Woodland Wonders

hybrid blue bell
primrose - for hope
tulipa sylvestris
Wood Anemone and Celandine (the prettiest weed in the garden)
ErythroniumBluebell - I suspect a hybrid between the wild bluebell and its Spanish cousin, both of which are in the gardenPrimroseTulipa Sylvestris - the wild tulipWood Anemone and Celandine (the prettiest weed in the garden)
  1. Erythronium
  2. Bluebell – I suspect a hybrid between the wild bluebell and its Spanish cousin, both of which are in the garden. Spot the difference.
  3. Primose
  4. Tulipa Sylvestris – the wild tulip
  5. Wood Anemone and Celandine (the prettiest weed in the garden)

Although it is something of an exaggeration to call the area beneath the tulip tree a woodland, the dappled shade it creates and the gentle slope make it a perfect habitat for plants that like these conditions. Over the years I have added many layers of shredded bark that have created the damp humus-rich soil they like, so now I find they are self-seeding and spreading around with little intervention from me. I do love spring’s woodland plants.

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.

The Useful Euphorbia

E. myrsinites in full flower

E. myrsinites

This is the time of year when euphorbias really come into their own as a perfect foil for spring bulbs. The larger varieties, including E.mellifera and E.wulfenii provide structure throughout the year, but with their spring topping of flowers, they add that wonderful acid green that works so well with tulips and narcissi. This year’s mild winter means that mellifera is flowering earlier than usual and the garden is already filled with the scent of honey on warm days. E. polychroma is a favourite in the borders where it looks great among the newly emerging herbaceous plants while the scaly-leaved stems of E.myrsinites coil sinuously over walls.


E. wulfenii in flower

E. wulfenii

E. mellifera in flower

E. mellifera

E. polychroma in bloom

E. polychroma

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.