Posts Tagged ‘gardening’

November colour

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2016

It is November and there is still plenty of colour in the garden, thanks to a record breaking warm October .

Geranium sanguineum & Geranium psilostemon, Verbena,  Dahlia, Erigeron karvinskianus, Aster frikartii ‘Monch‘, Abelia grandiflora, Fuchsia, Salvia greggii ‘Lipstick‘, Cyclamen hederifolium, Erysimum ‘Bowles Mauve‘, Osteospermum and Penstemon ‘Alice Hindley’ continue to provide fresh flowers whilst some roses and Anenome japonica manage one or two last flowers.

Of course it isn’t all about flowers, autumn colour  is very good this year both in the herbaceous borders (e.g. Hakonechloa macra) and shrubberies (e.g. Viburnum burkwoodii, Hydrangea).  Textures of foliage and brightly coloured berries all add depth of interest to our gardens too, for  example the wonderful berries of Rosa moyesii, Rosa glauca, Rosa rugosa, Cotoneasters & Crataegus prunifolia or the cut foliage of many Geranium contrasting with grasses, Dianthus, Cyclamen

Exotic wildlife

Wednesday, September 28th, 2016

I was rather pleased to spot this exotic looking grasshopper basking in the early autumn sun and maybe soaking up the heady scent of Rosa ‘de Rescht’ also.

The harvest rolls on

Wednesday, September 28th, 2016

The vegetable garden has yielded well this year with the bonus some rather well colour coordinated crop!

Reclaiming the view

Thursday, August 18th, 2016

It is lovely to have a healthy hedge in the garden full of birds however by mid August I do look forward to reclaiming the view.

Summer border

Thursday, July 21st, 2016

Client’s border 2 years after design and planting – blues, purples and whites dominate in this planting scheme.

Summer border

Tuesday, June 28th, 2016

Clients border looking good 2 years after design / planting – Allium sphaerocephalon, Catananche, Geranium ‘Rozanne’, Persicaria, Scabiosa…

Chipping Snowdrops for James Allen

Friday, April 15th, 2016

I am secretary to the Shepton Mallet Horticultural Society and for the last 3 years we have been propagating snowdrop Galanthus ‘Magnet’ by chipping.  Our 3 year old chips have started to flower this year and were planted out in front of Highfield House, James Allen’s former home.

James Allen was the first person to start hybridizing snowdrops in the late 19th Century and Shepton Mallet Horticultural Society are aiming to make the town famous for the snowdrop again.

Shepton Mallet Snowdrop project planters

http://www.sheptonhortsoc.org.uk/snowdrop-project

http://www.sheptonmalletjournal.co.uk/…/story-29…/story.html

Tips & Auxins

Monday, April 11th, 2016

The last of the pruning is done, working from a ladder I thinned the growing tips of the trees to ensure the leader is clear of side shoots.  The plant hormone auxin is produced in the growing tips creating cell elongation in plant cells (extension growth).  Removing side shoots allows the auxins to be most concentrated in the tip of the central leader therefore encouraging fast growth in height.

It is a good idea to get the tree to grow to its full height as quickly as possible, once side branches get established low down then they divert sap from the leader.

The pruning goes on…

Tuesday, February 9th, 2016

Whilst pruning the other day, I was surprised to come across this damage on one of the tree trunks.  I am presuming it is woodpecker damage but I didn’t think they would attack such a young tree nor so close to the ground.  Well I will have to dig up and replace this tree now…

Formative pruning – young trees

Saturday, January 16th, 2016

It has stopped raining, we have blue skies, frost and sunshine – what a delight. I have emerged from my office and the warmth of the woodburner to start pruning the orchard.

Day 1 I made a good start, pruning 86 trees in four hours.   Starting with the youngest trees (aged 4 & 5 years) I aim to create space around each branch and a gentle taper in the central leader with a good framework of near horizontal branches.

On day 2 I reached some older trees (7 years), tall and dense with a good framework of branches, surprisingly I did very little to these, cutting out one or two whole branches near the main stem to encourage a more uniform taper.

Most of the trees in the orchard are too tall for me to reach the very top where some of the leaders need ‘clearing’ of side shoots (removal of competition and thereby increasing the auxins at the main growing tip of the tree), I will have to come back with a telescopic pruner.

I enjoy formative pruning, it is a bit like puppy training – establish the rules early then reap the rewards thereafter. It is a very rewarding job, unlike fruit thinning which went on for weeks and weeks last June.

In summary our young orchard of 450 trees produced 4560kg of fruit in the autumn, all of which was made into cider.