Posts Tagged ‘ gardening ’

Daily Telegraph Top 10 Hellebore Days Out

Top 10 hellebore days out

These subtle but stunning plants will be flowering soon.


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

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;

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;

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;

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;

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; ).

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;

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;

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

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;

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

Call a spade a spade? How to choose a decent spade..

If you’re passionate about gardening  – the chances are you probably take pride in your shed and your beloved garden tools.

I still have my grandfather’s spade which is a beautiful sturdy beast that’s been going for decades.  But recently it was time for Grandpa’s spade to retire due to overwork.  This meant is was time for me to make friends with a replacement spade.  I wasn’t really sure where to start.  A spade’s a spade innit?  Well not really.  They’re kind of like a well rounded pair of shoes – they need to fit you, look good, and be comfortable and durable.  A good spade is definitely one that is comfortable to use and effective. This means that it needs to be the right length, a comfortable tread, not too heavy and the blade must not be blunt.  Although there are many spanking new spades that fulfil this criteria, there’s also something very beautiful about antique and second hand garden tools I think.  Like they could tell a story.  Why not be green and give a good home to a vintage spade off eBay like I did?  If you are determined to buy new – I was pleasantly surprised to find that Amazon do a good range in garden tools too.  Happy digging!

What to do in the Garden in March – Start Composting

Why Compost?

Compost is the perfect free organic food for your garden. It’s the ultimate in recycling that you can do in your own home & garden. It also links your own food chain from your home to your land – putting back nutrients directly to the soil.  Compost is packed with nutrients any garden will love, and it helps improve soil condition, maintain moisture levels, and keep your soil’s PH balance in check while helping to suppress plant disease.

It will have everything your plants need including nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium and it will help buffer soils that are very acidic or alkaline. Did you know around 40% of the average household’s bin contents are suitable for composting at home? So it helps cut down on landfill, which is major source of pollution, too.

We like this National Trust video on how to compost

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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.

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The meanings of different coloured roses on Valentines Day

The meanings of different coloured roses on Valentines Day

Roses are the traditional gift given on Valentines Day, although they’re certain to be well-received any time of year. But before you buy roses, know what message you’re sending.  The colour of a rose can have a very different meaning from what you intend. To ensure that your loved one understands what the roses you bestow mean, check this guide to rose colours and their meanings:

Red Roses
Red roses proclaim “I love you.” They are the ultimate symbol of romantic love and enduring passion. Florists can’t keep up with Valentines Day demand for red roses, which makes them especially expensive in February.

Yellow Roses
Yellow roses indicate friendship and freedom — so don’t send them if your intentions are romantic and long-lasting. Yellow roses are also appropriate for sending congratulations to newlyweds, graduates, Texans, Indian Restaurants and grandmas.

Pale Pink Roses
Pale pink roses connote grace, gentleness, and gratitude.

Light Pink Roses
A joy to behold, light pink roses express fun and happiness.

Deep Pink Roses
Deep pink roses say “Thank you.” They have also come to be associated with the fight against breast cancer.

Lilac Roses
Lilac roses indicate the sender has fallen in love at first sight with the recipient and is enchanted.

White Roses
Pure white roses symbolize truth and innocence. They also send other messages: “I miss you” and “You’re heavenly.”

Peach Roses
Peach roses speak of appreciation and gratitude.  Although some peach roses I find a bit much.  And they remind me of 1970s puddings like Instant Whip and Angel Delight.  Luckily not everyone feels like me.

Coral Roses
Coral roses express one thing with their passionate color: Desire.  (Or that the garage had run out of red ones)

Orange Roses
Orange roses communicate enthusiasm and desire on the part of the sender.

Dead Roses
Regardless of the original color, dead roses say “It’s over” loud and clear.

Put two or more colors of roses together, and a new rose meaning arises:

White Roses + Yellow Roses
A symbol of harmony.

Red Roses + Yellow Roses
A message of happiness and celebration.

Red Roses + White Roses
An indication of bonding and harmony.

While roses are traditionally presented in bouquet form, these are also acceptable:

Single Red Rose
“I love you” (but I’m not going to go broke telling you).

Single Rose Any Color
“I thank you” (and I’m still not going to go broke saying so).

Two Roses Entwined
An engagement or marriage is imminent.

Gardening is a way of showing that you believe in tomorrow…

Gardening is a way of showing you believe in tomorrow

Gardening is a way of showing that you believe in tomorrow…

How true!  We love this photo – by Mariana, one of our MyGardenSchool Flickr group members .  I don’t think it needs explanation – just enjoy. Mariana is a freelance graphic artist/designer, turned addict to photographing anything and turning it into something…

More on Mariana

MyGardenSchool Group on Flickr

Feel free to join MyGardenSchool Group on Flickr

We like Flickr.  And embrace its passionate community of photographic enthusiasts.  Please feel free to join the MyGardenSchool Flickr group where you can get constructive comments on your plant, flower, garden and anything garden related photography.  We will begin an awards process shortly for those photographs we think are extra special.

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