T H E – F O W N H O P E – L I F E – P L O T \ Fruit’s of thy labour….we hope!

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The first month of the new season is here but it’s not too late to plant bare root fruit tree’s and bushes during the beginning of March. Here is what I’ll be growing for the first time this year:

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T H E – F O W N H O P E – L I F E – P L O T \ The 5 P’s & Your Seeds.

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We’ve all made them and some of you may have already broken those new year resolutions…go on, admit it, I know I have! However one new year resolution of mine is to be better prepared and organised in my garden for the coming year and there is no better time to tackle this than January.

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So here we are…

April 2016 and Spring is steadily trotting along, soon to be in full gallop. I’m not a betting person to be honest but with it being the Grand National this weekend I’d thought I’d give it a nod and slip in a gardening pun to start!

Hard to believe that this time last year I was counting down the hours until the RHS Malvern Spring Festival Show Garden Build was to begin. Instead this year, with my press day ticket at the ready, I shall be a mere spectator. Continue reading

The Weir Garden, Swainshill, Hereford 30/10/15

With Autumn now in full swing and the end of this year fast approaching, Mum and I decided to sneak in another trip to one of the National Trusts gardens; The Weir Garden in Herefordshire.

Created in the 1920’s by Roger Parr the south facing garden covers 10 acres which allows for a wide variety of plants and, combined with the riverside, attracts a wide variety of wildlife as well as boasting beautiful views across the River Wye and unspoilt Herefordshire countryside.  Parr left the estate to the National Trust in 1959.

The name ‘The Weir Garden’ is somewhat deceiving as there is no longer a weir present at all, although it is believed one had existed a mere half a mile down stream supposed to hold back the river to create a suitable and popular fishing area. However an Act of Parliament in 1696 did away with all weirs along the River Wye to allow it to become freely navigable to one and all.

 

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Common Spindle

Perfect for bringing excitement to any Autumn /Winter border is the common spindle with its incredible fuchsia pink seed pods which open to reveal deep orange seeds inside. Will grow in sun or partial shade in any well-drained soil. Particularly found naturally growing in woodlands and hedgerows. 

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The great concrete wall along the river was built in 1929 by Parr as a defence against erosion, creating a grand walkway with a fabulous view over the river. A little further downstream Parr also built a large concrete enforced boathouse which stands as one of the few to this day which remains along the River Wye.

Despite November but only a day or so away there was still plenty for the eye to behold; from old seed heads still standing tall, the majestic weeping willow over the river and many grand old trees burning with autumn colour the most wonderful and marvellous to see were the huge box and yew topiary balls dotted about randomly. For the main part the garden is a fairly steep slope which I discovered in Project 3 is not the easiest thing to design on. These great Buxus and Taxus baccata topiary balls instantly and easily create a beautifully surreal landscape.

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Slightly away from the main garden is a delightful walled garden which is thought to have been created sometime between 1867 and 1887 where it appears for the first time on a Ordnance Survey. The glasshouses seen today were built by well known glasshouse manufactures Foster and Pearson during the 1920’s.

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The cutting border, although undoubtedly past its peek, was still bursting with colour and fabulous happy flowers such a Coreopsis, Dahlia’s and Verbena bonariensis. At the end of this gorgeous border was any gardeners winter haven, and the envy of my mother, a potting shed full of all the essential tools and pots.

Back outside at the foot of the wide vegetable beds, full of fantastically bright rainbow chard, was an ever popular increasing sight of a huge bug hotel with a very thoughtfully placed instruction board. Bug hotels are so easy to create and incredibly rewarding. Wildlife is essential to a living garden and it takes merely a few steps to embrace it and give those creepy crawlies a little helping hand.

All in all Mum and I had the most pleasant of days visiting The Weir Garden. It isn’t the largest National Trust sight by far but well worth the journey over to enjoy and peruse through its wonderfully tranquil grounds.

 

For more information on The Weir Garden click below:

The Weir National Trust Visitor Information

 

How to build a show garden in 9 DAYS!! AND win Silver!

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“She’s mad!!” I hear you cry…and you could be right, but that’s neither here nor there.


The RHS Malvern build has kicked off brilliantly and we are now reaching the end of week 2 of construction. There have been highs and lows and ‘tearing your hair out moments’ just as my fabulous mentor Caroline Tatham said there would be. It has been an amazing experience though and I feel so honoured to be undertaking the build in support of Marie Curie Cancer Care because life is the most precious thing there ever was and you must grasp it and squeeze every last drop out of it.

 

“So what’s this building a show garden in 9 days business then if you’ve had 2 weeks already?”. Believe me, I wish I could be at the build every day but unfortunately I still have to pay my rent and neither of my part time jobs were about to allow me to take a month off…that’s just unheard of in retail!

 

Now admittedly I may be jumping the gun as I’ve still potentially 3-4 days of the build left and it could all go tits up but we won’t dwell on that… mainly because I’m too laid back to know how to! Anyway, join me as I run through my 9 day build and watch Let’s Get You Home in support of Marie Curie Cancer Care, designed by me, appear before your very eyes!

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BIG NEWS! Get ready RHS Malvern Spring Festival’15!

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So….does anyone know how to build a show garden, because I need to build one for the RHS in May?!

I am so excited as yesterday I found out my redesign for a Festival Garden for the RHS was approved!

My initial design, pictured in my previous post, didn’t make it but the judges loved my concept and gave me the option to resubmit a new design. Well I had nothing to lose and at least more feedback from the RHS yet again to gain.

However I was informed yesterday I had successfully addressed the judges issues with my original design, which I had completely agreed with. My original design was too literal to my concept, too bleak.

Within 2 weeks I managed to come up with a new design and rough planting plan I felt far more confident in and apparently the judges did too.