Do plants matter?

This week I attended  a wonderful conference about plants at Palmstead nurseries.

At the same time I have been designing a modern garden.

My first thoughts were “How wonderful not to have to bother too much about plants”.

However, as the week has worn on, I have had to get back in touch with my garden.

There was the robin in the bird bath.

The colours of the Acer and other shrubs was super.

Sedums are beautiful at this time of year.

The blackberries have been very good this year.

So have the apples.

It is time to do a little pruning ready for next year.

I hope that this article has shown you how wonderful a garden with plants is!


Palmstead pulls it off!

This week Palmstead Nursery hosted its annual workshop.

This was called” Native or Non-native, which is best?”

The speakers included Nigel Dunnett, Tony Kirkham and Chris Baines.

There has been a rigid policy in local authorities to favour native plants.

This discussion showed that a more flexible approach is needed.

Tony Kirkham reviewed trees from around the world.

Nigel Dunnett, who designed the Olympic garden, put the case for biodiversity in using non-native species in designs.

Chris Baines explained the importance of “Time out” places in built up areas to alleviate stress.


The day was chaired by Nick Coslett of Palmstead.

His work in  organising this wonderful event must be acknowledged.

In the question and answer section he won my vote by suggesting that our local Bramley Apple tree should be planted in schools.


Ferns are fit for purpose.

This week I decided to take out my Lavender hedge.

it is too woody.

Ferns have become popular again.

Some good species are:

Asplenium: (Hart’s tongue).Is an evergreen that likes sun and shade.

Drypoteris: is semi-evergreen and likes sun and moisture.

Polystichum: likes partial shade.

My front entrance faces west.

I have therefore decided to plant Dryopteris cycodena and Polystichum.

Ferns are like feathers , fascinating and will be  a fitting entrance to my front garden.


Kitchen Gardens.

The most famous kitchen garden is probably at Le Manoir Aux Quat Saisons.

Another is Rosemary Verey’s pottage at Barnsley  House.

The Pig at Brockenhurst has a very good kitchen garden.

The design itself is simple.

A pretty gate and decorative fence forms the basic outline.

A long aisle links the front and back gate.

On either side raised beds are divided by paths.

Steps mark the changes in levels.

Rustic metal has been used as supports for the fruit trees.

The planting has both colour and structural interest.

In one corner there is sweet corn. In another there is purple kale.

The large variety of vegetables and herbs are clearly labelled .

Neatness and well cared for plants abound.

This is a good way  of supplying guests with fresh vegetables grown on site.

This expression of an interest in healthy living and gardening is a welcome innovation by an adventurous hotel.


Just beautiful!

This week I visited the Harold Hiller Gardens near Romsey.

The temperature was 29 degrees.

The Pond and Bog Garden is tranquil.

Massive Gunnera  manicata plants dominate the scene.

Colour is added by Echinacea.

The Centenary Border is magnificent.

A collection of Stipa and  orange Kniphofia  make great companions.

Elsewhere the are different varieties of Sedums.

Phlox, Verbena bonariensis and Dahlias are at their best at this time of year.

Once again September has provided one of the most beautiful times of the year for flower borders.

I have thoroughly enjoyed  my visits to gardens to make the most of the delightful experience.