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Tag Archives: Garden Design

  • The Winter Garden

    January need not be dreary with the availability of so many plants to give colour, form or flower in the winter months.

    There is a lovely cherry tree that flowers on and off during mild spells from November to March called the autumn cherry or Prunus subhirtella Autumnalis, it has small white flowers flecked with pink and there is a variety 'Rosea' which has pink flowers. Both have good autumn colour too.

    Evergreen shrubs Viburnum tinus Eve Price and Skimmia both show pink buds throughout winter and have white flowers in spring. Viburnum tinus Eve Price can be grown as a shrub or as a topiary half standard - great for outside a doorway or as a centre piece in a formal garden. Skimmia Rubella prefers a shady site, it will also look good in a container.

    Conifers - particularly dwarf conifers can add colour and form to a winter garden and contrast beautifully with some evergreen shrubs. Choose a blue needled conifer such as Picea pungens glauca globosa to contrast with red leaves such as Leucothoe Zeblid. Dark green conifers contrast well with burgundy foliage such as Pittosporum Tom Thumb. In hedges beech keeps it's rusty brown leaves to great effect throughout winter, evergreen variegated plants such as holly offer a stunning contrast.

    Hamamelis and Sarcococca are among the flowering shrubs looking good now that have fragrant flowers.

    Winter doesn't have to be bleak, choose wisely and a garden can give alot of pleasure during the dreariest of months - even just from inside looking out !

  • Special Offer on half standard topiary

    10% off all half standard topiary this summer*

    Whether you want to smarten up the front door with two beautiful plants either side, create a formal herb garden or just enjoy some beautiful trained trees, we have some great quality half standard trees in the nursery.

    Topiary plants Half standard Topiary

    There are many evergreen options including Prunus lusitanica (Portugal laurel) which clips beautifully and is shade tolerant. Laurus nobilis (bay) which prefers a sunny well drained site - the fragrant leaves can be dried and used in cooking!

    Holly is a useful specimen to keep in containers as it is slow growing -  Ilex argentea marginata - variegated holly really brightens up a front garden particularly in winter; Ilex Nellie Stevens is shade tolerant and has lots of red berries! Photinia Red Robin makes a great specimen in a sunny site with bright red new foliage in spring.

    For something more unusual the small variety of Scots pine -  Pinus sylvestris Nana Watereri makes a stunning half standard and will cope with windy sites.

    Liquidambar Gumball, Arbutus unedo (strawberry tree) and Elaeagnus ebbingei (silverberry) are other unusual half standards in the nursery - come and see...

    Dward Scots Pine topiary Pinus topiary


    *offer available in the nursery ends 31st July 2019

  • Cornus Venus

    Fabulous Specimen Tree Cornus Venus in flower

    Cornus is a wide genus of a variety of trees and shrubs. The flowering dogwoods are reknowned for their large bracts around small pin like flowers, giving the appearance of a mass of large petalled flowers.

    Venus is a particularly lovely variety the green white bracts getting larger through May and June to culminate with a dusting of pink on bright white 'flowers'.

    They grow best in moist but well drained humus rich fertile soil (which can be chalk, loam, sand or clay) and in a sunny or partially shady site.

    They could take centre stage in a small or large garden. Mature trees also have red fruits, and they can also show good autumn colour.

    Ultimate size can be 4-8m high and 2.5 - 4m wide.

  • New Specimen Trees and Shrubs


    Multi-stem Birch Multi-stem Himalayan Birch

    Are you looking for something special for your garden?

    A semi-mature specimen tree or shrub? A plant for screening or topiary for style?

    We have new stock in the nursery now:

    For screening we have a large range of evergreen shrubs from 60cm tall to 3m including Photinia Red Robin, Laurels and fast growing conifers:

    We also have 4-4.5m Eucalyptus and standard Ligustrum japonicum for above fence height evergreen screening. Do ask for advice regarding ultimate height of trees for your requirements. For screening at lower levels we have smart ready planted troughs of Photinia Red Robin:

    New topiary in to stock include Taxus (yew) cones, balls, pyramids and spirals; Euonymus Bravo balls, half standard Pines and half standard Viburnum tinus Eve Price:

    We have a range of Espaliers 1m wide by 2m high - ideal for making secluded seating areas and division in the garden - species include the fragrant Star Jasmine - Trachelospermum jasminoides which flowers in July - pair this with Ceanothus shrubs with blue flowers in May for successional spring and summer interest:

    Ceanothus shrubs Star Jasmine & Ceanothus

    There are many more beautiful specimens in stock - do visit us!

  • Fabulous autumn colour!

    Foliage colour is one of the highlights of autumn, this year has been one of the best due to the long hot summer and as yet we haven't had the gales to blow the leaves off the trees...

    Whatever size garden - or patio - you have there is a tree that has beautiful autumn colour for you - from the smallest ornamental cherry to the largest oaks.

    Prunus Kojo-no-mai is a small ornamental cherry showing good colour now, it is suitable for a container on a patio and reaches approximately 2m high. In contrast, the wild cherry Prunus avium can grace a woodland clearing or parkland and reach up to 20m.

    In between, for small to medium gardens  - varieties such as Prunus Okame, Prunus Pandora, Prunus Kanzan and Prunus sargentii all have good autumn colour. Prunus Royal Burgundy has deep burgundy foliage in summer which turns bright red in autumn.

    Oaks such as the pin oak Quercus palustris, red oak Quercus rubra, and scarlet oak Quercus coccinea are stunning large trees for autumn colour.

    Many Sorbus (Rowan) trees show great autumn foliage including the yellow berried variety of Sorbus aucuparia - Joseph Rock, upright when young this is a hardy tree for a small garden.

    One of the best trees for autumn colour is Liquidambar styraciflua and its cultivars, including Liquidambar Worplesdon which shows consistently good colour. Liquidambar has a maple shape leaf and the tree is also prunable so we also supply it as a stunning espalier 2m high and 1m wide.

    Less well known is Nyssa sylvatica the Tupelo tree, a large specimen used to great effect in public gardens such as Sheffield Park here in Sussex. Parrotia persica, the Persian Ironwood is another unusual stunning large tree the leaves show an almost rainbow foliage effect in autumn.

    And of course there are many Japanese Maples - Acer palmatum varieties to choose from with a range of red, orange and yellow autumn colour.

    Enjoy the autumn colour this year and do come and visit if you are inspired to plant!

  • See us at FutureScape

    If you are are going to FutureScape today look us up on stand 153 -

    "The UK's number 1 landscaping trade event. Don't miss your chance to network with the biggest names in landscaping, garden design, the grounds maintenance market and more."

    And well done to Jess for setting up the stand yesterday !

    English Woodlands English Woodlands


  • Hydrangeas

    July is closing out, so there’s no better time than to take a look at a few species with standout summer interest. Hydrangea is a genus made up of around 70 deciduous, flowering plants, originally native to Eastern and Southern Asia. With persistent summer flowers, they’re often couple with popular spring flowerers (such as Rhododendrons) to create long-term interest in the garden.

    Hydrangea head 1

    They make for fabulous flower arrangements, with a variety of colours to mix and match (and the heads can make brilliant home-grown decorations!), so today we’re going to briefly take you through some of the species brightening up our nursery this summer.

    Hydrangea macrophylla

    An amazing standby. With the potential for large pink, blue, or white flowers (depending on soil type and availability) arriving during late July and August. At the ultimate height of 2 metres they’re stunning additions, visit the link above to see more images proving the point.

    Hydrangea petiolaris

    As a climber, Petiolaris stands out from the rest of the Hydrangea crowd with aerial roots and twining shoots. Initially slow growing, this unusual yet expansive shrub can eventually cover the entire side of your house! Provide a preferably cool site with partial shade, and you’ll be treated to an immense display of fragrant, white flowers from June to July.

    Hydrangea Vanilla Fraise

    One of our most popular plants last year, and deserving of every drop of attention received. You’ll be treated to large, creamy, conical white flower heads during late summer, aging to deep, raspberry pink once autumn rolls around. Fully hardy and fairly fast growing, you can expect to see this popular choice reaching approximately 2 metres in height, given a sheltered site with sun or light shade.

    Whatever you do, don’t overlook Hydrangeas this summer. When other flowerers are coming down from their peak, these specimens offer an exhilarating long-term display, excellent for prolonging seasonal interest in the garden as late as autumn.

  • Plants for a Mediterranean Garden - Introduction

    The Mediterranean features a beautifully diverse range of flora, but there’s absolutely no reason for it to remain over there. Many Mediterranean plants have made the leap to English gardens, creating subtle exotic interests to extremely great effect.

    olive trees

    Whether you’re looking to structure your entire garden after a geographical theme, or just looking to inject a little Mediterranean flair, you can’t go wrong with any of the following, as long as they’re provided with a sunny site and well-drained soil.

    Olives and Figs (Olea europa and Ficus carica) are excellent choices, adding distinctive Mediterranean flair. Of course, few species feel more naturally Mediterranean than palms, and the Chusan palm (Trachycarpus fortunei) and the Fan palm (Chamaerops humilis) provide a unique aesthetic and atmosphere. Though we would be neglectful not to quickly mention Cupressus sempervirens, the Italian cypress. This narrow, columnar evergreen features dark, dense foliage, and works especially well as an architectural or coastal plant.

    Alternatively, Vitis vinifera is a common vine perfect for ornamentation, particularly with the delicious autumn grapes for eating and processing. Aromatics also provide scent, flower, and attract the bees. We particularly recommend Lavender and Rosemary (Lavandula and Rosmarinus).

    In addition to these, a number of classic topiaries contribute Mediterranean charm, particularly Laurus nobilis, Prunus lusitanica (Portuguese laurel) and Buxus sempervirens. We’ve got a post covering some of these options, or you can head straight on over to our full topiary range. They’re perfect for planting in borders around patios, pools, gravel gardens or seating. Just add sun and you’re good to go!

  • Make the Most of Summer – Thinning Apples, Pears and Plums

    June is just closing out, which means it’s time to start thinking about fruit thinning. Nature does part of the work for you, with fruit naturally falling to the ground as part of the ‘June drop’. Nonetheless, it’s important to get involved yourself.

    apple trees

    Thinning your fruit helps immature trees conserve energy, allowing them to expend it on developing roots, foliage and branches, creating a better infrastructure to harvest from in later years. This even carries over to mature trees. If a specimen expends too much energy on this year’s crop, there may be little to harvest upon the following year.

    This process benefits the remaining fruits, able to develop to a good size, with sunlight and oxygen easily penetrating branches to help even ripening of fruit and reduce disease. Similarly to how you wouldn’t plant grass near an immature tree, avoiding competition over resources aids the establishment of a productive garden.

    For Apples and Pears, you’ll want to start by removing fruit with an odd shape, position, or blemishes. Keep an eye out for the ‘king pin’, the apple at the centre of the cluster which will often meet these criteria and need removing. On newer trees, try to retain no more than 6 apples per three years of age. For older trees, try and keep one or two dessert apples per cluster, around 10-15cm apart. For cooking apples cut this down to one per cluster, 15 to 25cm apart. They can be removed using secateurs and scissors, or simply twisted off by hand.

    Plums have a habit of over cropping, so you’ll want to keep particularly aware of the above risks. Fortunately, they’re easy to thin out. Leave one pair every 15cm, and gently remove the rest with your thumb and forefinger to provide more than enough room to thrive and ripen.

    If your fruit have already dropped it’s time to get started, and you should ideally have finished thinning by mid-July. If you have any questions or queries don’t hesitate to contact us, and we’ll have someone on hand more than happy to help you with orders and advice.

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