Journal

Thoughts from the potting shed, seasonal observations, planting journal, kitchen garden recipes, hints, tips, suggestions, discoveries and general ramblings from a Devon garden.

The Petasites

Posted by on Jan 26, 2016 in Journal, Plants that should be better known! | 0 comments

The Petasites

  The Petasites Okay, so let’s be honest, these plants are not for the faint hearted, they are big, and we’re talking really big. Not in the Gunnera definition of the word, but big nonetheless and comparably prehistoric too! Not suitable for the small garden, they are however, extremely impressive when contained and nurtured properly, perfect for a waste piece of ground where nothing else will grow, even thick solid clay can’t contain their strong spreading rhizomatous roots. From the fairly innocuous P.fragrans which at 12” tall is the...

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The Symphytums (Comfreys)

Posted by on Jan 26, 2016 in Journal, Plant of the Month, Plants that should be better known! | 0 comments

The Symphytums (Comfreys)

The Comfreys; sounds rather like the name of a country manor from an Agatha Christie novel doesn’t it? However, these invaluable but sometimes invasive groundcover plants are often overlooked for more showier ground coverers. Suitable for any shady position and thriving on moister clay soils they’re worth their collective weight in gold covering ground that other plants would turn their noses at and providing a long season of delicate flowers ranging from pure white, through gentle blue to pink and yellow. Although many varieties are...

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“Open all flowers” West country Weather article

Posted by on Oct 15, 2015 in Journal, Press | 0 comments

Last July, we were delighted to welcome the crew from ITV West Country weather to the garden to film a short documentary about opening for the National Gardens Scheme (NGS).Not only were the crew a wonderful couple of chaps, there was also no doubt that following the airing of the piece on TV, the number of visitors that came to the garden that weekend increased substantially. It just goes to show that all publicity is good publicity, particularly when it means that charitable organisations like the NGS and the charities it supports such as...

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True inspiration – Lewis Cottage Garden

Posted by on Sep 7, 2015 in Journal, Press | 0 comments

True Inspiration: Lewis Cottage Garden     A garden visit with a difference this weekend.. I haven’t made nearly enough of the National Gardens Scheme (NGS) this year. And that must change. Stately piles and the larger set piece gardens are spectacular and will always be a must see. But what if we also want to see just how much can be achieved with the resources and budget that us mere mortals have to play with? Then it’s the collection of (mostly) private gardens contained within the ‘Yellow Book’ to which we should turn. Lewis...

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Lewis Cottage from the air

Posted by on Jan 2, 2015 in Journal | 0 comments

Lewis Cottage from the air

Thumbing through a pile of plant & seed catalogues over Christmas I came across these two images of the garden taken from the air last year just before the first NGS opening . It gives a unique and rare view of the garden and cottage, particularly the top water meadow which we use as a parking area for visitors. This year however, we’ve decided to create a perennial meadow after friends donated hundreds of wild plants they had grown from seed. We are adopting a very natural approach to the planting using only native and local...

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Gardening against the odds awards 2015

Posted by on Jan 2, 2015 in About Us, Journal, Press | 0 comments

Gardening against the odds awards 2015

We are delighted to announce that Michael has been selected as one of 16 finalists for this year’s Gardening Against the Odds Awards, the winner of which will be announced at a reception to be held at Syon House in April. It is a huge tribute to Michael and the other 15 finalists to be honoured in this way and to be recognised for gardening against the odds that life has thrown at them whether that be issues of health or social isolation, geographical challenges or gardening in parts of the world torn apart by war. Thanks to everyone...

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Pricking out Primulas – A Marathon tale

Posted by on Jul 22, 2014 in About Us, Journal | 0 comments

Pricking out Primulas – A Marathon tale

Over the years I have collected seed from any plant in the garden in the hope that I can grow vast quantities for planting out the following year. Of all the plants that I’ve tried to grow from seed two have remained obstinately unsuccessful, Astrantias and Primulas. Both of these amazing and very useful plants produce huge quantities of seed every year and every year I have collected the seed and tried with zero success to propagate them – until NOW!! After a tip from Carol Klein on the difficulties of gardening on heavy clay...

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Saturday Telegraph – 7th June 2014

Posted by on Jun 23, 2014 in About Us, Journal, Press | 0 comments

Saturday Telegraph – 7th June 2014

It was with great delight and surprise that a dear friend called and told us that we’d had a mention in the Gardening section of the Saturday Telegraph. Coming on the weekend of the Garden Festival it was timely indeed!Thanks to whoever recommended us and thanks also to everyone who came to the garden that weekend. A great time was had by all and much appreciated funds raised for the charities that the NGS support....

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