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

Monday November 18 , 2019

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: 5951 0 Comments
0

Blog Categories

Tag Cloud

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

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.