All posts tagged: horticultural matters

Salvia Salivation

The Salvia. Years of association with Gaudí coloured council bedding displays the humble Salvia has so much more to offer. From Seasoned sage (Salvia officinalis) to Chia seed (Salvia hispanica) the genus spans from the Americas to Asia. Two years ago I discovered the garden of Rolando Uria, the man behind Salvia Amistad in Mar del Plata, Argentina during one of my many visits to South America. Everything was organised online, all in Spanish, and a five hour bus journey commenced from Buenos Aires. On arrival and as a suprise, I was introduced also to Robin Middleton who was also there visiting Rolando from the UK. Robin also has a diverse collection of salvias in Bagshot. He raised Salvia × jamensis ‘Peter Vidgeon’ named after his partner Peter.   Yesterday I finally got to visit Robins diverse collection of beautiful salvias as seen from the photo galery at this end of the blog, in which I took here. The day was perfect; overcast with a rain free afternoon. Bright sun bleaches the flowers you see. A bonus was …

Green fingered families

Three years ago I was asked to write for a family blogging site encouraging green fingered family activities involving food. Here it is again with some pictures of my apprentices from this weekend just gone. Thank you Martha and Stanley you were great. I hope the tips below will help you. Spring is coming so let’s get cracking on the garden. You know, the place outside your door. The weelie bin storage area, the dump, the play area or the concrete yard. Whatever you call it or however big or small, it’s a great place to explore with your children and get them to understand the seasons and where our food comes from. Have you ever thought about growing some vegetables, flowers and fruits but not sure how? Or have you tried and failed miserably and given up. Fear not I’m here to help. It’s quite easy really… But how, you may ask? Ok, firstly, it’s not rocket science. Yes, you need soil, water and light BUT but before you go mad buying massive quantities of …

Easter at Rousham

An early Easter Sunday morning I find myself at Rousham with fellow Allhorts.  A garden designed by Kent, William Kent. It was early indeed, the clocks had gone forward and a few of the group rocked up tardy. Some had wind problems, thankfully the weather kind, others chronological issues with alarm clocks. They promised rain, well heavy downpours in fact but we were very lucky indeed. The sun burst forth from the gloom in glorious array. For a fiver you can enter the garden which has many features to admire. Firstly around the house you see a rose beautifully tailored to the walls clothing the stone to precision. Check out the size and age of some of those stems.   Opposite the house were swathes of stripes running in the lawns but what caught my eye were the trinity of trees.   Moving on, round the corner two statues had a conversation. If you where a statue, what would you say?  Others had a cocaine issues by the look of their noses. The next three features …

The Horticultural Games

A beautiful sunny June morning finds me at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park (QEOP). Waiting outside the aquatics centre a raucous bunch of fellow horticulturists formed. Excited not by also the pub meal but the tour of the park by Dr. Phil Askew, Project Sponsor Parklands and Public Realm at QEOP. Over thirty of us were in attendance from all walks of life in the horticultural world. The location was Stratford, East London, where over one hundred hectares where many languages are spoken. From its industrious two hundred year history the land was a polluted wreck. So how was this site going to become one of the historic highlights of British Olympic history? The answer lies in lots of planning and a legacy which has and will allow the site to become a haven for wildlife and an open space for people to enjoy now the games are well and truly in the past. Dr Askew explains that from the start the whole concept of the park was to have longevity unlike many other countries …