Monday May 21 , 2018

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 garden

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: 4602 0 Comments

Blog Categories

Tag Cloud

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

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.