Month: January 2012

Cambridge University Botanic Garden

This was my first visit to Cambridge University Botanic Garden and I am already planning my next. The Winter Garden was the pull for me and it was completely beautiful and very inspirational to my own passion for winter interest planting. Not only does the garden provide a rich array of colours, textures, movement, foliage and berries, it also fills the Cambridge air with heady perfumes as well. Truly an awe inspiring garden and one I shall visit again and again, I plan to go in the Spring to see the unfurling transformations into the new season. A bit of background on the garden.. ‘designed in 1979 by Peter Orriss and Norman Villis to create a garden that is extremely beautiful in the depths of Winter.’ And that they surely did! Share...

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On the move

After consulting with my client, I fortified myself with the courage of conviction that I was taking the right action in moving a 16 year old Aucuba japonica into a more shady part of the garden. By moving the plant into a better position we created more space on the sunnier side of the garden for more colourful and sun seeking plants. When Aucuba japonica’s are planted in the wrong place (full sun) they are prone to having their leaves scorched and turning black, not good for the plant nor is it good to look at. After twenty minutes of careful excavation the plant came out beautifully, as you can see the root ball was very healthy and I made sure the plant had plenty of water before planting into the new position. I settled the plant in with the heel of my wellies to make sure the soil was well fitting around the roots and base of the plant. Winter time is the perfect time for moving your perennial plants around your garden. Go on, you know you want to..   Share...

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Sewardstone Road Roundabout

As you can see from the smile on my face I love this plant and wrote about it in my ‘Judi’s plant of the week’ blog. I went back this week-end to get up close and personal with it and as you can see the red berries are abundant. I think we should give hearty thanks to those invisible landscape designers who give us such beauties to drive past on otherwise dull and grey roads during the winter months. Share...

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Sarcococca confusa

I shall begin talking about this plant by dwelling firstly on its scent because it has the most heady sweet scent you could possibly ever wish to come across in a winter garden, well ok, besides Daphne bholua ‘Jacqueline Postill’ which is exquisite.. more on that plant in next week’s Blog. This is a wonderful evergreen plant for winter presence with its pretty white flowers, sweet perfume and dense dark evergreen foliage, this plant has much to offer the garden during the winter months. About this plant: Botanical name: Sarcococca confusa Other names: Sweet box, Christmas box Genus: Sarcococca Species: S. confusa – S. confusa is an evergreen shrub with sweetly scented, pure white flowers in winter. Sarcococca confusa is: Evergreen Flower: White, insignificant or absent in Winter Foliage: Dark-green in all seasons Fruit: Black in Summer Fragrance: Flowers are sweetly fragrant. Habit: Bushy Awards: RHS AGM (Award of Garden Merit) I shall be recommending this plant to a client who wants her new plant scheme to include scented plants in her partially shaded westerly facing garden. Sarcocca confusa works well either in a partially shaded or a sunny area of the garden and as near to touch as possible for rifling through its leaves and diving your nose into the perfumed flowers. Enjoy! If you would like to talk with me about a new planting scheme in your garden, please do feel free to get in touch, my email is...

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Cotoneaster x watereri

This is a wonderfully dense and eye catching large shrub / tree with long arching branches of matt mid-green leaves with white flowers and masses of red berries throughout Autumn and Winter. When I drive past a particulary eye catching roundabout close to where I live, I am always struck by the presence of the colour red against the mid-green flora and grey tinted winter sky. The roundabout has been cut to resemble a tiered cake or a hat box, well to my eye, but even though the plants are so uniformly clipped the berries sing out against their proximity and provide such triumphant colour to me and I hope to everyone who observes them. Plant details: Botanical name: Cotoneaster x watereri Other names: Cotoneaster watereri, Cotoneaster Genus: Cotoneaster Species: C. x watereri – C. x watereri is an evergreen, large shrub or small tree with arching branches. It has large, matt mid-green foliage and red berries in Autumn / Winter. Cotoneaster x watereri is: Evergreen Flower: White in Summer Foliage: Green in All seasons Fruit: Red in Autumn Habit: Spreading, Arching Toxicity: Fruit can cause stomach upset if eaten. If you would like to discuss a bespoke planting scheme for your garden, please do feel free to get in touch, my email is judi@judithegardener.co.uk. For gardening maintenance enquiries (North-East London, Essex and Enfield) please telephone 07818 005773. Always happy to answer gardening questions if I can or steer you...

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Symphoricarpos albus var. laevigatus

I have been aware of this deciduous shrub for a couple of years now, but have only recently identified it. I give thanks to ‘Colour in the winter garden’ by Graham Stuart Thomas, who has included this plant in his wonderful book, first published in the UK in 1957. It truly is a great resource and I recommend it to everyone, especially those who believe winter time to be bleak and without colour or seasonal interest. The small bell-like pink flowers always remind me of prawns and the white berries made in the autumn make me think of white maltesers. Not only do I have plants on the brain, but food too! These white berries are beautiful and they can be seen adorning our roadsides and gardens throughout winter. They illuminate against the dark backdrop of trees and shrubs during the low light levels of winter and always look so enchanting. About the plant Botanical name: Symphoricarpos albus var. laevigatus Other names: Common snowberry Genus: Symphoricarpos Species: S. albus var. laevigatus – S. albus var. laevigatus is a thicket-forming, deciduous shrub with upright, arching shoots bearing oval to oblong, dark green leaves and, in summer, small, bell-shaped pink flowers followed by spherical, pure white fruit. Symphoricarpos albus var. laevigatus is: Deciduous Flower: Pink in Summer Foliage: Dark-green in Spring; Dark-green in Autumn Fruit: White in Autumn Habit: Arching, Upright Toxicity: Fruits can cause a mild stomach upset if ingested. This...

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Cornus alba ‘Sibirica’

This plant really comes into its own this time of year as do the other Dogwoods with their resplendent and vibrant stems from yellow / orange to vivid red of the brightest hues. You may well have seen them along roadsides where they are often planted in drifts and adorn otherwise grey roadside backdrops. With winter sun pouring through their stems they truly are beautiful and bring so much welcome colour and illumination into the garden and community spaces this time of year. It is my wish to plant another Cornus in my own garden and in particular I shall choose the ‘Sibirica’ for its sumptous warmth of colour. On the opposite side of my garden I have a four-year-old Cornus alba ‘Elegantisima’ which is becautiful throughout the year with its variagated dusty green / white leaves through spring and summer with its small flat flowerheads of white flowers followed by the deep burgundy / red stems after leaf fall. Cornus’ are so valuable in the garden and I hope you will be inspired to plant a Cornus in a space you wish to bring vibrant colour to during the Autumn / Winter months.. just remember it needs sun to give you those wonderful colours! Details below: Botanical name: Cornus alba ‘Sibirica’ Other names: Siberian dogwood, Cornus alba ‘Westonbirt’ Genus: Cornus Variety or cultivar: ‘Sibirica’ _ ‘Sibirica’ is a medium deciduous shrub producing...

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Euonymous europaeus ‘Red Cascade’ (Spindle Tree)

I absolutely love this shrub! I first came across it with my boyfriend whilst out walking in Baldock in Hertfordshire, the shrub flanked the main road and we were immediately drawn to its magnificent array of rich red, orange and pink colours. About this plant: Other names: Spindle ‘Red Cascade’ Genus: Euonymus Variety or cultivar: ‘Red Cascade’ _ ‘Red Cascade’ is a large, deciduous shrub with dark-green leaves turning bright red in autumn. It bears small, yellow-green flowers in summer followed in autumn by bright rose-pink fruits which split to reveal orange seeds. Flower: Yellow-green in Summer Foliage: Dark-green in Spring; Dark-green in Summer; Bright-red in Autumn Fruit: Orange, Bright-pink in Autumn Habit: Spreading Toxicity: All parts may cause severe discomfort if ingested Awards: RHS AGM (Award of Garden Merit) I have just planted (Dec 2011) a young plant in my south-facing back garden and it is full of leaf bud. I so look forward to it putting on its leaves and flowers in the spring and watching its beautiful seed pods develop in to full colour in the Autumn. Share...

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