The shady side of planting

A shady border is rarely the one a gardener is eager to show me when I’m out garden visiting. Areas that get little sun or, in some cases, none at all are usually viewed as difficult and often overlooked. Yet, by choosing the right plants for shade you can make something beautiful and interesting.

Just how much choice there can be is obvious when I visit ShadyPlants.com, a Cotswold nursery run by Tony and Sylvia Marden. Glasshouses and polytunnels behind their Painswick home are stuffed with plants suitable for the full range of shade from dark, dry spots through to those with dappled light and moist soil.

plants for shade
Dryopteris erythrosora

“There are some wonderful plants that can make a really nice garden,” says Tony. “You just need to think of woodland plants.”

One of the top choices is ferns and the beautiful pink-bronze tinged new growth on Dryopteris erythrosora is one that catches my eye.

“It has that colour all summer not just in spring,” comments Tony, adding that it would be ideal for a couple of challenging areas in my dry-as-a-bone sandy soil.

Dryopteris affinis ‘Cristata The King’, which can get to around 3ft tall, is another that would cope with deep, dry shade and Tony also suggests Polystichum setiferum ‘Plumosum Densum’, which has more delicate foliage.

plants for shade
Polystichum setiferum ‘Plumosum Densum’

Adding plenty of humus when they are planted and top dressing with leaf mould or old compost in the autumn will help keep them in good shape.

“Don’t bother to dig it in,” advises Tony. “Put it around the plant at the end of the season and the worms will do the work.”

When it comes to more dappled shade and soil with more moisture there’s a greater choice.

Podophyllum versipelle ‘Spotty Dotty’ is a particular favourite and, despite its exotic-looking mottled foliage, is quite hardy in a garden.

plants for shade
Podophyllum versipelle ‘Spotty Dotty’

Tony also has several polygonatum, or Solomon’s Seal, including a variegated variety and one with a deep red stem.

There are Anemonella thalictroides with dainty flowers – white, pale pink and a lilac double – Impatiens omeiana ‘Pink Nerves’ from China with curiously veined leaves, trilliums, hostas and pots of Lilium ‘Kusha Maya’ just beginning to break through the soil.

“They have got beautiful flowers with a lime-green throat on maroon and are good for woodland.”

Impatiens omeiana ‘Pink Nerves’

He began growing plants for shade about 20 years ago because he couldn’t find what he wanted for landscaping jobs. Then, about five years ago he retired but kept growing the plants.

Today, the couple sell their plants for shade mainly through plant fairs – they attend around 50 a year including Plant Hunters Fairs and Rare Plant Fairs – and also from the nursery, which is open by appointment.

Not everything I saw is available to buy yet; it’s taken several years to get some plants to either a big enough size or to have enough of them to put on the sales table; one that has taken Tony years to propagate successfully is Podophyllum pleianthum.

plants for shade
Arisaema are beginning to shoot

“You get them to germinate by putting them in the fridge over winter and then they germinate in February at about three degrees,” he explained.

He’s busy potting up arisaema that are just coming out of winter dormancy and beginning to shoot. One, that he’s had for around 12 years, is several centimetres in diameter. Nearby are some that were done earlier and are already showing their rather sinister hooded flowers.

Everywhere there are signs of new shoots and fresh green leaves appearing. It’s a time of year Tony loves.

plants for shade
There’s something almost sinister about arisaema flowers

“I open up in the morning and get that smell,” he says. “The smell of growing plants.”

For more details about ShadyPlants.com, visit the website.

ShadyPlants.com will be one of 21 nurseries, including Tortworth Plants, at a Rare Plant Fair at The Old Rectory, Quenington on Sunday April 9, 2017. More details, here

Rediscovering asters

Sometimes you think you know a plant only to find there’s far more to it than you realised. Asters – commonly known as Michaelmas Daisies – are such a plant.

To many gardeners they are those mauve daisy-like things that flower in autumn and grew in their parents’ garden. They have a slightly old-fashioned image and are generally seen as a filler in the border rather than a star.

Yet, the colour range is vast from cool white through to claret and it’s possible to have them in flower from early September to almost Christmas.

asters
There’s far more to asters than mauve

I was reminded quite how interesting asters can be at the Malvern Autumn Show where a display by Old Court Nurseries, holders of the National Collection, won gold.

It’s been some years since I visited Old Court and its display beds in The Picton Garden and I’d forgotten what a spectacle a mass planting of asters makes.

The display had a lightness and grace that is rarely associated with other autumn bloomers, such as rudbeckia, helenium or helianthus, and was something different to the usual yellows and oranges so often associated with the season.

Deciding it was time to rediscover asters, I attended at talk by Helen Picton hosted by Allomorphic in Stroud.

From the outset, it was clear there’s more to asters than mere mauve. A bucket of flowers, cut that day from the nursery, had white, pale pink, deep purple and some with a hint of red.

What’s in a name

And if the sudden realisation of the choice available wasn’t confusing enough, there’s the name. Work by botanists has led to many being reclassified and they are no longer called asters; nearly all the North American species are now Symphyotrichum or Eurybia.

Helen, who has a degree in botany, skipped through the explanation with ease but, perhaps realising that the switch is going to take some time among their customers, the nursery is still using the term aster as well as the new name for its plants.

asters
Flowers cut from the nursery showed the range of asters

She is the third generation of the Picton family to run the Colwall nursery, which was founded more than 100 years ago by Ernest Ballard, one of the first people to specialise in Asters.

The National Collection was started by her parents, Paul and Meriel, with many varieties owing their survival to two Bristol enthusiasts who collected them; their plants joined those at Old Court in the 1980s and today the collection has more than 400 varieties.

Growing asters

Asters do have a reputation for being prone to mildew that can turn their leaves an unattractive grey.

We were told that the novi-belgii group are the most susceptible, not least because they are shallow-rooted and therefore dry out quickly during the summer.

Helen suggested a garlic foliar spray was one method of treatment – though it is essential to cover all the foliage – and division every three years would help to keep plants vigorous.

asters
Helen is the third generation to run Old Court Nurseries

Varieties with smooth leaves were more likely to get mildew than those with rough leaves, she added.

The majority need open, sunny positions to flower well, although a few are tolerant of shade.

Other cultivation tips included hiding the “naked bottoms” of the New England asters.

“They are definitely back of the border plants. Give them a nice skirt of something more interesting.”

What to choose

If you’re looking for something that will be smothered in flowers, the compact ‘Gulliver’ is a good choice. It grows to around 45cm and has mauve blooms.

Another small aster is ‘Purple Dome’, which again gets to around 45cm high, and has large purple flowers.

“It needs as much sun as you can give it,” advised Helen.

asters
The Picton Garden displays the National Collection

For arching flower sprays, Helen recommended the species asters, such as ‘Photograph’, which has smaller, pale blue flowers

“It is more relaxed in habit and mixes better with other perennials.”

‘King George’ had a rapid name change after it was introduced as Kaiser Wilhelm in 1914 and is now a popular variety. Its large purple flowers are loved by hoverflies and butterflies. Upright growing, it is mildew-free but needs good winter drainage.

One of the blowsiest is ‘Fellowship’, which has masses of pale pink double flowers. It grows to around 100cm and is one of the more mildew-resistant of the New York asters.

asters
‘Fellowship’ produces a mass of double flowers

And, if you want something to tumble over a retaining wall, ‘Snow Flurry’, the only prostrate aster, might be the answer. It has long, horizontal flowering stems that are covered in tiny white flowers.

The Picton Garden and the National Collection of autumn flowering Asters and related genera is open until mid-October. For details and more information on Old Court Nurseries and growing asters see here

The next in the Allomorphic series of lectures is on November 11 when nurseryman Bob Brown of Cotswold Garden Flowers will be talking about his favourite plants. More details here

Acers fire up for autumn

Winter bedding and bulb-buying aside, autumn can be a quiet time for nurseries. There’s a sense of winding down, taking stock and starting to prepare for the next season. Yet for one independent nursery, October is the pinnacle of the year.

Howle Hill Nursery specialises in acers and autumn sees it explode into colour. Butter yellow, crimson, scarlet and orange are beginning to work their way across the nursery, near Ross-on-Wye, culminating in a fiery show.

‘Chitose-yama’ is turning a rich, dark red that glows in the sun, ‘Sango-kaku’, the coral-bark maple, is golden with pink tips, ‘Aoyagi’ is a pure yellow, while one of the best reds is ‘Osakazuki’.

The nursery was started by landscaper and designer Peter Dowle, who began growing the autumn stars when tracking them down for his garden projects proved difficult.

acers
‘Sango-kaku’ is a fiery mix of red and gold

“I could never find trees of any size,” he explains. “It started out being driven by what we wanted to use in schemes but couldn’t get. Now other people in that situation come to us.”

The choice at the nursery is huge – the firm prides itself on having the widest selection in the South West with many hard-to-find varieties.

They range from dainty dwarf trees suitable for containers to others so big that they will make an immediate impact on a garden; some of the trees are up to 40 years old.

acers
Acers were a key part of Peter’s gold medal-winning garden at this year’s RHS Malvern Spring Festival

The stock is grafted for Howle Hill by a British specialist and the nursery takes delivery when the trees are around four months old. The acers are then grown on to be sold at the nursery, through its online arm Acers Direct, or used in clients’ gardens; Peter designs four or five Japanese-style gardens a month.

How to grow acers

But even if you don’t want a true Oriental garden, Peter believes you should make space for an acer.

“They are such a fabulous genus. You get a huge amount of variation and seasonal interest from them.

acers
Blazing reds are lighting up the nursery

“They are suitable for a very wide range of soils including clays to chalky and sandy soils.”

And he dismisses as a myth the commonly held view that acers need acid soil to thrive or that they can’t cope with windy spots, although he advises against planting on the top of a hill or as the first line of defence in a seaside garden.

“Average wind conditions are not an issue with maples so long as the soil preparation is correct,” explains Peter, whose landscaping business has built many RHS gold medal-winning gardens.

Instead, he believes brown edges to leaves, often blamed on wind burn, is more likely to be poor soil without enough humus.

acers
The nursery has a wide selection of trees

“The important thing for gardeners is to mimic their natural habitat on the fringes of deciduous woodland.”

Adding lots of leaf mould, well-rotted farmyard manure or composted bark would give acers the conditions they need.

Peter also says you shouldn’t be afraid to prune an acer to get the best shape – just be careful when you do it to avoid the plant ‘bleeding’.

“The golden rule is to prune from late June to the end of December.”

Spoilt for choice

acers
‘Garnet’ makes a small tree

Acers can be grouped as dwarf, small, medium and large, making them suitable for any garden, even courtyards.

A good dwarf for containers is ‘Little Princess’, which grows up to 1.5m in height, while ‘Garnet’, which has purple, dissected foliage is classed as a small tree.

Among the medium acers is ‘Osakazuki’ and ‘Bloodgood’ is a popular large tree, which has a strong red colour.

If it’s orange tones you want, Peter suggests ‘Orange Dream’, which has a golden orange autumn display.

acers
‘Orange Dream’ is starting to live up to its name

Yet acers are not just for autumn with many having beautiful colour early in the year.

“Spring is such an underrated window for maples. There’s a whole range of spring fizzlers that are just knockout.”

A top choice is ‘Deshojo’, whose new leaves are cerise pink.

acers
‘Deshojo’ has a wonderful cerise spring colour

“When it’s pink in spring and you’ve got sunlight through that it’s just unbeatable.”

Planting companions

Among the nursery’s top choices for planting companions with acers are Hakonechloa macra and Mukdenia rossii, which has a white flower, glossy leaves and good autumn colour.

And a favourite partnership is Acer japonicum ‘Aconitifolium’ underplanted with winter aconites, the tree with its aconite-like foliage opening just as the yellow blooms are fading.

Howle Hill Nursery is hosting an Acer Week from October 17-22 open 9am to 5pm daily, with the preview week from October 10. There will be trees for sale and advice on growing acers. More details here

Harrell’s – a hidden plant paradise

A trip to Harrell’s Hardy Plants usually requires a somewhat furtive return and a look of wide-eyed innocence if the plants that have followed me home are spotted. It’s the kind of nursery where it’s hard to leave empty-handed and I rarely do.

harrell's
The garden is still full of colour

Of course, it’s difficult to know whether to describe it as a nursery. Should it be a garden that sells plants or a nursery that just happens to have a garden? Either way, it combines two of my great loves and I frequently find excuses to call in.

You need to know where you are going though, as the nursery is tucked away in the heart of Evesham and the narrow driveway between two houses is far from promising. What lies behind are the sort of plants that mainstream garden centres rarely stock and the beauty of Harrell’s is you can see them both on the sale stands and also growing in the one-acre garden.

harrell's
Echinacea ‘Raspberry Truffle’

The nursery was started by sisters Liz Nicklin and Kate Phillips in 2000 at first as a part-time venture as both were still working, Liz as a hospital matron and Kate as a primary school teacher.

“The nursery is our replacement for a large garden,” laughs Kate. “We’re frustrated mansion-sized gardeners.”

Indeed, the business grew out of their joint passion for propagating: when they ran out of space at home, they progressed first to selling at WI markets and finally to the nursery.

harrell's
Most of the beds have themes

They grow and sell only what interests them – not that this in any way limits their scope. Each has a particular favourite: hemerocallis are top with Liz while Kate has a sizeable collection of salvias and has just started another of baptisia; she already has each of the varieties available in the UK.

Things are sourced at fairs, other gardens or nurseries and used as stock plants. If they can, the sisters will buy several, putting some in the garden and dividing the others or using them for cuttings.

harrell's
Grasses are one of the sisters’ many favourites

They are attracted to anything unusual: a beautiful double orange crocosmia, variety unknown; the late bell-shaped Campanula ‘Paul Furze’ that has only just come into flower.

As the nursery name suggests, they tend towards those plants that will survive their windswept site on heavy clay soil, though that does not stop them growing a huge range from grasses and dahlias to hostas and erigerons. They have even managed to keep a tender Mandevilla laxa despite a harsh winter that felled a nearby bay tree and rose. The secret, they believe, is the Anemanthele lessoniana (formerly Stipa arundinacea) that grows in front, shielding the roots.

“It’s got its own eiderdown,” says Liz.

harrell's
The Mandevilla laxa survives against the odds

Whatever the reason, the scent from the white flowers is, as Kate puts it, intoxicating.

It seems that as a new interest grabs them, so they make a new border in the garden; it’s a running joke between us that every time I visit they have put in something extra and ‘The Last Bed’ proved to be anything but, with a mini orchard and ‘The Berm’, or mound, later additions.

harrell's
Chicory is seldom seen in garden centres

When I went there recently, they had finally removed all the old carpet under the bark paths – it was put there to supress weeds when they took over the derelict site – and were embarking on a sustained campaign against bindweed.

At this time of year, the Grass Bed is one of the highlights but there is something to see everywhere you look: the delicate seedheads of dierama hanging like tiny pearls over a path; a bed of different echinacea, yellow, purple, a pompom of raspberry red; pincushion scabious in varying shades of mauve, the offspring of the original ‘Beaujolais Bonnets’ and ‘Black and White Mix’.

“We’ve got every colour under the sun now,” observes Kate.

harrell's
Scabious come up in a range of colours

Many of their plants are not favoured by the big sellers because they tend to languish in pots.

“You don’t find chicory in a garden centre,” explains Liz, “because it grows too tall and doesn’t look presentable all the time. Diarama takes too long to grow.

harrell's
Dahlia ‘Sam Hopkins’

“A lot of things we’ve grown almost by default because we’ve seen you’re not able to get them so we’ve got seed or a plant, propagated and then grown more than we need.”

The hemerocallis are a good example of this with Liz raising hundreds from seed sent over by an American breeder every year. Over the years, the sisters have registered several, among them ‘George David’, a strong orange, Nick’s Faith, which is cream with a raspberry rib, ‘Kasia’, which is cream with a peach overlay, and ‘Caroline Taylor’, yellow with white on the midribs.

harrell's
Hemerocallis ‘Kasia’

The garden has had a similar unplanned journey, starting as just a way to trial plants but today as much a garden as any other that opens for the National Gardens Scheme.

“It was originally planted as a stock garden but it just sort of morphed,” says Liz.

“It’s because we can’t help planting plants where they look good together,” adds Kate.

harrell's
Erigeron against yellow potentilla

It means it’s inspirational as a source of ideas while the sisters are invaluable when it comes to knowing how to grow the things they sell, many by mail order, and they give their advice freely.

I managed to resist buying anything this time but only because a looming holiday meant I would not be there to care for any new purchase. A return trip is already being planned.

For more information on Harrell’s Hardy Plants see here

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Top nurseries visit Cotswolds

Top nurseries and specialist growers will be visiting the Cotswolds for a series of plant sales offering everything from bulbs and herbs to climbers and shrubs.

The first, from 10-1pm on March 11, will feature hellebores from Kapunda Plants, unusual perennials from award-winning Hardy’s Cottage Garden Plants, rare bulbs from Avon Bulbs and edible perennials from Edulis.

On April 29, from 10-1pm, shrubs and woodland plants will be the stars with Green’s Leaves Plants, DK Plants and Springhill Plants among the visiting nurseries.

The sale on June 3 from 10-2pm will include The Botanic Nursery, holders of the National Collection of Digitalis, Gloucestershire-based Tortworth Plants and Lyneal Mill Nursery with native wild flowers and alpine aquilegias.

Finally, the September 9 sale, from 10-3pm, has late flowering perennials from Phoenix Perennial Plants, hardy herbaceous from Whitehall Farmhouse Plants and Marcus Dancer Plants with climbers. There will also be specialist suppliers with goods ranging from smoked foods and garden antiques to silk cushions and children’s toys.

The sales are held at The Coach House, Ampney Crucis, near Cirencester, pictured above, and admission is £5, with a donation from the sale going to The James Hopkins Trust. It includes entrance to the garden. Refreshments will be available.

Details: http://thegenerousgardener.co.uk/

Get a taste for history

There’s nothing quite like the taste of a freshly picked apple, one that hasn’t been ferried miles and then sat on a supermarket shelf. Growing your own also means the chance to savour different varieties rather than just the commonplace Granny Smith or Braeburn.

In Gloucestershire alone there are 106 different apples and, thanks to work by the Gloucestershire Orchard Trust, many of these are now available to gardeners. 

One grower who has been promoting these ‘heritage’ varieties is Rob Watkins, who specialises in old varieties of apple, along with perry pears and plums. 

heritage fruit
Rob Watkins grows a range of heritage varieties

He launched Lodge Farm Trees 15 years ago when he gave up milking at his Rockhampton farm. Every year he raises around 1,000 trees with about 40 different apples and 20 perry pears at any one time. 

“At some point I’ve grown all of the apple varieties,” says Rob, who is a Trust committee member. 

Among the old apple varieties are ‘Margaret’, an early cropping, sweet, red dessert apple, ‘Severn Bank’, a dual purpose eater and cooker, and ‘Hens Turds’, a cider apple from Rodley. 

‘Rose of Ciren’ is another Gloucestershire variety and there is the delightfully named ‘Jackets and Waistcoats’, also known as ‘Jackets and Petticoats’, which comes from Ashleworth. 

“It’s a nice apple with a zingy taste,” says Rob, who also grows Christmas trees after collaborating for some years with neighbouring Mount Pleasant Trees. 

Some apples, such as the dual purpose ‘Arlingham Schoolboys’, have been saved from near extinction as the original trees have long gone and the variety lives on only through grafted trees grown from them. Some of these new generation trees have now been planted back in the village. 

Perry pears, which are found across the Three Counties, include the ‘Christmas Pear’, ‘Yellow Huffcap’ and ‘Merry Legs’, though whether the name has anything to do with the effect of the perry is unclear. 

heritage fruit
The ‘Worcester Black’ pear appears on the city’s coat of arms

The trees are grown on rootstocks that Rob buys in as two-year trees and plants out in January; these are used to determine the size and vigour of the mature tree. 

Budding starts in July using that year’s growth, some taken from his trees – he has planted an orchard of old varieties – the rest from trees across the county, including the Trust’s ‘mother orchard’. 

All the leaves are trimmed off the cutting, leaving a small ‘handle’ on the bottom one and a 45 degree cut is made behind a bud. This is then inserted into a similar slot in the rootstock behind a bud and the whole thing is bound together with special tape. Three weeks later the two should be growing as one tree. 

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A piece of the trimmed leaf is left

The following spring, Rob cuts the rootstock off to just above the graft, leaving the heritage variety as the leader. 

“In the first year the rootstock will shoot out of the bottom and I have to trim it off several times during the growing season.” 

Trees are sold bare-rooted from mid-November to March and a mini-digger is brought in to lift them to ensure a good root ball on each tree. They are then heeled into a bed of composted bark ready for sale. 

And Rob’s favourite? It’s the well-known ‘Ashmead’s Kernel’, which originates from Gloucester and dates back to 1700.

For more information, visit www.lodgefarmtrees.co.uk

Gloucestershire Orchard Trust: www.gloucestershireorchardtrust.org.uk

Planting tips

When it comes to planting, the process is simple. Choose a good, sunny site, that doesn’t get waterlogged and don’t replant where there’s been a fruit tree before; Christmas trees are used as a rotation crop at the farm. 

Dig a hole big enough to take the root ball. Rob doesn’t put compost or manure in as “It will act like a sump and the roots don’t like it.” Instead, he prefers to mulch well after planting. 

A stake may be necessary, depending on the size of the tree and the area around the tree should be kept weed-free. He also recommends fitting a guard if you have rabbits. 

Tortworth is treasure trove

I’ve always loved traditional nurseries, the sort where plants are arranged haphazardly, labels are handwritten and there’s not a Christmas decoration in sight. They are often the best place to discover something different and are second to none when it comes to giving out advice.

Yet, these small-scale specialist growers find life tough against the competition of big garden centres and new nurseries are rare.

One recent Gloucestershire arrival that’s bucking the trend is Tortworth Plants, which was started in 2013 by business partners Tim Hancock and Rebecca Flint.

Tortworth plants
Rebecca Flint and Tim Hancock

They have set up on land owned by Tortworth Estate, which has turned semi-derelict farm buildings, including a milking parlour, into a potting shed and office. Other work has seen drainage put in and nursery beds constructed.

“It was just a wet, muddy field,” recalls Tim.

“It was a complete mess but we could see the potential,” adds Rebecca.

The pair, who met while working at a big wholesale nursery, specialise in herbaceous perennials and alpines along with a few herbs and, while many of their plants are familiar, the varieties they offer are not.

One that was still full of flower when I visited was Salvia x jamensis ‘Nachtvlinder’, which was covered in deep purple-pink blooms. Equally striking was Crocosmia ‘Harlequin’ with vibrant, yellow flowers sporting orange and red outer petals.

Salvia 'Nachtvlinder'
Salvia ‘Nachtvlinder’

Other unusual varieties include Penstemon ‘Jeanette’, which has pure white flowers, Erysimum ‘Red Jep’ with deep purple-red blooms and E. ‘Fragrant Star, which has variegated foliage with scented, yellow flowers. There’s a red sea thrift, Armeria pseudarmeria ‘Ballerina Red’ and Sanguisorba ‘Lilac Squirrel’, whose flowers look like a squirrel’s tail.

They grow several different leucanthemum, or Shasta daisies, such as ‘Banana Cream’, a good stocky grower with similar colouring but not as tall as the more familiar ‘Broadway Lights’. Then there’s ‘Engelina’, with shaggy, double flowers, and ‘Victorian Secret’, a creamy double.

Leucanthemum 'Victorian Secret'
Leucanthemum ‘Victorian Secret’

Primulas are another staple with ‘Port and Lemon’, which has a sulphur yellow flower and Primula belarina ‘Valentine’ a deep red.

New plants are often sourced at rare plant fairs and the nursery also supplies larger retailers, who sometimes suggest different things to grow.

They produce their stock from seed and cuttings, buying in only some plug plants to grow on and produce around 1,000 different lines a year. All are raised in open beds and unheated polytunnels.

Armeria maritima 'Armada White' and Saxifraga x arendsii Touran (TM) 'White Imp'
Armeria maritima ‘Armada White’ and Saxifraga x arendsii Touran (TM) ‘White Imp’

“We like to grow everything outside really so it’s good and tough,” explains Tim.

It would be easy to believe that winter was a quiet time at the nursery but nothing is further from the truth. When we met, they were busy cleaning up pots, removing dying foliage from the herbaceous perennials and planning what they would need for next year’s round of rare plant fairs, flower shows and farmers’ markets, something that isn’t always easy to judge.

“You find you take something one week and sell out so the next time you take a few more and don’t sell one,” says Rebecca.

echinacea and chyrsanthemum
Echinacea purpurea ‘Green Jewel’ and Chrysanthemum ‘Beppie Bronze’

Winter is also a busy time for work with landscape contractors, who either buy plants from the nursery’s stock, or get Tim and Rebecca to source things for them.

With some things, such as cyclamen, taking years to reach flowering size, running a nursery is never a get-rich-quick enterprise but it does have its advantages.

As Tim says: “We’re outside working in the fresh air and on a nice summer day nothing could be better.”

Tortworth Plants, near Wotton-under-Edge, is open to the public but visitors are advised to ring before travelling. They also offer a mail order service. For more information, visit www.tortworthplants.co.uk

Anemone 'Honorine Jobert'
The back of Anemone ‘Honorine Jobert’ is flushed pink