Journal

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

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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Plant of the Month – May – Phlomis Russeliana

Posted by on Jun 23, 2014 in Journal, Plant of the Month, Plants that should be better known! | 0 comments

Plant of the Month – May – Phlomis Russeliana

One of my personal favourites and in my view a much underrated and underused plant, Phlomis Russeliana , is  bone-hardy with stout stems bearing tiered whorls of hooded, butter yellow flowers in summer, above rough heart-shaped basal leaves.Hailing from Syria it is a valuable and easy plant that thrives in almost any soil. We have it planted in dense shade right through to full sun and it thrives all over!Rich buttery yellow flowers appear in June-Aug but is in its element as soon as the mature plant sends up it flower spikes in May. Grey...

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Art class visit to Lewis Cottage 15th June 2014

Posted by on Jun 17, 2014 in About Us, Journal | 0 comments

Art class visit to Lewis Cottage 15th June 2014

It was a huge pleasure to welcome a group of artists to the garden at the weekend. With easels in hand and a variety of mediums to work with, they set about interpreting the garden and cottage in their own individual styles.Some sketched, some painted in broad strokes and others used pastels to capture the detail of an individual flower. A delightfully peaceful and fun afternoon spent in glorious sunshine on a perfect summer’s day. If you have a group that would like to visit the garden do feel welcome to contact us to arrange a visit...

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Camassia cricket pitch

Posted by on Jun 17, 2014 in About Us, Journal | 0 comments

Camassia cricket pitch

Last year we planted  1000 Camassia quamash bulbs in the top paddock to form a sea of blue during early summer. As we measured out the space we realised that, quite by accident it was the size of a cricket pitch! As May turned into June it seems that every single one of the 1000 bulbs has flowered and we do indeed have the sea of blue that we wanted. One of our visitors earlier this month commented on the wonderful inverted cricket pitch on the top lawn. Wondering what she meant, we realised that indeed rather than a cricket pitch mowed to...

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Plant of the month – June – Polemonium Paucifolium

Posted by on Jun 17, 2014 in About Us, Journal, Plant of the Month | 0 comments

Plant of the month – June – Polemonium Paucifolium

This is a delightful Yellow form of the ever popular Jacob’s ladder.Long peachy trumpets with flared yellow ends and deep pink marking on the back, adorn this delightful, compact, front of border plant which has finely cut silvery-green leaved foliage, and which flowers prolifically in its first year from sowing.In mild areas it will survive as a tender perennial, but as it seeds prolifically don’t worry if you lose the parent plant, its most likely that you’ll have a carpet of it the following year. In flower now, it is a...

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