Author: Richard

When shelter becomes shade

Tucked into a little valley on the Western edge of the New Forest our garden is sheltered from all but the East wind and that can be a plant killer. 20 years ago we planted a long row of mixed deciduous but early leafing trees to block the biting easterlies. Thanks to a surplus of hedging whips at work we also planted, a few years later a somewhat random hedge running East West to further protect an area of Spring meadow and Orchard beyond. Although slow to establish on our clay soil, once trees get settled in they grow...

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My Garden Right NOW

The Western edge of the New Forest is wet at this time of year. My soil is clay on top of solid clay and so once the earth has reached saturation level the run off is alarming…it certainly was yesterday. We had the heaviest rain for almost a year and it just ran off our place like water off a plastic sheet. Not all on the surface though, much of the run-off found it’s way into mole runs and disappeared from who knows where and popped up in the most inconvenient places. There was a vigorous mole induced spring just...

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About fifteen years ago, more like twenty actually I extended the area of our garden dramatically. It was part of my ornamental grasses phase, that phase never really went away and neither have the grasses, however, while the grasses thrived so did brambles, and Ash seedlings, Hazel bushes, some of the things I planted and some plants went bananas. In anticipation of our NGS opening we have had to ‘grasp the nettle’ and get stuck in taking control back. The nice thing is that amongst the disorder some plants have really flourished and after rescue and a little TLC...

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Carley in Coreopsis

Going back to 2004 while checking some older images I found this shot of Carley in the annual flower meadow in my garden. This was a Pictorial Meadows mix in the early days when they offered just a few mix options. There was a strong bias towards Coreopsis but that made for quite a show. When some folks from Stewarts Garden Centres saw this they decided it would be good to have a similar display at the New Forest Show and they have done every year since. In my garden these plots are now perennial meadows but the time has...

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1888 and all that

As a youngster my favourite climbing tree was an old, leaning Pear tree close to the cottage. The lean made it an easy climb as did the gnarly, spiralled bark. In the Summer I could perch up there immersed in the shiny green leafery and be unseen by passers by. In the Autumn I might sneakily throw the occasional rotting pear at rival ‘gangs’ as they passed by our gate. The old pear tree was a character – way back, someone had lopped the top off and rather than leave the cut exposed to the weather a big, old,...

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