jplot News


Garden open for charity

We had a beautiful day for the open garden last week and raised £800 for charity!

Woodland sculpture

Our visitors seemed to enjoy the garden and of course the glorious weather (and fabulous home made cakes baked by my generous friends!)

The oak sculpture was carved during the winter by James from The Forest Workshop – I stuck parcel tape around the trunk and brought in a man with  a chainsaw…

Of particular interest were the Cornus kousa chinensis with its sparkling white bracts and the Kalmia latifolia iced-gem flowers.

Cornus bracts

Kalmia latifolia sugar pink flowers

The area around the pond is late this year so many of the flowers are still to open but it still set a peaceful scene with the trickle of water from the small waterfall.  I probably have too much Alchemilla planted but it seeds itself around so generously…

Pondside planting

Geranium Patricia gave a splash of colour in the shade under the oaks with the bright white edge of Hosta Patriot.

Under the oaks

Plant of the year last year at Chelsea was Anemone White Swan – pictured below in semi-shade beside a new Forest Pansy and some pretty violas.

Anemone White swan

Much of the cottage border was still in bud but the Diascias, Viola Martin and Salvia Caradonna were lovely.  The white daisies are just a bedding pot of Marguerites from Longacres but they will flower all summer.

Cottage border

Cottage border from the other end!

The veg garden was much admired – broad beans, lettuce and beetroot etc in abundance and tomatoes, chillies and lemon grass in the greenhouse.

Veg plot

We had fabulous help from friends and neighbours and the dog!

Three men and a dog

…and the cakes…did I mention the cakes?


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Bridal flowers

Exochorda macrantha 'The Bride'

Kate 'The bride"

Tulips grown with love

Sold as Tulip 'Angelique'

When I heard Kate and Tom were to be married in May 2013 I planted 10 pots of 12 late double tulips in October and kept them tucked away under the hedge to keep them cool and sheltered.

Pots in the shade

Two weeks ago, I brought them out into the sunshine and worried that the mini heatwave would spoil them – but they were perfect – except they weren’t what I ordered!!!  I had ordered ‘Angelique’ which is a pale pink double flower (sometimes called a Paoeny flowered tulip) and these are certainly not pale pink.

Tulip 'Angelique'

It didn’t matter but I am curious what this variety is.
The Camassias were looking lovely too and matched the bridesmaids dresses.

Pretty maids all in a row

Kate’s bouquet was a delightful mix of whites and blues – with sprigs of Rosemary for faithfulness. Victorian brides would plant cuttings of rosemary from their bouquets to give to their own daughters…I shall have to try to take a cutting!  White roses symbolise purity and Bluebells, everlasting love.

Bridal bouquet

The barn where Kate and Tom were married was decorated with a charming mix of blooms and sprigs in assorted bottles and jam jars decorated with lace and twine.

Jam Jars and bottles

The happy couple

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So good to see Spring at last!

Planting daffs in lawn in October

A host of golden daffodils in March and April

I had planted these February Gold daffodils in  the hope they would be open for my big birthday at the end of February – they didnt make it!

What a long cold winter we had – but cheer up, Spring is definitely here now!

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Sunburst in the woodland

A dog walk in Windsor Great Park last weekend rewarded me with this delight – massed yellow and orange witch hazels in full flower.

Hamamelis x intermedia 'Sunburst'

Witch hazel or Hamamelis remind the gardener that spring is on the way with their delightful habit of flowering on bare wood when nothing much else is going on in the garden.   They are great edge of woodland shrubs in this local area and some varieties have a light spicy fragrance.

  • Position: Full sun or light, dappled shade.
  • Soil: Well drained, fertile soil. Hamamelisintermedia ‘Sunburst’ dislikes shallow, chalk soil and will not grow well in wet or waterlogged conditions.
  • Hardiness: Hardy. As a young plant, Hamamelisintermedia ‘Sunburst’ may require protection from severe, late spring frosts once the young leaves have emerged in spring.
  • Flowering Period: January – March.
  • Flower Colour: Golden-yellow
  • Rate of Growth: Moderate.
  • Habit: Hamamelisintermedia ‘Sunburst’ grows to be a large branching vase-shaped shrub.
    • Height: 4 m (13 ft).
    • Spread: 2.5 – 3 m (8 – 10 ft).
  • Notes: In soils which may become wet in winter, it is a good idea to mound-plant Hamamelis to improve the drainage around the root system.
H. Sunburst

H. Sunburst

H x intermedia 'Georges'

H x intermedia 'Georges'

The three best RHS recommended varieties are

H. × intermedia ‘Diane’ AGM: The finest red flowered witch hazel. It has a long flowering period throughout midwinter and is lightly scented. Height 2.5m (8ft). Spread 3m (10ft).
H. × intermedia ‘Jelena’ AGM: One of the best cultivars, unscented coppery orange flowers appear in early to mid-winter. Height 4m (13ft). Spread 4m (13ft).
H. × intermedia ‘Pallida’ AGM: Thought to be the best sulphur-yellow cultivar for garden use. Height 3m (10ft). Spread 4m (13ft).

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Snow starfish!

Snow covered evergreen fern

I took a break from clearing the drive from our massive snow fall and found this strange creature in the wood…my snow starfish!  Well, it amused me!

I noticed how, despite the low light and heavy snowfall, the clipped shapes really contribute to the winter garden.

Clipped holly

Clipped holly

The boring laurel hedge which normally hides the bonfire pile in the corner and the simple bench provided a solid structural presence and architectural focal point.

Clipped laurel screen

Clipped laurel screen

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