Friday, 29 June 2012

Highlights of RHS Wisley, this June

On a rare sunny day, I took the chance of a quick visit to the gardens at Wisley. A real treat to add on to a plant shopping trip. Here are a few stars.

Monday, 21 May 2012

Wimbledon tree of the month. May

Cercis siliquastrum  (Common name Judas tree)
Standing proud, in a small area of planting, on the opposite side of the road to the war memorial in Wimbledon Village. This delicate tree heralds the start of Summer when it's pink flowers emerge.
The Judas tree has attractive and interesting flowers, foliage and form, it is an increasingly popular choice for gardens. Originating from South East Europe and West Asia.
The generic name, Cercis, comes from the Greek ‘Kerkis’, a weaver’s shuttle, which Theophrastus likened the tree's flattened woody fruits to. Its specific name refers to the prominent seedpods - ‘siliqua’ in latin.
There are many suggestions to the origins of its common name. But the two most common suggestions are, Judas is a corruption of Judean, as the tree was once common in the Judean hills. Or it was the tree from which Judas Iscariot hanged himself.
Introduced to the British Isles before 1600, it has become much commoner in our gardens in the last 20 years or so due to a combination of wider commercial availability, milder winters, and people seeking out more unusual plants for their gardens.
This tree likes full sun, partial shade and a well drained soil. The leaves appear late, after the spectacular clusters of pea-shaped blooms have emerged from the branches and even the main trunk.  From late summer, large bunches of rich, purple pods deck the branches, and last well into winter.

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Wimbledon tree of the month. April

Corylus maxima Purpurea  (Common name Filbert)

I've been waiting for a couple of weeks to take some shots of this multi stemmed hazel on a sunny day. But it never happened - so my tree of the month for April, scrapes into May!
Standing in the front garden of a house on Coombe Lane, just opposite the junction of Cambridge Road. This purple hazel is especially eye catching at this time of year, when the foliage has newly emerged. The colour is just slightly more rich and intense. The typical multi stemmed tree creates an elegant goblet shape which works perfectly in this position, at the side of the driveway.
The Purple Hazel, Corylus maxima Purpurea, is a variety of Filbert hazel. This ornamental tree is also produces large, nuts with a pretty, wine-purple tinge inside them. It is very hardy and suitable for any soil, although it is not quite as good in the shade. Purple Hazel is a good hedging plant, and can reach about 10 metres if it grows freely as a tree. The great thing about these trees, is they are happy being pruned to keep them in a size and shape which works with your space. The Purple Hazel has won an RHS Award of Garden Merit for being easy to grow and lovely to look at.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Sculpture in the Garden

Last October I made my first visit to the Hannah Peschar Sculpture Garden, which opens once again in May. I look forward to my next visit, to see what has changed.

Here is a taster of what to expect.

Friday, 13 April 2012

Garden Burner

Light up the longer evenings with this atmospheric garden burner.

I saw it at the Landscape Show at Olympia, on the Luxius Outdoor Kitchen stand.

Beautiful Sculpture

I'm always asked for ways to make enclosed spaces look more attractive.

If a wall has enough light, my first thought is to cover it with plants. Either climbers or 'Green Walls'. But a low maintenance and striking choice, is to place a sculpture there.
This rusted metal fern sculpture is beautiful, and is at Wisley at the moment.

April at RHS Wisley

This is one of the best times of the year to visit Wisley. The unusually good weather has made everything even more impressive.

The Magnolias and Camelias are particularly good, as we didn't have the usual high winds to destroy the blooms.

Even the new leaf growth looked stunning.