New Plants at Chelsea Flower Show

The RHS Chelsea Flower Show has always been the place to showcase new, rare, and beautiful plants and this year is no exception. The Brewin Dolphin Garden, designed by eminent nurserywoman Rosy Hardy, marks the launch of four new varieties of herbaceous perennials.

Cirsium rivulare Frosted Magic

Rosy frequently uses the classic Cirsium rivulare ‘Atropurpureum’ in her designs, but this garden features an unusual white-flowered form of this popular thistle, Cirsium rivulare ‘Frosted Magic’. This plant is a sturdy, upright, easy to grow perennial with a long flowering season in summer, perfect for the garden or a landscape with “prairie-style” planting. At maturity, it should reached 120cm with a max spread of 60cm.

Another newcomer, Nepeta x faassenii ‘Crystal Cloud‘ sports whorled spikes of delicate, pale lilac flowers, an exciting new colour for this species. The plant is compact and bushy with an upright habit. It’s as easy to grow as other Nepeta and, it’s grey-green leaves and pale flowers make a great partner for plants with dark foliage. Geranium ‘Midnight Reiter’, with its dark purple leaves and dark blue flowers, is an excellent choice. ‘Crystal Cloud’ grows to a max height of 45cm and flowers from late spring to late summer.

FD14681 Veronica Mountain Breeze

Also new are Veronica ‘Mountain Breeze’ and Gaura ‘Rosy Shimmers’, the latter bred by Hardy’s Cottage Garden Plants and is a contender for Chelsea Flower Show Plant of the Year. ‘Rosy Shimmers’ is tall, eventually reaching 1 metre with  reddish pink leaves and large, pale pink petals. Forming a compact mat no more than 40cm tall, ‘Mountain Breeze’ has lightly-striped, mid blue and is a repeat flowerer!

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Rosy will be planting all of these new cultivars exactly where one would find them naturally, adhering to her mantra of ‘right plant, right place’. Entitled Forever Freefolk , The Brewin Dolphin Garden 2016 aims to highlight the fragility of chalk streams which have dwindled to around 200 worldwide and are further endangered by pollution and climate change.

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The River Test in Hampshire is a perfect example of these rare and vital natural resources. The Test runs through Rosy Hardys’ Hampshire village and is very much the inspiration for this, her very first Chelsea show garden. Forever Freefolk is divided into four distinct planting zones: shady, dry chalk grassland, part shade/damp and lush damp. Nearly 6,000 plants, all grown by Hardy’s Cottage Garden Plants, will fill these zones.

A dry chalk stream bed, surrounded by Achillea ‘Moonshine’, Alchemilla sericata ‘Gold Stike’, and Iris ‘Jane Phillips’, leads the eye back to the stream’s source. The planting gradually changes to reflect the change in habitat. The final zone, a lush, damp place, includes Astrantia ‘Ruby Giant’, Baptisia australis, Caltha palustris and Campanula porskyana.

Shade loving plants in this zone are Aquilegia chrysantha ‘Yellow Queen’, Bergenia ‘Wilton’, Brunnera ‘Looking Glass’ and, if the weather cooperates, there could even be another new introduction, Digitalis ‘Gold Crest’. Key plants in the grassland zone are Dianthus armeria, Eleagnus ‘Quicksilver’, Erigeron krvinskianus and Eriophyllum lanatum.

 

Modern Slavery Garden

Juliet Sargeant Designs Show Garden at RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2016 to Highight the Existence of Modern Slavery in the UK & Effect Change

The Juliet Sargeant Designs show Garden is a celebration of the British Parliment passing the Modern Slavery Act  into law on 26 March 2015.

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However, this law is just the beginning. Ninety percent of actual change in circumstances is due to the actions of law enforcement and the general public. It is with this fact in mind that a group of like-minded individuals from all walks of life came together and created this garden for the RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

Despite this law, statistics tell us there are an estimated 13,000 enslaved people in the UK currently, and more than 27 million people worldwide.  The aim of this garden is to raise public awareness of this issue. “Being involved in the RHS Chelsea Flower show affords us a wonderful opportunity to get the message into the living rooms of the great British public, build support and help end modern slavery” Mirabelle Galvin, Modern Slavery Garden Team Member.

The garden features a number of doors. First to meet the eye are bright, inviting doors surrounded by colourful planting schemes, used to illustrate the ordinary streets in which we live. Behind these doors, we glimpse a series of dark, imposing, locked doors, symbolising  the hidden ‘behind closed doors’ nature of modern slavery. 

Translucent planting separates the front of the garden from the darker inner space. Feathery fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) and the stems of Verbascum and lupin (Lupinus) echo the vertical iron railings surrounding the garden. A ribbon of warm apricot and orange hues run around the perimeter of the garden and compliment the bright colours of the painted front doors. These ribbons include the brightly-coloured, cottage garden favourites, like Peony ‘Coral Sunset’ (Paeonia ‘Coral Sunset’) and Anthriscus ‘Ravenswing’. Included are recently introduced varieties like Geum ‘Totally Tangerine’ , launched at Chelsea in 2010, and Heuchera macrantha ‘Palace Purple’ , which debuted in 1983.

Juliet has also chosen to include static pauses in the planting with Coprosma ‘Lemon and Lime’ and Coprosma ‘Pina Colada’ These contrast with the more dramatic forms of Red hook sedge (Uncinia rub) and New Zealand wind grass (Amenanthele lessoniana). This is clearly a garden of contrasts, the bright, uplifting colours surrounded the black heart of the garden’s interior.

The Pollen is coming, be prepared.

Spring has sprung and everything is waking. However, as flowers start to bloom, that ‘everything’ may include your hay fever!

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For those of you who like the outdoors, but suffer from pollen allergies, we want to help! As all doctors agree, prevention is better than a cure so understanding what kind of pollen you are allergic to is more than half the battle. If you can work out what triggers your hay fever, you can try to avoid it whilst still enjoying outdoor activities , especially gardening!

Since pollen is primarily carried by wind or insects, it is impossible to avoid it altogether. Airborne pollen is at its highest concentration in the morning as the temperature starts to warm and in the evening as the temperature cools. Warm, windy days are the worst for airborne pollen, but many allergy-suffering gardeners cannot stop working due to these conditions. In this situation, seeking medical advice and wearing personal protective equipment are the best ways to lessen allergy symptoms. Generally, different plant groups create more pollen during a specific time frame throughout the year. You may be able to identify what type of pollen you allergic by what time of year you have symptoms:

  • Tree pollen usually affects people from January to May
  • Grass pollen is released in May through to the end of the grass growing period (this is usually autumn).
  • Weed pollen season is late summer into autumn.

Easy ways to reduce your pollen contact:

  1. If you suffer from a tree pollen allergy, avoid planting trees or shrubs with catkins such as: alder (Alnus) , ash (Fraxinus) , beech (Fagus) , birch (Betula) , elm (Ulmus), ginkgo, hazel (Corylus) , mulberry (Morus) and oak (Quercus) . If you desperately want to plant one of these trees in your garden, check if it is dioecious so you can select a female plant that won’t produce pollen but will produce fruit.

  2. Choose plants that attract wildlife. Their pollen is generally collected by insects so it is less likely to be airborne. Plants like foxgloves (Digitalis), Campsis and other trumpet-shaped flowers are also good options.
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  3. Grass pollen sources include lawns, ornamental grasses, and meadows. Luckily, ornamental grasses such as Muhlenbergia, Stipa, Carex, and Miscanthus are low maintenance during the warmer months. Also, lawn grass pollen can be greatly reduced by frequent cutting.

For more information on allergic reactions, moulds, and more gardening tips for positive avoidance, please visit Allergy UK  

 

 

Mother’s Day Walk and Talk

A walk in an open space allows us to open our lungs and stretch our legs, see the beauty of gardens and the natural wilderness and also has a way of opening us up. Being surrounded by fresh air and lush green has a very positive effect on the brain, it calms the mind, boosts creative thinking and gives us a chance to reflect.

This Mother’s day weekend there are 20 NGS gardens open across the UK. Here are just 5 of the 20 for your to visit with your Mum and entire family:

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www.capelmanorgardens.co.uk.

Open on Saturday only: Capel Manor Gardens, Enfield, a great for all the family; there are 30 acre of gardens that surround the Georgian Manor House and Victorian Stables, model and historic gardens including a Chelsea Flower Show Gold medal garden. And for the little ones who are not yet the avid gardeners, there are animals to see and an evergreen maze and Jungle Gym to play in for hours of fun.

 

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Photo by Alan and Diana Guy of Kitemoor Cottage

Visit Kitemoor Cottage in Dorset to view the beautiful varieties and cultivars of the beloved Christmas Rose. Plants person Diana Guy invites you to walk amongst her 1/2 an acre garden filled with; an orchard,fruit and vegetable garden, mini meadow, naturalistic planting and cottage borders. Diana also has a large collection of Hellebores with the opportunity to purchase some too.

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www.swarthmoorhall.co.uk

Fingers crossed they have had a perfect winter and the crocus field is full! For a look at naturalistic bulb planting and a field full of colour, visit Swarthmoor Hall in Cumbria. They are happy taking admission by donations and also serve light refreshments in the Barn Cafe.

 

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www.boughtonhouse.org.uk

Boughton House is a great spot in Northamptonshire with fantastic vistas, newly created sensory and wildlife gardens and a wilderness woodland open for visitors to view the spring flowers. You may even see the emergence of their herbaceous borders that will tempt you back for more.

 

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www.kingjohnsnursery.co.uk

Close to the Sussex/Kent border, a Romantic garden for all seasons will open it’s gates for the first time this year. King John’s Lodge is 4 acres composed of a formal garden with water features, rose walk and wild garden and pond. Rustic bridge to shaded ivy garden, large herbaceous borders, old shrub roses and secret garden.

For more information on all of these gardens and more please visit the NSG find a garden.

And remember if you do visit, please email or tweet us your photos celebrating Mother’s day.

 

 

The Big Problem with Sudden Oak Death

Although this may seem like old news, Sudden oak death is something all gardeners should look out for.

It is not just our beautiful old oak trees that suffer from this pathogen but many other smaller trees and shrubs that you are likely to have in your garden. The plant pathogen Phytophthora ramorum known as Sudden oak death also effects garden plants such as; Rhododendron, Viburnum, CamelliaCalluna, Erica, Hamamelis , Lonicera , SyringaTaxus and Laurel.

Symptoms vary depending on each plant, therefore is especially hard to identify. Our advice would be to visit the DEFRA site to see the list of symptoms and contact them directly if you need any further assistance in this matter. If you do find an issue please share it with us on Twitter.

 

RHS London Botanic Art Show

The RHS are very busy bees and have lots of spring time shows scheduled for 2016.

First off is The London Botanic Art Show from the 26th & 27th of February. Head to RHS Lindey Hall, London for an exhibition of botanical art from around the world.

 

b7b64f838364947910e36887efd112e2Botanical illustration by Louis van Houtte,Fuchsias, 1877

You can wander through the pop up exhibition spaces, talk with the artists, watch them in action, pick up tips for your own artistic works and even get creative with prints and pressed flowers.

For more information and to book tickets for this show visit the RHS

Are you attending The London Botanic Art Show? Please email or tweet us your photos of the event.

And watch this space for updates on upcoming events…

 

 

 

The New Multi Plant Add Is Here!

We are making Shoot even easier to use. We are proud to announce the new multi-plant add feature. Here is how to use it:

Login as usual, go to My Garden and click on My Garden Notebook. Then, select a garden and click ‘Add Plant’

You will be offered these options:

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Select ‘Add Multiple Plants’

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Before adding a list of plants, select which garden you would like with the drop down tab just above the ‘Add Plants’ button.

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Once you have added your list, check through for spelling mistakes and descriptive information such as ‘(dark red)’ seen highlighted above. Please correct spellings and erase any other information other than the plant name otherwise it will fail to match.

When complete, click ‘Add Plants’. You will see a pop up of to tell you how many plants were added to your selected garden.

You will receive an email similar to this to tell you which plants we could not match on:

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You then have the option to request a plant or using our advance search tool.

We have had great feedback on this new feature so far. Please do comment below or tweet us to tell us your thoughts. We would love to hear from you!

And if you are not a member yet, please sign-up to TRY SHOOT FREE.

An Historic Spring Time Adventure

Geoffrey & Etta Wyatt will be opening the gates of their parkland garden for all to see.

The magical place can be found in the South downs National Park with views towards Cissbury Ring and the sea.

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This spring time garden was designed by Oliver Wyatt in 1945, a member of the Royal Horticultural Society and a snowdrop enthusiast who discovered and named two varieties of snowdrops; Galanthus Maidwell L and Maidwell C,  and these can both be found at Cissbury.

The garden boasts a wilderness filled with breathtaking drifts of Snowdrops, Daffodils and Bluebells, as well as a magnificent dawn redwood, holm oak hedge, many cedars and shrubbery.

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The garden is open to all on Saturday  27 February and Thursday 3 March from 10am – 4pm. Admission is just £4.00 per adult and children go for free.  Dogs welcome and home made tea is available.

For maps and more information visit NGS Cissbury

As a NGS garden, the proceeds go to charities such as; Macmillan Cancer Support, Marie Curie Cancer Care and many more.