores, Feb 14 to March 1, 11am to 4pm, Coton Manor Gardens, Coton. Entry £3 (01604 740219; www.cotonmanor.co.uk).

RHS Wisley Plant, Surrey Hellebore heaven, Feb 14 & 15, 10.30am to 4.30pm, Wisley Plant Centre. Demonstrations at 11am, 1.30pm and 3pm by expert grower Hugh Nunn and Chelsea gold medal winner Richard Bramley. Hellebores on sale. No booking required, free entry (01483 211113; www.rhs.org.uk ).

Broadview Gardens, Kent National collection of hellebores, Feb 15, 21, 22, 28, March 1, Broadview Gardens and Hadlow College, tours at 11am and 2pm, flowers on sale at Broadview Garden Centre. Entry £3 (0500 551434; www.hadlow.ac.uk).

Renishaw Hall, Derbyshire Fanfare for spring, Feb 22, 11am to 3pm, Renishaw Hall, near Sheffield. Gardens and woodlands full of hellebores, snowdrops, bulbs and more. Specialist nurseries, refreshments. Entry £3 (01246 432310; www.renishaw-hall.co.uk).

Coolings, Kent Hellebore weekend, today, 9am-5pm, tomorrow 10am-4.30pm, Coolings Garden Centre, Rushmore Hill. Hellebore display and sale. Free (01959 532269;www.coolings.co.uk).

National Collection, Staffordshire National collection of species hellebores, open Saturdays in Feb/March, 10am-2pm, Hazles Cross Farm, Kingsley. Entry £2, plants for sale (01538 752669;www.nccpg.com).

webcuts This website with links to specialist nurseries and growers will keep you up to date on the latest star plants: www.hellebores.org

Spring! Time to go out & visit gardens – Waterperry, Oxfordshire


I first went to Waterperry two years ago – when I was desperate for Spring! Here’s a little video I made, inspired by the rising saps, fiery tulips and and unfurling ferns.. Waterperry is at its best when plants are starting to come to life from about now through to late Spring.

A day out at Waterperry Gardens near Oxford is guaranteed to delight and inspire garden-lovers from across the country and the world. Founded by Beatrix Havergal more than seventy years ago as a School of Horticulture for Ladies, the gardens at Waterperry have evolved into an oasis of calm and beauty in the heart of the Oxfordshire countryside within easy driving distance of Buckinghamshire and Berkshire.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “The Gardens at Waterperry, Oxfordshire“, posted with vodpod

Good Gardens to take in some Snowdrop Action


February is a wonderful time to visit one of the UK’s many snowdrop collections. Have your camera ready at Benington Lordship in Hertfordshire, where huge drifts of single and double snowdrops carpet the moat of a ruined Norman castle.  Anglesey Abbey near Cambridge is home to one of the most significant snowdrop collections in the country, with some 240 cultivars to enjoy and compare. Or, take a stroll through the woodland at Cambo Estate Gardens in Fife, carpeted with snowdrops, snowflakes and aconites.