Shrubs make a comeback.

The FT magazine covered this recently.

It also suggested that for some garden designers they have always been popular.

Natural Planting has featured high on designers lists.

One idea would be to have both type of borders in a garden.

Here are some shrubs that are worth considering.

Berberis: have green or purple leaves.

Chimonanthus praecox/Wintersweet  has lovely delicate yellow flowers.

Daphne bholua:is good for winter scent and flowers.

Hydrangeas:are very fashionable.

Rhododendron mucronatum: is white.

Sarcococa has a super smell in winter.

Skimmia x confuse is attractive.

Viburnum opulus  has white balls.

This is just a taste of the variety that can be achieved  by using shrubs .

They are quite easy to maintain and form  strong features in a border.

So reconsider them in your garden.

Getting aquaited with Antiques:

Newark is a very important centre for antiques.

Reloved and recycled is a very popular garden  design idea at  the moment.

Today I made the connection between the two.

I visited antique shops and warehouses .

It  was inspiring!

Rusted metal features were everywhere.

These included gates,baths and even anchors!

Elsewhere large urns where fighting for room with stone ornaments.

I can’t tell you anymore as I will be using them for my designs!

Bulbs, Bulbs and more Bulbs!

I might have to take control of my new found interest in Bulbs!

Here are some that I have planted this Autumn.

a) Tulips,(Queen of the Night, Blue heron, Couleur cardinal).

b)Hyancinth , Blue delft–for Christmas.

c)Iris reticulata.

d)Oxalis(Wood sorral).

e)Chionodoa Luciliae Alba.

f)Eranthis Hyemalis(Winter aconilte).

g) Camassia.

h)Giant Allium.

Some have been planted into the ground.

Elsewhere I have put them in collections in pots. This can be done by layering them .

Large bulbs are on the bottom and small on top.

I have enjoyed doing this and look forward to the delight they will bring in the Spring.

Gardening is good for you!

Another enjoyable evening.

Nottingham Hardy Plant Society meets once a month during the Winter.

I always look forward to this.

The speakers are drawn from a variety of backgrounds.

This month Julian Sutton for “Desirable Plants” captured our  attention by talking about just four species of plants.

This included Epimedium, Nerine, Centurea and Anemone.

Some information was given on the location of the original plants.

Elsewhere the names of the plant hunters provided more interest.

We learnt what it takes for a plant to be considered worthy of hybridization.

The techniques involved need a lot of patience.

Then there were the tales of competitors stealing plants.

Finally the routine of naming the plants was explored.

The plant stall was surrounded by eager shoppers.

This was a wonderful way to relax after a difficult week .

Capturing the Light. Getting rid of tall conifers.

For nearly 11 years my Courtyard Garden has been overshadowed by conifers that reached over 25 feet.

They were oppressive and stopped the overhead sun getting into my garden.

This week the were removed.

Of course this was done after the bird-nesting season had ended.

Other deciduous trees were located behind them .

These will provided shelter for the birds.

The colour in Autumn will be something worth seeing.

Winter light will help us during the long nights ahead.

Next year the flowering plants will benefit from the sunlight.

Perhaps I will be able to sunbathe in my own back garden.

That is a very cheering thought!

After the War: For ex members of the Armed Forces.

Recently I learned of a project called Forces of Nature.

This programme was run on the Isle of Wight  for ex members of the Armed Forces,who would like to learn new skills involving Nature.

It was for volunteers that would work in conservation projects on the Island.

They would then gain an accredited   John Muir Trust award.

The work would help people to find an interest in Nature, such as birds,insects trees or fish.

Nature can provide a wonderful therapy after traumatic events.

It gives the mind a chance to engage in something new.

What better way to do this than to work with others in conservation  projects that benefit those involved and the community.