RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show highlights

Gardens galore

The RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show has more gardens than any other RHS show this year with more than 40 in contests ranging from the big show gardens to cutting edge conceptual gardens.

Among the Show Gardens are a design by Bath-based Emma Bannister, working with Ben Donadel, to raise awareness of premenstrual syndrome, which affects around 30 per cent of women. It is designed to reflect the mood swings of PMT and has a centre of corkscrew hazel set into Bowles golden grass.

In Cancer Research UK’s Life Garden, visitors will be able to put on a headset to experience a ‘virtual reality’ garden with more than 10,000 flowers representing those who have left the charity a bequest.

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The Cancer Research UK garden includes a virtual reality element

Floating waves of turf will represent the unpredictable lives of children in poverty and disaster-hit countries, such as Sierra Leone, in a garden by John Warland for World Vision. The turf ribbons run through an ox-eye daisy meadow that symbolises hope and the support of World Vision’s community projects.

Summer Gardens will include celebrations of the Arts and Crafts movement in A Summer Retreat, which champions simplicity and craftsmanship; the work of cancer support charity Katie’s Lymphoedema Fund with a cut flower garden; and the 60th anniversary of housing and care charity The Abbeyfield Society in a garden designed for a care home.

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A cut flower garden highlights the work of Katie’s Lymphoedema Fund

A design by Andrew Fisher Tomlin and Dan Bowyer is raising awareness of Crohn’s Disease and the research that is being carried out. Described as a contemporary plant-lover’s garden, it will feature tree ferns and unusual exotics.

Water Gardens return to RHS Hampton Court after an eight-year break. The wild beauty of Scandinavia has inspired a design by Stephen Hall with a pebble beach and wildflowers, while Jeni Cairns is creating a garden for the Wildfowl and Wetland Trust that shows how using water runoff from buildings in water features and mini wetlands can enhance a garden and help wildlife.

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The Perennial ‘Immerse’ garden

First time show garden designer Cherry Carmen is creating a garden to celebrate the work of gardeners’ charity Perennial. Cherry, who has just had treatment for cancer, has designed a garden with cascading water walls and plane trees trained to form a parasol.

The 10th year of Conceptual Gardens includes Sheena Seeks’ group of five greenhouses, filled with air, water, soil, plants and sand that illustrate the needs of plants and the dangers of the greenhouse effect. Amanda Miller explores living with depression in Inner Demons and Wormhole, by John Humphreys and Andy Hyde is inspired by theories of time and space. Border Control by Tom Massey and John Ward will highlight the plight of refugees and the risks they take to reach safety.

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Greenhouses will highlight the threat of global warming

New this year are City Gardens, designed to showcase ideas for small spaces. New Horizons features drought resistant planting and an Art Nouveau-inspired pergola and stained glass windows.

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The New Horizons garden features colourful stained glass

The Drought Garden marks the 40th anniversary of England’s 1976 drought with a dried river bed as a central feature, and Will Williams celebrates the landscape of Sussex in a garden for Streetscape, which provides landscape gardening apprenticeships. Will, aged 20, is the youngest designer at RHS Hampton Court.

Also new this year are the Capability Brown Gardens, which celebrate the 300th anniversary of the landscape architect’s birth. Capable of Reinvention is inspired by his use of reflection in lakes, Mind the Gap gives a modern take on the ha-has he used in many designs and Reflecting the Landscape uses serpentine landforms in a contemporary homage.

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Reflecting The Landscape uses serpentine landforms

Visitors will be transported to America with World Gardens that will roam across the USA taking in Austin in Texas, Charleston and Oregon.

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The Oregon Garden

There will also be a design inspired by the Incas and another that follows the journey of pilgrims on the camellia-lined route to Santiago de Compostela in Spain.

In addition to the professional designers, the amateur winners of the RHS and BBC Feel Good Front Garden contest will be building their entries at RHS Hampton Court.

SS Great Britain and the Victorian era are the inspiration for BBC Bristol’s winner, Simon Judge. Sarah Morgan, the Kent winner, features a beachscape; BBC Cornwall’s entry, by four designers on Eden Project Learning courses, is a place of relaxation for an office worker; and Lee Burkhill, winner of the BBC Manchester contest, is designing a space for neighbours to meet and chat over a cup of tea.

Other highlights

Butterflies return to RHS Hampton Court for the first time since 2013. Thousands will be housed in a dome with around 30 different species represented.

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The butterfly dome will have thousands of butterflies

Plant Heritage will celebrate National Collections with exhibits of iris, including Bliss iris from Cotswold grower Anne Milner, echiums, and Hakonechloa macra.

Also at the show will be the popular Festival of Roses marquee with this year’s design inspired by Beatrix Potter’s garden at Hill Top, marking the 150th anniversary of her birth. The Rose of the Year will be announced at the show.

There will be 62 scarecrows entered in the annual scarecrow contest; this year the theme is space.

Finally, one of the most eye-catching displays is likely to be from Franchi Seeds who are bringing in three classic Fiat 500s for their Cook and Grow exhibit.

They will be surrounded by olive trees and Italian vegetable varieties grown from the Franchi range with a market scene backdrop.

RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show runs from July 5-10. Tickets are available from http://www.rhs.org.uk/hamptoncourt

Find out what Cotswold designer Paul Hervey-Brookes has planned for the show here

Main picture © RHS.

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Paul takes RHS Hampton Court challenge

The RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show will see Cotswold designer Paul Hervey-Brookes challenging the idea that dogs and gardens don’t mix and that the colour yellow is difficult.

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 Designing for man’s best friend

He may be known for beautiful planting schemes but when I call into Allomorphic, his Stroud shop, designer Paul Hervey-Brookes wants to talk about origami. Not the paper kind but metal carefully folded to create dogs. They are going to feature on his garden at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show and he’s justifiably proud of them.

“They’re made of powder-coated metal to look like origami and I’ve had them made to my design,” he says, adding with a glint in his eye that the dogs will be in a number of lifelike poses.

It’s just one element of the garden for The Dogs’ Trust that Paul hopes will challenge not only the idea of what makes a classic English garden but also assumptions about the sort of spaces he designs.

“I thought it would be very nice to make a garden that is contemporary English because the last two show gardens I’ve made in the UK have been traditional,” he explains.

“I want to show people the kind of garden I’m making abroad.”

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Paul has designed the origami dogs

These foreign designs have included both private and show commissions in America and France over the past 12 months.

So while the garden will have his trademark plant-heavy mainly herbaceous borders, there’s a modern edge with a metal pavilion and curved granite seat.

“It feels slightly more masculine and a little bit more edgy.”

It’s Paul’s second visit to the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show – he won gold and came top in the World of Gardens category for the ‘Discover Jordan’ garden in 2012.

The garden will celebrate the charity’s 125th anniversary and has been designed with dog owners and their pets in mind; Paul and his partner Yann have three dogs.

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Paul’s 2012 gold medal-winning garden ‘Discover Jordan’

Making the design dog friendly has presented some challenges, not least when it came to choosing plants as many are poisonous to dogs, including bergenia, foxgloves and yew.

“It’s been a challenge,” admits Paul, “but it makes you re-evaluate the plants you are using. You can’t just rely on your three favourite plants.”

Then the colour is not the more commonly seen pastels but a blend of blue and iridescent yellow; both colours that dogs are believed to see most clearly and the charity’s colours.

Yellow, I suggest, is often viewed as a difficult colour to use.

“I did a big planting scheme in Philadelphia of golden yellow and aubergine colours. It just looked amazing. So many people said ‘I don’t really like yellow but I really like this.’”

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What is well within his comfort zone is the scale: the deep herbaceous borders will have just over 3,000 plants.

“True to my character, it will have a lot of plants, a lot of varieties,” he smiles.

Bringing blue tones will be agastache, agapanthus, nepeta, and salvia, while yellow comes from anthemis, cosmos, kniphofia, and Cephalaria gigantea.

Ammi, calamagrostis, green fennel and mint will give the planting a loose, relaxed feel and there is height with a grove of birch and in the centre of the garden, three Acer saccharinum, which have distinctive trifoliate leaves.

“Most people don’t realise it’s an acer.”

The garden follows a dog’s journey from first being taken in by the charity to finding a new home; the Trust prides itself on never putting down a healthy animal.

More dog sculptures, this time made from wire by artist Paul Tavernor, are in a long canal of water.

“It symbolises a dog who has just come into the home. Everything feels quite bare, empty and abandoned.

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It will be Paul’s second Hampton Court show garden

The journey to a new owner is through the herbaceous planting with the origami dogs on ‘sniffer’ tracks through the border with a rill and metal water spouts from a rendered wall giving them somewhere to drink.

Finally, the dog and its new owner meet for the first time in the round pavilion, which provides a safe, controlled environment; the pavilion is going to be re-sited after the show at a Dogs Trust centre.

Yet, despite all the dog elements, Paul is hoping the garden will appeal to both dog owners and those without pets.

“A show garden should inspire. You should come away and re-evaluate your own garden with a fresh pair of eyes.”

RHS Hampton Court Flower Show runs from 5-10 July. Tickets are available at http://www.rhs.org.uk/hamptoncourt

For an overview of the show see here here

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Icomb Open Gardens

Icomb Open Gardens offers the chance to get some gardening inspiration at a lovely Cotswold village with many sloping sites.

Slopes, screening and sitting out

Front gardens are often low on the list when it comes to time and attention. At best they are a neat face to the outside world; at worst little more than a parking space.

For Ros and Steve Watson, who are taking part in Icomb Open Gardens, ignoring their front patch was not an option. Most of the ground at their Icomb home is in front with a smaller area to one side of the cottage and little more than courtyard behind. It’s a layout that has determined their approach to the garden, both in terms of design and the choice of plants.

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Soft planting lines the path to the front door

Top of their considerations when they moved in nearly five years ago was improving the privacy; it may be a sleepy Cotswold village but the garden is alongside the main route in.

A large, mature hornbeam and several existing shrubs already gave a framework and Ros has supplemented this with more evergreen shrubs and trees, including Holm oak, golden choisya and several viburnums.

Adding a new border and extending an existing one has created an enclosed feel in the lower part of the garden and allowed Ros to frame a view of the house with a pair of Holm oak. Meanwhile, the borders have been filled with shade-tolerant planting, such as foxgloves and hellebores.

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Curved borders now frame a view of the house

Around the cottage there is a relaxed style with geraniums spilling over a low lavender hedge, white lupins, and Rosa ‘Rambling Rector’ scrambling along the wall; Ros has planted a wisteria to balance it on the other side of the front door.

The biggest changes have been made in the side garden, which has been transformed from a sloping piece of grass into the main flower garden. Part of the ground has been levelled and the existing wall made slightly higher to increase the privacy.

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In true Cotswold style a rose adorns the front of the cottage

You access this area via a short flight of steps and Ros has increased the sense of change from one part of the garden to another by framing this entrance with pergolas that are gradually being covered by white clematis – ‘Beautiful Bride’ and ‘Arctic Queen’.

“I wanted to be able to walk in through a flower archway,” she says.

This area has been designed around an axis that runs from the back door, across a higher deck terrace and through to a second seating area. Either side of this line are flower borders filled with cottage favourites – astrantia, roses, nepeta, geraniums – in pale pink and white.

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Soft shades dominate flower borders in the side garden

“I had this idea that you would come down from the terrace, have a bed on either side and a focal point at the end,” explains Ros.

Alchemilla mollis softens the edges of the small patio and the white theme is picked up in garden furniture, pots and pergolas that Ros has painted.

Another border is filled with Nigella and Ammi majus grown from seed, climbing hydrangea is beginning to cloak the wall and a second Rosa ‘Rambling Rector’, that was ailing elsewhere is now covered in flower and starting to spread.

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White is repeated in planting, pots and sculpture

Again, she’s been careful to create a sense of enclosure, this time closing off part of the back of the garden with climbers on trellis. Beyond, fruit trees and honeysuckle-covered obelisks add height.

While the couple inherited the bulk of the terraces that deal with what was a very sloping plot, the planting has increased the sense of ‘garden rooms’, proving that you don’t need rolling acres to create changes of mood and distinct areas.

What is surprising is that until she retired, Ros had never gardened and started only because a friend asked her to share part of a vegetable plot.

“I had never been interested in gardening at all before,” she says. “This is all experimental. I have never done a new garden before.”

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Putting Erigeron karvinskianus in a pot keeps it under control

As yet she has no vegetables in this garden; the former veg plot is now home to sun-loving Mediterranean style plants, although there is still a rhubarb crown lurking at the back.

Salad leaves and herbs are on the list of future projects, along with creating a small herbaceous border and another seating area when an old Wendy House is removed. Planning the next thing is, she says, part of the fun.

“It’s what a garden is all about, planning that next step and moving things around.”

Icomb Open Gardens, near Stow-on-the-Wold will have 10 gardens open for the National Gardens Scheme on Sunday June 26 from 1.30-5pm. Combined entrance to the gardens is £5. There will be homemade teas and a flower festival to mark the Queen’s 90th birthday. Entrance to the flower festival is free but donations are requested towards the church fabric fund.

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Plant sourcing for the pros

When we’re gazing at a medal-winning garden at one of the summer’s many shows, how many of us stop and wonder where they got the plants? Every designer knows that their ideas for a garden are only as good as the plants that go in. It’s something that RHS show gardens are marked on and the sort of detail that can make or break your reputation when it comes to private clients. Yet plant sourcing is like the foundations in a house: essential but rarely thought about once the structure is finished.

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Plants from one designer’s order

In the Cotswolds, Genus Plant Sourcing has turned finding the right plant in the best condition into a thriving business. Their well-oiled machine underpins the work of garden designers, landscapers and architects across the region and beyond.

Boss Matt Coles and his number two Pippa Haines hunt down everything from tiny bulbs to huge trees and everything in between.

Shopping lists and show stars

When we meet at their base just outside Cheltenham, they have just taken delivery of plants that will eventually have a starring role at BBC Gardeners’ World Live in Birmingham.

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Geraniums are one of the many plants they source

Sumptuous ‘Bowl of Beauty’ peonies, starry astrantia, sedum, calamagrostis and cirsium are all waiting on Dutch trolleys.

They will be used by Herefordshire designer Olivia Kirk for a garden she is creating with landscaper Andrew Ball of Big Fish Landscapes in a new contest at the show this year.

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Big Fish Landscape’s BBC Gardeners’ World Live entry

Run by the Association of Professional Landscapers, it features gardens that show what can be achieved in a small space for a specific budget and will be judged as much for the construction as for the design.

Andrew, who is also Herefordshire-based, and Olivia are building a £25,000 family entertaining space with an eye-catching water wall.

Olivia, a Chelsea medal winner, is a long-time client of Genus and, like other show designers, picked out the individual plants she wanted on trips to their suppliers rather than relying on what’s sent in, vital when the condition, size and even shape can affect the marks awarded. It’s more time consuming for the Genus team but something Pippa enjoys.

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Olivia’s 2014 Fresh garden for Cheltenham charity WellChild won silver gilt

“I like working on the show gardens,” says Pippa. “It’s a challenge and I like working one-to-one.”

Each customer is given a copy of the firm’s catalogue – a list of the plants they can supply – to help them make their choices. It covers commonly seen things and some more unusual varieties and has sections for herbaceous, shrubs, climbers and even aquatic plants.

Then their ‘shopping list’ is sent out to all firm’s suppliers to see who can supply and in what quantity. It’s not uncommon for an order to be sourced at several different nurseries, especially if large numbers of a particular variety are needed.

Often, clients are sent photographs of plants, particularly large, specimen trees, to make sure it’s exactly what they want.

Sometimes, the firm will be asked by a landscaper to draw up a planting plan and find the plants.

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Box topiary waiting to be delivered

Genus Plant Sourcing deal with growers all over the country, having found them through word-of-mouth, online research or even, in the case of one grower, by spotting their van and following it back to the nursery.

Only commercial, wholesale growers are used and each has been personally vetted by the Genus team.

Some suppliers are abroad: they deal with Dutch and Italian firms, often for things like box and bay, with a lorry-load from Holland every fortnight, made up of items for several clients. This ‘group ordering’ allows designers to get just one or two things from wholesalers.

Snags and changing fashions

Once the plants are delivered – or collected by the Genus team – from their growers, they are sorted into individual orders at the Cheltenham site.

Of course, it’s not always easy to find rare plants and every few weeks the ‘snagging list’ lands on Pippa’s desk. These are plants that their regular growers can’t supply and, having checked the client is determined to have that particular variety, Pippa begins painstaking research to find the right thing.

“We always strive to find what people want,” she says. “We don’t like to have to sub plants.”

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Roses brighten up the firm’s base

One of the biggest plant sourcing job they’ve had was for a hornbeam for a London garden. It was so large it needed an artic lorry to move it and the road had to be closed to allow a crane to hoist it into position. At the other end of the scale, designers will ask for quantities of bulbs.

With garden shows acting like the catwalks of London or Paris, plant fashions soon start to influence requests to the firm with Anemone ‘Wild Swan’ and ‘Invincibelle Spirit®’ hydrangea – a pink form of the white ‘Annabelle’ – both suddenly becoming popular.

Meanwhile, hard winters a few years ago have resulted in the popularity of ceanothus and escallonia tumbling.

“Plants definitely go in fashions,” observes Pippa, adding “I can look at a list and know who it’s from. People do tend to use the same plants.”

BBC Gardeners’ World Live runs from June 16-19 at the NEC Birmingham and includes show gardens, a display of ‘beautiful borders’, a rose festival, gardeners’ advice centre and nurseries from across the country in the floral marquee.

For more information visit https://www.bbcgardenersworldlive.com/

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Product review: Fiskar Xact™ Weed Puller

Duelling with dandelions

“Over-engineered,” muttered my other half as we struggled to get the generous quantity of packaging off the Fiskar Xact™ Weed Puller.

I could see what he meant. Described as the perfect tool for ridding lawns of weeds without needing to resort to chemicals, it seemed a bit excessive for a few dandelions.

It was an impression that was reinforced by our first view: a 1m-long black pole with a sliding handle, a ‘step’ coming off at right angles and a menacing steel claw at one end. If the dandelions weren’t scared, I was.

I must admit I was dubious when approached by the company and asked if I would like to test this revolutionary weeding kit. I’m not one for gadgets and couldn’t really see how spending nearly £40 on something to weed the lawn would be worthwhile.

So, it was with a deal of scepticism that we headed out to our none too pristine lawn to put the tool to the test.

fiskar Xact weed puller

 

And were duly forced to reconsider our preconceptions.

Dandelions, thistles and even a solitary daisy all succumbed with ease – and roots intact.

The  Fiskar Xact™ Weed Puller weighs 950g and is straightforward to use: place it over a weed, push the steel claws into the ground, step on the pedal and pull gently back. Finally, slide the handle to eject the weed out of the claws. Simple.

Our only quibble was that a core of earth came up with the weed. It was easy to shake that off and plug the gap in the lawn but it did add another step to the procedure. Possibly it was caused by the wet ground and might not be a problem during a dry spell; that dry spell has yet to materialise so I’ve been unable to put that theory to the test.

Certainly it did away with all the grubbing around on the ground and trying to dig out long-rooted weeds with a knife or similar. I have yet to try it in the borders but can’t see why it wouldn’t work just as well there.

At £39.99 it isn’t affordable for all and would probably not be worthwhile if your weed problem is small. However, if getting down close to deal with weeds is difficult, or, if like me, seed drifting in from neighbouring plots is causing a dandelion deluge, this is a quick and green solution.

I was given the Fiskar Xact™ Weed Puller to test, which is designed for heavy use. There is also the Light Weed Puller, which is only 90cm long and weighs 900g. It is priced at £34.99.

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Box Open Gardens 2016

Restraint, revamping and retro

For self-confessed ‘plantaholics’ Wendy Rochefort and Andrew Dawes show remarkable restraint in their garden, part of Box Open Gardens. There are colour-themed borders, others that follow a single style of planting and the sort of sensible spacing of things that few of us achieve.

They are nearly five years into a major overhaul of what was a once-loved but neglected plot and already the difference between the ‘before’ and ‘after’ photographs is impressive.

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The hot border is already a mass of colour

Whereas they took over mainly lawn, a few overgrown borders and some trees, now it is flower-filled garden with plenty of places to sit and enjoy the countryside view.

Unlike many in Box, their site is not steeply sloping; most run either uphill or down away from the main road that runs like a spine through the pretty Cotswold village. As a result, they have had to rely on plants rather than terracing to create different areas and break up the space.

The first of these areas is the patio near the house. A rotten pergola has been replaced and the original wisteria retrained.

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Osteospermum remind them of Cornish holidays

“It was in a terrible mess,” recalls Andrew. “I kept some of the longer branches and cut and retrained it.”

The brutal treatment has obviously worked as the pergola is festooned with hanging lilac flower tresses. When these fade, Clematis ‘Mary Rose’, rescued from a pot where it was ailing, and a grape vine will take over the display.

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Scarlet Lamprocapnos spectabilis in the hot border

Below, the garden’s only major change in level is bridged with a rockery. This is an existing feature but with revamped planting: masses of osteospermum – evoking memories of the couple’s trips to Cornwall – helianthemum, the cerise Byzantine gladiolus and clumps of snow-in-summer, Cerastium tomentosum.

I remark that it is a strangely old-fashioned flower, reminiscent of the sixties, and one that I rarely see in gardens.

Wendy admits that her first instinct was to take it out “but I like the flowers and the grey foliage”. Perhaps, we wonder, it’s due for a comeback.

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Is Cerastium tomentosum due for a comeback?

Unlike many amateur gardeners, the pair planned before starting on the garden.

“We decided we wanted more flower beds,” explains Wendy, “and not just straight flower beds.”

Using pieces of plastic pipe, they laid out where new beds would go, working out the overall look before getting rid of the grass and starting to plant.

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Herbs are grown in an old wash pail

One of the main beds is the ‘hot border’, which reaches a crescendo in late summer with masses of dahlias in what Wendy describes as “clashing colours”.

In early summer, Viola ‘Avril Lawson’ is covered with masses of purple flowers and there is also Geum ‘Totally Tangerine’, Geranium ‘Patricia’ and red Salvia ‘Royal Bumble’ just beginning to flower.

Further down, the colour scheme is cool with grasses surrounding the ‘gin and tonic bench’. Cornflowers, perovskia, ammi and Dianthus carthusianorum are used to inject extra colour.

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Grasses are used to soften a path

Alongside is the blue, white and yellow bed with big drifts of Cerinthe major ‘Purpurascens’ – another plant that is coming back into fashion – polemonium, Achillea ‘Moonshine’, salvias and agapanthus.

The heart of the garden is dominated by a spring-fed pond and the ‘textures bed’ where foliage colour and shape are the main consideration. Under the shelter of an original silver pear, there is heuchera, bergenia, euphorbia, ferns and dierama, which are beginning to self-seed.

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An urn is used as a focal point in the textures bed

There are still many projects ongoing in the garden, including making a weigela hedge and terracing an area at the back. Plenty of opportunity then for more plant-buying trips.

“We can’t resist buying plants,” admits Wendy. “We come back with the car looking like a mobile greenhouse.”

 Seventeen gardens will take part in Box Open Gardens, near Minchinhampton, Gloucestershire, on Sunday June 12 from noon to 6pm. There will be a sculpture trail, cream teas, classic cars display, plants for sale and Nailsworth Silver Band. Entry is £6 with profits going to Box Village Hall and Longfield Hospice. For more details, visit Box Open Gardens

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Online plant nursery guide launches

A chance remark by Monty Don on BBC Gardeners’ World has led to a project to support independent nurseries and the launch this month of an UK-wide online plant nursery guide.

There was dismay when Monty said that garden centres would be shut on Easter Day without mentioning that small nurseries were allowed to open under Sunday trading rules.

online plant nursery guide

It sparked a debate about how to best support these small growers and led to the idea of an online guide giving opening times, contact details and an idea of the nursery’s range. The website will also offer the chance for plants men and women to write about their business.

“Often we hear it is hard for nurseries to find affordable advertising space,” say the organisers, “and that people who want to support the British horticultural industry often find it hard to find nurseries.

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Tortworth Plants

“Hopefully this site will help to begin to solve both those issues while also giving our industry a boost through good media support.”

The online plant nursery guide, which launched last week, is still in its infancy and new suggestions of firms are being added as they come in. However, it already lists nearly 200 growers and received more than 2,000 hits in the first day.

It’s divided into areas, such as the Channel Islands and Northern Ireland, then regions, and then further sub-divided into counties. The Cotswolds has several nurseries listed, including Tortworth Plants, Pan Global Plants, Farmcote Herbs and Chilli Peppers, Dundry Nurseries, Miserden Nursery and Hoo House.

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Harrell’s Hardy Plants

Specialists include Spinneywell for box, Shady Plants and The Lavender Garden.

Among those on the fringes of the Cotswolds are Harrell’s Hardy Plants in Evesham, penstemon specialists Green Jjam Plants and Gardens, and Bob Brown’s well-known Cotswold Garden Flowers.

There is also a section for those nurseries who deal with customers via mail order only, although several of those who open will also send plants to gardeners who cannot visit.

Organisers are open to ideas of independent plant nurseries to include and should be contacted via the website.

The online plant nursery guide is available here: http://independentplantnurseriesguide.uk/

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