What I learned about Tree ferns from the RHS Podcast

The first time you ever see a Tree fern I guarantee you will stop in your tracks and be utterly captivated as you try to comprehend what is in front of you. Tree ferns are a pre-historic plant but put them in a modern contemporary garden and they always look superb. So a recent and wonderful RHS podcast was enthusing about ferns of all kinds and when it came to Tree ferns this I what I learned.

Understanding shade in an unfamiliar garden

If you are looking to move to a new house it can be a challenge to understand how the shade will play across an unfamiliar garden and so in this second article dealing with shade I am going to explain why south facing gardens are not always the best but also give you a quick and simple way to work which parts of a garden are always going to be in the shade.

10 things I learned from the experts at David Austin Roses

Every garden needs roses because they are, well, so wonderful but unfortunately they have a reputation as being “difficult”. The reality is they are really easy to look after.  I enjoyed a day at David Austin Roses along with other gardeners (including those from the National Trust, English Heritage and Sandringham) learning from the rose experts and here are 10 things I think you need to know.

Autumn on a plate

This is one of our favourite recipes because it is just so simple, so easy and it ticks all the boxes for food at this time of year.  From Miguel Barclay’s £1 meals, his Butternut Squash Tagliatelle is something you really must try – you won’t be disappointed.

The Garden without a Journey

Sometimes we spend too much time stuffing the garden with plants rather than thinking about the people and so making the garden an experience to be enjoyed. One of my first jobs as a gardener was to help a busy professional couple find their garden again and really all that was needed was to give them a journey to enjoy together and the rest would fall into place.

South Stoke Open Gardens

With the last bank holiday almost upon us you might want to spend a pleasant afternoon doing what all gardeners love doing – mooching around other peoples gardens!  Many of the gardens in South Stoke (between Goring & Wallingford) will be open to visit and enjoy on Monday 26 August.

Thames Valley Air Ambulance Open Gardens

For every wonderful heritage and historic garden in the immediate vicinity there are many more lovely smaller private gardens that, for much of the year, are closed to the public but now and again open their gates so we can enjoy their hidden delights.  The Thames Valley Air Ambulance provides an opportunity to visit a number of these gardens and should you find yourself with a spare few hours they are well worth your time.

I’ll have a stake with my tree please

Take a little walk around the car park at the Orchard Centre in Didcot and you will spot quite a few trees with a bit of a lean on them (grrr). I have also been to a number of gardens recently and found some lovely trees leaning at rather at a rakish and occasionally alarming angles. The latter we can forgive but the former we shouldn’t because if you are buying a tree, you should always always stake it.