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October 2012

September 2012

Seedy Penpals, - my first parcel

I've written before, about my seed addiction. How I love growing things on in my greenhouse, and seeing how they turn out (or don't) as plants.

So when I found out via Twitter about #Seedypenpals - A scheme to partner up complete strangers in different parts of the UK, - and get them to introduce themselves and send on an appropriate pack of seeds, I jumped at the chance.

I sent my pack of seeds on to Bethan - who is a beginner gardener and starting to organise a community garden at her London University. - I was not at all organised, so can't tell you what I sent, as I didn't make a list, - but it was salads and veg to get them started.

Then when I got back from Holiday, - I had a lovely pack from my Seedypenpal Jen, -

Seedypenpals parcel sep12-1

Continue reading "Seedy Penpals, - my first parcel" »

Border planting - garden border, or large container planting?

I often get called into a garden when my clients are part way through a project. Sometimes, they are stuck with what to do next. - This was the case earlier in the year, when I was asked to devise a border plan for a great decking project.

Slater prairie style-1

In creating a fantastic open space that came out from the patio doors, they had also fashioned a large drop into the rest of the garden. They needed a planting plan that ensured their shy but energetic toddler could be seen in all the garden, and wasn't tempted to launch herself off the edge of the decking onto the lawn.

Continue reading "Border planting - garden border, or large container planting?" »

Sandy soil plants - some flowering summer suggestions for really difficult places

It''s nearly back to school/work time. This time tomorrow i'll be running round in a blue funk trying to get out the door, - but today i'm going to show you the evidence that if you find the right plant they will survive and thrive even in the hardest places.

Sandy Soil is very free draining, and comparitively to loam or clay has big particles of dirt. - This means that it holds very few nutrients and isn't stable for plants to grow large in, but we've just come back from France and where our holiday home is, just back from the sandy beaches of Normandy, some plants have taken on the challenge of growing with little water and nutrition with applomb.Coastal estuary walkway-1
This is a seaside footpath that borders our coastal river estuary. Just to show you how close to the sea these plants are, - that boat is currently floating at high tide, but when the tide goes down, it will be beached on sand. The land behind it is a sand dune, - the other side of that (about 20metres beyond it at high tide) is the sea.

Despite these hostile soil conditions, some plants look fantastic, and are flowering their socks off

Rosa Glauca Rosaglaucaonsand-2Tamarix Pentandra Tamarix Pentrandra-3


Lots of Buddleyas Buddleya Daviddii on sand-4
And in the gardens along the coastal hedges of Cotoneaster, Pittosporum Tobira, Eleagnus and Escallonia are these beauties - Hollyhocks, Abelia Grandiflora and Hibiscus.

Sandysoilhollyhock hibiscus abelia-5

I love getting planting inspiration from these real life situations, which mean that I can smile when people tell me that "nothing grows here", and know that even in the hardest soil, there is something that will flower and light up the border.