Archive for 10/03/2013


The Cynical Gardener

Day out

Sunday 3rd of March, sunny but cold.  Crocus day at local Botanical Gardens with Nurseries in attendance, I paid a visit….

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PicPost: Bearded Beauty

Bearded Iris drawn by Sue Walker White

Picpost: Great Garden @ Howick Hall

“The gardens at Howick are deliberately aimed at garden lovers with the extensive grounds offering a wide variety of plants throughout the year and are open from early February until mid November.

The season starts in early February with the ‘Snowdrop Festival’. In late March/April there are spectacular drifts of daffodils to be seen throughout the grounds.  In April/May the Woodland Garden is particularly lovely with rhododendrons, camellias and magnolias, and the tulips also appear in the wild flower meadows in May.   The formal gardens, including the herbaceous borders and terraces in front of the Hall, come into their own from June onwards. The Bog Garden lasts from June to September and is mostly planted with unusual herbaceous material grown from seed collected in the wild, which will be of particular interest to dedicated plantsmen. The late season brings brilliant autumn colour in late September through to mid November.

Howick Hall Gardens has been rated by the BBC Gardener’s World Magazine as one of the top 5 coastal gardens in the country and rated the Independent Magazine as ‘one of the Best 10 Gardens to visit this spring'”

Source: Howick Hall website

broad beans germinate in warm bag if bark

broad beans germinate in warm bag of bark

‘The bags of freshly chipped bark that are waiting to be spread on the paths in the garden have provided an unexpected benefit. When I noticed how quickly the bark was heating up, it occurred to me that I could use them as giant propagators. The broad beans that had shown no sign of germinating in the greenhouse started to shoot after 3 days in their cosy new quarters. Very satisfying. There is an extraordinary amount of bacterial and fungal activity in the chippings, so much so that I’m taking the precaution of wearing a face mask when spreading it to avoid inhaling the smoke-like clouds of dust. For the photo I moved one of the seedboxes to one side to reveal the network of fungus that has formed.’

from The Enduring Gardener

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