Stephanie’s Blog

Why Mess with Perfection?

Green Pearl in flower in the garden

Green Pearl

Just because you can doesn’t mean you should. It is very easy to cross breed narcissus – and daffodil breeders have a lot to answer for. Contrast the simple perfection of Narcissus ‘Green Pearl’ which is in flower in my garden at the moment with two monstrosities that I saw recently at the RHS Spring Show. I think the pink frilly effort is called ‘Vanilla Ice’ but I failed to remember the name of the ugly new variety of daffodildaffodil vanilla ice

Is Your Garden Gorgeous?

Beautiful English garden
If so, Alan Titchmarsh would like to know. To mark his 50th year in horticulture he is on the lookout for thirty of the nations best private gardens to feature in a programme being made by ITV. This is not about gardens that are grand, or laid out by famous designers – it’s about people with a passion for gardening who have transformed their own space in their own individual way. If you think your garden is a possible contender – or know someone else whose garden you can recommend – email with information about the garden, including its location and size and don’t forget your contact details.

A Lovely Pile of Peasticks

a pile of peasticks to use as plant supports
I’ve recently visited the cobnut farm where they generously allow me to cram my car with their prunings. I am using the short twiggy ones for support in the borders while the taller ones will, in due course, be used for beans, peas and sweet peas.

Tulip Colour Combinations

by Daniel Carruthers

tulips in border with daffodils
I’d like to think I am fairly organised when it comes to the garden but last year I left my annual tulip shopping a little late. Not too late though, according to Fergus Garrett you can still plant tulips up until Christmas Day. Those of you that read the blog regularly will know our go to choice for tulips is Peter Nyssen who offer a huge range of bulbs at very reasonable prices. I’m still experimenting with tulips so this year I opted for two complimentary colours. They’re mixed up in this bed with some daffodils beneath a dormant iceberg rose bush.

The red/pink tulips are Dior & Albert Heyn whilst the lighter ones, which aren’t quite through yet are Pink Diamond. Here’s a few more of our favourite tulips from previous years.

May the Force(rs) be with Me

rhubarb forcers on display in a shop windowGreat excitement the other day when I spotted a stunning collection of vintage rhubarb forcers in the window of one of our local antique shops. They weren’t all that expensive (1/3rd London prices) but I was in a sensible mood and persuaded myself that much as I liked them I didn’t NEED them.
rhubarb forcers in use at Gravetyeearly shoots of rhubarb under a forcerHowever, the next day I was at Gravetye Manor where they were using their collection of antique rhubarb forcers in the walled garden and I felt my resolve slipping a bit.
two rhubarb forcers on display in the shopWhich is why I found myself in the shop the next day buying two of them.
two new rhubarb forcers in my garden I certainly don’t need them and they are not being used to force rhubarb at the moment but they are such lovely objects that I am sure I won’t regret the purchase. And yes, I do realise the lids are newer but they will weather down in time.