Shady corner bed planting


(April 2018)

This little bed is about 8ft wide and 5ft deep. It sits below a window next to my desk at the front of our house. It is nestled between the porch (to the right) and the neighbours house (to the left), making it pretty shady, although it receives afternoon sun for an hour or so in the afternoon.

Despite being small and snug it provides plenty of texture and interest throughout the year. Most of the plants are evergreen or semi-evergreen (ferns), with the exception of the tree peony which is deciduous. Continue reading

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A Tapestry of Shade-Loving Plants

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This is approximately one third of one of the three rectangular raised beds in my woodland garden at the front of my house. It contains a number of shade loving plants that provide a continuously changing tapestry of interest throughout the year. The slideshow above tells you what each of the plants is and its season of interest. Continue reading

Spring bulbs in pots

I chose these bulbs for their fairly monochrome hues which suit the colour scheme of our house. The narcissi are small, scented, delicate flowered varieties. I had hoped to display the black and white tulips at the same time, but their flowering did not overlap – Queen of Night opening a full week after Purissima had finished.

Having grown them in the cold greenhouse overwinter they were free of weather damage, and had a pleasing architectural quality to their growth. As each pot came into flower they were brought into the house, where they provided weeks of pleasure and fragrance. Indoors, the higher temperature accelerated their blossoming, so as each showed signs of going over they were moved outside by the front door, where the cool March weather brought their progress back to a crawl. Some of them look as if they will continue for a couple more weeks.

Spring arrives in the woodland garden…

The snowdrops have been showing for more than a week, but today – (Feb 17th) – the watery sunshine is making the air throb…

The fine bunched fingers of snowdrop foliage, lush blue-green, chime with the hellebores’ apple-blossom-blushes.

Evergreen fronds of Korean rock fern (Polystichum tsussimense) provide a contrasting lacy stiffness ~ they always fit in here. Nearby, variegated arum lily and cyclamen create a tapestry of winter foliage that will die back before the summer. Jostling them, vibrant green Narcissus buds, fit to burst, threaten a change of tempo. They’ll shake up the colour pallet and give the whole scene a second life…

…but that’s a few days away.

ID Parade

Can you identify these three apples?
A. (left) 129 g. Sweet, fruity, aromatic, mildly acidic.
B. (centre) 213 g. Sweet, floral, crisp, well balanced acidity.
C. (right) 165 g. Honey-sweet, aromatic, crunchy, tangy, fruity bouquet.

It has been a very good season for apples in my garden this year. I train my fruit trees as espaliers and cordons so do not get vast numbers – which is good – but I do get good plently of good quality fruits, and this year some were very large. As you can see above I collected three of the largest specimens for comparison, the smallest variety being 7cm across, the largest 9cm.

I’m pretty sure about variety A and B, but if C is the variety claimed on the label then it should only be 5 – 6 cm diameter. Or perhaps I have just grown the largest examples known! 

So, can you identify the three varieties above?

Answers on a post card please (or perhaps it would be quicker just to leave a comment below?)