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The Gardening Coach

Catharine Howard is the Gardening Coach. Contact her for gardening advice and visit www.thegardeningcoach.co.uk for more information.

August 14, 2014 | More of these wild and woolly gardens

It is really a write-on from my post of August 7th about the serendipity of visiting two gardens back to back that are in wild contrast.  I just love it when this happens as it is food for thought about what appeals and what style or mood we might want to cultivate in our own garden.  So here is Villa Cetinale, seat of the Lambton family.  Clipped and manicured:

with an axis that runs from a Hermitage perched up on the hill, right through the house to a statue of Hercules at the bottom.

Continue reading More of these wild and woolly gardens

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August 13, 2014 | Aspirational corner: things that I want but have no space for mark 2

A maze

to get lost in.  This one is at Glendurgan Garden in Cornwall.  Oh, and I will have those tree ferns too.

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August 12, 2014 | Black List: Good old Ophiopogon gets a little jazzy

or even snazzy.  Ophiopogon planiscapus ‘nigrescens’ looks great in paving gaps.  Thrown into the limelight by the mullein skeletons.

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August 10, 2014 | A Bad Day in the garden

The hurricane is here.  It  has knocked down the bean tipi, smitten the amaranthus which are flaying their beards all over the place.  Time to retreat to the greenhouse.  No solace in there.

The tomato plants  have gone crazy and limbered all over the cucumbers.  I could hardly get through the door.  The cucumbers in turn have aborted their fruits.  I looked out of the windows to see  the neighbour’s fruit cage has an artillery of blackberries about to spit all over our garden.  And last of all, the bindweed has come into luminous flower.

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August 7, 2014 | Garden visits - the wild and woolly way

A couple of times a year, I put together a list of gardens and a bunch of us pile into a mini-bus and drive off to visit them.  Planning blind,  the aim is to visit two back to back for contrast in a day.  And when we get the contast, it is beautiful.  Take this day in Umbria, a month or two back.

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August 5, 2014 | That orange hunch was right

- just look at this:

I can’t tell you were saw this or I will get my arms chewed off.  It’s just enough to say that Pascal Cribier was involved in the planting and the garden is remorselessly orange.

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August 4, 2014 | Go away at your peril

in the summer and you will return to rampaging jungle syndrome.  I had just got it under control – the garden, that is.  Breathed a sigh of relief at the fair degree of man over nature, and went away for 6 days.  Big mistake.  Brambles and nettles have gone into overdrive.

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July 31, 2014 | Shimmering border at Pensthorpe

Or Oudolf does it again.  Digitalis ferruginea and echinacea.  There was a time, way back in the blurred mist of yesteryear, when the flower borders were losing it for colour and interest  by now.   These two will go on and on.  A brilliant co-planting. 

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July 28, 2014 | How to bud a rose

Well why would you?  Its quite simple – roses can be grown by taking cuttings but to graft a bud onto the rootstock of Rosa Laxa means that vigour and sturdiness is engendered in the new rose plants.    And as to can I be bothered?  - what could be more exciting than rescuing a rare old lovely that is about to peg it under the developers’ digger bucket.

The steps are so straightforward.  First send for your rootstocks at the end of winter and get them in to well prepared ground.  Step two come the high summer  is to select the bud wood of the roses you wish to grow on and multiply.

I have just spent a week with Eddie Krutysza at Hattons Farm Nurseries in Norfolk.  More of this another post away but here he is selecting the budding material.

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July 24, 2014 | Am I mad to go orange?

I just think enough customers have said “no yellow and definitely no orange” to spin my my mind.  I have spent this week in Norfolk in a rose field and with plenty of time, in the heat, to rethink my Pantone schemes.

Here is Alfresco:  I am in love with this rose and plan to plant it up my red brick wall along with runner beans and blue clematis. The red stamens are captivating.

Continue reading Am I mad to go orange?

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