ARDEN

THE ENGLISH
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THE ENGLISH
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THE ENGLISH
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MAY 2010 £3.90 A$9.50
FOR EVERYONE WHO LOVES BEAUTIFUL GARDENS
MAY 2010 £3.90 A$9.50
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ALSO IN THE MAY ISSUE...
● MONEY-OFF VOUCHERS for open gardens
● PERFECT PEARS for blossom and fruit
● Our top picks of GARDEN FURNITURE
● TOBY BUCKLAND on growing greens
FOR EVERYONE WHO LOVES BEAUTIFUL GARDENS
WIN
A HAYTER
MOWER
pg 24
WORTH £555
www.theenglishgarden.co.uk
Country looks
◆ Raymond Evison’s 50 years
◆ See a leading nursery prepare
◆ Andy Sturgeon reinvents his garden
◆ How to take the Chelsea magic home
ACRES OF IDEAS
FOR SUMMER
Carol Klein
GROWS UMBELS
FOR IMPACT
CHELSEA
Show Offs
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If these new plants
and design ideas
don’t capture your
imagination, then they
are unlikely to take off
W
ill it be purple, will it be green, will
it be chic or cottagey - I am, of
course talking about the themes at
this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower
Show (25-29 May). After nearly
two decades of taking part in or visiting this remarkable
show, I know it like the back of my hand - but tire of
it I never will. As you can imagine, press day is a treat
and a great chance to rub shoulders with the stars, but
it’s not my favourite day. The public days are what it’s
all about. Hearing what the real gardeners think of the
designer plots and watching their excitement as they
spot a new plant is just priceless. This is how I discover
what will be popular. After all, if the new plants
and design ideas don’t capture your imagination, then
they are unlikely to take off. Last year, the emphasis
was on foliage, but it’s the flowers that hold our
attention, so I’m hoping for a floriferous show. A few
years ago, I helped sell off plants from an exhibit at the
end of the week, and it was a complete frenzy. We sold
a huge climbing rose, and I still wonder where it’s ended
up - hopefully it survived the bus or train ride home.
This issue, we bring you the CHELSEA PREVIEW (pg
57) and a chance to discover how CROCUS NURSERY
(pg 62), which provides plants for some of the top
designers, prepares for the greatest flower show on earth.
As the grass grows rapidly under our feet, I’ve been test
driving a selection of RIDE-ON MOWERS (pg 22). So if
your mower is chewing at your lawn rather than cutting
it, you might be tempted to take a look at the gleaming
line up or take part in our Hayter competition (pg 24).
We also bring you four spectacular gardens and plenty
of hands-on advice from TOBY BUCKLAND (pg 15) and
MARK DIACONO (pg 85).
I’ll leave you to enjoy the issue, as I’m off for an evening
with Alan Titchmarch at Raymond Blanc’s Le Manoir
Aux Quat’Saisons - rubbing shoulders with the
gardening stars. Me, I don’t enjoy it one bit!
On the cover:
Mill House, Dorset (pg 35)
Photograph: Carole Drake
Tamsin Westhorpe, Editor
EDITOR’S LETTER
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THE ENGLISH
GARDEN AWARDS
2009
Garden Media Guild
Gardening Column
Of TheYear
Jackie Bennett
Garden Media Guild
New Garden Media
Talent Of TheYear
Stephanie Mahon
2008
Garden Media Guild
NewWriter Award
Joe Reardon-Smith
TEGUK152 Ed Letter final 30/03/2010 12:15 Page 3
EDITORIAL
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The English Garden (UK issue) ISSN no 1361-2840. Printed in England.
The English Garden, Archant House, Oriel Road,
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ARDEN
THE ENGLISH
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Member of the Audit
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FOR EVERYONEWHO LOVES BEAUTIFUL GARDENS
www.theenglishgarden.co.uk
TEGUK152 Masthead final:UK 30/03/2010 13:17 Page 5
The English Garden 5
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Contents
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MAY
10 The Rake James Alexander-Sinclair on must-see May gardens,
plus a special interview with Chelsea’s energetic manager
12 Shopping… For the relaxed gardener Seats, benches,
hammocks, daybeds, rocking chairs and lots of lovely cushions
17 In action The Houghton gardening team spring into action as
they focus on weeding, filling out the vegetables beds and more
22 Editor’s choice Fancy the ultimate bit of kit for your garden?
Tamsin gets to ‘road test’ some of the best ride-on mowers
48 Focus on Kent Gardens, nurseries and a tempting tearoom
81 Eco-watchAnne Gatti discusses the pros and cons of
a range of eco-friendly garden furniture materials
102 Set in stone Fine architectural stonework from Chilstone
114 Library leaves The latest gardening titles reviewed
130 Guest speaker RHS Chelsea veteran Andy McIndoe explains
why he’s proud to be part of the show
Glorious gardens
26 HAMPSHIRE Austen’s haven Jane Austen’s home from
home is now the setting for a beautiful garden - and a few alpacas
35 DORSET Water world Terraces, sculptures and aquatic
delights grace the garden at Mill House
41 KENT Taking the long view Masterfully designed
gardens with glorious views of the Kentish Weald
50 SOMERSET Rooms at the top Sissinghurst was the
inspiration for this small cottage garden with intimate garden rooms
Chelsea preview
58 Chelsea charmers Highlights from this year’s Chelsea
62 No business like show business How one of Chelsea’s
most important plant providers gets ready for the show
67 DESIGN FOCUS Show swank to river bank
Andy Sturgeon on reinterpreting a Chelsea show garden
72 DESIGN BOOK Steal the show How best to use flower
shows to embellish or transform your own garden
75 The king of clematis Find out why Raymond Evision is
considered plant-breeding royalty
Grow & eat
85 Otter FarmSpice up your salads and stir fries with home-grown
peppercorns and oriental leaves, says Mark Diacono
88 From the kitchen gardenTempting treats and ingenious
ideas for the perfect outdoor garden party
17
TEGUK152 Contents final 31/03/2010 10:45 Page 6
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Plants
9 Plant swatch Perfect pear partners for blossom and fruit
15 Talking techniques Toby Buckland praises the much-
maligned but highly productive cabbage
93 Bright stars Carol Klein on the simple charms of umbellifers
Offers, competitions & events
24 Win a Hayter mower worth £555. Be one of four winners
78 Clematis offer Save on Raymond Evison garden-ready clematis
83 Subscriptions Get 31% off the cover price and a FREE Burgon
& Ball Fork andTrowel when subscribe to The English Garden
97 Umbel offers Exclusive discounts on scrumptious umbellifers
104 Craft offer Save up to £99 when you buy a date-stamped
Chilstone handmade Oakley Vase and Pedestal
106 Garden vouchers Great savings at 16 gorgeous gardens
110 Reader events 2010 Exclusive themed events ranging from
cooking and pottery to designing with grasses
118 Web page and rules www.theenglishgarden.co.uk has
special deals. Plus our competition and offer terms and conditions
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TEGUK152 Contents final 30/03/2010 16:56 Page 7
PLANT SWATCH
BLOSSOM & FRUIT
The English Garden 9
‘Beth’
A delicious dessert pear, ‘Beth’ (above) is an early
variety, with fruit ready in August and September.
It falls into pollination group 4, so can be grown
with ‘Conference’ as there will be an overlap of
flowering times. If space is limited, any of these
pears can be grown as a cordon (a single stem)
trained against a wall, fence or on post and wire.
GROWING CONDITIONS Plant in a sunny,
sheltered position, and give plenty of water
during dry periods as pears are less able to
withstand drought than apples. Apply a high
nitrogen feed in spring.
WHERE TO BUY Keepers Nursery, Gallants
Court, East Farleigh, Maidstone, Kent ME15 0LE.
Tel: +44 (0)1622 726465. www.keepers-
nursery.co.uk or Harley Nursery, Shropshire; tel:
+44 (0)1952 510241. www.harleynursery.co.uk
‘Conference’
The classic eating pear (top right), with elegant,
tapering fruits. This is a mid-season variety to pick
in September for eating in October/November
(pears have a better flavour when ripened off the
tree). The key to successful fruiting is to choose
trees with a similar flowering time (pollination
group). Conference is in group 3 and can be
bought as a cordon, espalier, bush or standard.
GROWING CONDITIONS Pears flower
earlier than apples, so need a sunny, sheltered
position to attract early insects for pollination -
cordons or espaliers should face south if at all
possible. Plant in fertile, loamy soil, adding a
general purpose fertiliser beforehand.
WHERE TO BUYWidely available on mail
order. Try AshridgeTrees, Somerset BA7 7NJ. Tel:
+44 (0)1963 359444. www.ashridgetrees.co.uk
‘Docteur Jules Guyot’
This sweet early variety (above right) is ready for
picking soon after the middle of August, and for
eating from late August onwards. Like other
pears, it is best picked before it is ripe and taken
inside to ripen. It falls into pollination group 3, so
the flowering should coincide with ‘Conference’
to ensure a good ‘set’ of fruit.
GROWING CONDITIONS Pears need
warmth and in colder gardens can be grown
under glass. Pruning and training will depend
on whether it’s a bush, tree, espalier or cordon;
ask at the nursery. Your tree should produce
fruit at about five years old.
WHERE TO BUY Botanica, Chantry Farm,
Campsea Ashe, Wickham Market, Woodbridge,
Suffolk IP13 OPZ. Tel: +44 (0)1728 747113.
www.botanica.org.uk
Pretty pears
Pears need partners, so try these three varieties that
are tops for flowering and fruiting compatibility
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TEGUK152 Plant swatch final:UK 30/03/2010 15:04 Page 9
10 The English Garden
R
HS Chelsea Flower
Show brings together
some of the very best
nurseries and designers in the
world. My predictions are that
gardens from Tom Stuart-Smith
(Laurent-Perrier), Andy Sturgeon
(The Telegraph), Tom Hoblyn
(Foreign and Colonial) and Roger
Platts (M&G) will win gold medals… and that it will
rain on the Monday. If you can’t make it to the show there
will be hours of TV coverage. Alan Titchmarsh and Joe
Swift are respectively captain and first mate of this great
ship of broadcasting. I am contributing a bit but in a very
minor capacity: probably the equivalent of a mildly
impertinent cabin boy. James Alexander-Sinclair
news G updates G events G trends G gossip G news G updates G events
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IMAGINATIVE EXHIBITS
One of the biggest stands in the
Grand Pavilion at Chelsea Flower
Show belongs to Hillier Nurseries.
They are another of my tips for a
gold medal (but as they’ve won
64 in a row then that might be
quite a safe bet). The exhibits are
the brainchild of Andy McIndoe
(above), the MD, a man noted for
his breadth of imagination. At this
year’s show, he is taking us on a
series of Adventures in Gardening:
a journey that includes Venice,
Marrakesh, Scandinavia and
a secret garden containing the
Couch of Consultation and the
Throne of Knowledge. I will
personally be very disappointed
if Andy isn’t wearing a kaftan to
collect his medal!
DIXTER AT THE GARDEN MUSEUM
For a respite from all this showing, you could do a lot worse than beetle
off to the Garden Museum (down by Lambeth Palace) where there is an
exhibition dedicated to Christopher Lloyd and Great Dixter (below). You get
the best of two things here: an exhibition dedicated to one of the best
gardens created in the past 50-odd years, and an insight into the man
behind the garden, as well as the chance to visit a remarkably fine museum
(with, incidentally, an excellent restaurant). In fact, while you are there it
would be worth becoming a friend of the museum: if you live outside
London it is only £37.50 for a couple. Also, if you go between 6 and 8
May you get the added bonus of a Riot of Roses masterminded by the
knowledgeable Robert Mattock, one of our more dapper nurserymen.
RIVER COTTAGE
As an alternative to all this garden
design nonsense, you can’t do
much better than zoom off to River
Cottage HQ on the Dorset/Devon
borders to spend 17 or 18 May
listening to Mark Diacono (below)
talk about vegetables. You will have
noticed his articles in these very
pages: he can often be seen posing
photogenically beside a burgeoning
squash or ripe raspberry. A bit like a
cut-price Rock Hudson. Anyway, he
knows everything there is to know
about his subject and a day in his
company is never wasted. Tickets
cost £145 but by calling tel: +44
(0)1297 630302 and quoting TEG,
you can enjoy a discount of £45
www.rivercottage.net
GREAT SETTING FOR A GARDEN SHOW
My grandmother took me to Holdenby House (below) when I was a
child: I remember riding on a miniature steam train while wearing a small
tweed jacket and a Sinclair tartan tie - although this may be a completely
false memory. My mother, who received a subscription to this magazine
for Christmas, will be on the telephone in seconds to correct me.
Holdenby is a fine Northamptonshire house with high chimneys that
drips with history. It was built by Sir Christopher Hatton for Elizabeth I
and served as a prison for Charles I. It has gardens designed by both
Rosemary Verey and Rupert Golby, so seems like a good place to have
a garden show. There will be plant stalls, falconry displays, tours of the
gardens and cream teas. The Holdenby Garden and Home Show, 15-16
May. Tel: +44 (0)1604 770074. www.holdenby.com
TEGUK152 The Rake final 30/03/2010 14:47 Page 10
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MAY EVENTS
G Saturday 1 - Monday 3, Bath
Bath Spring Flower Show at the
Royal Victoria Park. To buy tickets
call: 0844 8475256.
G Saturday 1 May - 26 Sept,
SurreyThe opening of the third
International Garden Photographer
of theYear Exhibition at the Royal
Botanic Gardens, Kew. To enter,
visit www.igpoty.com
G Thursday 6 - Sunday 9,
Worcestershire Held in the Malvern
Showground the Malvern Spring
Gardening Show. To book tickets,
visit www.threecounties.co.uk
G Friday 7 - Sunday 9, Norfolk
Norfolk Spring Gardening Show
at Royal Norfolk Showground.
www.aztecevents.co.uk
G Saturday 8, Suffolk The
complete chicken open day at
Suffolk Gardening School, offering
expert advice from Colchester
Poultry Club. Entry is £1.
For more information on the event,
tel: +44 (0)1359 233363.
G Wednesday 12, Oxon Learn
how to grow your own veg with
Jane Owen at Le Manoir Aux Quat’
Saisons. Guided visit in the kitchen
gardens, before a sparkling
Champagne reception. £165,
including a three-course lunch.
Tel: +44 (0)1844 278881.
www.manoir.com
G Thursday 13, Hereford Indulge
in an asparagus evening at Castle
House. Includes three courses and
a glass of champagne. £30.
To book, tel: +44 (0)1432 356321.
www.castlehse.co.uk
G Thursday 20, London Exclusive
chance to visit Frogmore House and
Gardens in aid of St Dunstan’s - the
charity supporting blind ex-service
men and women. Advance booking is
recommended. 10am-5.30pm, £4.50.
Tel: +44 (0)20 7616 8367. www.st-
dunstans.org.uk/frogmoregarden
G Friday 21 - Sunday 23,
Hillsborough, Ireland EnjoyThe
Garden Show at Hillsborough Castle,
Co. Down. £9 on the gate (under
16s free) or save £1 by booking online.
Group bookings are also available.
Tel: +44 (0)28 9756 1993.
www.gardenshowireland.com
G trends G gossip G news G updates G events G trends G gossip G news
ALEX DENMAN
Ensuring Chelsea Flower Show
runs smoothly is a complex role,
but a dream job for manager Alex
Denman (above). I caught up with
her to find out her top tips on
what to look out for.
How many gardens are there at
Chelsea this year?Which one
are you most looking forward
to seeing? There will be 40 awe-
inspiring gardens at Chelsea this
year. For me, the most anticipated
courtyard garden is Welcome to
Yorkshire’s Rhubarb Crumble and
Custard Garden, designed by
a team from Gillespies LLP
including Kate Dundas, Simon
Hall, John MacCleary andTom
Walker. It focuses on one of my
all-time favourite fruits: rhubarb.
How amazing to use that as your
design inspiration - it’s so frivolous
and fun. In the show gardens,
the Eden Project is coming back
with their Working for Change
programme. They are building
the biggest show garden ever
seen at Chelsea.
What other new things should
we be looking out for? A new
marquee dedicated to floral
demonstrations. Running all day,
visitors will get a chance to be
entertained by top florists, such
as Simon Lycett, who designed
flowers for the BAFTAS.
If there was a wrestling match
betweenTom Stuart-Smith and
Andy Sturgeon, who would
win? Ha! Those gentlemen had
better be good on site... but if
they were to fight I’d see it as
more of a scrap, Bridget Jones
style, withTom Stuart-Smith
taking the Colin Firth role, and
Andy as Hugh Grant’s character.
It would be all legs and pulling
hair. UltimatelyTom would win.
When I made a garden at
Chelsea in 1999, the whole
thing just got chucked in a skip
at the end of the week (except
one feature that is now in my
mother-in-law’s garden). Tell
me, have things changed?The
RHS and our exhibitors are not
prepared to see such waste
anymore. There has been such
a steep change in people’s
attitudes to waste, and at the
garden selection stage we ask
the designer and sponsor how the
garden will be reused or rebuilt. In
addition, last year was our most
successful in terms of how much
waste generated on site was
recycled - a massive 98%. We
will, of course,l be striving to
get that down further.
The show tends to be quite
busy, what is the best time to
come to the show? If you are
a real plantsperson then become,
if you are not already, a RHS
member. You can then buy tickets
for the first two days of the show,
which are not open to the general
public. The exhibits are at their
freshest and there are fewer
people in the show ground,
allowing you more time to talk
to the nurserymen about the
goodies you want to take home.
How did you end up in this job?
By wily persistence! My career in
horticulture has a thread running
through it of wanting to get others
interested in gardening. I have
a degree in horticulture from
Reading University. I then went
on to teach at Reaseheath College
in Cheshire. But my real break
came when I moved to the RHS
journal, The Garden, and worked
on bringing practical projects to
the pages through working with
nurseries and head gardeners.
That led in turn to this dream job.
TEGUK152 The Rake final 30/03/2010 14:48 Page 11
SHOPPING
FOR THE RELAXED GARDENER
Settle petal
Take a break from the borders and the
weight off your feet for a few moments
this summer, with our pick of the latest
garden seats and treats
TEGUK152 Shopping Relaxed Gardener final:UK 30/03/2010 13:02 Page 12
The English Garden 13
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OPPOSITE PAGEWallflower leaf fabric, £20 per m; seed box, £10; string in a tin, £8; aspley side chair, £79. Tel: 0845 6049049. www.johnlewis.com
2 Rhode island rocker, £175. Tel: 0845 6084448. www.gardentrading.co.uk 3 Monaco arbour seat, £499. Tel: 0844 2489801. www.forestgarden.co.uk
4White victoria bench with navy cushion - part of theVictoria set comprising two benches, two carver chairs, parasol and parasol base, £899.98.
Murcia mosaic fire pit table, £99.98; assorted tumblers (pack of four and available in pink, green or blue), £4.98; Waterlily tealight holder available
in pink, green or blue, £2.98. Tel: 0845 6096688. www.diy.com 5 Outdoor spherical weatherproof wicker daybed, £2,595 to £2,669. Tel: +44 (0)1732
832299. www.ingarden.co.uk 6 Double rainbow hammock, £50. Tel: +44 (0)1844 217060. www.henandhammock.co.uk 7 The lazy Gigi chair,
£539. Tel: +44 (0)20 7352 5656. www.chelseagardener.com 8 Indoor/outdoor rug, £85; indoor/outdoor cushion, £20. Tel: 0844 8580734.
www.coxandcox.co.uk
TEGUK152 Shopping Relaxed Gardener final:UK 30/03/2010 13:03 Page 13
FOLLY & GARDEN
F
orward planning is key to kitchen-garden
success, and nowhere more so than with
cabbages. These heavy-headed mainstays of
autumn and winter may not be in our thoughts
now, especially with so many tasty summer veg
demanding our attention, but ignore them and
you’ll regret it. Cabbages may be traditional, even
boring, but what they lack in charisma, they make
up for in staying power. Come winter they’ll keep
you well fed and your plot as pretty and productive
as anything Beatrix Potter could dream up.
I always grow two types of cabbage - both full
of flavour and, as it happens, pretty good to look
at too. The classic ‘Red Drumhead’ is the colour
of burgundy wine and ready from autumn until
Christmas. Although not as hardy as green types,
the flavour is robust and particularly good with
fruit. I braise the shredded leaves and then cook
in red wine and orange juice with slices of apple
thrown in for good measure.
My other mainstay and the best all-rounder for
casseroles is Savoy. I like to cook it in a creamy
sauce flavoured with French mustard; its deeply
crinkled leaves provide a texture that’s perfect for
mopping up the sauce. Savoys are tough, able
to survive even Siberian winters, and ready
from autumn right through until March. One
head will easily make a meal for a large family.
Some gardeners are put off cabbages because of
their well-documented downsides. They’re slow
developers, taking an age before giving returns,
and can be a magnet for pests. The first problem
is easily solved by sowing autumn and winter
cabbages into a seed bed - a well-cultivated and
weed-free corner, at least 60x120cm in size. Even
in a small bed, there’s room for a few different
varieties, and if sown thinly they can be left to their
own devices until July, when they’re ready to move
to spaces left from the clearance of earlier crops.
The ideal size is when plants have five to six leaves,
Talking techniques
Toby Buckland pleads the case
for growing these oft-ignored
but winning winter greens
and the ideal soil is one that is firm but well-fuelled:
in fluffy or hungry ground, cabbages won’t produce
solid hearts or grow to a decent size.
I like to plant my cabbages in places vacated by
early ‘Kelvedon Wonder’ peas, as the pea roots are
left in situ (meaning the soil doesn’t get fluffed),
with nutritious nitrogen trapped on the legume’s
fleshy root-nodules. The spent pea-sticks come in
handy too, keeping pigeons at bay or as a frame
for a tent of horticultural fleece. I cocoon my
cabbages beneath this from when they’re young
right through until September, when the winds
get up and pests start losing their appetites for
winter. But fleece is even less attractive than a
whirligig washing line, so if your cabbages are high-
profile, there are some great organic products that
are brilliant for keeping your crop clean. I use a
combination of pest-attacking nematodes - they’ve
been around for years but now are blended to
attack a broad range of pests - and there are new
mineral lattice sprays similar to soft soaps, only
they work and feed at the same time. The only
pests these three won’t keep at bay are rabbits -
for that you’ll need a Mr McGregor!
Next month: Biological pest controls
Cabbages
NEW SERIES
What cabbages lack in charisma, they make up for in staying
power, keeping you well fed and your plot pretty and productive’
The English Garden 15
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TEGUK152 Toby Buckland final:UK 30/03/2010 15:06 Page 15
In the five-acre walled garden of Norfolk’s Houghton Hall, the gardening team are in the midst of
a busy spring season. It’s time to turn full attention to the flower borders and the vegetable beds
PHOTOGRAPHS RICHARD HANSON WORDS JACKIE BENNETT
The English Garden 17
In full flower at Houghton
MAY
IN ACTION
T
he house and grounds are now open for
three days every week as well as bank
holidays, so the gardeners get to meet the
public on a regular basis. Since the walled
garden won the HHA/Christie’s Garden of
the Year Award three years ago, people come with high
expectations, and the team need to keep the standards
high. ‘The visitors keep us on our toes,’ says head
gardener Mhari Blanchfield, ‘but they are also one of the
reasons we like the work. It is great to get feedback and
for people to take such a close interest in what we do,
even if it is to point out something that we haven’t done!’
This month, along with the regular mowing and edging
that goes on in every garden in the land, there is a big
push to fill out the vegetable beds and to keep on top of
the weeding in the rose garden and the long borders.
WISTERIAWALK
G Along the western side of
the garden, the sturdy oak
pergola is filling out with
Wisteria sinensis, W. floribunda
and W. brachybotrys. Winter
pruning has ensured that the
buds have ripened into
sumptuous, purple flowers.
G When the flowers have
finished, untidy straggly tendrils
will be cut back and the flexible
new stems trained around the
overhead beams.
L
TEGUK152 Houghton Hall final:UK 26/03/2010 16:01 Page 17
THE PEONY BORDER
G Running parallel to the wisteria walk, the peony
borders are now in full bloom. The beds include several
varieties of tree peony and herbaceous varieties such
as Paeonia lactiflora ‘Félix Crousse’ and ‘Bunker Hill’.
The cultivars are deliberately chosen to give deeper
pinks and reds at the end of the beds, grading to
lighter shades in the centre.
G Maintenance here is high. The beds must be kept
meticulously weeded - particularly looking out for couch
grass or bindweed, which can inveigle their way into the
peonies. In early spring, they need to be staked (using
wire cradles) and fed with bone meal. Mhari checks the
lilies that are grown among the peonies (Lilium regale and
Lilium ‘Pink Perfection’) for signs of lily beetle (far right).
SEASONTO SEASON
Subtle variations in colour of the yew hedges,
lawns, box edging and purple-leaved Prunus
cerasifera ‘Pissardii’ trees at the corners of the
rose garden can be seen from the stable tower.
SETTING OUTYOUNG PLANTS
G Gardener Charlotte Fry has drawn up a plan for the
vegetable beds (above). The aim is to create a potager
effect so everything is carefully chosen, labelled and raised
from seed under glass before setting out. The plan changes
each year, but this season will include seeds known to have been
grown at Houghton in the 1950s.
G Plug plants of coriander, green and red basil, dill and three different types of courgette
are set out in rows, precisely spaced for a uniform effect. Charlotte will also be planting
‘Painted Lady’ runner beans and a crimson-flowered broad bean, the seed of which has
been handed down from gardener to gardener at Houghton for many years. Sweet peas
are grown with the climbing beans, which will clamber up bamboo canes.
18 The English Garden
IN THE
VEG
GARDEN
TEGUK152 Houghton Hall final:UK 26/03/2010 16:01 Page 18
MAY
IN ACTION
Working with head gardener Mhari
Blanchfield is a team of full- and part-time
gardeners. Julia Dalton (above) started
work at Houghton Hall six years ago.
G How did you get into horticulture? When
I first got my own garden I signed up for the
RHS Certificate at a local college, just for my own
interest. Then I heard about the WRAGS scheme
(www.wfga.org.uk), which sets up practical
training. I had to wait a while to get a placement
near me, but then Houghton offered me 15 hours
a week for two years. I was lucky that at the end
of the placement, they took me on permanently.
G How do you juggle family and work? I have
a young son, but it works well as I work three
days a week, school hours only.
G What do you like best about working at
Houghton? I suppose it is just working in this
fantastic historic setting. My special responsibility
is to keep the housekeeper supplied with cut
flowers, pot plants and bulbs for the Hall, for
public and private rooms. She will tell me how
many buckets of, say, roses, she needs for the
dining room for a particular occasion, and I will
(hopefully) make sure we can supply them. It is
a bit of a juggling act to make sure we don’t
strip the garden bare.
G What’s your favourite tool? My secateurs,
Felco No. 8s. They are small enough to do
close cutting work and really comfortable.
The seed of the crimson-flowered broad bean has been
handed down from gardener to gardener for many years
Meet the
GARDENER
L
STAKING DELPHINIUMS
G To protect the delphiniums from the wind, Julia is creating tall ‘tripods’
by placing three bamboo canes around each plant and lashing them together
at regular intervals with string (below). As the foliage grows and the spires
rise, the canes will be hidden by the growth. These are the dark-flowered
Delphinium Black Knight Group.
TEGUK152 Houghton Hall final:UK 26/03/2010 16:02 Page 19
20 The English Garden
The herb garden is buzzing with
expectation as the days lengthen
and summer arrives. Houghton Hall
grounds are open until 30 September
on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Sundays,
and bank holiday Mondays, from
11.30am-5.30 pm. The Hall is open
on the same days from 1.30-5pm.
www.houghtonhall.com
Coming up next month
JOBS ON THE
NOTICEBOARD
UNDER GLASS
G Open cold frames and glass
houses during the day
G Put out cymbidiums, tender agaves
and citrus fruit for the summer
G Pot up pelargoniums
G Feed conservatory plants
FRUIT &VEGETABLES
G Sow parsnip and carrots
G Plant out salad, herbs and veg plants
G Put up bamboo canes for beans
G Cut and trim asparagus spears
G Put out tomatoes in pots
FLOWERS &BORDERS
G Plant out sweet peas
G Give hibiscus a light prune
G Lift wallflowers and replace
with summer bedding
G Put out tender fuchsias and
rhododendrons in pots
GENERAL
G Clip box hedges
G Plant out water lilies raised indoors
MAY
IN ACTION
Spring bulbs beneath the trees in the Italian garden are in
full flower. The grass will be left long until they have faded
PLANTING STONE FRUIT
G Stone fruit are being planted and
trained into fan shapes (right). Peach,
apricot and nectarine varieties have been
chosen by nurseryman Will Sibley, who
advises Lord Cholmondeley on fruit
growing. Mhari and Charlotte are
planting Prunus armeniaca ‘Tomcot’, a
new apricot that has large red-flushed
fruit, and is one of the most suited to
the British climate. Blood, fish and bone
is added to the planting hole and the
trees will be kept watered.
IN THE
ITALIAN
GARDEN
CLIPPPING HEDGES
G The box hedges in the Italian garden are cut
by hand for a precise finish. Julia uses sharp hand
shears to trim the spring growth. It is important not
to cut box too early, as frosts can damage new shoots
and leave it looking brown. The spring-flowering bulbs beneath
the trees (camassias and narcissus) are in full flower this month and the
grass will be left long until their leaves have died back completely, and will
not be mowed until July.
TEGUK152 Houghton Hall final:UK 26/03/2010 16:02 Page 20
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W
hat fun! I got to play with
four ride-on mowers. Each
came in a van with a man
who patiently explained how
all the functions worked and
watched as I put the mowers through their paces.
I have to say, I was a little nervous, as driving
while being watched and photographed is not
something I relish. However, I was surprised at
how easy they were to use, and none of the men
looked too panic-stricken as they watched their
sparkling new mowers disappear into a field. As
for the sheep, now that was a different story.
Mowers were tested for how they handled by
weaving in and out of the trees in the orchard and
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Editor’s
Choice
the blades were tested on a piece of uncut, uneven
ground - so, far from the perfect conditions. At
one point Mr John Deere and Mr Etesia were
having a friendly chat over a five-bar gate; although
in competition they all had great confidence in
their machines, and rightly so.
It was all rather exciting and each mower had
something unique to offer, but all were gear free
for an easy drive. Is this what being a Top Gear
presenter is like? If so, I quite fancy it. Today’s ride-
ons or lawn tractors offer cup holders, sprung
seats, automatic lights when it gets dark. Lots of
bells and whistles. Without exception, all were
comfy and would be a pleasure to own - I was half
tempted to drive around the farm just for fun.
It’s really a case of fitting the mower to the
garden and person. I appreciate that a ride-on
mower is a serious investment - it is without doubt
the ultimate bit of kit. Mowing the lawn will
be far from a chore - you might even have to
fight to get your turn.
My advice would be to write down what you
want your ride-on to have - a tow bar for a
trailer; collection box; a mulching facility; turning
circle requirements (in other words, do you need
to cut around trees); length and width of
machine for storage etc. Then go and sit on as
many as you can before you choose.
With thanks to Stockton Bury Gardens, Hereford.
www.stocktonbury.co.uk
The race is on to see which of these ride-on mowers is a winner
1
TEGUK152 Editors Choice final:UK 26/03/2010 16:38 Page 22
drive with one hand. It has three cutting modes:
cut and drop, cut and collect and mulching mower.
It also cuts and collects in reverse. The 240-litre
grass collector can be emptied without getting out
of the driving seat. A horn sounds when it’s full - a
good idea but a little too loud. A trailer has been
added to the Etesia range (not included in the price),
which attaches to the 15HP mower with Kawasaki
engine - a very handy addition. Priced at £5,687.
3
The Kubota T1880 arrived first, so it was my
warm-up machine. Easy to use and offered a
real feel-good factor. The adjustable seat was comfy
and mowing for hours would be a pleasure - the
exclusive cushion-ride suspension offered a smooth
ride on very bumpy ground and the steering was
light. The mower comes with a 18HP petrol engine,
has large rear tyres for good traction and stability,
and cruise control, and offers both forward and
1
The Honda HF 2620 HT is a good-looking
machine with an impressive LED dash board.
It took me a while to work out what did what - the
lights came on automatically when dark, which was
a surprise. Very comfy ride, and you don’t need to
leave your seat to empty the 350-litre grass box.
The simple push-button blade engagement was
impressive - I’m not surprised that this is Honda’s
top-of-the-range model. The anti-scalp wheels
worked well, and are a bonus if you’re mowing a
slope. This machine makes a statement and if you
want the full works then you’ll get it. I’m just not
sure I’d use all the extras. Priced at £4,560.
2
Etesia’s Bahia 2 MKHEC has a very different
look to the other mowers. The reason for this
is so that it can be driven in tight spaces - ideal for
mowing around island beds and trees. The handle
on the steering wheel allows you to comfortably
The English Garden 23
reverse action on one pedal. The mower has two
settings: a side-discharge mode and a mulching
mode. This is my EDITOR’S CHOICE as it was
straightforward, it didn’t blind me with science or
offer me too many buttons to press - a real
workhorse and a sensible price at £3,760.
4
The John Deere X130R is a new model. It’s a
very solid lawn tractor and I think this would
be my choice if I wanted to add trailers, front
blades for snow or a front loader, and you can even
add snow chains (all available from John Deere).
To me, this feels like the man’s choice - it’s the
Land Rover of the mowing world and comes with
a 18HP Briggs & Stratton V-twin engine. Features
a 300-litre collection box and cuts like a dream.
I felt this tractor would be a workhorse for years,
but it took me slightly longer to get used to than
the others. Priced at a reasonable £3,079.
Mowing the lawn will become far from a
chore. You might have to fight for your turn
STOCKISTS
G Honda models Available from Ron
Smiths in Hereford. Nationwide delivery
service available. Tel: +44 (0)1432 266464.
G Etesia models For stockists in your area,
tel: +44 (0)1926 403319. www.etesia.co.uk
G Kubota models For stockists in
your area, tel: +44 (0)1844 214500.
www.kubota.co.uk
G John Deere models Available from 200
dedicated dealers. For stockists, tel: 0800
0852522. www.johndeere.co.uk
All prices quoted include VAT and are
correct at time of going to print.
4
3
2
TEGUK152 Editors Choice final:UK 31/03/2010 12:09 Page 23
24 The English Garden
The prize is non-transferable. No cash or prize alternatives. See
full Archant Ltd competitions terms and conditions on pg118.
Name (Mr/Mrs/Ms/Miss)
Address
Postcode
Tel: Email:
Q. What is involved in ‘scarifying’ your lawn?
A.
Return form to: The EnglishGarden Hayter Lawnmower Competition, Archant House, Oriel Road, Cheltenham, Glos GL50 1BB
WIN
The R53S, launched last year, is a mower designed to combine
comfort for the gardener with the needs of the environment
Archant Ltd, publisher of The English Garden, would like to keep you up to date with any special offers or new products/services which might be of interest. Please tick if you DO wish for Archant Ltd
to contact you in this way by I email I SMS. Please tick if you would prefer NOT to receive information by I post I phone. We occasionally pass your details onto carefully selected companies who
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THE ENGLISH GARDEN HAYTER RECYCLING MOWER COMPETITION - MAY, ISSUE 152
Your chance to win one of four
superb Recycling Mowers from
Hayter - each worth over £500!
S
uitable for medium to large lawns, the R53S offers a
choice of three ways to dispose of grass cuttings - rear
collection, side discharge or recycling. The recycling
feature helps to maintain a healthy green lawn by re-circulating
the cuttings into the cutter blades to form a fine mulch, which
then falls back to the lawn and rapidly decomposes, returning
vital nutrients to the soil. It also helps to keep moisture in the
soil during dry periods. Fitted with electric start as standard,
the R53S is propelled by the unique ‘Sens-a-Speed’ variable
speed transmission, which allows the mower to automatically
adapt to the operator’s walking pace, from zero to 4.7mph.
Other features include:
G A pressed steel deck - built to Hayter’s exacting
quality standards
G Foot-operated ‘Quick Storage’ facility for easy,
compact storage
G Easily adjustable handlebars to suit the height of
the operator
G Full width OPC (Operator Presence Control) for safety,
with soft grip for added comfort
G Cutting height range from 25 to 114mm
G Independent height-of-cut levels mounted on each wheel
G Large capacity grassbag that can be lifted through
the handlebars for easy emptying
G Three-year warranty
HOW TO ENTER Complete the entry form, including
the correct answer to the question, and send to the
address below. The winner will be picked at random
after the closing date of Friday 4 June 2010.
The prize
Four lucky winners will each receive one superb
R35S recycling mower from Hayter, worth £555.
COMPETITION
WORTH
each
£555
TEGUK152 Hayter Competition final:UK 30/03/2010 15:09 Page 24
Contains ibuprofen.
Always read the label.
New Ibuleve Speed Relief Spray
For muscle and joint pain, clinically proven new Ibuleve Speed Relief Spray
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PAIN RELEASE - WITHOUT PILLS
A welcome refuge for Jane Austen and Dora Carrington,
Ibthorpe now boasts a gorgeous garden made possible
by two decades of determination... and some alpacas
PHOTOGRAPHS JOWHITWORTH WORDS CHRISTOPHER HOLLIDAY
Austen’s haven
26 The English Garden
L
TEGUK152 Ibthorpe House final:UK 29/03/2010 15:57 Page 26
GLORIOUS GARDENS
HAMPSHIRE
TEGUK152 Ibthorpe House final:UK 29/03/2010 15:57 Page 27
PREVIOUS PAGEThe ‘tennis court’ borders at the back of Ibthorpe House. ABOVEThe south-facing QueenAnne façade.
LEFT, FROMTOP Paeonia lactiflora ‘Sarah Bernhardt’; P. veitchii; P. lactiflora ‘Sir Edward Elgar’; P. lactiflora ‘Duchesse de
Nemours’. OPPOSITE PAGE, CLOCKWISE FROMTOP LEFT Rosa Dublin Bay and wisteria cling to the walls; the secret
walled garden; Ibthorpe’s helpful alpacas; the ‘tennis court’ borders with Stacyhs byzantina, alliums and apple trees.
L
S
abina ffrench Blake is convinced her
garden’s success is all thanks to her alpacas.
‘Their manure has helped the chalky soil
enormously,’ she announces, waving towards
Ibthorpe’s roses and sweet peas. ‘The dozen
breeding alpacas are here because they were recommended
by friends as being superb lawnmowers, without the health
problems of sheep. You can also use the manure fresh
and be spared the usual wait.’ The results are spectacular,
as the garden at Ibthorpe testifies. Although some manure
is used fresh, Sabina also tips a goodly amount into open
trenches at the beginning of winter, tops up with kitchen
waste, and then fills them in during February to
guarantee a good crop of runner beans and thousands
of sweet pea flowers.
Ibthorpe itself has a
fascinating history. It
was something of a
much-loved home from home for Jane Austen, who first
visited her former Steventon neighbours Mrs Lloyd and
her daughters Mary and Martha here in 1792. They were
her intimates; both the Lloyd sisters married Jane’s brothers,
and Martha was by her bedside in her final days. Indeed,
she so enjoyed their company, the social life and the
excellent walking country that she would stay for several
weeks at a time; the rolling downlands quickly came to
inspire several descriptions in her early novels. When her
family made the momentous decision to move to Bath in
1801, lengthy stays at Ibthorpe helped her postpone a
removal that she was never able to regard with pleasure.
More than a century later, the house enjoyed another
artistic resident when painter Dora Carrington and her
parents rented the house for much of the First World War.
Ibthorpe became Robert ffrench Blake’s childhood home
in 1945, and he and Sabina have lived here since his
mother died almost 20 years ago.
When it came to the garden, Sabina says the south front
of the house is quite a tough act to garden around, as the
classic symmetry of the Queen Anne façade and beautiful
brickwork need little assistance, ‘so we dress it only with
a wisteria, clipped to restrain it from peering into the
bedrooms’. The hard-working borders are kept deliberately
simple: a pair of repeat-flowering fiery red Dublin
Bay roses cool their feet in catmint, surrounded by
Erysimum‘Bowles’ Mauve’ wallflowers and the white daisies
of Anthemis punctata
subsp cupaniana, which
both teem with flowers
in May.
The double borders running parallel with the front play
host to repeat-flowering white Margaret Merril roses and
‘Hidcote’ lavender, ‘Johnson’s Blue’ geranium and pinks.
The entire one-acre garden is surrounded by brick and
flint walls, among which hides a walled triangular
enclosure used in the days when Robert’s mother had the
cows put out after milking. The soil here was in superb
shape, but it had become Ibthorpe’s general old shoes and
bottles dump for far too long. ‘Then, about 10 years ago,
once more defeated by the 2m-tall nettles,’ Sabina says, ‘I
suddenly realised that we had the potential for a secret
walled garden on our hands. My next thought was scent.’
By introducing gravel paths on breathable sheeting (which
Jane would stay for several weeks at a time;
the land inspired descriptions in her novels
TEGUK152 Ibthorpe House final:UK 29/03/2010 16:07 Page 28
The English Garden 29
GLORIOUS GARDENS
HAMPSHIRE
TEGUK152 Ibthorpe House final:UK 29/03/2010 15:58 Page 29
30 The English Garden
GLORIOUS GARDENS
HAMPSHIRE
TEGUK152 Ibthorpe House final:UK 29/03/2010 15:59 Page 30
only needs one spring dose of path weedkiller) rather than
lawn, she established a new atmosphere, where hedge
germander (Teucrium x lucidrys) spills obligingly to soften
the gravel. The centrepiece performer here is a bed of Rosa
‘Buff Beauty’ surrounded by scented plants from phlox,
tobacco plants, sweet peas and Lavandula x intermedia
‘Grosso’, to extroverts such as the white tree poppy
Romneya coulteri. Old centifolia light pink Rosa ‘Fantin-
Latour’ and old hybrid perpetual dark wine-flowered R.
‘Souvenir du Docteur Jamain’ give outstanding long
displays, and are mainstays Sabina would not be without.
A pergola placed to catch the late afternoon sunshine is a
secret refuge for afternoon tea, time permitting.
Once the nostrils can take no more and the last tea-
cup has been drained,
a visual assault on the
senses beckons. Peonies
are the real show-offs in
May, with ‘Sarah Bernhardt’, ‘Duchesse de Nemours’ and
P. officinalis ‘Alba Plena’ among the best-loved. Sabina
admits that ‘it’s an immense luxury having an all-too-
fleeting double peony border, so we flank the peak weeks
with plants with strong eye-catching foliage that associate
well with peonies, such as purple-leaved elder and
Physocarpus opulifolius ‘Diabolo’, while purple tulips
associate brilliantly with new ruby peony shoots.’ Later,
roses and clematis smother obelisks with hundreds of
blooms amid a riot of purple campanulas.
Making your way past the hard-working organic
kitchen garden, all grown from seed and supplying most
of the ffrench Blakes’ greens and fruit, you reach the
‘tennis court borders’: long double herbaceous beds
divided by a grass path, given height and structure with
espaliered apple trees that are planted towards the rear
of the beds. Sabina has ‘a horror of regimented plantings’,
so she works artfully to establish a random cottage
garden feel that never looks contrived. She injects
rhythm and repetition with some foreground Stachys
lanata, purple ajuga, selections of pinks, Heuchera
‘Stormy Seas’ and hardy osteospermum, and recently
transferred the more vigorous hardy geraniums to the
middle ground, replacing them with smaller varieties,
such as G. cinereum ‘Ballerina’, ‘that present less of a
challenge to the edging shears’.
Stalwarts in this area include a profusion of alliums
from May through June
(‘You really cannot have
too many,’ says Sabina),
and knautia and fennel,
with repeated plantings of penstemons taking up the
slack from July until the first frosts. The rhythm of roses
and perennials is enlivened by choice annuals such
as Cleome hassleriana, cosmos and Nicotiana sylvestris,
which are pressed into service to sustain the season of
interest long after the bewitching month of May has
become all but a memory.
Ibthorpe House and garden open by appointment occasionally
for groups. To find out more, please call tel: +44 (0)1264
736234 or email sfb@ibthorpe.com
OPPOSITE PAGEThe walled garden is planted for scent, with catmint, Rosa ‘Buff Beauty’, ‘AiméeVibert’ and ‘Paul’s
Himalayan Musk’. ABOVE Sabina likes to keep her planting unregimented, using flowing style with roses, annuals,
lavender, nepeta, shrubs and trees, and softening edges with plants like yellow-flowered Alchemilla mollis. RIGHT,
FROMTOP Rosa ‘Just Joey’; Love-in-a-mist; Allium cristophii; an unknown rose - suggestions welcome!
A pergola placed to catch the late afternoon
sunshine is a secret refuge for afternoon tea
Turn over for garden notebook
L
TEGUK152 Ibthorpe House final:UK 29/03/2010 15:59 Page 31
32 The English Garden
G Resist the temptation to plant herbaceous peonies too deep - you will do them
no favours. This is key, as is staking with circular hoops early in April before it becomes
too difficult, to avoid breaking stems and leaves.
G Much better results can be achieved with Nicotiana sylvestris if they are grown
from seed and potted on twice, finally into a two-litre pot and planted out reasonably
well on in the season (here it’s July). The plants are much stronger by then and late
planting guarantees that the plants keep going until the first frosts.
G To ensure that the garden looks tidy, we twizzle the fork over the front and edge
of the borders so that any debris disappears and the soil looks freshly tilled.
G I edge the lawns on a weekly basis. This can take two and a half hours, but such
frequency avoids the need to gather the clippings, and I while I do it I can observe how
the plants are looking.
G Little Court Three-acre traditional garden. Groups by appt
Apr to Sept, weekdays only. Crawley, Winchester, Hampshire
SO21 2PU. Tel: +44 (0)1962 776365. www.ngs.org.uk
G The Buildings Dry garden in old cattle yard. Open Sat and Sun
10, 11 July; 7, 8 Aug; 11, 12 Sept for NGS. Broughton, Stockbridge
SO20 8BH. Tel: +44 (0)1794 301424. www.ngs.org.uk
G Country Market, High St, Andover A great place to find
plants - every Friday morning from March to October.
G To find out more about alpacas and how and where
to buy them, contact Robert at Ibthorpe or try the nationwide
website: www.bas-uk.com
CONTACTS
The notebook
Ibthorpe House garden is south-facing and covers one acre. It has chalky soil but has been gardened and mulched
for decades, so it’s more loamy now. The garden is in a frost pocket but gets some protection from the walls
OWNER SABINA’S GARDENING TIPS
GLORIOUS GARDENS
HAMPSHIRE
PACK AN ALPACA
‘Alpacas (right) are delightful,
gentle animals,’ says Sabina,
‘very intelligent and easily
managed.’ They never attempt
to break through fences, and
are excellent guardians of
poultry and lambs. A herd
animal, they must live in pairs at
least, and are good companions
for horses. Noted for their
superb quality of wool, their
fleeces are sheared annually.
ROOMWITH A VIEW
The thatched summer house at Ibthorpe (above) was built in the 18th century,
and originally functioned as a grain store on staddle stones. It became painter
Dora Carrington’s studio, and more recently was used as a chicken house! It is
now used as a garden room, and overlooks the secret garden.
BORDER BACKERS
Espaliered apple trees such as this fine old
specimen (below) are pruned around the third
week of July at Ibthorpe, otherwise they make
too much top growth. Fortunately they have
been planted near the back edge of the borders,
where any trampling from ladder and boots
is less obvious.
TEGUK152 Ibthorpe House final:UK 29/03/2010 16:01 Page 32
The English Garden 33
34 The English Garden
The English Garden 35
There’s a lot to discover in this formal garden,
including terraces of plants and sculptures, as
well as the aquatic delights of a pond, a river
and the millrace that runs through it
PHOTOGRAPHS CAROLE DRAKE WORDS SAM FRASER
L
Water
The circular pond at Mill
House garden, planted
up with water lilies and
framed by a border of pink
geraniums and white lilies.
GLORIOUS GARDENS
DORSET
There’s a lot to discover in this formal garden,
including terraces of plants and sculptures, as
well as the aquatic delights of a pond, a river
and the millrace that runs through it
PHOTOGRAPHS CAROLE DRAKE WORDS SAM FRASER
L
world
TEGUK 152 Mill House final:UK 29/03/2010 16:46 Page 35
ABOVE LEFTThe millrace that cuts through the garden has banks of foxgloves, hostas, Centranthus ruber and ferns. TOP RIGHTThis fine
wooden bridge spans another section of the millrace, and was created for the Ryans by local craftsmen. ABOVE RIGHT A wall
fountain sends water down into a basin before running down a long rectangular rill into the pond. BELOW Allium cristophii.
H
idden in the peaceful valley of
west Dorset’s River Brit, six
miles from the sea, stands Mill
House, home to Michael and
Giustina Ryan. The six-and-a-
half acre garden that surrounds the renovated
property has been steadily evolving since the
couple arrived here from London in 1993.
Attracted by the location, acreage and sound
of the millrace that bisects the garden, they were
keen to make their mark on a neglected site.
‘The previous owners had planted some
rambling roses in the trees, but there was very
little in the garden worth keeping,’ recalls
Giustina. ‘I started with the piece of garden in
front of the house, where there had been an
island bed. It was overgrown with bindweed,
so I took the whole thing out and put it to
grass.’ The resulting sweep of lawn emphasises
the cedar tree at the front of the house and
draws the visitor into the grounds beyond. To
the rear of the house, a formal, terraced garden
rises away from the banks of the leat, which
channels water to the mill. The area has been
landscaped to create three levels, with curved
retaining walls dividing up the area into
interesting sections. Climbing roses, planted
along the stone wall tops, cascade down. ‘It
took us some time to figure out how to make
this space work,’ Giustina says. ‘It’s quite an
awkward shape and the ground rises steeply
up from the house, so it doesn’t have clear
definition on one side. After my own attempts
failed to achieve the right effect, we sought help
from Peggy Cyrnow, a local garden designer.’
Peggy came up with the formal layout of
the garden in 2001. Extending the original
red-brick wall separating the garden from the
orchard beyond, and adding an archway, she
went on to design a series of low stone walls
and elegant shallow stone steps to create the
terraces. The curved beds direct the eye, first
to an armillary sphere sundial by David Harber
on the middle level, and then on up to the top
of the garden. ‘The irregular shape of the beds
disguises the way the garden disappears to the
side nearest the house,’ says Giustina, clearly
delighted at the effect.
‘Working with a designer certainly gave us
clarity,’ remembers Michael. ‘Peggy observed
that a focal point was needed, so she suggested
that the terraces should create a mount,
crowned with a seat at the highest point, from
36 The English Garden
TEGUK 152 Mill House final:UK 29/03/2010 16:46 Page 36
L
where one could enjoy views of the church
or look across the planting to the mill and
the upper leat.’ Lower down, the arch created
in the orchard wall contains a pair of attractive
iron gates and frames the view through to
a statue of an arcadian shepherd, made by
the Bulbeck Foundry.
The planting on these terraces is dictated
by Giustina’s preferred colour mix of blues,
mauves, soft pinks and whites, and is achieved
with roses, geraniums (G. tuberosum and
G. robustum), ceanothus, phlox, penstemon
and iris. ‘We’ve used a lot of Iris sibirica in the
lower terrace,’ says Giustina, ‘and some Iris
germanica; we’ll probably dig some of those
out and replace them with prettier ones from
the Cayeux Iris Nursery.’
The planting has flourished in spite of soil
that needed a little improving with wood ash,
compost and manure. ‘If you wanted to be
elegant, you could call it silt,’ laughs Giustina,
‘but let’s be honest, and call it clay.’
The garden clearly benefits from its situation,
being oriented to the south/southwest and
nestled in a valley, sheltered from easterly
winds, but rather exposed to the northerlies
that blow down the valley, and to frost, which
drains through it. Frost is also an ongoing
challenge in the nearby walled garden, but
every plant lost is, in Giustina’s words, ‘a new
planting opportunity’. This space, which is
inspired by one of the Ryans’ favourite gardens
at Hestercombe, near Taunton, is reached via
a formal courtyard entrance planted with box
and trained ivy. Built in 1997, it stands on the
site of a former piggery.
An interior designer friend who’d been
researching Lutyens asked to take on the project,
with the intention of experimenting with a
similar style. Characteristic elements of Lutyens’
aesthetic are very much in evidence, in the artful
mix of dressed and rough-hewn Ham stone used
to create the walls, and the elegant rill that runs
down to a central, brick-edged, circular pond
planted with water lilies and irises. ‘I love the
pond,’ says Giustina. ‘In a garden where the
river and millrace provide so much drama, I
wanted to have some water I could control!’
And control and formality are at the heart of
the walled garden, with the planting reinforcing
this. In the centre of the scheme, four cistus
create a strong symmetry, while the tall walls
are emphasised by a range of trained clematis,
TOP LEFTThe Ryans’ designer Peggy Cyrnow created focal points within the garden, such as this sundial, which sits on the lawn between the
top two terraces. ABOVE LEFTThis standard tree is another strong point of interest in a vista of gateways with symmetrical pot displays,
typical of a formal garden. ABOVE RIGHTThis last portal leads out to the river bank. BELOW Geranium palmatum.
The English Garden 37
TEGUK 152 Mill House final:UK 29/03/2010 16:47 Page 37
38 The English Garden
including ‘Freckles’, C. ‘Minuet’ and the large-
flowered hybrid C. ‘Perle d’Azur’.
The formality of the terraced and walled
gardens contrasts strongly with the less formal
space of the upper and lower leat meadows,
where Michael’s real enthusiasm for trees
has resulted in the planting of a number of
ornamental species, including a great selection
of nothofagus as well as plenty of oaks,
pines and eucalyptus.
Magnolias are a particular passion, and
Michael has planted an impressive collection
that includes specimens of M. salicifolia ‘Wada’s
Memory’, and M. x wieseneri. One of the
latest additions, M. macrophylla subsp. ashei x
virginiana, is a hybrid that produces deliciously
scented white flowers from June. ‘This variety
deserves to be well known,’ says Michael. ‘Its
future could truly be sealed if only someone
could come up with a snappier name for it.’
Having recently turned their attention to
the banks of the upper mill leat, the couple
contracted a local firm, Kingcombe Aquacare,
to clear them and remodel the area using
biodegradable linings, ready for planting up
with marsh marigolds, cornus, gunnera,
king cups and irises. ‘After all this time living
by the water, I finally get my bog garden,’
says Giustina, smiling.
With so many enchanting areas to enjoy, the
Ryans are happy to have exchanged their
previous small London garden for the rolling
acres of their Netherbury home. ‘We had to
adjust to gardening on quite a different scale,’
says Giustina. ‘In a small garden, a single
plant can make an impact. But here, you can
never have enough plants.’
City gardening habits, however, die hard;
‘People often remark that there are no weeds,’
says Michael. ‘An obsession with weeding is a
condition of town gardening and we haven’t
been able to shrug it off.’ That attention to
detail clearly pays dividends. Dappled in
sunlight and with the sound of the millrace
bubbling through, this immaculate garden is
the very picture of the quintessential rural idyll.
Mill House, Netherbury, Dorset DT6 5LX. Open
for the NGS on 9 May from 2-6pm; and an evening
opening on Wed 21 July from 5.30-8.30pm. Open
for Netherbury village gardens on 12-13 June,
2-6pm. Also by appt for groups at other times.
Tel: +44 (0)1308 488267. www.ngs.org.uk
TOP LEFT A sweeping curved path runs past beds of penstemon and irises by the back of the house. TOP RIGHT Outside the garden walls
is a peaceful river bank walk. ABOVE LEFT Another lovely wooden bridge features by a tree-lined stretch of the bank. ABOVE RIGHTWhat
a great view of the water from under the canopy of an old Lawson cypress tree. BELOWThe dainty pink bells of Campanula takesimana ‘Elizabeth’.
TEGUK 152 Mill House final:UK 29/03/2010 16:47 Page 38
The English Garden 39
G Start small. If you’re
faced with a sizeable
garden, look to create
a small area near to the
house that you can sit
in and enjoy. Don’t try
to do too much at once,
as a large project can
become daunting.
G Accept the
constraints of the plot.
Don’t fight the lie of the
land or try to impose
insupportable schemes;
that way frustration lies!
Plans that involve lots of
remodelling and earth moving are costly and the
finished results may look incongruous in the
context of your house or other buildings.
G Don’t be downhearted when something
doesn’t go right first time. You may need to
increase the size of a border or move plants in
the first or second season as they grow to fill
the space. Every challenge is an opportunity
to enhance the personality of your garden.
GARDENSTO VISIT NEARBY
GAbbotsbury SubTropical Garden, Abbotsbury,
Dorset DT3 4LA. Tel: +44 (0)1305 871387.
www.abbotsbury-tourism.co.uk/gardens.htm
G Forde Abbey, Chard, Somerset TA20 4LU.
Tel: +44 (0)1460 220231. www.fordeabbey.co.uk
G Mapperton Gardens, Beaminster, Dorset
DT8 3NR. Tel: +44 (0)1308 862645.
www.mapperton.com
NURSERIES INTHE AREA
G Bellamont Topiary, Bellamont, Long Bredy,
Dorset DT2 9HN. Tel: +44 (0)1308 482220.
www.bellamont-topiary.co.uk
G Pennard Plants, The Walled Gardens,
East Pennard, Somerset BA4 6TP.
Tel: +44 (0)1749 860039.
www.pennardplants.com
G Picket Lane Nursery, Picket Lane, South
Perrott, Dorset DT8 3HA. Tel: +44 (0)7766 425474.
www.picketlanenursery.co.uk
CONTACTS
The notebook
The Mill House garden covers six and a half acres, and is cut in two by the millrace. Nestling in the heart of
a valley, it is south to southwest facing, but exposed to northerly winds and frost. The soil is mildly acidic clay
GIUSTINA & MICHAEL’STOPTIPS
BYTHE RIVER
This boat is perfect for having fun on summer days on the water (above).
The blue tone of the vessel picks up the colour from a bold group of Hosta
sieboldiana in the border beyond. The three ducks on the bank were created
by the sculptor George Hider.
GLORIOUS GARDENS
DORSET
GARDEN ART
Mill House garden has lots
of interest from a varied
collection of sculpture,
including a David Harber
armillary sphere sundial (far
left), and a reproduction
statue of an 18th century
sheperd by Bulbeck
Foundry (left). For your own
piece of outdoor art, there
are exhibitions all over the
country this summer.
STEPPING OUT
Stepping stones through
the borders at Mill House
allow easy access for
maintenance such as
weeding and staking.
Creeping purple ajuga
makes a fabulous
flowering ground cover
(right) and frames the
stones. Other good plants
for this include creeping
thymes and chamomile.
TEGUK 152 Mill House final:UK 29/03/2010 16:48 Page 39
40 The English Garden
GLORIOUS GARDENS
KENT
The English Garden 41
The sunny, sloping plot at Boyton Court is blessed with
an amazing vista and smart, forward-thinking owners
PHOTOGRAPHS MARCUS HARPUR WORDS JACKIE BENNETT
Taking the
long view
L
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42 The English Garden
GLORIOUS GARDENS
KENT
T
wenty-one years ago, having just acquired a
south-facing sloping plot overlooking the
Weald of Kent, Richard and Patricia Stileman
had a range of choices. They could plant rows
and rows of hops in keeping with Kentish
tradition, or cherry trees, or even vines, which were beginning
to be grown in the region. But having just left London for a
country life, they knew they wanted to create a garden -
something that would suit the couple and their three young
children, and provide a setting for their new family home.
Boyton Court had been a working beef and fruit farm,
and the farmhouse - parts of which date back to 1460 -
PREVIOUS PAGEThe
incredible views from
Boyton Court garden.
ABOVEThe parterre where
the initials of the Stileman
family have been
interwoven in different
varieties of box. BELOW
LEFT Allium hollandicum
‘Purple Sensation’ in full
bloom. OPPOSITEThe
terraced site features
sloping borders and many
attractive water features,
such as this circular pond
edged with strikingArum
lilies (Zantedeschia
aethiopica) in the
surrounding bog garden.
had been largely rebuilt in the 1870s. They fell for the
house, and with boundless energy they set about renovating
it and developing and expanding the existing garden.
‘The house sits just beneath a greensand ridge, and the
soil is thin but fertile,’ says Richard, who retired from
publishing six years ago, and turned his part-time passion
into a full-time occupation. ‘It slopes fairly steeply, and at the
bottom of the slope the soil becomes clay - luckily, that’s in
the field and not in the garden!’
When Richard and Patricia arrived here, a line of
overgrown thujas blocked much of the view, so an early
job was to hire chainsaws and make enormous bonfires.
‘This house so benefits from the fabulous views,’ says
Patricia. ‘When the weather is clear, we can sit on the terrace
looking across the Weald, with the tower of Sissinghurst
to the right and Tenterden church tower to the left.’
‘I have tried to respect the countryside that frames the
garden,’ says Richard. Anything formal has been put out of
the sightline, to the left and right of the terrace. So to the left
there are straight lavender beds striking down the hill and
lines of clipped limes. To the right are the rectangular pool,
the rill and the parterre. Looking straight ahead, the eye takes
in only the gentle curves of the island beds and pond, which
mirror the natural topography of the Weald.
The lavender beds were put in seven years ago to make
use of the light soil and full sun of the site. They are chosen
to give a range of heights, colours and flowering times, so
L
‘This house has fabulous views. We can sit on the terrace
and look across to the tower of Sissinghurst’
TEGUK152 Stileman garden final:UK 30/03/2010 14:32 Page 42
TEGUK152 Stileman garden final:UK 30/03/2010 15:21 Page 43
TEGUK152 Stileman garden final:UK 30/03/2010 14:33 Page 44
GLORIOUS GARDENS
KENT
OPPOSITE, CLOCKWISE
FROMTOP LEFT Pinks,
purples and blues are the
predominant colours of
the planting scheme; the
dreamy lavender bank;
Rosa gallica ‘Versicolor’
with burgundy-coloured
berberis and striking
ultramarine blue
delphiniums; Tosca, one of
the Stileman family’s two
golden retrievers; the pink
blooms of Rosa Gertrude
Jekyll are beautifully
offset by the stone wall
and a deep maroon
smoke bush. ABOVE
The view looking back
up the slope through
the formal lime trees
to the lavender bank
and the terrace beyond.
FAR RIGHT Rosa
‘Zéphirine Drouhin’
Turn over for garden notebook
L
that, for example, Lavandula angustifolia ‘Lavenite Petite’ begins
the flowering in late May, and there will be something in
flower until L. x intermedia ‘Old English’ fades away in
November. Below, a roundel of yew hedging conceals beds
of David Austin roses. Containing the roses in a hedged
circular space not only conceals their bareness in winter, but
also heightens the perfume in summer.
Boyton Court is blessed with several natural springs and
Richard has used the water in a number of ways. The major
pond at the bottom of the slope is a perfect curved shape that
doesn’t jar with its rural backdrop. Above this, and hidden
from view when standing on the terrace, is a bog garden.
‘Bog gardens look hideous in winter and they’re late to
start up again in the spring, so it’s best to keep them a bit
out of view,’ he says. In May, though, the arums, irises,
eupatoriums and rodgersia are bursting with growth,
justifying their place in the scheme.
To the right of the terrace, there are more formal features
enclosed by yew hedging. At the upper level there is a narrow,
18m-long Moorish-inspired pool fed by spring water.
Following on this theme, Richard has created an octagon
pond and a rill with a series of steps to carry the water
down to the lower pool. The octagon sits in the centre of
the parterre, an area of intricate box hedging marking
out the initials of the family.
Richard promised himself a gardener one day a week on
reaching state retirement age, so is happy that this has just
happened. The mowing and moving of huge trees and plants
into new positions can now be done by others while he
develops a new specialist geranium bed. Although he baulks
at the idea of calling himself a plantsman, Richard is a gifted
garden maker. ‘It’s all a question of refining the design now,
enhancing what’s here to make it look good all year round.’
Boyton Court, Sutton Valence, Kent ME17 3BY. Tel: +44 (0)1622
844065. Open for the NGS on Sun 13 June, 2-6pm. Evening
opening for Demelza House Childrens’ Hospice, Sat 24 July,
5-9pm. B&B all year, except Christmas. www.wolseylodges.com
The English Garden 45 The English Garden 45
Cleverly containing roses in a hedged space conceals their
bareness in winter and also heightens perfume in summer
TEGUK152 Stileman garden final:UK 30/03/2010 14:33 Page 45
46 The English Garden
GLORIOUS GARDENS
KENT
The notebook
Boyton Court garden is a three-acre, south-facing plot on a sloping site, incorporating many water features,
beds, a parterre, bog garden and more. The soil is a light but fertile, slightly alkaline greensand
G A garden always needs ‘vista’ plants that pull
the eye and guide you around the garden. This
could be something architectural like a yucca, a
special tree or a grass, especially Ampelodesmos
mauretanicus, which has the same size as Stipa
gigantea, but keeps going through winter.
G Take account of the view from your garden
and design it accordingly. If it is open country, then
the contours need to
reflect that - go with the
flow of the countryside.
G Include plenty of
structure - evergreens,
landscaping and hedges -
in your plan. That way the
garden will be interesting
in winter, which can be
half of the year.
G Don’t be afraid to pull
out your mistakes. At
first we planted lots of
acers because we loved
them, but most need
acid and slightly damp
soil, which we didn’t have.
RECOMMENDED NURSERIES
G Madrona Nursery, Pluckley Road, Bethersden, Kent TN26 3DD.
Tel: +44 (0)1233 820100. www.madrona.co.uk
G Marchants Hardy Plants, Herbaceous Perennials and Ornamental Grasses,
2 Marchants Cottages, Mill Lane, Laughton, East Sussex BN8 6AJ.
Tel: +44 (0)1323 811737. www.marchantshardyplants.co.uk
G Rumwood Nurseries, Langley, Kent ME17 3ND. Tel: +44 (0)1622 861477.
www.rumwoodnurseries.co.uk
DESIGN AND PLANTINGTIPS
FROMTHE STILEMANS
FABULOUS FURNITURE
Good-quality hardwood furniture is a must if it is to stay outdoors all year. The curved
bench is theTraditional Half MoonTeak Seat with a graceful rolled back frame in teak
(above left) from local company Wealden Fine Furniture, tel: +44 (0)1580 753138 or
www.wealdenfinefurniture.co.uk The Adirondack double chair (above right) is from
www.adirondack.co.uk, tel: +44 (0)1483 489002; and is a favourite with visitors.
CONTACTS
KITCHEN COURTYARD
Formerly part of the farmyard, this courtyard has been
levelled and paved to create a lovely perfumed space
with geometric compartments edged with box, and
in-filled with tulips and dark-leaved heucheras (below).
In the centre spots, standard roses are planted.
SPANISH INSPIRATION
The formal pools and rills at Boyton Court (above) were inspired by the gardens of the
Alhambra in Granada and other Moorish designs. Pools of this shape used to collect
water were called ‘acequia’ and at Boyton Court the natural springs have been
harnessed to feed this and the other water features.
TEGUK152 Stileman garden final:UK 31/03/2010 09:53 Page 46
The English Garden 47
ELIZABETH BRADLEY
DESIGNS
BLOOMS
Email: ebd@elizabethbradley.com
or call 01865 339 050
www.elizabethbradley.com
Beautiful needlepoint and accessories
Celebrate the end of the long dark days of winter
with a visit to Hole Park in Rolvenden (left). During
the months of April and May, there is an amazing
display of bluebells, primroses and tulips that
carpet the gardens and woodlands, creating
a vast sea of blue. Also worthy of mention are
the pink tulips in the sundial garden along with
a variety of peonies and well-loved old-fashioned
English roses. Don’t forget to visit the plant stall
or buy jam, honey and apple juice produced from
the fruit and bees on the estate. Guided tours
conducted by the head gardener can be arranged,
but booking is essential. The gardens are open
until 31 May from 11am-6pm. Rolvenden,
Cranbrook, Kent TN17 4JB. Tel: +44 (0)1580
241344. www.holepark.com
CARPETS OF ENGLISH
BLUEBELLS AT HOLE PARK
Focus on... Kent
Plan a visit to the southeast this month with local events, an historic castle and specialist nurseries and restaurants
GET DOWN
AND DERRY
SPOTLIGHT
‘Some 116 Kent gardens open for the NGS this year, from world-famous
Sissinghurst Castle to highly individual gardens in picturesque villages,
including Elham, East Malling, Horsmonden, Hunton and Womenswold’
Felicity Ward, NGS county organiser for Kent
Downderry Nursery offers
extra value to visitors in
that it is home to National
Plant Collections of
lavender (above) and
rosemary, and grows 95%
of the plants it sells on
site. See the range of more
than 350 species and learn
from the experts about
the history, cultivation and
use of the plants while at
the same time enjoying
the nursery’s tranquil
surroundings. Be sure to
visit the trusty gift shop, a
perfect way to treat family
and friends. If you can’t
make it in person, try the
online plant shop, complete
with a hardy lavender
selection chart to help you
choose the right plant. The
nursery has won some top
awards, including a gold
medal at the RHS Chelsea
Flower Show in 2008,
and a gold medal at RHS
Hampton Court Flower
Show. Open 1 May-31
October, Tuesday-Sunday
and bank holiday Mondays,
10am-5pm. Pillar Box Lane,
Hadlow, Tonbridge, Kent
TW11 9SW. Tel: +44
(0)1732 810081.
www.downderry-
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48 The English Garden
Scotney Castle is a great
day out for all the family,
with one of England’s most
romantic gardens and
plenty of woodland and
parkland to explore (left).
Sitting on top of the hill is
an Elizabethan-style house
designed by Anthony Salvin for Edward Hussey III.
At the bottom of the valley are the ruins of a medieval
castle and moat that form the focal point of the
gardens. Displays of rhododendrons, azaleas and
kalmias can be seen in May and June, while trees
and shrubs provide beautiful colours throughout the
seasons. The range of activities held throughout the
year includes open-air theatre and opera, lecture
lunches and wildlife walks. The house is open from 13
Mar-31 Oct, Weds-Sun, 11am-5pm; and 4 Dec-19 Dec,
Sat-Sun, 11am-4pm. The castle is open from 31 Mar-26
Sept, Weds-Sun, 11am-3pm. The gardens are open from
27 Feb-31 Oct, Weds-Fri, 11am-5.30pm; and Sat-Sun,
10am-5.30pm. Lamberhurst, TunbridgeWells, KentTN3
8JN. Tel: +44 (0)1892 893820. www.nationaltrust.org.uk
HISTORIC CASTLE
Experience a relaxing 1930s atmosphere while
indulging in a selection of scones, tasty cakes and
sandwiches at TinyTim’s (below); call in for
breakfasts of smoked salmon and scrambled eggs
or porridge in the mornings; or a lunch of Huffkins,
Puffkins, salads or soups - all freshly made using
local produce. A wide range of teas are available
along with a collection of wines from Kent-based
Barnsole, Chapel Down and Biddenden vineyards,
to either take away or enjoy with your meal. Tiny
Tim’sTearoom is openTuesday-Saturday, 9.30am-
5pm; and Sunday, 10.30am-4pm. 34 St Margaret’s
Street, Canterbury CT1 2TG. Tel: +44 (0)1227
450793. www.tinytimstearoom.co.uk
TEA AT TINY TIM’S
TEGUK152 Focus on Kent final:UK 26/03/2010 16:09 Page 48
The English Garden 49
L
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arbara Lutterloch obviously
enjoys welcoming visitors to her
charming cottage garden in the
picturesque village of Norton
St Philip in Somerset. A self-
confessed ‘cake-lover’, she delights in
producing ambrosial home-made teas for her
two NGS open days in June and July. But
she also works hard throughout the year to
ensure that her delightful garden is as attractive
as possible for her guests.
Surrounding a pretty whitewashed house,
this small but perfectly formed plot is a
dream for cottage garden fans. With a lovingly
tended bijou potager, small yet full-to-bursting
rose garden and billowing herbaceous
borders framed by Bath stone paths and walls,
who could ask for more?
And yet more there is. Dotted around the
garden are charming personal touches - as one
would expect from a true cottage garden - such
as handmade terracotta wall lights, the smartest
scarecrow you are ever likely to encounter, and
thoughtfully placed garden antiques.
When Barbara’s husband was appointed as
a consultant at a hospital in Bath, the couple
set about finding a new home nearby. So, on
a freezing cold day just after Christmas 1983,
they moved to Roadmender’s Cottage, a 300-
year-old Grade II-listed cottage. Its unusual
name derives from that fact that local
roadmenders used to live there.
GLORIOUS GARDENS
SOMERSET
RIGHT Geranium phaeum, Geranium pratense
‘Mrs Kendall Clark’, white digitalis and giant
alliums produce a delicate arrangement of
maroons, violets, whites and lavender greys.
BELOWThe bright-white cottage sets off the
cottage-garden style planting beautifully.
TEGUK 152 Roadmenders final:UK 30/03/2010 12:47 Page 50
The English Garden 51
Enjoying an elevated position among pastoral hills, this
inspiring cottage garden combines sensible design and
delicate planting in a series of intimate outdoor spaces
PHOTOGRAPHS LYNN KEDDIE WORDS CLAIRE MASSET
THE TOP
Rooms at
TEGUK 152 Roadmenders final:UK 30/03/2010 14:18 Page 51
‘My first aim was actually to get down to the
end of the garden,’ Barbara says, recalling her
once overgrown plot. ‘Huge briars from the old
rose garden arched over what had been
grass pathways. But I could see the garden
had promise. It was surrounded on all sides by
warm Bath stone, and the earth was so friable
that I was able to dig a hole with the heel of
my boot to plant a shrub I had brought from
our previous garden.’ Clearly Barbara was keen
to get started, but she sensibly waited until
spring to see what plants would emerge. ‘Sadly,
few perennials had survived,’ she recalls.
Knowing that many of the gardens in the
village were on clay, Barbara feared that her own
plot might have similar soil. To her surprise,
she discovered that hers was at the other end
of the soil scale, being sandy and dry. ‘I
immediately placed an advertisement in the
parish magazine, cheekily entitled ‘Desperate
for Dung!’ My advice to any gardener is to
mulch, and feed, feed, feed! A gingko we had
had for 10 years suddenly leapt into life after
an annual feed of organic chicken pellets.’
An avid Sissinghurst fan, Barbara was
naturally inclined to create rooms in her new
garden. ‘Now there are lots of little areas where
small groups of four or five people can feel
completely private. The upper lawn is edged by
a raised herbaceous border and, through the
arch in the yew hedge, visitors encounter my
renovated rose garden and nascent potager.’
In the herbaceous borders, the burgeoning
blooms of lavender and alliums create a soft,
almost fleeting, effect. Throughout the garden,
elegant shades of green, purple, white and pink
blend together, as if effortlessly.
Cottage garden favourites including foxgloves;
geraniums such as G. sanguineum, G. pratense
‘Mrs Kendall Clark’ and G. phaeum; honeysuckle;
and delphiniums combine with architectural
plants such as plume poppies (Macleaya
microcarpa) and New Zealand flax, phormium.
‘I’m thankful to garden designer and writer
John Brookes for making me aware that huge
ABOVE LEFTThe comfortable tree-shaded dining area is edged with pots and a large cauldron, which was originally used by the roadmenders who lived
here to melt their pitch. ABOVE RIGHTThe dining area looks on to the hosta garden, featuring many species of that plant as well as white digitalis.
BELOW, LEFTTO RIGHT Geranium psilostemon; Geranium pratense ‘Midnight Reiter’; Allium hollandicum‘Purple Sensation’; Rosa ‘New Dawn’.
GLORIOUS GARDENS
SOMERSET
TEGUK 152 Roadmenders final:UK 30/03/2010 12:48 Page 52
architectural plants can be placed with effect in
small spaces. My 2.5m macleaya with its huge
orange plumes works well, particularly behind
orange alstroemeria with lime green Alchemilla
mollis in the foreground. We inherited the
alstroemeria - they are the only
orange I allow in the garden.’
Having a small plot, Barbara tries
to look for ‘good value’ plants,
favouring those that feature form,
colour, flowers and berries at different times
of the year. She feels that her June berry tree
(amelanchier) is perfect in all its stages. ‘It even
tolerates partial shade,’ she says. Ever the
optimist and despite her dry soil, Barbara has
GLORIOUS GARDENS
SOMERSET
defiantly persevered with a hosta bed ‘because
it looks just right under the wisteria’. Not one
to hold onto her gardening secrets, she reveals:
‘The secret with hostas is to apply slug pellets
before the hostas emerge in spring. I find slugs
tend to munch the leaves directly as they appear.
I don’t know how they manage hostas at
Highgrove without slug pellets.’
As with all good gardens, things at the
Roadmender’s Cottage never stand still. ‘My latest
project has been to erect a polytunnel to bring
on thousands of bulbs for my daughter’s
wedding in May,’ Barbara says. ‘I didn’t want
bog-standard tulips but rather beautiful, striped
parrot ones. The polytunnel will provide the
extra warmth to bring on
the bulbs. After last year’s
downpours, I’m keeping my
fingers crossed that we don’t
have a monsoon in May!’
Roadmenders Cottage, Norton-St-Philip, Somerset
BA2 7LN. Open for the NGS on Sun 20 June
and 11 July, 2-6pm. Visitors also welcome by appt.
Tel +44 (0)1373 834214. www.ngs.org.uk
ABOVE LEFT Milky pink honeysuckle and pale blue borage complement the rich and varied shades of green from shrubs. ABOVE RIGHTThe hazy
coral plumes of Macleaya microcarpa ‘Kelway’s Coral Plume’ add height and grace at the back of this border, and broad strap leaves of phormium give
structural interest at the front. BELOW, LEFTTO RIGHT Iris ‘Louvois’; Acanthus spinosus; Rosa ‘Charles de Mills’; Rosa ‘Rambling Rector’.
There are lots of little areas in the garden where groups
of four or five people can feel completely private
L
TEGUK 152 Roadmenders final:UK 30/03/2010 12:49 Page 53
54 The English Garden
GAs a gardener, it’s important to retain a degree
of flexibility. I now realise that what flowered for
my garden open day in June one year might let
me down the next - but I don’t let that deter me
from trying my best to put on a show.
G The most essential tool for any gardener is very
sharp pair of secateurs. I wouldn’t be without mine.
G Stay optimistic and never give up. If you accept
that gardening is not an exact science, you’ll find
that you enjoy it more and achieve better results.
GARDENSTO VISIT NEARBY
G The Peto Garden at Iford Manor, Bradford on Avon, Wiltshire
BA15 2BA. Tel: +44 (0)1225 863146. www.ifordmanor.co.uk
G Prior Park, Ralph Allen Drive, Bath, Somerset BA2 5AH.
Tel +44 (0)1225 833422. www.nationaltrust.org.uk
NURSERIES
G Blackmore & Langdon, Stanton Nurseries, Pensford, Bristol, Somerset
BS39 4JL. Tel +44 (0)1275 332300. www.blackmore-langdon.com
G Special Plants Nursery, Greenways Lane, Cold Ashton, Chippenham,
Wiltshire SN14 8LA. Tel +44 (0)1225 891686. www.specialplants.net
CONTACTS
The notebook
Roadmender’s Cottage garden is split into rooms, and stands atop a small hill. It covers three quarters
of an acre. Naturally dry and sandy, the soil has been enriched by regular mulching and feeding
BARBARA LUTTERLOCH’S
ADVICE ON GARDENING
STEP BY STEP
Barbara rescued loose stones from her garden and
used them as stepping stones in her potager (below);
a simple and stylish solution that also helps to
highlight the neat rows of vegetables.
GLORIOUS GARDENS
SOMERSET
SCARY STUFF
Reminiscent of Rosemary Verey’s potager at Barnsley House in Gloucestershire,
Barbara’s vegetable plot (above) is home to a charming scarecrow. Smartly attired
in a jacket, top hat and neckscarf, it’s bound to deter winged intruders.
SHAPES AND MIRRORS
Architectural elements such as large pots and topiary bring depth and focus to a garden.
A large planter filled with water (above left) creates a lovely sky-reflecting area, and
framing a distant view or feature such as this garden bench with a clipped hedge and
topiary balls (above right) adds a sense of purpose and direction to the garden.
TEGUK 152 Roadmenders final:UK 30/03/2010 12:49 Page 54
Chelsea
Flower Show
The English Garden 57
25-29 May 2010
It’s show time! Here’s our behind-the-scenes preview of this year’s
spectacular, featuring special interviews, highlights and ideas
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Show stoppers
This year’s gardens and
key themes pg 58
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In-the-know
nursery
Turning designers’ dreams
into reality pg 62
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That medal-
winner’s mine
Show garden to stunning
private plot pg 67
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Taking it home
How to get the most out of
flower shows pg 72
G
Evison’s
anniversary
The clematis king looks
back on 50 years pg 75
CHELSEA
SHOW PREVIEW
TEGUK152 Chelsea cover final:UK 26/03/2010 16:46 Page 57
CHELSEA
SHOW PREVIEW
CHELSEA
charmers
We take a sneak peek at this year’s glorious show
gardens and consider the key themes - from
communal spaces and outdoor entertaining to
romanticism and exotic influences from abroad
FLEMING’S ANDTRAILFINDERS AUSTRALIAN GARDEN
Designed with entertainment in mind, this garden reflects the passion that
Australians have for outdoor living, green spaces and contemporary architecture.
It boasts many attractive and tempting features, including a swimming pool and
spa, a sunken lounge and ‘wet bar’ (a multi-functional room that can be opened
and closed according to the weather), plus an unusual outside kitchen area. The
planting creates a dense, lush, almost tropical feel, with dramatic bamboos and
other architectural plants such as Strelitzia alba. Key materials include hard-
wearing timber, glass and paving stones. Stand RHW25
THE CANCER RESEARCH UK GARDEN
This urban roof garden is an elegant design imbued
with profound meaning. Exploring the use of light and
shade, it highlights the work of Cancer Research UK,
which continuously sheds new light, awareness and
understanding on the causes, diagnosis and treatment
of cancer. A mixture of colourful and vibrant planting
includes herbaceous woodland plants and white-
stemmed birch. Stand MA22
look out for...
The circular pools of water reflecting light and
gentle movement into the garden
Swimming pools
Roof garden
Glass, which is used in a number of decorative and practical
elements, including the spa, creating a modern, streamlined effect
look out for...
look out for...
A tall and elegant pergola
with large stepping
stonesaround the
natural-looking
plunge pool
THE CHILDREN’S SOCIETY GARDEN
Designer Mark Gregory has created a garden for the modern family, providing a
retreat for teenagers, families, friends and neighbours to get together. The
garden is a relaxed yet stylish space, which includes a filtered plunge pool edged
with aquatic plants, an outdoor oven to make pizza and a covered seating area
surrounded by curtains for privacy and warmth. Multi-stemmed field maples
(Acer campestre) enclose the garden, while euonymus and viburnum shrubs
sit alongside aquilegia and foxgloves. Ferns weave through the
planting creating texture. Stand MA4
TEGUK152 Chelsea show gardens final:UK 30/03/2010 15:23 Page 58
The English Garden 59
CHELSEA
SHOW PREVIEW
Communal space
THE HESCO GARDEN
Leeds City Council’s show garden (left) celebrates
the green spaces that connect the city centre to the
countryside in and around Leeds. The garden has been
designed with maintenance in mind. In particular, the
choice of plants demonstrates a new way of using hardy
annuals in a naturalistic way from early spring through to
autumn. All planting has been chosen to support and
encourage local wildlife and conservation. Stand MA23
look out for...
Extreme levels, beautiful textures and great colour schemes
THE DAILYTELEGRAPH GARDEN
This contemporary garden is inspired by travel and aims to bring
together different natural habitats and vegetations from around the
world, including the Fynbos of South Africa, the Maquis shrubland
of the Mediterranean, the Chaparral of California and Mexico, and
the Matorral of central Chile. The planting brings an exotic air but
is linked with more familiar English garden plants, which light up
the garden with colour. Stand MA21
look out for...
Running water and open clearings of planted
gravel creating places to reflect
THETOURISM MALAYSIA GARDEN
This garden is inspired by the lush rainforests and traditional
villages of Malaysia. Using natural materials such as coconut wood
and white limestone, it includes ancient Malaysian architectural
features. But it also boasts many ultra-modern elements, clean
lines and angles. Reflective water and rainforest planting create
a tropical look. Stand MA25
look out for...
Chelsea’s first, full-sized tropical garden using edible
crops such as banana trees and coconut palms,
together with yams, gingers and lemongrass
Foreign influence
THE FOREIGN
AND COLONIAL
INVESTMENTS
GARDEN
For his show garden,
designer Thomas
Hoblyn was inspired
by Voltaire’s 18th-
century masterpiece
Candide. From one
international disaster
to another, the
book’s eponymous
hero finally finds
contentment
through hard work
on a farm in Turkey,
where he speaks his closing words: ‘We must cultivate our garden.’
This garden’s field-like layout emphasises the importance of the
Turkish smallholding, while two pools represent the oceans that
Candide crossed in his travels, and stone-clad planted walls indicate
the steep cliffs that surround El Dorado. All the plants have a
Mediterranean feel, such as Lagerstroemia indica, Yucca rostrata,
Parrotia persica, Quercus cerris and 9m-tall mulberry trees.
Stand MA24
look out for...
The colour palette of bronzes and verdigris
(green/copper) complement the series of sculptures
of Candide’s love interest, Cunégonde
TEGUK152 Chelsea show gardens final:UK 30/03/2010 13:10 Page 59
CHELSEA
SHOW PREVIEW
VISITOR ESSENTIALS
G Book your ticket in advance as you can’t buy one
on the day. Tel: 0845 2605000. www.rhs.org.uk
G Buy the catalogue - it is essential and can be
ordered with your tickets.
G Use the map in the show catalogue to
plan your day.
G Wear comfortable shoes and a waterproof coat
with a hood in case of rain, instead of an umbrella,
as it will get in the way in crowded areas.
G Plan to eat at the showground as you can’t go in
and out of the show. There are catering facilities
and picnic spots on site.
G Don’t carry large rucksacks or bags as they
can be a real pain to haul around the show.
TRAVEL INFORMATION
Rail: London Victoria is the closest train station
to the show. For information on rail services, visit
the National Rail website www.nationalrail.co.uk
or call 0845 7484950. London General operates
a shuttle bus service between London Victoria
(Hudson’s Place) and the showground (Barrack
Gate, Chelsea Bridge Road) between 7am and
8pm each day (6pm Saturday).
Bus: Once in London, bus numbers 11, 137, 211,
170, 360 and 452 stop closest to the showground,
while bus numbers 19, 22, 319 and C1 stop at
Sloane Square. For more travel information,
visit www.tfl.gov.uk
Tube: Sloane Square tube station (on the
District and Circle Lines) is a 10-minute walk
to the showground.
THE VICTORIAN
AVIARY GARDEN
Inspired by the late Victorian
period, this garden (right)
concentrates on formal lines,
contrasting colours schemes
and has beautiful box-edged borders
set in lawn with topiary. A bird-themed
pebble mosaic path leads towards a rich blue-
and-gold Victorian aviary, which has been restored and
adapted to create a charming and romantic focal point and an outdoor dining
room. Materials include Cumbrian slate for the paving and limestone for the
traditional stone walls on the terrace. Stand MA13
Romance
The two side-wings of the aviary, once used to keep exotic
birds, and now planted with shrubs for year-round interest
look out for...
THE LAURENT-PERRIER GARDEN
An elegant garden fromTom Stuart-Smith, combining intimate spaces designed for
entertainment or quiet reflection. Subtle and changing textures are created by an
elongated pool of water, curving paths, natural stone walls and vibrant spring
woodland planting. Tom says: ‘I always try to find some unfamiliar plants. This year
I’m using an elegant umbellifer called Cenolophium denudatum’,as well as a grove of
copper-barked Betula nigra, cloud-
pruned box, woodland grasses,
euphorbias, blue Iris sibirica and
fresh white flowers. Stand MA20
look out for...
The bronze pavilion
designed by award-winning
architect Jamie Fobert
PLACES OF CHANGE
This year’s Eden Project garden is twice the size of
last year’s. It is a collaboration between the Eden Project,
the Homes and Communities Agency, Communities and
Local Government Homeless Link and up to 50 homelessness
charities across the country. The show garden offers opportunities for
visitors to discover the stories and individual ‘places of change’ of the people
taking part. It will feature designated themed zones including crops and food,
floristry and leisure, medicine and health, industry and manufacture, and conversation and
the environment - all of which act as a metaphor for the hidden treasures that lie within
communities and the most unexpected places. StandTR1
look out for...
The added personal touch makes this a garden with a difference
Environmental
60 The English Garden
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show business
Crocus nursery spends the whole year finding and nurturing amazing plants
that make show-stopping, jaw-dropping, Chelsea designer gardens
PHOTOGRAPHS JO & ROBWHITWORTH WORDS MARTYN COX
No business like
62 The English Garden
TEGUK152 Crocus Nursery final 29/03/2010 13:48 Page 62
OPPOSITE PAGE Peter Clay is managing
director of Crocus in Surrey. THIS PAGE,
TOPThe section of the nursery reserved
for the 40,000 plants that wing their way to
the show each year. CLOCKWISE, FROM
ABOVEA member of the Crocus staff
checks the agapanthus stock; echinaceas,
though a late summer flower, can be
forced to bloom in May for Chelsea; the
plants are brought indoors in October;
the Chelsea pen.
CHELSEA PLANTS
CROCUS NURSERY
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hile three of our nation’s best-known
garden designers chew anxiously on
their fingernails as they wait for the
RHS judges’ verdict on their Chelsea
show gardens, the man who has
supplied them with the plants, Peter Clay, will be breathing
a huge sigh of relief, along with his right-hand man, Mark
Straver. They have both spent a whole year fulfilling a
heavy responsibility: pampering 40,000 plants grown
specifically for the event, working with a small team at
the 34-acre Crocus nursery in Windlesham, Surrey.
‘The highlight of the show for me is watching the last
lorry load of plants leave the nursery and head to the
showground,’ Mark says. ‘I think to myself: that’s it, there’s
nothing else we can do now.’
Mark, a buyer for the online nursery since 2000, is not
being flippant. The opening of the show marks the end
of 12 months’ work. The condition of the plants delivered
by the nursery in the final 17-day period prior to the show
has a huge impact on the colour of the medal that’s
awarded to the designer.
This will be the 10th year in succession that Crocus has
been at Chelsea. Ulf Nordfjell, Luciano Giubbilei, Arabella
Lennox-Boyd and many other well-known designers have
created gardens with Crocus plants. Show gardens with
plants sourced, grown and supplied by the nursery have
notched up an impressive 11 gold medals.
At this year’s show, Crocus is collaborating with Tom
Stuart-Smith for the sixth time. The Daily Telegraph garden
by Andy Sturgeon and Thomas Hoblyn’s garden for the
Foreign & Colonial Investment Trust will also feature
plants that have been driven the 26 miles from the
nursery to the showground in west London.
TO-DO LISTS
Crocus often starts preparing for a Chelsea garden a year
in advance. ‘Tom usually hands me his provisional list of
plants for the following year at the show itself,’ says Mark.
He then works through it, reporting back to the designer
on what plants they can grow, what might be a possibility
and what’s completely out of the question.
Do designers ever ask for plant suggestions? ‘Some
designers work in colour, shades and heights, leaving us
to fill the gaps, but most have a very clear idea of what
they want. However, I’m happy to have an input into plant
choice whenever they ask me,’ says Mark, who ran his
own nursery for many years before moving to Crocus.
After narrowing down the plant list, he sources the
plants. While some may already be stocked at the nursery,
others will require some detective work to track down.
This is no problem to Mark. He spends about a third of
the year living out of a suitcase as he travels around the
world visiting nurseries, keeping a photographic record
of everything he’s seen. ‘I always say to a designer that if
I can’t find it, it doesn’t exist,’ he explains. Sometimes a
designer will accompany him to a nursery on a ‘tagging
trip’, where they put labels on the plants they want. When
TEGUK152 Crocus Nursery final 29/03/2010 13:49 Page 63
CHELSEA PLANTS
CROCUS NURSERY
LEFTThe small team that help Mark
prepare plants for Chelsea and other
show gardens beetle away in one of
the greenhouses. BELOW LEFT Crocus
provide grasses and perennials but
also source and grow trees, shrubs
and specialist plants for show garden
designers - and you too, from the website.
BELOW RIGHT Dahlias and heleniums in
full bloom and ready to go. BOTTOM
Mark Straver.
Rather than leave anything to chance, Mark grows a third more plants for Chelsea
than requested. ‘You have to be prepared for anything,’ he says
64 The English Garden
TOM STUART-SMITH:
‘I’ve been using Crocus for many years to source and supply plants for my show
gardens. There are so many reasons why I like to work with the company. They are
prepared to find most things and in quantity. They are very good for quality and I like
working with all the staff. Chelsea gets less stressful each time I do it, and that’s in
good measure due to them. The system they’ve put in place does work.’
ANDY STURGEON:
‘Crocus is hugely important to the success of a Chelsea garden because the plants they
supply dictate the colour of your medal. I first worked with them in 2006 and this year
will be the fourth time that they have grown my plants. They are the only Chelsea
grower who will do everything - shrubs, perennials, hedges and so on - and they have
a real ‘can-do’ attitude. Mark is so experienced that he knows what will work and what
is risky. If he can’t handle the oddities he always knows a specialist who can, then
gets it organised, which takes the pressure off me.’
THOMAS HOBLYN:
‘As far as Mark is concerned, there’s no such word as ‘No’. He can find anything and has
contacts all over Europe. If I say to him that I need some Agave filifera, he’ll say right we
need to go to Germany, or I might get a call from him in Italy saying that he’s found
some yuccas I’ve been looking for. He’s completely dedicated to Chelsea.’
What the designers think
all the plants have been sourced, they are brought together
at the nursery and grown on until they have reached the
size required by the designer. During this time, they are
given the utmost attention.
Rather than leave anything to chance, Mark grows a
third more plants than requested. ‘You have to be prepared
for anything. If a lorry breaks down on the way to the
show, the plants will suffer if they have remained
undercover in boiling hot temperatures all day, or, if the
vehicle gets a puncture, a tree might slip and scuff its bark.’
Did the long, hard winter cause problems? ‘It didn’t
have any impact,’ he says. ‘Most of the Chelsea plants are
moved undercover in October and placed outside in the
spring. What we’re terrified of are late frosts, so we keep
a close eye on the weather forecast.’
SHOWAHOLIC
In the 10 weeks leading up to the event, Mark lives, eats,
sleeps and breathes Chelsea. He works every day, from
6am to 10pm. ‘Designers often ask me at this stage if I can
find some other plants or whether a perennial will be in
flower long enough to last the show,’ he says. According
to Mark, the last few days are ‘horrific’, with up to nine
lorries leaving the nursery each day. ‘I become a complete
control freak, picking every plant that’s loaded myself. It’s
a massive relief when it’s over, but I don’t get time for a
rest - it’s then on to Hampton Court!’
See Crocus online at www.crocus.co.uk or tel: 0844 5572233.
TEGUK152 Crocus Nursery final 30/03/2010 15:24 Page 64
66 The English Garden
SHOWSWANK
TO RIVER BANK
Andy Sturgeon takes us through reinterpreting his Chelsea
show garden to suit a real-life residential garden space
PHOTOGRAPHS NICOLA STOCKENTOMKINS
L
The English Garden 67
THE CHELSEA GARDEN
I’m very proud of this garden I
designed in 2005 for Merrill Lynch
(right). I wanted to combine a
beautiful garden with a home-
working environment, represented
by this sleek steel-and-glass cube.
The materials used in the hard
landscaping are traditional, but I
tried to give them a contemporary
feel, using cleanly cut oak cubes
and natural stone paving, combined
with a lawn and lots of plants.
I wished to play down the man-
made materials, such as stainless
steel, and soften it with the
planting, where the emphasis was
more on leaf texture than colour.
Nicola StockenTomkins wanted to
redesign her new garden and thought
the solution outside needed to be
‘simple, stylish and sympathetic to
the setting’, so she asked me to
reinterpret this show garden at her
home at Shepperton in Middlesex.
I wouldn’t normally get excited
about designing a garden for an
unremarkable 1960s house, but
this was different. Nicola, a garden
photographer, and her husband, Nigel,
had moved here for one reason.
The house was to be extended and
remodelled, and the entire rear wall
of the ground floor replaced with
huge folding picture windows to
give uninterrupted views of their
rather seductive neighbour, the River
Thames. It was impossible to resist.
CHELSEA DESIGN
SHOWPIECE TO BACKYARD
TEGUK152 Nicolas Garden Andy final 29/03/2010 13:17 Page 67
68 The English Garden
N
icola’s house is raised up 1.3m above
ground to prevent flooding, so a small
timber deck was installed outside the
new picture windows, with steps down to a
central lawn. But I still wanted to bring the
garden right up to the house, so the deck is
enclosed with tall perennial planting to be seen
from the inside, and this is kept transparent to
maintain uninterrupted views of the river. A veil
of mauve Verbena bonariensis, tall alliums and
veronicastrum were ideal candidates, producing
flowers that appear to dance like butterflies
above the foliage, and lead Nicola to dub
this bed ‘Purple Haze’.
The layout of the garden was conceived as a
series of interlocking and overlapping rectangles
that flow towards and include the river. Despite
its sinuous nature, when viewed from the house
the water is framed by the garden either side,
making it appear unexpectedly rectangular and
allowing it to become a part of the garden,
which continues seamlessly to the trees and
shrubs on the far bank beyond.
The rectangular pool at the heart of the show
garden was something that was clearly
unnecessary in this dramatic waterside location,
so it was substituted by lawn, which gave this
garden the same sense of space straight away.
The key feature fromthe Chelsea showgarden
is recycling in its purest form. Transplanted here
piece by piece, a sculptural installation of
about 60 oak cubes of varying sizes winds
through the borders. It also functions as an
adventurous pathway leading off from the
deck through the ‘Purple Haze’ planting, and
on into the main border. Here, the colour palette
switches to green and bronze for the leaves, with
purples, maroons, oranges and lime greens from
salvias, aquilegias, alliums and euphorbias.
The pathway idles up to the end of the garden
where, at the water’s edge, the new and spacious
landing stage is the obvious place for a
dining table with commanding views up
and down the river.
The summerhouse is carefully positioned off
to the left so it doesn’t impede the views, but
it also hides next door’s shed and conceals the
end of the fence, whose outline looked
unsightly against the backdrop of the river. I
remember gently steering Nicola towards a fairly
modern garden building, but she rightly
introduced a rather traditional structure, which
she described as ‘small enough not to detract
from the view, but with enough space to
sit in during wet weather’. This perfectly
proportioned building had the effect of pulling
the whole design together and stamping it with
an unmistakable English country garden quality,
so, in this instance, the client was definitely right.
LEFT Nicola and her husband Nigel. ABOVEThe front entrance to the 1960s
house. BELOW, LEFTTO RIGHT Annual poppies; Salvia pratensis ‘Lapis
Luzuli’; Euphorbia griffithii ‘Fireglow’; Veronicastrum virginicum and Verbena
bonariensis; and dark aquilegias feature in the planting scheme. BOTTOM
LEFTThe view back to the house across the garden from the river bank.
TEGUK152 Nicolas Garden Andy final 29/03/2010 13:18 Page 68
G From a material point
of view, the garden is
‘timber heavy’, which is
utterly appropriate for
the watery setting, but
also manages to have
a light footprint ideal
for the rural outlook
to the trees across
the river.
G The garden leans
heavily on the original
2005 Chelsea planting
palette, which was
originally conceived in
layers, starting off with
contrasting foliage: neatly
clipped box balls, shrubby
nandina, astelia, ferns and
grasses guarantee plenty
of interest once the more
fleeting flowers have
done their thing.
G The oak cube path,
inspired by the Giant’s
Causeway in Ireland, is
in part a sculptural
installation, which
further reveals itself in
winter, giving structure
to the beds as the plants
die down. The cubes are
bolted together so
they don’t float off
in high water.
G The horizontal lines of
the slatted timber fence
lead the eye to the river.
Its uniformity helps to
enforce the order and
therefore the tranquillity
of the garden. It hides
the existing ramshackle
fence of the neighbours,
which had an unsightly,
inappropriate, suburban
quality to it.
The garden relies on only
a few different elements
and is intentionally
very uncomplicated.
This allows it to sit
comfortably in its
setting. The construction
materials are almost
exclusively timber, with
just a little natural stone
and gravel. Nothing is
artificial. The planting
doesn’t include natives,
but relies on leaf shapes
and shades of green that
could be found in the
English landscape, and
this approach means that
the garden connects the
house to the river and
the landscape beyond.
CHELSEA DESIGN
SHOWPIECE TO BACKYARD
TEGUK152 Nicolas Garden Andy final 29/03/2010 13:18 Page 69
RHS SHOW
ADVERTORIAL
70 The English Garden
Company Name: Peter Beales Roses
Type of Trade: Rose Breeder & Retail Outlet
Tel: 0845 481 0277
Website: www.classicroses.co.uk
Exhibition Stand: D11
Company Name: Tramway Forge Ltd.
Type of Trade: Handmade garden ironwork
Tel: (01432) 263 222
Website: www.tramwayforge.co.uk
Exhibition Stand: PW45
Company Name: Oxford Planters Ltd
Type of Trade: Joinery
Tel: 01295 720303
info@oxfordplanters.co.uk
www.oxfordplanters.co.uk
Exhibition Stand: MW/4
Perennial – the horticulturists’ charity, will be selling a
wonderful range of gardening sundries and gifts.
A free speed weeder for TEG readers who make
a purchase of £25 or more.
Tel: 01372 373962
Website: www.perennial.org.uk
Exhibition Stand: RN14
Chelsea Adverts Template:UK 01/04/2010 10:45 Page 58
RHS SHOW
ADVERTORIAL
The English Garden 71
Company Name: Marnie Moyle
Trade: Handmade green oak furniture
Tel: 01635 281786
Website: www.greenoakfurniture.co.uk
Exhibition Stand: SR18
Company Name: Chilstone
Type of Trade: Ornaments
Tel: 01892 740866
www.chilstone.com and www.atouchoffrance.co.uk
Exhibition Stand: RM 14
Company Name: The Garden Trellis Company
Type of Trade: Bespoke Garden Joinery
Tel: 01255 688361
Website: www.gardentrellis.co.uk
Exhibition Stand: RHW/2
Company Name: Kit Stone
Type of Trade: Garden and conservatory
furniture and home interiors
Tel: 0870 777 00 99
Website: www.kitstone.co.uk
Exhibition Stand: WA3
Chelsea Adverts Template:UK 01/04/2010 10:47 Page 59
72 The English Garden
F
lower shows like RHS Chelsea are
key events in any gardener’s diary.
We wait all year to steal ideas, buy
the latest pair of Felcos or get
tempted by this year’s must-have
plant. Ticket in hand, we’re ready to join the
hoards to explore these horticultural spectacles.
I am spoilt: I normally go to Chelsea on
Press Day or during ‘build up’. This is a rare
opportunity to have a crowd-free sneak preview.
While many visitors go just to amble round and
enjoy a wonderful event, we cut-throat gardeners
are there for a reason. We are there to be
inspired and to make sure we are up-to-date
with current trends, both in design and planting.
I usually print off a map and start with Main
Avenue and those jaw-dropping show gardens,
then work my way through the Grand Pavilion
for a little light relief where I have a look at the
nursery stands, before embarking on the smaller
gardens, the exhibition stands and finally the
gardens set among the woodlands. Somewhere
in this programme, I allow myself a break for
a refreshing glass of Pimm’s.
Flower shows are great places to get inspiration and ideas
for your own plot, says Andrew Duff, garden design director
at the Inchbald School
THE SHOW
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SHOW GARDEN IDEAS
TEGUK152 Inchbald Design Book final 26/03/2010 16:29 Page 72
The English Garden 73
If you don’t manage to make it to the shows,
you can still tap into all the design ideas on
display by accessing the action through TV
coverage, newspapers and magazines, and the
internet. The Chelsea website, for example, is
excellent, featuring all individual show gardens,
the designers, plants and plant lists.
Whether you’re present on the day or
admiring from afar, when viewing the show
gardens you should put your critic’s hat on. It’s
easy to say a garden is ‘nice’, or that you don’t
like it, but you should ask why it works or
doesn’t. Judging gardens is subjective - gold
medals will seldom go to your favourites.
To make the most of the experience, have a
checklist or a list of questions in mind. Start
with a garden’s overall design: is it curvaceous,
is it linear? Is all the design on the ground or
vertical? What are the key aspects of the design?
Every year at Chelsea there is a main theme and
plant. Last year, it was all about control and
structure, with lots of architectural evergreen
and bold foliage, contrasted with soft frothy
plums and blood reds, many of which were set
off against a dark, sometimes black, background.
What are the focal points? What draws your
eye? Luciano Giubbilei’s 2009 garden was full
of solid linear structure in the hedges and paths,
but also vertical elements with trunks of trees.
Bold contemporary furniture, sculptures and
pots are often used in show gardens - Ulf
Nordfjell’s garden last year used steel containers
of brilliant white Libertia grandiflora.
What are the key materials used? You will
find that some of the finest materials available
are used for flower show gardens. You can use
these expensive elements to figure out what
you like, and then perhaps find cheaper
alternatives to use in your own garden - good
design should not be affected by budget. Look
out for quirky ideas: different mulches and path
edges like 2008’s rough slate; and innovative
boundaries such as last year’s growing walls or
gabions filled with reclaimed materials.
It’s a slightly different story when it comes to
the planting. Be warned - a lot of show gardens
have their plants forced in heated glasshouses
or held back, so much of the time the planting
combinations you see are not realistic. Luciano’s
blood red peonies with bronze fennel and
astrantias were amazing, but not likely, without
hothousing, to be repeated in the world of real
gardens. These beautiful displays can, however,
give you the outline of an idea, maybe for
combining flower shapes. His scheme could be
reproduced with roses and flowing grasses.
Lastly, consider colour: last year’s brilliant
whites and plum reds stole the show, while 2008
saw acid greens and pale blues working their
magic. What will we see in 2010?
Inchbald is launching a new two-day Vocational
Diploma in Garden Design, starting Sept 2010. See
www.inchbald.co.uk for details.
OPPOSITE PAGEAt shows, you’ll find big, bold and beautiful style
statements that with some smart thinking could be adapted to your own
garden. TOP LEFT Luciano Giubellei prepares the scheme in his 2009 show
garden. ABOVE Bold-coloured seating and sculptures guide the eye around
the garden and form focal points. TOP RIGHTThis expensive brick wall
could be replicated using hedging - it’s the shape we take as inspiration.
BELOW LEFTYou could substitute sandstone for reconstituted stone slabs,
and use the idea of planting in channels through a terrace. BELOW Find
out what’s possible in a tiny garden space. BELOW RIGHT Big flower
shows are where you’ll find quirky ideas like these bricks of wood for walls.
IFYOU CAN’T MAKE IT...
For Chelsea, Hampton Court and Tatton
Park show ideas, go to: www.rhs.org.uk/
Shows-Events where you’ll find images of
2009 gardens and full coverage of 2010
shows. Also, look out for The English Garden
Chelsea review in our July issue, out 15 June.
TEGUK152 Inchbald Design Book final 26/03/2010 16:30 Page 73
74 The English Garden
The English Garden 75
The King of Clematis
Half a century since his first Chelsea, Raymond Evison talks to Stephanie Mahon about
fifty years of the show, being bitten by the clematis bug and making a genus his own
L
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NURSERYMAN
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TEGUK152 Raymond Evison final 29/03/2010 13:40 Page 75
76 The English Garden
R
aymond Evison, plant-breeding royalty. A figure
well-known enough to have a rookie garden
reporter fretting slightly before the interview -
pick up a clematis plant in any garden centre in the UK
and you’ll probably see the man’s name on it. He writes
award-winning books. He takes photographs that end
up as stamps. He chairs the judging of the gardens at
Chelsea, and this year celebrates the 50th anniversary of
his first time at the show. Fret, fret.
And yet, two hours into my tour of the Guernsey
Clematis Nursery, all I can think is, well, what an utterly
lovely man he is. Dressed in trademark shirt and tie, he
first strikes you as a businessman, but talk of his vintage
Massey Ferguson tractor, ability to drystone wall and love
of scything soon dispel this as his only facet. That tie has
blue elephants on it, I realise. He is thorough, friendly and
helpful, obviously well liked by staff, each of whom he
makes sure to say good morning to as we potter about his
acres of glasshouses. This is his domain, where he produces
up to four million clematis a year.
The warmclimate of Guernsey makes this mindboggling
figure possible, and the island has played host to many
other horticultural industries since the 17th century, from
vines and tomatoes to daffodils and freesias. Raymond has
been here since the 1980s, and calls Guernsey his home,
but he was born and raised on the Shropshire-Welsh
border. Here, his green-fingered leanings were awakened
by his father’s propagation work with the nursery Treasures
of Tenbury Ltd. But Raymond’s real passion for plants
came to life at his very first Chelsea, 50 years ago. ‘I was
only 16 years old, and was invited by Percy Picton and
his son Paul to help out on their exhibit. Percy was a
marvellous person and a great gentleman. He had worked
as a gardener for William Robinson of Gravetye Manor,
and the head gardener while he was there was Ernest
Markham. Both had been doing some breeding and
working with the Jackmans (of C. jackmanii) on clematis.
‘Every night at the show, after we had finished on the
exhibit, we went for dinner, and Percy would tell me stories
about new varieties and how they had been bred, or
discovered in France, and I got really excited about it,’
says Raymond. ‘I remember he told me about a clematis
called ‘Markham’s Pink’, raised by Ernest Markham - he
said if you keep sowing seeds of this pink one, eventually
you will produce a red one. I still haven’t tried it.
‘Having come back from the show, I was all revved up,
with a fire lit under me by Percy. At the age of 16, I had
caught the clematis bug. John Treasure and my father
told me breeding clematis would never make any money,
though it was definitely something worthwhile doing. So
PREVIOUS PAGE Raymond
Evison makes some final
touches to his amazing
exhibit at Chelsea last year,
showcasing 7,500 flowers
in a dazzling display. TOP
LEFT Clematis ‘Pistachio’™
Evirida. TOP CENTRE Some
of the 2,300 mature plants
used in the exhibit, waiting
at the Guernsey Clematis
Nursery for their big day.
ABOVE RIGHT Raymond
checks on the progress of
some young clematis in
one of his glasshouses
on the Channel Island.
ABOVE LEFT Clematis
‘Crystal Fountain’™
Evipo038(N). ABOVE
CENTRETwo members
of the Chelsea prep team
trim the show plants.
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TEGUK152 Raymond Evison final 31/03/2010 12:23 Page 76
The English Garden 77
CHELSEA
NURSERYMAN
I started to work on it, tying in all the clematis that grew
an inch a day; an eager young chap, happy to get involved.’
The Guernsey Clematis Nursery was set up in spring
1985, in one acre of glasshouses. ‘My reason for coming
down here was the severe winter of 1981. I was, by then,
MD of Treasures of Tenbury Ltd. The temperature in
Shropshire dropped to -26ºC for a week or more, and we
lost a third of all the plants, including 80,000 clematis.
It was devastating,’ he says. ‘I came to Guernsey to
expand the nursery. I
knew the island from
holidays and that there
was an opportunity to
start young plants here.
Then, sadly, after a few years, my father died and I parted
company with the Treasures in 1987.’
Today, he owns seven acres of glasshouses, and holds
20% of the world market for clematis. He employs 70
staff, and sells to 25 countries. For a genus that would
never make any money, clematis has certainly done well
for Raymond. ‘Clematis has been good to me and for me,
and helped me travel the world, from the US and New
Zealand to China and Japan,’ he says.
But he has no intention of resting just yet, moving into
other territories across the globe all the time and launching
new varieties every year, using the world’s most famous
flower show as a jumping-off point. ‘To me, Chelsea is the
best launch place for any new plant. If we’ve launched
there, especially as part of a gold-medal-winning exhibit,
then it certainly makes a difference.’
A show of such monumental importance to a grower
means incredibly co-ordinated organisation and planning.
The lorry with container is on site during my visit, with
two weeks to go, waiting to be packed with up to 2,300
plants for the nursery’s
display. His preparation
team are busy clipping
and tying in the show
plants, encouraging them
to flower at just the right time with a regimen of
temperature control, using heat and artificial light. ‘I want
about 7,500 flowers on the exhibit,’ he says.
Then the plants are shrink-wrapped, put in a cooler,
put on the lorry, and the lorry is temperature controlled
for the whole journey. Once ferried across the water and
safely arrived in London, the exhibit set-up at the show
takes three people six days to perfect.
If only it were always as simple as these best laid plans.
Three years ago, someone misread the instructions for the
lorry’s cooler, and set the temperature to -5ºC instead of
ABOVE LEFT Beautiful
flowering plants lined up
to choose for the Chelsea
display. If lucky enough
to be picked, they will be
loaded on a lorry and sent
to the show. TOP CENTRE
Raymond examines the
bloom of an ‘Ooh La La’™
Evipo041(N) clematis.
TOP RIGHT Clematis
‘Chantilly’™ Evipo021(N).
ABOVE CENTRE Pots and
pots of potential new
varieties are tried out on
site. ABOVE RIGHT
Compact patio plant
Clematis ‘Fleuri’™
Evipo042(N).
‘Chelsea is the best launch place for any
plant. It certainly makes a difference’
L
TEGUK152 Raymond Evison final 29/03/2010 13:41 Page 77
5ºC. ‘I think 500 plants were totally ruined,’ Raymond
says. ‘We felt sick. The staff had worked on the plants for
months; we had put all that effort in. It was covered by
insurance, but that didn’t help my blood pressure.’
When all goes well, however, The Guernsey Clematis
Nursery is recognised for its lush and lavish displays,
having been awarded gold medals in each of the past six
years. ‘We’re going for 10 in a row,’ Raymond smiles.
It’s been a long journey from 16-year-old helper to
multiple gold-medal winner, and the showscape looks a
little different these days. ‘Back when I did Chelsea 50
years ago, all the ladies had the most splendid hats, and
the gentlemen wore morning dress. It has changed a lot,’
he reminisces. ‘When the old marquee was taken down,
they cut it up and sold it off, so I bought a piece to
remember the way it used to be.’
Let’s allow the man who has raised more than 100
clematis species and cultivars a bit of nostalgia on his 50th
anniversary, and anticipate another innovative exhibit in
the Grand Pavilion this year - because this is one old hand
who’s never been afraid to move forward.
The Guernsey Clematis Nursery is not open to the public, but
you can find out more at www.guernsey-clematis.co.uk and
www.raymondevisonclematis.com
SAVE UPTO £7.50 on Raymond Evison Clematis!
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Order by post: Fill in the form below and send with
payment to The English Garden Offer, The Guernsey
Clematis Nursery Ltd, Les Sauvagees, St. Sampsons,
Guernsey, GY2 4FD. Please make cheques payable to
The Guernsey Clematis Nursery Ltd and write ref code
ENG10 on the back.
‘Angelique’™ Evipo017(N)
Light blue flowers in spring to
late summer. Excellent repeat
flowerer.
‘Ooh La La’™ Evipo041(N)
Feature plant of Raymond
Evison’s 2009 Chelsea display.
Flowers spring to late summer.
‘Picardy’™ Evipo024(N)
Deep red and purple flowers
from early summer to autumn.
Ideal for containers.
ABOVE ‘Diamantina’™
Evipo039(N), a new
clematis that Raymond
will launch this year
at the RHS Chelsea
Flower Show.
‘Fifty years ago at Chelsea, the ladies had splendid hats and
the gentlemen wore morning dress. It has changed a lot’
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TEGUK152 Raymond Evison final 29/03/2010 13:42 Page 78
The English Garden 79
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80 The English Garden
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wood is another eco option, and FSC now has a
‘recycled’ logo that guarantees the products are
made wholly from recycled material. Some high-
end furniture makers use reclaimed teak, while
others make cheaper, more rustic furniture from
timber such as scaffold boards, sourced locally.
Local material gets more eco points than imported
timber in terms of carbon emissions, and if you
can afford green oak, which will last a lifetime,
you’re making the best possible choice.
Bamboo is sustainable in terms of speedy re-
growth (up to 1m a day), and, it’s claimed, by
removing up to 12 tons of CO
²
from the air per
hectare. But it has transport costs from the Far
East, and will need to be replaced in a few years.
HEAVY METAL
Metal and plastic furniture both have high carbon
footprints, though some companies now make
100% recycled aluminium garden furniture,
which, they say, cuts energy emissions by 95%.
The English Garden 81
I
’m always on the lookout for new takes on
recycling. You often see car tyres being used as
planters, but I’ve recently found a company that’s
selling funky looking stool and table sets made
from tyres that would look great in small modern
plots. But when I found out they are made in the
Far East, I began to wonder about the working
conditions and whether they were really a good
environmental buy at all. That’s the problem with
being an eco shopper: very often we just don’t have
enough information to make informed choices. In
terms of garden furniture, hopefully that’s changing.
The Leisure and Outdoor Furniture Association
(LOFA) is a trade association that represents
60-80% of garden furniture suppliers in the
UK, and for the past three years it has been
developing an eco-labelling scheme. ‘It’s a complex
business,’ explains LOFA secretary Richard
Plowman. ‘It’s not just about the manufacture
of the furniture and its energy usage. We have
to assess its whole life story, making sure it is
sustainably sourced and produced ethically, as
well as environmentally disposed of at the end
of its life.’ Members who sign up to the scheme,
to be called Made Aware, will have to pledge to
make improvements. Information about their
products’ eco ratings will be given on the Made
Aware labelling, which is expected to be on
furniture by the end of next year.
I WOOD IFYOUWOOD
Meanwhile, if wooden furniture is what you prefer,
there’s the FSC logo to help you find pieces that
have been made from timber taken from forests
that are managed to the highest environmental,
social and economic standards. It’s surprising that,
given there’s so much FSC garden furniture on the
high street, only 25% of people in this country
deliberately chose FSC products last year. If you
see a teak table and chair set at a knock-down
price, the chances are that it’s been non-sustainably
harvested, probably in Asia. They are cheaper
because the loggers don’t need to pass on the costs
of re-planting, forest care, and local taxes and levies. I
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Garden furniture
Eco-watch
Furniture made from recycled plastic still has a
high-energy manufacturing process, but at least
it’s making use of waste. A UK company called
Smile Plastics makes sheets of plastic from various
things that would otherwise go to landfill, such as
water bottles, CDs, mobile phones and wellies.
Every ton of plastics they recycle saves about 1.5
tons of CO
²
, and designers always come up with
ingenious ways to use it. Most plastic furniture has
a municipal feel, though I have seen benches in
bright colours in a Mediterranean style.
Alan Knight, an environmental consultant,
thinks timber is the best eco option, as long as
the forest management regime is sound. ‘But
whatever you buy, use price and design to make
the final decision,’ he advises. ‘Look after it and
make it live a long life.’ And if you tire of it, don’t
just throw it out: Freecycle or recycle it.
To learn more, go to: www.lofa.com
www.recyclingwood.org.uk
www.marmaxproducts.co.uk
If you can afford green oak garden furniture, which will last
a lifetime, you’re making the best possible choice
GREEN ISSUES
If you want a guilt-free garden seat this summer, Anne Gatti
has all you need to know on eco-friendly furniture buying
TEGUK152 EcoWatch garden furniture final:UK 31/03/2010 10:53 Page 81
82 The English Garden
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TEG UK152 subs page MAY final 30/03/2010 12:27 Page 83
84 The English Garden
The English Garden 85
East is feast
OTTER FARM
PEPPERY TASTES
L
River Cottage head gardener Mark Diacono spices up salads and stir
fries with a selection of home-grown peppercorns and oriental leaves
TEGUK152 Otter Farm final:UK 29/03/2010 13:25 Page 85
86 The English Garden
A
mid all the fruit and veg I grow
here at Otter Farm and River
Cottage, there’s an oriental tinge
that brings a delicious spiciness
to the kitchen, and it comes
from a few unexpected sources.
You might, if you’re lucky, keep the beautiful
vine that gives us black pepper alive undercover
in southern counties, but you have more chance
of getting dung out of a rocking horse than of
getting peppercorns fromthis. You do, however,
have every chance of getting peppercorns from
a group of unrelated plants of the Zanthoxylum
genus. Not all are producers of deliciously edible
peppercorns, but of those that are, Szechuan
pepper is my favourite. It forms a deciduous,
spiky bush that grows eventually to about 7m
in height and width, but is perfectly happy being
pruned smaller and grown in a large pot.
Small flowers appear in the summer, turning
into berries around 5mmacross, which flip over
and redden as they ripen. These pink-red berries
split when they’re ready - usually in early
autumn. Twist off the whole head of berries and
let themdry somewhere warmfor a day or two,
and they should be ready for the peppermill.
Zanthoxylum schinifolium and Z. simulans are
the two varieties known as Szechuan pepper,
and if you have roomfor just one variety I’d go
for Z. schinifolium - the peppercorns have a
wonderful light wave of heat to go with the
bright lemony overtones and that characteristic
tingle. And if you fancy trying another, make it
Z. piperitum, known as the Japanese pepper,
a more floral, milder pepper.
Taste of the oriental
For a leafier taste of the orient, investigate
oriental leaves. They inhabit the space between
salad and cabbage. On first tasting, you may be
struck with the punchy pepperiness of mizuna,
green in snow, giant red mustard and others,
You can sow mizuna and many other
October, or start them off undercover
but after a few tastings, initial similarities give
way to their individual personalities.
Mizuna makes a good starting point. It
looks a little like sharply incised rocket,
and it has a similar pepperiness alongside a
bright grassiness that makes it very distinctive.
Like many of the oriental leaves, mizuna
is becoming increasingly popular. As with
many of these leaves, it is prolific in most
soils, takes easily to being grown in pots,
and has the ability to grow steadily in summer
when many lettuces and other salads are
tempted to run to seed, as well as growing
through all but the coldest winter. Sowing
in a greenhouse or using a cloche will help
speed growth along during winter months.
PREVIOUS PAGE Szechuan pepper plants are naturally untidy in shape - watch out for the thorns. THIS PAGE, CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT Giant
red mustard offers a horseradish-style kick if the leaves are picked when large; mizuna can be sown outside in most soils from March to October;
keep competing weeds away with regular hoeing; it is rare to find mizuna sold on its own - it usually features in mixed salad bags. P
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PEPPERY TASTES TIP #1
Good companions
Grow some garlic and a few lines of
spring onions to go with your
leaves. For the more adventurous of
you, why not give lemongrass a try
undercover or on a windowsill, or
grow a few edible dayliles? The trick
with lemongrass is to keep the seed
compost moist but not wet. They
will all really jazz up salads.
PEPPERY TASTES TIP #3
Sowing oriental greens
You can sow mizuna and many
other orientals direct anytime
between March and October or start
them off undercover in guttering or
modules if you prefer. Sow in lines
or swathes, which will germinate
and grow into a solid block of
leaves, retaining moisture in the
soil and keeping out the weeds.
TEGUK152 Otter Farm final:UK 29/03/2010 13:26 Page 76
The English Garden 87
All enjoy the cut-and-come again treatment
but do so with care as the roots are easily
dislodged. The roots and leaf stubs that remain
provide the engine room for growth, and
within a couple of weeks (quicker at the height
of the season) you will be able to cut again.
Oriental leaves increase in intensity of
flavour as they get larger. Some, like giant red
mustard, go from lightly peppery when small
to fiery when they get to 15cm or so.
With just a few varieties of these oriental
leaves and some choice peppercorns, your
home-grown salads or stir fries could soon be
completely overhauled.
Next month: Micro salad leaves
THIS PAGE, CLOCKWISE FROMTOP LEFTThese pink Szechuan berries are ready for harvest; red frills
can be sown outdoors betweenApril and October every fortnight. The leaves will regrow more than
once when cut; Szechuan pepper plants offer white flowers in summer followed by autumn berries. T
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orientals direct, anytime between March and
in guttering or modules if you prefer
10 ORIENTAL
LEAVES TO TRY
CHOY SUM: Striking Chinese
vegetable with purple ribs. These
shoots and their yellow flowers
are somewhere between kale and
purple sprouting. Cut the shoots
when they are 5-10mm or so across.
GIANT RED MUSTARD: purple
and lime-green leaves. Nice and
lively when small, positively
horseradish when large.
GREEN IN SNOW: Saw-edged leaf
coloured like teddy boys’ socks
when small. Can be used as a green
vegetable when larger, but I prefer
the leaves cut small in salads.
KAI LAN: I recommended these a
few months ago: imagine asparagus
and sprouting broccoli had a child
in looks and taste. One of the best
veg you can grow. Perennial.
KOMATSUNA: Visually a cross
between skinny pak choi and
spinach, and tastes a little bit more
cabbagey than that - in a good way.
MIBUNA: Rounder leaf and darker
green than mizuna. Slow to bolt,
similar to mizuna but slightly
more brassica-ish.
MIZUNA: With a little more texture
than most lettuce leaves, and
a fresh, green flavour, as well as a
pepperiness that increases with size.
PAK CHOI CHINA CHOI: I’m not
a huge fan of growing pak choi:
I find it bolts and doesn’t form its
light hearts regularly enough. But
this tasty variation on the common
pak choi is a winner as it’s much
more resistant to bolting.
RED FRILLS: A delicious, fresh,
clean taste when young, a little
more peppery when larger.
SHUNGIKU, AKA CHOP
SUEY GREENS: An edible
chrysanthemum. Go for the leaves,
don’t wait for the flowers, as it’ll
rob the leaves of subtlety. Similar
to lamb’s lettuce in taste.
PEPPERY TASTES TIP #2
Helping to ripen
If, by mid-autumn, peppercorns are
still closed, pick them and lay them
out on a piece of paper indoors.
Within a day or two, they will dry
and split to reveal the seeds. It’s the
pink casing that carries the flavour,
but grind the seed too - it
helps moderate the intensity of
the pepper flavour.
PEPPERY TASTES TIP #4
Health-giving plants
That peppery punch offered by
oriental leaves isn’t just there for
culinary benefit: it’s down to the
mustard oils in the leaves, powerful
antioxidants that purportedly
mop up the ‘free radicals’ skirting
around your system, which
supposedly cause premature
aging and numerous cancers.
TEGUK152 Otter Farm final:UK 29/03/2010 13:27 Page 77
88 The English Garden
SEASONAL
FOOD
From the
kitchen garden
There’s nothing more summery than jelly and ice-cream, says
Francine Raymond - so put it on the menu for your garden party
PHOTOGRAPHS CHARLIE COLMER
H
owever much we gardeners love our plants, it is
open spaces that are more relaxing to the eye, and
offer space to wind down. Designing from scratch,
remember that a family garden needs some wide open
areas, for summer parties maybe, or even weddings, and a
sheltered shady spot for picnics, barbecues and al fresco
meals. Then, all we need is some weather we can rely on.
Children need spots to play hide-and-seek and ball games,
where they’re not in danger of damaging themselves or
precious planting. We have a formal yew-lined allée that is
perfect for family celebrations, and with the addition of a canvas
canopy, it will even double up as shelter in bad weather.
The centrally positioned walnut tree gives us all the shade
we need, and from this spot the rest of the garden is
hidden, so I can relax without being reminded of the all
the jobs I should be doing.
L
When it comes to parties, decorate the space with bunting
(ours came from Midsummer Designs on tel: +44 (0)1359
253552), colourful picnic rugs, chairs and cushions. In good
weather, there’s nothing to stop us bringing inside furnishings
outside for comfort’s sake, but for specialist outdoor suppliers,
the internet offers flights of fancy that are hard to resist.
Evening feasts can be lit with paper lanterns and hanging
kilner jars filled with long-lasting night lights. Just don’t
forget the insect repellent.
TREATS FOR LITTLE GARDENERS
For our garden-themed birthday party, we made elderflower
jellies with gooseberry ice-cream, and jam tarts with our
gooseberry jam. Everyone mucked in - the preparations were
part of the party. We picked posies and made garlands, and
finished the afternoon with elderflower ice lollies.
BEAN STICKS
Strong hazel staves have always
made the best bean sticks. Some
swear by regimented rows of
runner beans, but you can make
bunches of sticks into a tepee, or
bend them over to form a tunnel.
We have placed three sticks each in
four corner box balls, and gathered
them at the top to form a three-
dimensional arch for pumpkins,
beans or sweetpeas. When planting
runner beans, a deep trench filled
with soaking wet newspaper gives
them a really good start. We use
the linings from the henhouse,
which, when combined with straw
and chicken manure, propel our
beans first past the post.
Crafty ways with wood
TEGUK152 Francines Kitchen final:UK 29/03/2010 12:28 Page 88
ICE-CREAM AND JELLY
Home-made jelly is easier than you
think, and you can avoid the colourings
and flavourings guaranteed to make a
kids’ birthday party end with a bang.
For a really pretty jelly, float some
blueberries, raspberries or petals in
the mixture before it sets.
G Put six tablespoons of very hot water into
a bowl and sprinkle in a sachet of gelatine.
(Always add the gelatine to the hot water,
not the other way round).
G Leave for a few minutes, then stir
until dissolved.
G Take a pint/600ml measuring jar, fill
with the jelly and top up with elderflower
cordial or any other strong fruit juice,
diluted to taste.
G Leave to set in the fridge.
To turn jellies into a far from childish
treat, try adding a little liqueur to the
mixture. I’m very fond of rhubarb jelly
with a dash of Cointreau. If you whisk
the jelly when it’s half-set and then set
it again, it will have a pretty bubbly
effect. To make a quick ice-cream to go
with your jelly, add a spoonful or two
of home-made jam to a good vanilla
ice-cream and mix.
TEGUK152 Francines Kitchen final:UK 29/03/2010 12:29 Page 89
90 The English Garden
SEASONAL
FOOD
THE KITCHEN GARDEN
The Kitchen Garden is part of a new Suffolk garden
route, Gardeners’ Friday, combining four exceptional
local gardens with stops for refreshments, offering
a fascinating day out. For details, see www.kitchen-
garden-hens.co.uk
GOOSEBERRY AND ELDERFLOWER JAM
A marriage made in heaven, tart green gooseberries (save the sweet dessert
varieties for nibbling) and aromatic elderflowers. This delicious jam will make
tarts for parties, a sauce for steamed puddings or a filling with thick crème
fraiche in a sponge cake decorated
with tiny elderflowers dredged in
egg white and caster sugar for a
special birthday cake.
G Top and tail 1½lb/700g gooseberries
(a constant occupation at this time of
the year).
G Pop them into a pan with a pint/600ml
of water and three or four elderflower
heads wrapped in a muslin bag.
G Simmer until the fruit is soft.
G Remove the flowers and slowly
add 2lb/900g granulated sugar.
G Stir until dissolved.
G Turn up the heat to fast boil until
setting point.
G Cool and pop into jars. Label and store.
FEEDING DUCKLINGS
Our flock of black and white ducklings that hatched on Easter
Sunday are almost fully mature. They grow like the wind
with appetites to match. You can buy duckling food from
Allen & Page (www.smallholderfeed.co.uk) and add a supper
of mixed corn, but because these ducks are basically wild,
they are encouraged to forage, hopefully outside the garden
gate. Don’t consider keeping ducks unless you have plenty
of space, a laissez-faire attitude to gardening, and a large
pond. With their rubbery paddling feet and inquisitive
dabbling beaks, they are not constructive co-gardeners, but
you can’t beat them as relaxing time-wasters. We put out a
huge galvanised pan of water under the walnut tree to watch
this gaggle take their evening bath. There is no better way
to spend a late summer’s afternoon, sitting next to them
on our ancient swing seat with a glass of wine.
Preserve for the larder
TEGUK152 Francines Kitchen final:UK 29/03/2010 12:29 Page 90
The English Garden 91
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love ours and hope that our
products provide you with
enjoyment too.
• Interesting range
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• Friendly customer service from
Rebecca and Paul
• Perfect gifts for gardeners
• Many items inspired by our
gardening heritage
Office hours are Monday
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Office 01989720178
Rebecca 07832138704
www.heritagegardentraders.co.uk
PLANT FOCUS
UMBELLIFERS
BRIGHT STARS
The English Garden 93
Carol Klein champions the floral charms of lacy, celestial umbellifers
PHOTOGRAPHS CLIVE NICHOLS
L
TEGUK152 Plant Focus Umbels final 29/03/2010 17:02 Page 93
Y
ear after year, the plant that drew more attention
than any other in our exhibits at The RHS
Chelsea Flower Show was Orlaya grandiflora, an
unusual cow parsley relative with platforms of dreamy,
creamy-white flowers. Around each umbel are a series
of larger sterile florets designed to attract pollinating
insects. Its ferny foliage is equally attractive.
Interest in this plant is symptomatic of the increased
attention gardeners have paid in recent years to the
family Apiaceae, formerly Umbelliferae. Each year
there are more and more umbels seizing the limelight
at flower shows and in gardens.
Formerly, most of the family would have been deemed
unworthy of a place in civilised garden society. Apart from
occasional planting adventurers - Gertrude Jekyll using
giant hogweed and Margery Fish adoring astrantias -
umbels have taken a back seat, confined to ‘the wild
garden’, or just not used at all. But their informality,
their plateaux-like heads composed of scores of tiny
flowers and their striking structure, sometimes dramatic
and architectural, other times soft and branching, make
them a good fit for modern styles of planting. They are
perfect in naturalistic schemes and provide a peerless
performance in prairie planting.
BEST DURING MAY
I am so enamoured by cow parsley that one year we
grew a mass from seed for Chelsea. Bound for the
showground, our lorry pulled away past ditches and
verges awash with a tumult of frothy flowers; needless
to say our own plants did not flower in time!
Anthriscus sylvestris ‘Ravenswing’, a bronze-leaved form
of cow parsley, is at its best during May. The plant
gradually grows into a branching, waist-high individual,
each branch terminating in the familiar white umbels,
though in its case they are tinged with pink.
Formerly, most of the family would have been deemed
unworthy of a place in civilised garden society
PREVIOUS PAGE Angelica
archangelica. THIS PAGE,
TOP The darker wine-
coloured astrantias remain
the most popular, such as
Astrantia major ‘Roma’.
CENTRE Eryngium
bourgatii. BELOW A
relative of cow parsley,
Orlaya grandiflora.
TEGUK152 Plant Focus Umbels final 29/03/2010 17:02 Page 94
PLANTINGTIPS
Eryngiums
GTiny flowers, often of brilliant blue,
are arranged around a central cone and
protected by handsome, well-armoured bracts.
Eryngiums need sun, thrive on poverty and
relish sharp drainage.
Astrantias
G Flowers are produced from May to October,
borne on branching stems up to 60cm (2ft) in
height. Leaves are palmate, glossy and rich green,
and form vigorous mounds. Seedlings coming
up on the edge of paths may be small and
often wilt in dry weather.
G Astrantia major grows in damp meadows
and at woodland margins. Choose a site in
dappled shade with a good depth of soil. If
planting in sunnier positions it is particularly
important to add plenty of humus to the soil.
GAstrantias have an extensive root system
and relish heavy, damp soil. Improve conditions
by digging deeply before planting and
incorporating plenty of old muck.
G Water astrantias copiously in dry weather,
especially if plants are young and only recently
established in the garden.
ABOVEThe dramatic
unfolding of Selinum
wallichianum. ABOVE
RIGHT Eryngiums are
a favourite of the
flower arranger.
L
Another spring-into-summer umbel is Chaerophyllum
hirsutum ‘Roseum’. This is a graceful plant, its pale,
purple-pink flowers perfectly partnered by soft rich-
green leaves on dark crimson stems. It is happiest in
dappled shade, although it will flourish in full sun
providing it has moist soil. Pimpinella major ‘Rosea’ is a
smaller, daintier plant than chaerophyllum. It is the
pink-flowered version of a British native.
Selinum wallichianum or Selinum tenuifolium is a stately
plant that loves to grow in full sun and persists for many
years in gardens where it is happy. It makes 1m (3ft)
high clumps with creamy white flowers and lacy foliage.
Not nearly as finely cut as the leaves of Athamanta
turbith. A plant or two of this looks like a green mist
with white clouds suspended within it.
This is rare in cultivation but a similar effect can be
created by Ammi majus, an easy annual that can be sown
direct or started in module trays then planted out
individually. Many edibles belong here, such as carrots,
parsnips, fennel, dill and sweet cicely. The candied stems
of Angelica archangelica have been used as a confection
The English Garden 95
PLANT FOCUS
UMBELLIFERS
TEGUK152 Plant Focus Umbels final 29/03/2010 17:02 Page 95
STOCKISTS
G Avondale Nursery, Avondale Nursery,
Mill Hill, Baginton, Coventry CV8 3AG.
Tel: +44 (0)24 7667 3662.
www.avondalenursery.co.uk
G Burncoose Nurseries, Gwennap,
Redruth, Cornwall TR16 6BJ. Tel: +44
(0)1209 860316. www.burncoose.co.uk
G Cally Gardens, Gatehouse of Fleet,
Castle Douglas, Scotland DG7 2DJ.
Tel: +44 (0)1557 815029.
www.callygardens.co.uk
G Cotswold Garden Flowers, Sands
Lane, Badsey, Evesham, Worcestershire
WR11 7EZ. Tel +44 (0)1386 833849.
www.cgf.net
G Glebe Cottage Plants (Carol Klein’s
own nursery) Pixie Lane, Warkleigh,
Umberleigh, Devon EX37 9DH.
Tel: +44 (0)1769 540554.
G Marchants Hardy Plants, 2 Marchants
Cottages, Ripe Road, Laughton, East
Sussex BN8 6AJ. Tel: +44 (0)1323 811737.
www.marchantshardyplants.co.uk
G Pioneer Nurseries, Baldock Lane,
Willian, Letchworth, Hertfordshire SG6
2AE. Tel: +44 (0)1462 675858.
www.pioneerplants.com
ABOVE Bronze fennel
Foeniculum vulgare
‘Purpureum’. BELOW
LEFT Astrantia major.
Bronze fennel makes a fine display and a wonderful
host for lax plants such as herbaceous potentillas
PLANT FOCUS
UMBELLIFERS
for centuries and the roots of eryngium were cooked in
sugar and eaten in Elizabethan times.
In the garden, bronze fennel, Foeniculum vulgare
‘Purpureum’, makes a fine display and a wonderful host
for lax plants such as herbaceous potentillas
or geums. Frothy mounding Angelica archangelica can
be used as a specimen plant. It can reach 1.2-1.5m
(4-5ft) high with bold shiny green leaves and saucers
of lime-green flowers. Angelica ‘Gigas’, looks stunning
when its flower stems shoot up. Another good dark
angelica is Angelica sylvestris ‘Vicar’s Mead’ - very free
with its self-seeding though.
Astrantia bears little resemblance to most other
umbels. Instead of the collection of tiny flowers that
make up the flat plate-like heads typical of umbels such
as cow parsley, astrantia flowers are held on fine stems
radiating from a central point. They are surrounded
by a ruff of papery bracts, which protects them and their
consequent seeds. It is easy to see where the pin-
cushion analogy comes from.
After pollination each seed is suspended on its own hair-
fine stem. As seeds and bracts dry, the seeds quiver and
the bracts rustle in every breath of breeze. The papery
bracts remain presentable for months. Varieties such as
A. ‘Hadspen Blood and A. major ‘Ruby Wedding’ are much
prized by flower arrangers and gardeners alike.
TEGUK152 Plant Focus Umbels final 29/03/2010 17:03 Page 96
Name ...................................................................................
Address ................................................................................
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..................................................... Postcode ...........................
Telephone .............................................................................
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Expiry date ..................................... Issue no........................
Signature...............................................................................
Method of payment
Cheques payable to ‘The English Garden Offers’
OR
(Please delete as applicable) Cheque/Maestro/Mastercard/Visa
(Maestro only)
THE ENGLISH GARDEN MAY OFFER - EGA30
(for delivery purposes only)
¡
ORDER BY PHONE: 0844 573 2020. Please quote EGA30. Phone lines open seven days a week, 9am-8pm
ORDER BY POST: The English Garden Offers, Dept. EGA30, PO Box 99, Sudbury CO10 2SN.
Please make cheques payable to ‘The English Garden Offers’
ORDER ONLINE: www.thompson-morgan.com/eg
Plants will be dispatched from May 2010. All orders will acknowledged with a dispatch date. Delivery to UK addresses only.
If in the event of unprecedented demand this offer is oversubscribed, we reserve the right to send suitable substitute
varieties. Offer closes 30 May 2010. Please note that your contract for supply of goods is withThompson & Morgan (Young
Plants) Ltd (Terms and conditions available upon request). All offers are subject to availability. Offers available to UK
mainland residents only. *P&P refers to picking and processing.
Please send me Code Quantity Price Total
Astrantia major ‘Florence’ 1 bareroot 85638 £8.99
Astrantia major ‘Florence’ 3 bareroots 85639 £17.98
Astrantia major ‘Venice’ 1 bareroot 85640 £8.99
Astrantia major ‘Venice’ 3 bareroots 85641 £17.98
Achillea ‘Cerise Queen’ 3 plants 88567 £7.99
Achillea ‘Cerise Queen’ 9 plants 88568 £15.98
Eryngium alpinum 2 bareroots 83984 £8.99
Eryngium alpinum 4 bareroots 83985 £12.98
Total £
THE ENGLISH GARDEN
Umbellicious exclusive offers!
READER EXCLUSIVE
If Carol Klein has given you a taste for umbellifers, add colour and sublime structural detail to
your borders with these top perennials at great prices - and the more you order, the more you save!
Choose from our selection of astrantia, achillea and eryngium, or get them all!
The English Garden 97
Astrantia major
‘Venice’
A stunning pincushion
astrantia with deep ruby-
red flowers that verge
on burgundy. Thrives
in full sun and well-
drained soils. Height:
60-90cm. Garden-ready
bareroots supplied.
1 bareroot - £8.99
2 bareroots +
1 FREE - £17.98
Achillea ‘Cerise
Queen’
This hardy perennial
looks fantastic in borders,
and in gravelled areas
with good drainage.
Grows to 60cm. Long-
flowering and drought
tolerant. Plants supplied
in 5cm pots.
3 plants - £7.99
6 plants +
3 FREE! - £15.98
Eryngium
alpinum
The largest flowering sea
holly with charming non-
prickly laced blooms.
Long-lasting, silvery-blue
flowers borne on stout
blue stems. Great in
fresh and dried flower
arrangements. 45-90cm.
2 bareroots - £8.99
4 bareroots - £12.98 -
SAVE £5!
Astrantia major
‘Florence’
A lavender-pink-flowered
astrantia that blooms
throughout late summer
and early autumn. Grow
in full sun and well-
drained soil. Height:
90-120cm. Garden-ready
bareroots supplied.
1 bareroot - £8.99
2 bareroots +
1 FREE - £17.98
*
TEGUK152 T&M offers final:UK 30/03/2010 12:35 Page 97
98 The English Garden
Great value, better cover:
what could be simpler?
THE ENGLISH GARDEN INSURANCE OFFER
R
eaders of The English Garden may be able
to save on their current premiums and
improve the scope of their cover by
changing to a specialist High Net Worth Insurance
Cover via specialist broker SmithGreenfield
Services. High Net Worth policies may often be
cheaper as they are underwritten correctly.
A standard insurer may assume that the more
an individual owns, the greater the risk. The reality
is that the people who own valuables take good
care of them.
High Net Worth policies offer you worldwide
All Risks cover for contents; agreed value
settlements on items of high value, and
restoration and depreciation cover for antiques
and fine art. Garden plants, statues and furniture
can be included at generous limits.
The English Garden is delighted to offer readers
access to effective and bespoke insurance
through SmithGreenfield, who will provide
confidential quotations, advice and information
at no charge. Readers also benefit from a 10%
discount.
For a free quote or more information, tel: 0844 873 3919
or visit www.smithgreenfield.co.uk and go to the private clients page
To help you protect your home and garden and save you moneyThe English Garden
has negotiated preferential rates with leading insurance brokers, SmithGreenfield.
High Net Worth Insurance Cover can be very beneficial to readers whose homes are
valued at over £250,000 or whose contents are worth more than £50,000
10%
discountfor
The English Garden
readers
SPECIAL OFFER
The English Home & Garden Insurance Offer is administered by SmithGreenfield Services PLC, who are authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority.
SPECIAL BENEFITS
G Specialist cover for garden plants,
furniture and statuary
G Worldwide ‘All Risks’ cover for all
your possessions
G Cover includes ‘new for old’
replacement
G Prompt claims handling
G Full accidental damage
TEGUK152 Insurance final 30/03/2010 12:20 Page 98
The English Garden 99
100 The English Garden
SHOW PREVIEW
Malvern Spring Gardening Show
Take a trip to the UK’s first big gardening event of the year, from 6-9 May
M
ore than two decades of gardening innovation and
excellence are to be celebrated at this year’s Malvern
Spring Gardening Show. HRHThe Princess Royal is due to
be among the visitors to the event, which has come a long
way since it started 25 years ago as a small regional flower
show in the heart of the Worcestershire countryside.
Nowadays, tens of thousands come to enjoy fresh ideas,
horticultural excellence, environmentally responsible design
and practice, educational exhibits and real gardening for all.
Princess Anne, who is expected to visit on Friday 7 May,
is likely to see several special features celebrating Malvern’s
silver anniversary. There will be a 25th anniversary garden
designed by James Steed, Alex Bell and Claire Potter,
while nurserymen and women who exhibit in Malvern’s
1.7-acre Royal Horticultural Society Floral Marquee will
be compiling a short list of favourite plants for a ‘Best of
The Best’ signature collection and 25 will be staging
celebration-themed displays and competing for The
People’s Choice Award.
There will be a trip down memory lane to see just
how far the show has come, with visitors being able
to enjoy a special exhibition chronicling its history in
photographs, stories and publicity materials.
Elsewhere, students from schools and colleges will be
building futuristic gardens as part of a imaginative project
sponsored by BAM Construction.
The English Garden 101
MALVERN SPRING GARDENING SHOW, 6-9 MAY 2010
Thursday 6 May: Advance tickets only on first day - Adults £29.50;
RHS and TCAS members £26.50. First day price includes car parking.
Friday 7 May: Advance - adults £17, members £16. On the gate - £18.50.
Saturday 8 and Sunday 9 May: Advance - adults £14.50,
members £13.50. On the gate - £16.
G Free parking
available on site.
G The Malvern
Showground is located
eight miles from the
M5 and M50 - follow
brown signs to the
showground and then
the yellow AA signs.
G Shuttle buses
available from the
nearby Great
Malvern Station.
To buy tickets: www.threecounties.co.uk/springgardening or tel: +44 (0)1684 584924
In fact, visitors to Malvern can look forward to no
fewer than 31 gardens, including a disused Welsh railway
crossing, an outdoor Quaker meeting room and the Morgan
Motor Company’s unique wildlife-friendly interpretation of
the traditionally formal front garden. Candidates for this
year’s Chris Beardshaw Mentoring Scholarship, sponsored
by Bradstone, will be creating circus-themed gardens.
A new botanical art exhibition and arts and food market
with delicious home produce, quality ceramics, pictures and
accessories from local artisans will also delight visitors.
Television gardeners will be talking to growers and
designers from the superb Design For LivingTheatre and
Garden Stage, and gardenersclick, in association with
Dobbies, will be hosting ‘AskThe Experts’ Question
and Answer sessions throughout the show.
And don’t forget to look out for The English Garden at
Stand 581 in Row 3 for great subscription offers!
TRAVEL
INFORMATION
TEGUK152 Malvern Show final:UK 29/03/2010 13:59 Page 101
102 The English Garden
CRAFTS
ORNAMENTS
Set in stone?
Chilstone is weathering well as its artisan handmade replica garden ornaments
continue to be sought internationally, to recreate the classical garden look
PHOTOGRAPHS PETER BAISTOW WORDS DIANE BAISTOW
A
kind of alchemy takes place in the leafy
country of rural Kent, where a team of
skilled craftsmen creates accurate copies
of antique ornaments from historic
gardens. Chilstone has found a ready
market for its eclectic range of elegant pieces since 1953,
when Michael Dibben, an antique dealer, was inspired
by watching his grandfather cast iron ornaments in
sand moulds. He decided to perfect a new technique
using latex and fibreglass.
Chilstone’s process of transforming a unique crushed
sandstone mixture into ornaments combines simplicity
with great skill and judgement, producing handsome
creations with all the character of natural stone, and its
ability to weather and age gracefully.
Between them, the company’s 11 craftsmen have around
150 years’ experience. Working individually or together
on larger complex pieces, they work entirely by hand. A
flexible latex mould of the original piece is supported by
a fibreglass casing in sections. The craftsman works quickly
and confidently, packing the semi-dry mix into the mould,
using special techniques to cope with complex shapes,
and ensuring every indentation is filled to reproduce all
the fine detail. Their impressive hand-eye co-ordination
is obvious, and each craftsman also has to become familiar
L
with the idiosyncrasies of more than 3,000 different
moulds. It is a tribute to their experience that the craftsmen
cannot see the end result until it is revealed 24 hours later,
when the mould is opened. After expert hand finishing,
each piece spends several weeks outside to cure and
harden, when the continuing chemical reaction and regular
watering ensures strength and consistency.
Paradoxically, the recession has benefitted Chilstone.
Rather than moving house, customers are improving
their properties with fine architectural stonework such
as classical porticoes, gateways, colonnades and fountains.
General manager Steve Clark says ‘people often use us
to make a big statement, to create a lasting impression’.
Typical of the historical provenance of their work,
one popular piece, the Recumbent Stag, was first
commissioned by Lord Townsend for Raynham Hall in
Norfolk. Such attention to authentic detail enables
Chilstone to restore stonework for bodies like English
Heritage and The Royal Households. After the Second
World War, no trace remained of 138 urns decorating
the Temperate House at Kew Gardens, but from old
photographs, Chilstone was able to recreate a template,
and moulds were made to replicate the missing pieces.
A huge room at Chilstone houses its extraordinary
collection of moulds, a treasure trove reflecting millennia
of changing taste, from ancient Greece and Rome through
medieval heraldry to Gothic fancy, French elegance and
contemporary sculpture. Work here now ranges from
large international architectural projects involving temples
and neo-Georgian wedding pavilions, to individual
pieces for restoration, matching stone and creating pieces
from customers’ own ideas.
Steve encourages visitors to Chilstone’s delightful
setting, where they can explore the woodland lakes and
show gardens, appreciating the impact of a well-placed
piece. He motivates his team by ensuring they see
photographs of their finished work in situ. ‘I remind
them their work will last a very long time and that they
are creating a lasting legacy.’
Chilstone Garden Ornaments, Victoria Park, Fordcombe Rd,
Langton Green, Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN3 0RD. Tel: +44
(0)1892 740866. www.chilstone.com
BELOW LEFT Kevin
Richardson, who has
worked at Chilstone for 12
years, packs the company’s
unique mixture into the
mould. BELOW RIGHT
Craftsmen have to wait 24
hours before revealing the
ornament and checking
all’s well. OPPOSITE PAGE
Details from some of
the company’s creations,
on show in the display
gardens to help give
visitors ideas on what
is possible and how to
site pieces. Chilstone
has pieces in the show
gardens that are more
than 30 years old.
TEGUK152 Chilstone Crafts final:UK 29/03/2010 12:36 Page 102
TEGUK152 Chilstone Crafts final:UK 29/03/2010 12:37 Page 103
104 04 The English
Garden
This is your chance to own an
exclusive Chilstone Handmade
Oakley Vase and Pedestal
SAVE UP TO £99!
The English Garden magazine and Chilstone
introduce the Oakley Vase and Pedestal with
the addition of a date stamp. The perfect
way to commemorate an anniversary or the
creation of a new garden, it will stand tall
for generations to come. These dated vases
will only be available for a short period of
time, so don’t miss out!
G Save £24 when you buy an Oakley vase
and pedestal with date stamp for £175
(usual price without date stamp is £199)
G OR buy two for £299, making a saving
of an amazing £99!
HOW TO ORDER:
Order by phone: Tel: +44 (0)1892 740866
quoting reference no. EGOAK01.
Lines open 10am-5pm, seven days a week.
Offer closes 31 December 2010.
Please note that your contract for supply
of goods is with Chilstone, Victoria Park,
Fordcombe Road, Langton Green,
Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN3 ORD.
www.chilstone.com
Terms and conditions available on request.
Prices include VAT and all products are fully
guaranteed. Delivery charge not included -
these are available on request (service
available worldwide). Items will be delivered
within four weeks of receipt of order date.
Exclusive reader offer
CRAFTS
ORNAMENTS
104 The English Garden
TEGUK152 Chilstone Crafts final:UK 29/03/2010 12:37 Page 104
The English Garden 105
Traditional Seed boxes
& Storage Racks
Brand your own:
Family Name, House Name, Garden Name, Business Name
From £6.50 each + p&p
(minimum order 6 for seed boxes)
From £24 each for
storage racks. Allow
28 days for delivery
Tel: 01972 510386
or
Mob: 07980 276820
Over the Garden Wall
Sithean Mor,
Achnaha,
Kilchoan, Argyll,
PH36 4LW
summerhouses & gazebos
Experience and see for yourself a selection of fantastic garden rooms nestling with
handmade sculpture and stonework at our beautiful show gardens at Chilstone near
Tunbridge Wells, now open seven days a week all spring and summer long.
For your free brochure, details on the latest offers, or directions simply call or click anytime.
✆ 01323 843488 www.catandmouselandscapes.com
‘inspirational
early spring
offers for a
limited period’
See us April 24th & 25th
at Chilstone’s
special open
weekend
event
READER OFFERS
106 The English Garden
*TERMS AND CONDITIONS
Vouchers cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer. Please present individual vouchers to the participating garden to redeem the value of the offer
as stated on the voucher. Photocopies are not accepted. Vouchers can only be used at participating gardens included in this feature, ‘Garden Vouchers’ in the
May 2010 issue of The English Garden. The validity of the offer varies from garden to garden; please check before you travel as offers maybe subject to
change at any time. Discount vouchers do not apply to purchases made from shops and cafés at participating gardens unless stated.
MYDDELTON HOUSE GARDENS
Beautiful four-acre Victorian gardens filled
with rare plants collected by E. A. Bowles.
Home to a National Plant Collection
of award-winning bearded irises and with
many interesting features, including a large
carp pond, rock garden and tulip terrace.
Open daily, April to September,
10am-4.30pm; October to March,
10am-3pm. Adults £3.30.
Bulls Cross, Enfield, Middlesex EN2
9HG. Tel: +44 (0)8456 770 600.
www.leevalleypark.org.uk
*TEG OFFER:
2-for-1 entry, from
1 May to 31
August 2010.
PENSTHORPE GARDENS
Three naturalistic gardens, two of which
have been designed by award-winning
garden designers Piet Oudolf and JulieToll.
Oudolf’s famous Millennium Garden has
been replanted this winter, the first garden
he has ever re-designed.
Open daily, March to December,
10am-5pm; January-February,
10am-4pm. Adults £9.
Pensthorpe, Fakenham, Norfolk
NR21 0LN. Tel: +44 (0)1328 851465.
www.pensthorpe.com
*TEG OFFER:
2-for-1 entry, from
1 May to 31
December 2010.
GREAT COMP GARDEN
Masterfully designed plantsman’s paradise
featuring many rare shrubs and perennials,
surrounding a picturesque 17th-century
manor house in a pleasant woodland
setting. Salvias are a summer speciality,
along with colourful exotic shrubs.
Open daily, April to October,
11am-5pm. Adults £5.50.
Comp Lane, Platt, Borough Green,
Nr Sevenoaks, Kent TN15 8QS.
Tel: +44 (0)1732 885094.
www.greatcompgarden.co.uk
*TEG OFFER:
10% discount off any plants
bought from the nursery
from 1 May to 1 July 2010.
BOURTON HOUSE GARDEN
Enjoying a bucolic Cotswold setting, this
award-winning garden has much to delight,
including an elaborate knot garden,
impressive topiary, long borders, water
features and an unusual shade house.
OpenWednesdays, Thursdays and
Fridays from 2 June to end of
September, 10am-5pm. Adults £6.
Bourton-on-the-Hill, Moreton-in-
Marsh, Gloucestershire GL56 9AE.
Tel: +44 (0)1386 700754.
www.bourtonhouse.com
*TEG OFFER:
Buy one ticket and get
one half price throughout
June 2010.
GARDENVOUCHERS
Celebrate spring by visiting our selection of beautiful and inspiring gardens from around the UK. In the second of a
two-part series, we bring you 16 gardens that are exclusively offering The English Garden magazine readers 2-for-1
entry, a 10% discount off plants or another fantastic offer. Visit all the gardens listed here and you’ll SAVE £80.25!
Great savings on days out with our exclusive
TEGUK152 Garden Vouchers final:UK 29/03/2010 12:43 Page 106
The English Garden 107
*TERMS AND CONDITIONS
Vouchers cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer. Please present individual vouchers to the participating garden to redeem the value of the offer
as stated on the voucher. Photocopies are not accepted. Vouchers can only be used at participating gardens included in this feature, ‘Garden Vouchers’ in the
May 2010 issue of The English Garden. The validity of the offer varies from garden to garden; please check before you travel as offers maybe subject the
change at any time. Discount vouchers do not apply to purchases made from shops and cafés at participating gardens unless stated.
WALTHAM PLACE
Naturalistic gardens set on an organic farm
estate, showcasing walled gardens, long
borders, woodlands and a biodynamic
kitchen garden. Tea room and farm shop.
Open Fridays, 10am-4pm; Wednesdays
for guided walks with the gardener,
11am & 2pm; Tuesdays andThursdays,
group visits by appointment, from 4
June to 24 September. Adults £6.
Church Hill, WhiteWaltham, Berkshire
SL6 3JH. Tel: +44 (0)1628 825517.
www.walthamplace.com
*TEG OFFER:
2-for-1 onWednesdays
and Fridays throughout
July and August 2010.
ABBOTSBURY SUBTROPICAL GARDENS
Magnificent 20-acre woodland valley
garden filled with rare and exotic plants
from all over the world. Walled garden
walks, spectacular woodland valley views,
camellia groves, sunken garden and more.
Open daily, except 18 December
to 1 January, 10am-5/6pm
(4pm in winter). Adults £9.50.
BullersWay, Abbotsbury,
Nr Weymouth, Dorset DT3 4LA.
Tel: +44 (0)1305 871387.
www.abbotsbury-tourism.co.uk
*TEG OFFER:
2-for-1 entry throughout
May and June.
STONE LANE GARDENS
Situated on Dartmoor National Park, this
splendid five-acre arboretum holds national
collections of wild-origin birch and alder
trees and boasts a lovely water and
woodland setting. The adjacent nursery
grows many of the species that are
on show in the arboretum.
Open daily 2-6pm. Adults £2.50.
Stone Farm, Chagford,
DevonTQ13 8JU.
Tel: +44 (0)1647 231311.
www.stonelanegardens.com
*TEG OFFER:
Under 12s go free in May
2010 (up to four children
per adult group).
ATHELHAMPTON HOUSE
One of the greatest architectural gardens
in England, known for its large topiary
pyramids and Elizabethan-style courts
with ponds, canal and glorious vistas.
Open Sundays toThursdays from
March to October, 10.30am-5pm;
Sundays only from November to
October, 11am to dusk. Adults £9.
Athelhampton, Dorchester,
Dorset DT2 7LG.
Tel +44 (0)1305 848363.
www.athelhampton.co.uk
*TEG OFFER:
Under 16s go free if
accompanied by an adult
in May and June 2010.
DENMANS
The four-acre garden of renowned designer
and writer John Brookes MBE is packed
with attractive elements and achievable
ideas punctuated with garden statuary
and welcoming sitting areas. Garden
café and gift shop.
Open daily except 25 & 26 December
and 1 January, 9am-5pm. Adults £4.95.
Denmans Lane, Fontwell,
West Sussex BN18 0SU.
Tel +44 (0)1243 542808.
www.denmans-garden.co.uk
*TEG OFFER:
2-for-1 entry
throughout May.
THE GARDEN HOUSE
A favourite of Carol Klein and Rachel de
Thame, The Garden House is filled with
breathtaking planting of ethereal beauty.
Unforgettable panoramas unfold as
you explore this magical place. Tea
rooms and plants sales.
Open daily, 27 February to 31 October
2010, 10.30am-5pm. Adults £6.
Buckland Monachorum,
Yelverton, Devon PL20 7LQ.
Tel: +44 (0)1822 854769.
www.thegardenhouse.org.uk
*TEG OFFER:
2-for-1 entry until
31 October 2010.
C
A
R
O
L
D
D
R
A
K
E
TEGUK152 Garden Vouchers final:UK 29/03/2010 12:43 Page 107
108 The English Garden
The English Garden 109
*TERMS AND CONDITIONS
Vouchers cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer. Please present individual vouchers to the participating garden to redeem the value of the offer
as stated on the voucher. Photocopies are not accepted. Vouchers can only be used at participating gardens included in this feature, ‘Garden Vouchers’ in the
May 2010 issue of The English Garden. The validity of the offer varies from garden to garden; please check before you travel as offers maybe subject the
change at any time. Discount vouchers do not apply to purchases made from shops and cafés at participating gardens unless stated.
MOORS MEADOW
Organic hillside site with superb views
featuring herbaceous borders, grass
garden, rhododendron glade, fernery,
cottage-style garden, herb garden, kitchen
garden and extensive shrubberies.
Open Fridays toTuesdays, from
25 March to 7 September,
11am-5pm. Adults £4.
Collington, Bromyard,
Hereford HR7 4LZ.
Tel: +44 (0)1885 410318.
www.moorsmeadow.co.uk
*TEG OFFER:
10% off all plants bought
from the nursery until 31
August 2010.
TREWOOFE ORCHARD
Four-acre valley garden nestling in a
secluded and peaceful woodland setting,
with stunning water features, including a
waterfall, stream, pond and rills. A haven
for local wildlife. Recommended in
Gardens of Cornwall Guide and The
Cornwall Gardens Guide.
Open daily. Adults £3.
Lamorna, Penzance,
Cornwall TR19 6BW.
Tel: +44 (0)1736 810214.
www.lamorna-valley.co.uk
*TEG OFFER:
2-for-1 entry
until 30 June 2010.
GILBERTWHITE’S HOUSE AND GARDEN
Over 20 acres of garden and parkland,
once the home of pioneering naturalist
Gilbert White. Includes a kitchen garden,
fruit wall, orchard walk, laburnum arch,
herb garden and wild garden.
OpenTuesdays to Sundays, from 30
March to 1 October, 10.30am-5.30pm;
andTuesdays to Sundays, 1 January
to 28 March, 11am-4pm. Adults £7.50.
TheWakes, Selborne, Hampshire
GU34 3JH. Tel: +44 (0)1420 511275.
www.gilbertwhiteshouse.org.uk
*TEG OFFER:
2-for-1 entry until 1
September 2010
STONE HOUSE COTTAGE NURSERY
Enchanting romantic garden set in an old
walled kitchen garden with intimate areas
divided by towers, follies and hedges.
Fantastic choice of plants in the nursery.
Pre-booked group visits welcome.
OpenWednesdays to Saturdays
from 17 March to 11 September
2010. Adults £3.
Nr Kidderminster,
Worcestershire DY10 4BG.
Tel: +44 (0)1562 69902.
www.shcn.co.uk
*TEG OFFER:
2-for-1 entry until
1 September 2010.
HEVER CASTLE
Historically inspired gardens in the grounds
of an ancient castle. Much to explore,
includingTudor herb garden, Italian-style
gardens, rose garden, yew maze and
100m-long herbaceous border. ‘Roses and
Herbs’ special event from 21 to 27 June.
Open daily, 1 April to 31 October,
10.30am-6pm; Adults £10.50
(gardens only).
Hever, Nr Edenbridge, KentTN8 7NG.
Tel: +44 (0)1732 865224.
www.hevercastle.co.uk
*TEG OFFER:
2-for-1 entry
until 30 June 2010.
CHENIES MANOR
Imaginatively designed themed gardens
set in the grounds of a wonderfully
preserved red-brick Tudor manor house.
Tender plants among perennials are
a particular a summer highlight.
OpenWednesdays andThursdays
and Bank Holiday Mondays, April
to October, 2-5pm.
Adults £4.
Chenies, Buckinghamshire WD3 6ER.
Tel: +44 (0)1494 762888.
www.cheniesmanorhouse.co.uk
*TEG OFFER:
2-for-1 entry
during July 2010.
READER OFFERS
TEGUK152 Garden Vouchers final:UK 29/03/2010 12:43 Page 109
We’ve arranged some exciting and exclusive events for you this year
at incredible venues - so hurry and book your place!
READER EVENTS
A GARDENER’S
SUPPER
Theme: A day of quick
and easy recipes with
the emphasis on using home-grown
produce, at The Orchards Cookery
School in Worcestershire.
When: Fri 28 May
Number of places: 16
Start time: 10am-9.30pm
Venue: The Orchards, Salford Priors,
Nr Evesham, Worcestershire WR11 8UU.
www.orchardscookery.co.uk
Cost: £190 (includes all ingredients)
GRASSES, THE
GARDEN AND THE
ENVIRONMENT
Theme: A day with RHS
Chelsea gold medallist and grass expert
Neil Lucas at Knoll Gardens. Lunch at
Littlemoors Farm Shop.
110 The English Garden
Events Calendar 2010
When: Wed 15 Sept and Wed 13 Oct
Number of places: 20
Start time: 10.30am-4pm
Venue: Knoll Gardens, Wimborne, Dorset
BH21 7ND. www.knollgardens.co.uk
Cost: £95, to include £10 lunch voucher
DESIGN
Theme: A day with
garden designer and writer
James Alexander-Sinclair
at Hampton Court Palace with KLC.
When: Fri 17 Sept
Number of places: 15
Start time: 10am-3.30pm
Venue: Hampton Court Palace, East
Molesey, Surrey KT8 9AU. www.klc.co.uk
Cost: £130
Discover how to make the most of your
garden with our new columnist. Coffee
followed by a talk on ‘How gardens are born
and nurtured’. Lunch followed by a lecture
on plants, followed by Q&A with James.
POTTERY
Theme: A day at the
famous Whichford Pottery.
Work with clay and see the
private pottery garden.
When: Tues 21 September
Number of places: 15
Start time: 9.30am-4pm
Venue: Whichford Pottery, Warwickshire
CV36 5PG. www.whichfordpottery.com
Cost: £95
BAKING FOR
GARDENERS
Theme: Cook a four-
course gardener’s lunch
and make cakes to enjoy at home.
When: Sat 9 October
Number of places: 16
Start time: 10am-5.30pm
Venue: The Orchards (see details previously)
Cost: £140 (includes all ingredients)
Call Vicky Kingsbury on tel: +44 (0)1242 211073 or email Victoria.kingsbury@archant.co.uk
to reserve your place or find out more information on our exclusive reader days.
BOOK NOW
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CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT Jim Keeling, the
founder of Whichford Pottery, at work; the
stunning house and garden of The Orchards
Cookery School; the nursery at Knoll; and
a basket of goodies from the Littlemoors
Farm Shop.
TEGUK152 TEG Events single page final:UK 30/03/2010 12:57 Page 110
The English Garden 111
Stan Fairbrother
Bespoke Architectural Garden Structures
HAND CRAFTED WESTERN RED CEDAR GARDEN RETREATS
For the finest in summerhouses, gazebos, outdoor offices and garden
studios visit our website to inspire yourself with designs for your own
garden hideaway, or telephone for our brochure.
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WWW.STANFAIRBROTHER.CO.UK
Established in 1982
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Visitors are welcome by appointment.
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Telephone 01992 501055 • Email: info@crowntopiary.co.uk
112 The English Garden
Stand No. PW32
EASY WAYS TO SUBSCRIBE:
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01858 438840 please quote code EG01
The English Summer is the first of four quarterly magazines,
celebrating the English seasons. This picture-rich 100-page
guide promises to be a glorious celebration of a
quintessential English summer. Capturing the buzz of the
social calendar and celebrating the best of the romantic,
often iconic and occasionally eccentric pastimes and pursuits;
The English Summer is your essential guide to seasonal
delights across the entire nation.
Issue One highlights include:
• Make the most of sunshine filled days with guides to the
most memorable days out and nostalgically charming
pursuits to enjoy with children or grandchildren
• Discover the nation’s most beautiful locations for a
perfect picnic and how to entertain in your garden in style
• Enjoy the best of seasonal English produce and support
the new food heroes in the making
• Treat yourself to an indulgent Summer escape in our selection
of hotels, cottages and quirky retreats with glorious gardens,
croquet lawns, sea views, swimming pools and more
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TES page ad - supersize A4:TEH page ad - supersize A4 - EG01 30/03/2010 11:01 Page 1
PRACTICAL
GQT TECHNIQUES
ANDTIPS FOR
GARDENERS
(Kyle Cathie, £16.99)
The members of the Gardeners’
QuestionTime team, whose
meetings with gardeners all over
Britain are broadcast on BBC
Radio 4, are famous for their
disputatious dispositions, and
jokey (sometimes painfully arch)
interventions. They seem scarcely
ever to agree entirely with each
other, but the listeners are left in
no doubt of their wide practical
experience and broad sympathies.
In this book, four of the regulars -
Matthew Biggs, John Cushnie, Bob
Flowerdew and Anne Swithinbank -
tackle an enormous variety of tasks
and potential difficulties, most of
which gardeners have to grapple
with at one time or another in their
lives: pruning, planting, propagation,
garden design, simple garden
construction projects, greenhouse
gardening, container growing,
pests and diseases and so on.
It is all good solid stuff, which is
extremely helpful, not only to
novices but to experienced
gardeners as well, since the advice
is mainly clear and forthright
(gardeners need to know that the
experts are confident) and the tone
is encouraging, personal, friendly,
and definitely ‘can-do’.
The text is accompanied by
extremely useful step-by-step
photograph sequences by Mark
Winwood, many of them taken at
the horticultural college at Sparsholt
in Hampshire, together with
excellent inspirational pictures by
Jonathan Buckley. The step-by-step
sequences are especially welcome
in the section on hard landscaping
Library leaves
Look no further for practical advice, kind-to-the-earth ideas,
histories and planting plans than this month’s book reviews
projects, such as making a pond or
a pergola, which, let’s face it, floor
the vast majority of us.
But the book is not without its
shortcomings. The design, in
places, is fussy and distracting,
with information boxes scattered
about the pages, and it is not
always easy to tell who is telling
you the information, which can
matter a bit, since Bob Flowerdew
is an organic gardener and the
others are not. The prose is clear on
the whole, but scarcely memorable.
Occasionally, the advice seems
The advice in the book is clear and forthright, and the tone
is encouraging, personal, friendly, and definitely can-do’
BOOK REVIEWS
114 The English Garden
a little old-fashioned, a good
example being the description
of how to plant a tree.
That said, I enjoyed reading the
book, learned a number of useful
things from it, and closed it with
a sigh - as much as anything in
sadness for the untimely death,
after the book went to press, of
John Cushnie, who was both a
lively and engaging contributor
to this book and to Gardeners’
QuestionTime itself.
Ursula Buchan,
gardening writer B
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TEGUK152 Library Leaves final 26/03/2010 16:33 Page 116
The English Garden 115
IN-DEPTH READ
GARDENINGWOMEN
(Virago, £17.99)
Any feminist worth her salt will tell
you that, until recently, women
have rarely received the attention
they deserve in the history books.
This was especially the case with
gardening, an area often regarded
as an all-male domain. Catherine
Horwood’s Gardening Women is
the latest offering in a short string
of recent women-focused garden
history books. Wide-ranging and
meticulously researched, it
delivers far more than its title
suggests. Not just a simple history
of ‘female gardening folk’, it sheds
light on the many pioneering
women who have made their
mark on botany and plant research,
garden design and landscape
architecture, garden writing and
education, and the floral arts.
Spanning four centuries, it is
particularly strong in describing the
lives and contributions of 19th- and
20th-century women, exploring the
‘how’ and also the ‘why’ of each
of their stories. Some of these
gardening greats you will certainly
know, such as Gertrude Jekyll,
Penelope Hobhouse and Carol
Klein. Others, though lesser known,
are equally deserving of fame
and equally formidable.
Did you know, for instance, that it
was thanks to the studies of insect-
mad Eleanor Ormerod (1828-1901)
that the RHS was able to establish
a number of the causes of insect
damage to plants? Or, that by
donating species to Charles
Darwin, horticulturist and plant
collector Lady Dorothy Nevill
(1826-1914) was an essential
help to his studies? Many more
fascinating tales are retold in
this eye-opening survey.
Claire Masset, garden writer
THE GREEN
GARDEN EXPERT
(Expert Books, £7.99)
Dr Hessayon’s green volume
in the ‘Expert’ series, telling
you all the basics of gardening
environmentally, as well as wildlife,
and weed and pest control.
GEOFF HAMILTON’S
ORGANIC GARDENING
(Dorling Kindersley, £17.99)
An oldie but a goodie, this classic
reference book is ideal for anyone
wanting to learn more about
organic methods of gardening,
by the great man himself.
FRAGILEWEB
(Natural History Museum, £14.99)
This new book, subtitled ‘What’s
next for nature?’ tackles the issue
of biodiversity, examining threats
and suggesting how human
activities can foster rather than
destroy our natural world.
ECOLOGICAL
GARDENING
(The Crowood Press, £14.99)
Practical advice on gardening
without hurting the planet. Sally
Cunningham covers eco-design,
sustainable materials, water-
efficiency, composting and plants.
Books for eco-minded gardeners
By donating species to Charles
Darwin, one woman was an
essential help to his studies’
PLANTING
BLOOM’S BEST
(Timber Press, £20)
Being a fan of both Adrian and
Richard Bloom’s photography,
I was thrilled to find this book on
my desk. The subject is bang on
trend and this is the guide we’ve
all been waiting for - how to work
with more than 400 different
perennials and grasses. The key to
the success of this book is the
years of genuine experience behind
it. The author, Adrian Bloom, has a
famous garden that is showcased
throughout the pages. ‘Foggy
Bottom’ in Norfolk is now 43 years
old, and he has more than 50 years
of growing experience. The images
allow us to enjoy planting ideas
through the seasons and clearly
demonstrate how perennials and
grasses are more than just a
summer combination. There is no
skimping on captions, all plants are
clearly named, and although Foggy
Bottom is a large garden, many of
the ideas would transfer to the
smallest. There is plant advice for
the beginner gardener, but it
definitely doesn’t leave out the
more accomplished plantsman.
At the back is a very useful
reference guide. A clear and much
needed book that I will refer to
time and time again. A great family
effort from the Blooms.
TamsinWesthorpe, editor
TEGUK152 Library Leaves final 26/03/2010 16:34 Page 117
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PLUSToby Buckland on biological pest control
Design ideas for coastal gardens - Growing
cornus for flowers... and much, much more
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TEGUK152 CNM final:UK 30/03/2010 15:28 Page 117
GREATVALUE
PRICES ON
BOOKS, PLANTS
ANDTOOLSAT
www.theenglishgarden.co.uk
Our website is packed with design tips, photography,
events and advice on jobs to do now. Fully interactive,
you can have your say too. NEW: Read the editor’s
journal. Visit us now at...
118 The English Garden
THE ENGLISH GARDEN
COMPETITION AND OFFER
TERMS AND CONDITIONS
G The publishers reserve the right to add to, amend or waive
any of these rules at any time. These rules apply to all
competitions in any magazine published by Archant Ltd.
G No competition prize can be transferred or assigned to any
other person and no cash alternative or alternative prize is
available. In the event of the advertised competition prize being
unavailable for whatever reason, The English Garden is not
responsible and is not required to offer an alternative prize of
equal or greater value.
G Entries are to be made on the official form printed in the
magazine, or in the manner described in the magazine.
Incomplete entries are invalid.
G Where an entry fee is specified in the magazine, entries
must be accompanied by the appropriate fee. Entries not
accompanied by the appropriate fee are invalid.
G Entries that contain false or misleading information are
invalid. In particular, where a minimum age limit is stated in
the magazine, any entrant who gives false information will
be disqualified.
G The closing date for entries is as printed in the relevant issue
of the magazine. Where no closing date is shown on offers and
competitions, the closing date is the last day of the month
shown on the cover of the magazine. Entries received after the
closing dates are invalid. The publishers reserve the right to
vary the closing date for entries at their absolute discretion.
G The winner will be the first correct entry or entries to
be drawn after the closing date.
G All winners will be notified individually by post or email, or
the winners’ details may be published in the magazine, at the
publishers’ discretion.
G It is a condition of entry that entrants consent to their name
and photograph being published in the magazine without fee
if they win.
G The publishers’ decision is final. No correspondence will
be entered into.
G The prize is as stated in the magazine. The publishers
will not be responsible for any error in the printed details of
the magazine.
G The publishers reserve the right to offer the same prize or
prizes in different titles and or different editions of the same
magazine.
G The value of the prize stated in the magazine is an
approximate only; it is based upon the sponsors’ or suppliers’
full recommended retail price, and may include carriage,
handling, fitting etc charges where appropriate.
G The publishers and sponsors reserve the right to change
the prize in the event of the sponsor failing to supply the
advertised prize for whatever reason.
G The prize, or part of the prize, is subject to availability. The
publishers and sponsors reserve the right to substitute it with
another, at their absolute discretion.
G The prize is not transferable, and cannot be exchanged for
goods and services. No cash alternative is available.
G The publishers reserve the right to withhold the prize
where, in their sole judgement, none of the entries reaches
a sufficient high standard.
G Proof of postage of goods to the winner constitutes
supply of the prize.
G The publisher and/or sponsors will not be liable for loss or
damage of the prize in transit.
G The publishers will not be liable for accident, injury or loss
caused by the prize, or resulting in any way from entry into
the competition.
G The publishers make no warranty as to the quality of the
prize, its fitness for any particular purpose, or the standard of
workmanship where applicable.
G The competition is void where prohibited by law.
RULES/WEB
On our
website...
The most highly praised tool in this
issue are the trusty Felco secateurs. We
have a fantastic offer on a special edition
pair of Felco no. 6 secateurs. They are
more than just the classic no. 6 though,
with golden handles that are covered in hand-
stitched leather, and each pair comes with a leather
carry pouch - the ultimate gift.
FELCO NO. 6 SECATEURS
RRP £199.99
G SPECIAL ONLINE PRICE £139.99 (plus £3.95 P&P)
VISIT OUR WEBSITE FOR MORE OFFERS!
G ROLAWNTURF AT GREAT PRICES
Did you know that Rolawn provide a large amount of top quality topsoil
and turf for use in the show gardens at The Chelsea Flower Show? It’s the
choice of most designers. If you’re planning a new lawn then why not take
up our offer of 10% off all Rolawn products for The English Garden readers?
Go to the website offers page for more information.
G ANA-Z OF PLANT DEALS
Thompson & Morgan have an
incredible range of plant offers
available through our website each
month. Whether it is perennials,
shrubs or fruit, you’re bound to be
tempted. Each plant is clearly
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TEGUK152 Web page final:UK 30/03/2010 13:19 Page 118
The English Garden 119
For more information visit us at www.theenglishgarden.co.uk
GARDENS to enjoy
Contact
Bullers Way,
Abbotsbury,
Dorset
DT3 4LA
Information 01305 871387 or
www.abbotsburygardens.co.uk
Opening Times
Open 10am daily, all year (closed
Christmas and New Year)
ABBOTSBURY SUBTROPICAL GARDENS
These Grade 1 Listed Gardens boast collections of exotic plants
and trees from all over the world. Many of these were first
introductions to this country.
• 30 acres including the world famous camellia groves,
magnolias, rhododendrons and hydrangeas collections
• Superb colonial restaurant for coffee, lunches & teas
• Specialist plant nursery, buy online
www.abbotsburyplantsales.co.uk
• Magnificent viewing point over the Jurassic Coast
Quy Road, Lode,
Cambridge
CB25 9EJ
Tel: 01223 810080
Email:
angleseyabbey@nationaltrust.org.uk
Website:
www.nationaltrust.org.uk
/angleseyabbey
ANGLESEY ABBEY, GARDEN & LODE MILL
There’s a lot to see and do in a garden full of vibrant colour and
delicious scent all year round. Summer is celebrated by the
colourful tapestry of the herbaceous borders and wildflowers
that sway in the breeze. Unwind and enjoy the simplicity,
pleasures and beauty of nature or enter the house to experience
the elegance of country house living
Opening times: Garden, restaurant, shop and plant centre
Mar - Oct, 10.30am - 5.30pm, Mon - Sun
House: Mar - Oct, 11am - 5pm, Wed - Sun
Admission:
Garden: Adult £6.10, Child £3.05, Family £15.25,
Family (1 adult) £9.15, NT and RHS members free.
House & Garden Adult £10.25, Child £5.15, Family £25.65,
Family (1 adult) £15.40, NT members free.
Outside Art has quickly established itself as one of the 'must see'
sculpture exhibitions of the year. Set in lovely surroundings, the
artwork is wide-ranging in style and appeals to all tastes and
budgets. There are over 300 sculptures on display and for sale.
Exhibition Dates: 12 -27 June 2010
Opening hours: 11am - 4pm
Admission fee: £5.00
Outside Art
Russells Quarry Garden
& Avondale Library Garden
Mill Hill
Bagington
Coventry
CV8 3AG
T: 07799311438
E: johnmarron@btinternet.com
Sponsored by
www.thegardeningwebsite.co.uk
www.outsideart.org.uk
OUTSIDE ART - GARDEN SCULPTURE EXHIBITION
Eight acres of inspirational gardens, a garden shop and plant
centre offering a huge range of Waterperry-grown plants and
gardening sundries. Visit our Gift Barn, Gallery and Museum
and indulge in wonderful home-baked lunches and teas in
the Teashop.
Our new programme of arts, crafts and gardening courses
will be out in May and don’t miss our wonderful events,
including outdoor theatre in June and August.
Visit www.waterperrygardens.co.uk for more information and to
book online.
Waterperry, Near Wheatley,
Oxfordshire OX33 1JZ
Tel: 01844 339254
Fax: 01844 339883
office@waterperrygardens.co.uk
www.waterperrygardens.co.uk
Opening times: 10am to 5.30pm
March to October 2010. 10am to
5pm November and December
2010. Closed between Christmas
and New year. Party bookings
welcome by arrangement.
WATERPERRY GARDENS
For more information visit us at www.theenglishgarden.co.uk
GARDENS to enjoy
Contact
See website for details and to
book online
Web: www.hatfield-house.co.uk
Tel: 01707 287010
Opening Times
Open Wed – Sun
& BH Mon 11 – 5.30 pm.
WEST GARDEN, HATFIELD HOUSE
Visit the beautiful West Garden at Hatfield House Hertfordshire, which
adjoins the Old Palace, childhood home of Elizabeth I. Scented garden,
formal parterres and Tudor knot garden with period planting.
Exhibition of contemporary sculpture inc works by Caro and
Chadwick. Included in Garden admission ticket.
Open Wed – Sun & BH Mon 11 – 5.30 pm. Adults £6.50 Child £4.50.
Admission to House extra.
The Rose Weekend & Summer Garden Show is held in the garden
19/20th June 10 – 5 pm.
Windsor Great Park, Wick Lane,
Englefield Green, nr Windsor,
TW20 0UU
Tel: +44 (0)1784 435544
Fax: +44 (0)1784 439746
www.theroyallandscape.co.uk
enquiries@theroyallandscape.co.uk
Opening Times
Open daily. (Closed 24 and 25 December).
Summer (March to October) 10am - 6pm.
Winter (November to February)
10am - 4:30pm.
THE SAVILL GARDEN
The Savill Garden, in The Royal Landscape of Windsor Great Park,
is one of England’s finest ornamental and woodland gardens;
including National Collections and plants from around the world.
Internationally famous for its spring displays, The Savill Garden
is stunning in May and this will be celebrated in Spring Gardens
Week (17-21 May). Visitors to the Garden will be able to enjoy
a wonderful variety of rhododendrons, camellias and magnolias.
There will also be a special programme of lectures, floral displays
in The Savill Building and carriage rides.
Contact
Tel: 01296 653226
Web: www.waddesdon.org.uk
Address:
Waddesdon Manor Gardens
Nr. Aylesbury
Buckinghamshire
HP18 0JH
Opening Times
Wednesday-Sunday & Bank Holiday
Mondays, 10.00-5.00
WADDESDON MANOR GARDENS
Waddesdon’s gardens are considered one of the finest Victorian
gardens in Britain. They can be enjoyed any time of the year. There
is an aviary renowned for breeding endangered species, wild
flowers, two annual bedding schemes (in the spring and summer),
carpet bedding, specimen trees, fountains, statuary, contemporary
sculpture and a woodland playground for children. Something for
everyone. Guided walks take place daily from April to September.
Admission prices: National Trust members free of charge.
Adult ……………weekends & Bank Holiday Mondays: £7.00
Adult ……………weekdays: £5.50
Child ………….weekends & Bank Holiday Mondays: £3.50
Child ………….weekdays: £2.75
Family ticket …....weekends & Bank Holiday Mondays:£17.50
Family ticket …....weekdays: £13.75
Contact
Email:
admin@birminghambotanical
gardens.org.uk
Web:
www.birminghambotanical
gardens.org.uk
BIRMINGHAM BOTANICAL GARDENS & GLASSHOUSES
This 15-acre ‘oasis of delight’ was opened in 1832 and the Gardens’
many features include the Lawn Aviary, Rock Pool, Pinetum, Alpine
Yard, Woodland Walk, Rhododendron Walk and Azalea Valley.
Other delights include the Japanese Garden, National Bonsai
Collection and Discovery Garden for children. Four Glasshouses take
the visitor from a tropical environment to arid desert with many
rare species. The Lawn Aviary provides a dramatic focus across the
Main Lawn, a natural amphitheatre featuring a Victorian bandstand
in regular use. There is also a Gift Shop and Tea Room to round
off any visit.
For more information visit us at www.theenglishgarden.co.uk
BROCHURE DIRECTORY
Specialists in the Design and Creation of Bespoke Willow Products
Tel: +44 (0) 1502 575891
www.bramptonwillows.co.uk
ELIZABETH BRADLEY
Blooms
Email: ebd@elizabethbradley.com
or call 01865 339 050
www.elizabethbradley.com
Beautiful Needlework and Accessories
Stand No. A14,
Hampton Court
The English Garden 123
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THE DIRECTORY
For more information visit us at www.theenglishgarden.co.uk The English Garden
ACCESSORIES
Aluminium
CHAIN SCREENS
Keep Out Insects
Doors : Windows : Room Dividers
Colours : Stripes : Patterns
Free colour brochure
Tel: 020 8560 3337
Fax: 020 8560 4442
C.I.C. SCREENS
The Metro Centre St Johns Road
Isleworth Middx. TW7 6NJ
www.cicscreens.co.uk
Beautiful, practical supports for the garden, including designs for
herbaceous perennials, roses, shrubs and climbing plants.
Made in England
Leander Products, Idridgehay, Belper, Derbyshire DE56 2SL
BLINDS & CURTAINS
GARDEN DESIGN
Sally Court, Dip ISD, FSGD,
RHS award winning designer, provides
a professional, creative design service
for all garden styles from the smallest
backyard to several acres, formal or
cottage, from scratch to restoration.
A personal approach to complement
client’s individual requirements.
Courtyard Garden Design,
The Workshop, 32 Broadway Avenue,
East Twickenham, Middlesex TW1 1RH
Tel/Fax: +44 (0) 8892 0118
Email: sally.cgd@btconnect.com
MISCELLANEOUS
THE DIRECTORY
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COURSES
PLANTS
Encourage wildlife to your garden.
Plants and seeds of wildflowers,
native trees, shrubs, climbers,
bulbs, meadows, etc.
Visitor centre open April 1st-Sept 30th,
11am-5.30pm daily at Coach Gap Lane, Langar, Notts.
Colour catalogue and growing guide,
send 4x1st class stamps.
Naturescape (EG), Maple Farm, Coach Gap Lane,
Langar, Notts, NG13 9HP
Tel: 01949 860592
Fax: 01949 869047
www.naturescape.co.uk
email: sales@naturescape.co.uk
Established 1978
WILDLIFE
EVER THOUGHT ABOUT A SMALL
BOAT FOR YOUR POND OR LAKE ?
Rowing Boats and Workpunts for Work & Play
www.heylandmarine.com
www.smallboatsheyland.com
Please TEL 01628 528830 - 07974815848
WILDLIFE
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For more information visit us at www.theenglishgarden.co.uk The English Garden
POTS & ORNAMENTS
WILDLIFE
and
crafted
BIRD TABLES
h
by Paul Hancock
01788 816114 - 07860 829045 - hancockandlane@btinternet.com
Telephone
for Brochure
Do you have a
garden pond? Is it
as clear as mud? Is it
murky, muddy, slimy,
smelly, choked with
algae or weed and a
chore to clean out?
If you have a pump,
are you forever
cleaning or changing
the filter?
AQUAPLANCTON
AQUAPLANCTON
could be just what
you’re looking for
VOTED PRODUCT
OF THE YEAR 2009
Used successfully with
fish all the time. Safe for
ducks, plants, pets, all
forms of waterlife, U.V.
and biological filters.
AQUAPLANCTON has
cleared greenwater,
sludge and
BLANKETWEED
for hundreds of happy
pond owners. It could do
the same for you
For free brochure and price list
telephone 01298 214003
anytime or send the approx.
surface area of your pond to:
AQUAPLANCTON
River Lodge
Bishop’s Lane
BUXTON
Derbyshire SK17 6UN
www.aquaplancton.com
Name ................................................
Address ............................................
..........................................................
..........................................................
Postcode ..........................................
Phone................................................
Pond surface sq ft
Does your pond have? EG
Please tick ✓
Algae ❏
Full Sun ❏
Green water ❏
Sludge ❏
Clogged filters ❏
Blanketweed ❏
Murky water ❏
Odour ❏
Koi carp ❏
Ducks ❏
WATERLILIES &
AQUATIC
SPECIALISTS
Bog and moisture loving plants
Butyl pool liners and accessories
Please send 2x1st class stamps for catalogue to:
Mimmacks Aquatics
Woodholme Nursery, Goatsmoor Lane,
Stock, Essex CM4 9RS (Dept TEG10)
Telephone: 01277 840204
www.mimmacks.co.uk
PONDS
BRIDGES
ARTS AND CRAFTS
A CERAMIC MODEL
OF YOUR HOME
Call me or visit my website
Richard A. Rogers
RAR Ceramics
Tel: 01777 703711
Email: rarceramics@btopenworld.com
Web: www.rarceramics.co.uk
NURSERIES
GREENHOUSES
HEDGING AND TOPIARY
HEDGING, YOUNG TREES, AZALEAS &
RHODODENDRONS, CONIFERS, CLIMBERS, GROUND COVER,
ORNAMENTAL GRASSES, SPECIMEN TREES, TOPIARY & FRUIT.
VISITORS WELCOME BY APPOINTMENT
Our full colour brochure is
FREE on request and includes:
HOPES GROVE
NURSERIES
THE HEDGING PLANT
SPECIALISTS
HOPES GROVE NURSERIES, SMALLHYTHE ROAD, TENTERDEN,
KENT, TN30 7LT Tel: 01580 765600 Fax: 01580 766894
Email: sales@hopesgrovenurseries.co.uk Web: www.hopesgrovenurseries.co.uk
All enquiries and Credit/Debit card orders welcome. Mail order specialist: nationwide delivery.
Nursery open 9-5 Mon-Sat. Closed Sunday.
VISA, SWITCH, M.CARD, DELTA, AMEX
PET SERVICES
The English Garden 127
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THE DIRECTORY
For more information visit us at www.theenglishgarden.co.uk The English Garden
PLANTS
Specimen plant nursery and garden design centre. We supply
architectural specimen trees and shrubs including olives and hardy palms.
Also wide selection of colourful perennials, and drought-tolerant grasses.
WWW.PARAMOUNTPLANTS.CO.UK
131 Theobalds Park Road, Crews Hill,
Enfield, Middx EN2 9BB, UK
Tel: +44 (0)20 8367 8809
info@paramountplants.co.uk
MISCELLANEOUS
WEB SERVICES
Our 2010 Seed Catalogue and “VegBook”
offers over 4,000 items, including an
excellent selection of tasty Heirloom
vegetables, salad crops and kitchen herbs. Tel: 01229 581137
Email: EG@chilternseeds.co.uk www.chilternseeds.co.uk
ROSES
For Every
SPECIAL
OCCASION
Tel: 01939 210380
OVER 1000 Varieties
to Choose From
www.countrygardenroses.co.uk
Happy Birthday
Special Anniversary
MowWithUs.com
For all your
garden machinery
needs
SmartSoil Ltd Tel: 01639 701888 • Web: www.smartsoil.co.uk
COMPOST ALL • COOKED AND UNCOOKED
• KITCHEN WASTE INCLUDING MEAT AND FISH j
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PLACES TO STAY
CLARE HOUSE
Park Road, Grange over Sands LA11 7HQ
Tel: +44 (0) 15395 33026. www.clarehousehotel.co.uk
We offer rest &relaxation, delightful meals, a garden to sit in, a promenade to
saunter along and wonderful bay views and look forward to welcoming you to
our family run hotel. Early Season Special Offer until April 30th -
Any 4-days £280.00 PP DB&B,
Additional 5%discount until April 16th.
KENT AND SUSSEX
With over 230 self-catering cottages in Kent and Sussex our local
friendly team can help you find your perfect holiday property.
Call or visit our website now.
Freedom Holiday Homes 01580 720770
mail@freedomholidayhomes.co.uk
www.freedomholidayhomes.co.uk
GARDEN LOVERS BREAK
On the edge of the Cotswolds we are England’s oldest hotel built in 1220.
Standing next to Malmesbury’s medieval Abbey the hotel has antique
furniture, cosy lounges and is traditionally English. Our 2 night break is
now only £280 (our 5th birthday, 2004 rate) until the end of August for
two people, bed and breakfast, dinner on 1 night and tickets to Abbey
House Gardens and Westonbirt Arboretum.
The Old Bell Hotel 01666 822344 www.oldbellhotel.com
WEB SERVICES
T: 01629 630139 • www.stonewarehouse.co.uk
DECORATIVE GRAVEL DIRECT FROM THE QUARRY
www.gardenlines.co.uk
Lawnmowers, Hedgecutters, Strimmers, Garden Furniture
PERHILL PLANTS
Worcester Road, Great Witley,
Worcestershire, WR6 6JT
tel:01299 896329
email:perhillp@btconnect.com
Specialist growers of rarer
more unusual perennials.
Online shop @ www.perhillplants.co.uk
Mail order catalogue available.(six 2nd
class stamps please).
Open most weekdays, 9am-5pm
(Closed weekends)
PUBLISHERS
AUTHORS
PLEASE SUBMIT:
synopsis, plus sample chapters (3)
for consideration.
www.olympiapublishers.com
60 Canon Street, LONDON, EC4N 6NP
Olympia Publishers
130 The English Garden
GUEST SPEAKER
thousands, and all involved will feel a strong
emotional attachment to that creation. But it
will be short lived - after all that effort, it will
only exist for a week before it is torn apart
and returned to reality.
Creating a Chelsea exhibit is an emotional
rollercoaster. During the build up, the teameffort
and adrenalin keep me on a high. I love
dropping back into the Chelsea family: the other
exhibitors, the show team and all those
characters I’ve got to know over the years. We
knowlittle about each other’s lives, but for a few
days each year we are bound together with the
same objective. When the exhibit is complete
and the construction team depart, the magic
bubble bursts temporarily. The best bit is over
for another year; but those of us that remain for
the showknowwe have a duty to showoff what
we have worked together to create.
This is often where irrational jealousy sets in.
Why do show gardens get so much attention,
when we all knowthat what’s inside the Pavilion
is the real Chelsea? Who on earth wants to look
at a garden made of plasticine? Emotional and
physical exhaustion results in sense-of-humour
failure; until the public’s reaction makes it
all worthwhile again.
Every year our Chelsea garden is the best
thing we’ve ever done. This year’s ‘Adventures
in Gardening’ is a journey through your
imagination; it’s all about throwing away caution
and inhibition, getting stuck in and having a
go. I believe that real gardens are about plants,
and this year ours is going to be a real garden.
The look of the showmay have changed. The
yellow light and the steamy, scented air of the
old marquee is but a memory. I no longer feel
like a new boy, and that feeling took at least 10
years to put aside. Bowler hats and dark suits
have made way for polo shirts. But despite the
face of Chelsea changing, the underlying spirit
is the same. I’m proud to be a part of it.
Next month: our Guest Speaker is Jekka McVicar
Andy McIndoe is
a designer, author
and MD of Hillier
Nurseries and
Garden Centres
RHS Chelsea veteran Andy McIndoe describes his show experience, and
says that though many things have changed, some have stayed the same
I
have a kind of love-hate relationship
with Chelsea Flower Show. In the weeks
before the show, I hate it; it dominates my
subconscious, wakes me in the night and hangs
like a cloud on the horizon. But when that first
Friday on site arrives, when there is no going
back, the relationship changes and my love is
rekindled. The excitement starts as I walk
through the Royal Hospital Entrance, past the
skeleton shell scheme that will become a
bustling market, past the chaos of the show
gardens. The odd burly character caressing a
muddy sod topped with a delicate wildflower,
teams of steel-capped youths, hefty machines
moving tons of rock, timber and turf.
Entering the Grand Pavilion, I leave all that
behind for a peaceful empty shell surrounding
a granite obelisk, some dusty turf and piles of
wooden boxes that will support horticultural
treasures: auriculas, sweet peas, ferns, pinks,
narcissus hanging onto spring and mums
heralding autumn. And in the centre of it, a 20m
sq plot that I’ll call home for the next two weeks.
The Hillier Chelsea team will work to create
a garden out of 20 tons of sand, 15 tons of
paving, pallets of timber sleepers, 10 tons of
chipped bark, crates of straw-filled bags, cut
conifer foliage, and numerous buildings, statues,
pots and assorted paraphernalia. Some 3,000
plants will move into place over the next few
days, from alpines in tiny pots to trees in vast
600-litre containers. The entire garden will be
constructed in just a week, and all above
ground. No excavation or earth movement takes
place in the Pavilion, so it takes a little ingenuity
to raise paths, patios, water and buildings to
enable the pots to drop into the planting
areas and create a natural effect. The finished
result will be admired and photographed by
The old marquee is but a memory, and dark suits have made way for polo
shirts... The look of Chelsea may have changed, but the spirit is still the same’
TEGUK152 Guest speaker final 26/03/2010 16:42 Page 130