We use cookies on this website. To use the website as intended please accept cookies.

Saturday January 22 , 2022

Blue Daisy Blog

Blue Daisy blog written by Nicki Jackson & Jules Clark - for news, views, garden design, gardening and plant observations and thoughts.

Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Herb

Great British Garden Revival - Episode 5

Posted by on in News & Views
Carol Klein - Rock Gardens
 
RockgardenAs we know the British have been great explorers and as such we have visited all corners of the world discovering new plant treasures and bringing them back to our shores.  It was this inquisitiveness and interest in different species that helped to inspire the rock garden which allowed us to grow alpines and mountain plants from around the world in our gardens.  
 
Rock gardens were first built on large estates by wealthy aristocrats back in late the 19th century, it was their success that eventually led to their decline and they gradually fell out of fashion.  Rock gardens were easy to create and anyone could build one - the most successful rock gardens created the illusion of being up a mountain surrounded with flora and as such the British people took rock gardens to their hearts.   Experts believed that the rocks themselves were more important than the plants, it was vital to consider what each rock would look like and what function it would play in its natural habitat.  In other words get the rock positioning correct and then the plants would be happy.  The Japanese have always regarded rock gardens as very important as they create miniature landscapes within their own gardens.
 
Moss Bank Park in Bolton was a very famous rock garden in the UK and was also a huge part of the community but back in the 1990s the funding for its upkeep was lost and sadly it became a target for vandals and began to deteriorate.   In the last few years funding has been secured and together with an army of volunteers there has been an ongoing restoration project to bring it back to its former glory. 
 
A private 3 acre garden at Ashwood Nurseries, which has received over 50 RHS Gold Medals, is owned by John Massey who has created a beautiful plantsman’s garden which incorporates a rock garden and is open to the public on specific days.   His top tips for a successful rock garden are to remember that plant choice is important to lengthen the flowering season; Cyclamen is a must as it has a long flowering period, it is important to keep alpines flowering by constantly deadheading and weeding, the more weeding you do the less you’ll have to do in the longer term
 
In order to create a good rock garden there are some rules to follow, firstly it needs to be sited in the sunniest and most exposed part of the garden.  Sourcing the right rock(s) is essential (preferably from a local supplier) to ensure they don’t jar with their surroundings, consider the shapes of each rock and angle them in the same way to mirror nature, creating the maximum growing space to create your own mountain scene.  Choose your plants carefully, seek advice on which are the best plants for your space and don’t forget to incorporate some specimen trees or shrubs to add height and all year round interest.  Once it is planted up ensure a layer of course grit or fine grit is laid in order to suppress weeds and retain moisture.
 
If you only have a small space a small rock garden can be created in an alpine trough and a few points from Carol to create your own are: it’s essential that drainage holes are covered with crocks and filled with chunky gravel half way up the container to ensure that the roots aren’t sitting in water.  It’s a good idea to then cover the gravel with some mesh so that once the gravel is covered with compost it doesn’t wash through.  Carole recommends that the compost is half loam and half gravel chips then purchase some stone/rocks with angular shapes, tuck plants into the rocks so they look like they are growing through then apply a fine gravel to retain moisture and suppress weed seeds.
 
Today alpines are disappearing fast and Carol urges us to find a space for them in our garden to help keep them and our rock gardens alive.
 
 
 
Toby Buckland - Herb Gardens
 
HerbsHerbs have been used throughout history, they were fundamental to everyone’s lives and today there is a real danger that a lot of this knowledge and our connection to these plants are being lost. 
 
Chelsea Physic Garden, established 1673, and its apprentices studied the medicinal qualities of these plants.  The leaves, seeds, roots and flowers can provide us with a lot of life’s essentials; many years ago if you were ill you would go to your garden and find plants that would cure you instead of visiting the chemist and all this wonderful knowledge used to be second nature. 
 
In Tudor times herbs - including some that we call weeds today - were used for many things by both the wealthy and the poor.  In many homes it was common for herbs to be strewn across the floor to freshen up the rooms, a strewing lady would cut and scatter the herbs and those that were trod on would emit essential oils which would help to fumigate the homes!!  
 
The pharmacy became popular during Victorian times and it stocked both herbal and non herbal based medicines.  They eventually monopolised the market and herb growing in back gardens diminished; and as a result skill and knowledge wasn't being passed down through the generations. It is true in today’s world that medical progress has been excellent but the core use of herbs has been lost.
 
If you’re growing herbs in containers make sure they get lots of sun and they’ll need plenty of drainage so mix in some horticultural grit.  It’s a good idea to plant perennial herbs first such as sage and rosemary then combine with some of the shorter lived varieties such as basil and parsley.  Excess herbs can be kept for use in the winter by snipping some into ice cube trays, filling with water and freezing – fresh herbs in the thick of winter! 
 
Toby visited Jekka McVicar’s Herb Farm in Gloucester which has the largest collection of culinary herbs in the UK and is open to the public. Jekka says that herbs are fairly easy to grow, they can be drunk as tea, can turn a good meal in to a special one, fresh herbs are easier to digest than dried and they are really great for pollinating insects too!
 
 

 

Hits: 7531 0 Comments
0

Blog Categories

Tag Cloud

hydroponic HNC roof garden eco-friendly kerb-side appeal Coastal plants National Trust form Laurel Herb Absorb pollution April garden Cosmos astrosanguineus timber pollinating insects Lawrence Johnston garden Sophie Raworth hard landscaping Horticulture garden design repetition February garden Stone Lane Gardens RHS Tatton Park basil Narcissus Perennial Nicki Jackson Trees movement in the garden green spaces Kew Gardens sweat peas CorTen water feature Alan Titchmarsh Floating Paradise Gardens of London Selfridges Roof Garden National Gardening Week doddington hall Jekka McVicar London sorbus Fleece grow your own water Chris Beardshaw legacy gift HTA front garden water conservation Hidcote gardening on tv Blue Daisy recycled materials Matt James Capability Brown Urban Heat Island Effect James Wong Daffodils Levens Hall September garden Buxus NSALG Kensington Roof Garden Chelsea Flower Show Bamboo bulb display Garden Planning composting Herb garden August garden show gardens Crocus topiary saving water kitchen garden Prince Harry Spring shrubs Monty Don build Kelmarsh Hall planning your garden Geranium cottage gardens elm winter garden patio Winter shrubs Euphorbia March garden traditional style Gardeners World Wildflowers edible garden show herbaceous borders Berberis rococo productive garden Joanna Lumley spring bulbs Cloches Ashwood Nurseries pond Echinacea pollinators unity Birmingham Library Rachel de Thame heatwave courtyard spring garden Shrubs Carol Klein Taxus career in horticulture Briza maxima Decking Malvern Hills RHS Chelsea summer garden Highgrove drought garden focal points water butt ornamental grasses gravel John Massey February birch Wisley roof gardens Charlie Dimmock ash RHS Malvern Cut flowers snow stonemarket alpines Horticulturalist poppies contemporary Lantra Horticultural November garden New York Highline garden room Ilex acer plants blue twitter garden advice at home pests Stoneleigh vertical garden lawn care grey water Futurescape Events & Shows BBC autumn garden Achillea women and work award deer rock gardens Greenhouse Snowdrops colour in your garden rosemary July garden structure Phyllostachys nigra terracota May garden Urban Heat Island Cambridge botanical garden paving Malvern Spring Show watering can garden design tip October garden cyclamen bees wild flowers Chelsea Physic Garden Toby Buckland wildlife December garden Berginia bulbs Mrs Loudon Tom Hart-Dyke Acuba RHS sunflowers Glasshouse house plants winner herbs Hosta Alys Fowler plant pots January garden scented shrubs Joe Swift watering rainwater harvesting CorTen steel hosepipe garden design trends RHS Hampton Court sound in the garden Seed sowing Moss Bank Park GYO Great British Garden Revival Joseph Banks ha ha June garden reclaimed materials surfaces cottage garden

Welcome to Blue Daisy Blog



Our Promise

promiseWe work hard to keep our customers happy.  We work to a voluntary customer charter.

Peace of Mind

simplybusinessWe take our responsibilities seriously so we're insured through Simply Business.

Click on the logo for our Garden Design insurance details. For Gardening details see our gardening services page.

Proud Members Of...

landscapejuicen... The Landscape Juice Network where we interact with other professional gardeners, designers and landscapers.