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Stopwatch Gardener Cottage Gardening Podcast
11 minutes | 7 years ago
SWG009 Mid May: garden purples and wonderful wisteria
There is no better month in the calendar than May. In my garden the lilacs, dusky parrot tulips, early alliums and herbaceous peonies all cavort with the aquilegias I never got around to weeding out (and I’m glad I didn’t). In this episode of the podcast I’m sitting back and marveling at what this month does in the garden. All of the things I love best, including lilacs, rhododendrons and wonderful wisteria are at their fragrant, flowering peak. Most of the tones in the garden are purples, with the occasional shot of Barbie pink from a herbaceous peony I’ve never managed to identify. If you’d like to come see for yourself, my garden here in East Lothian is open this Saturday 24 May from 10am-1pm, raising funds for research into an ultra-rare disease that affects a close family friend. So in this podcast I’m also looking at some of the stunning plants donated for the “Rare Plants for Rare Disease Research” fundraiser. If you are within driving distance at all of Edinburgh, please visit us (postcode EH34 5DA if you’re traveling by GPS), and enjoy wonderful homemade cakes and teas, as well as a selection of plants from some of Britain’s best-known nurseries, many of whom just picked up medals at RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2014. All proceeds go to researching the causes and potential cure for neuracanthocytosis (NA), a neurodegenerative disease which affects just one in 7 million people: sadly one of those people is Alex, daughter of my very good friends in London. Please come on Saturday with a fat wallet and a full heart, and help us fund the research that can make such a difference to Alex. Here are some of the plants I’m looking at in this episode: Rhododendron purple splendour Wisteria floribunda Allium Hollandicum Purple Sensation Tulipa Muriel Herbaceous pink peony – unknown name Narcissus Baby Moon White lilac Purple lilac Charles Joly Rambling rose Lykkefund Clematis Montana Geum montanum Aquilegia saximontana Geum Borisii Osteospermum Mertensia lanceolata Primula (alpine various) Trollius Scilla peruviana The post SWG009 Mid May: garden purples and wonderful wisteria appeared first on The Stopwatch Gardener.
11 minutes | 7 years ago
SWG008 Early May: white bluebells and water features
The abundance of May slightly takes me by surprise every year. So much of the greenery that strikes my eye, from the herbaceous peonies to the delphiniums, was invisible in January, but now it is all part of the greenscape that makes the May garden seethe with life. This week in the podcast I’m appreciating how well white flowering spring bulbs look up against all those greens, including the unusual white bluebells that grow in this garden, as well as leucojum (the summer snowflake). In this episode I’m also looking at a few new sponsors for my charity plant sale on 24 May – including David Austin Roses (donating a raffle prize of a cut roses bouquet), Macplants, and Binny Plants – and I’m giving a brief rundown on the water feature I’m planning in the corner of this small garden. Do you have a water feature in your garden? I thought and dreamed about one for years, but I could never find components that wouldn’t look twee or cost a fortune. I have finally found a stone-effect trough that is convincing to my eye, along with a classy wall-mounted fountain spout from Haddonstone. I’ll keep you posted as and when I get it installed, if I figure out how to make all the pieces work together. What are you doing in your garden this week? Want to subscribe automatically to the podcast to hear it on your mobile device? Go to Stitcher and learn more about downloading the app. The post SWG008 Early May: white bluebells and water features appeared first on The Stopwatch Gardener.
19 minutes | 7 years ago
SWG007 Mid April: planting combinations, new peonies and ailing camellias
I’ve been in my small garden long enough to know that every square inch is precious, so I still surprise myself when I realise I’m giving up space to plants I don’t love, like a pieris near the French doors by my office. There’s a camellia I love – camellia sasanqua Winter’s toughie – which is struggling in a small pot in the courtyard part of the garden. The right thing to do would be to transplant it into an ericaceous barrel with the pieris, but I’ve hesitated because I’m afraid of crowding out the pieris. The shrub has only just moved into its own barrel after tucking in beside a rhododendron for a number of years, and my natural sympathies for the plant make me reluctant to force it to share space again. But it’s time to be ruthless: the camellia means more to me, and with my full garden getting ever fuller, I really can’t afford to be indulgent. In this week’s podcast I’m talking a bit about my ruthless streak, including my habit for shamelessly chopping back strong perennials that are crowding out first-year plants like a fabulous Bourbon rose I bought at the RHS Chelsea flower show last year. I couldn’t think of the grower’s name during the recording, but it is Peter Beales Roses, a fine grower who had a most impressive (and crowded!) stand at last year’s show. You can hear the current episode below, or use an app like iTunes or Stitcher to subscribe to it as a podcast for iTunes, Windows or Android: Stitcher subscribe instructions are here. Here’s a list of plants and other key names in this week’s episode: Pieris Rhododendron purple splendor Tulips Orange Emperor, Professor Rontgen, Passionale, Moneymaker, Clusiana Sheila Narcissus Sun Disc Zaluzianskya – night scented phlox Anemone Blanda Lavender: Lavandula angustifolia Hidcote Mahonia japonica Lily of the Valley – convallaria majalis Herbaceous Peonies: red Sarah Bernhardt; Duchesse de Nemours (pictured above) Bourbon Rose Mme. Isaac Pereire Peter Beales Roses is the supplier I visited at last year’s RHS Chelsea flower show Sarah Hayhoe is the stained-glass designer: see samples of her work in one of my Chelsea posts from 2013. What are you doing in your garden this spring? Have you allowed yourself to spring clean plants that aren’t earning their keep? The post SWG007 Mid April: planting combinations, new peonies and ailing camellias appeared first on The Stopwatch Gardener.
8 minutes | 7 years ago
SWG006 Early April in a Scottish cottage garden
In this episode I’m looking at the delphiniums that are growing like wildfire and planning how to get bigger blooms this July. What planting combinations are looking great in your garden at the moment? A few I’m fond of include festuca glauca and blue anemone blanda, as well as dead nettle (lamium) alongside another gorgeous early anemone, white and daisy-like. I’m also looking at a range of other plants and bulbs in this week’s episode; here’s the full list: Fritillaria meleagris – snake’s head fritillary Fritillaria meleagris var. unicolor subvar. alba Anemone Blanda Tulip praestans Fusilier (scarlet tulip pictured above) Lamium Delphiniums Festuca glauca The surprising tip offered to me by Langford’s, the delphinium specialists I met at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show last year, might seem like common sense but it had never occurred to me before. The expert advised that I allow only between five and seven shoots to grow from the base of any delphinium plant; any others should be nipped out to encourage larger flower size. Who knew! Huge thanks go out to Kevock Garden Plants of Midlothian, near Edinburgh, the latest British nursery to pledge donations of rare or unusual plants to my 24 May 2014 fundraiser here in my garden outside Edinburgh (the fabulous Kevock specialises in unusual alpine, woodland, and bog plants, many of Asian origin). If you’re in Scotland at that time, please do come along to the sale. From 10 AM to 1 PM that day I’ll be offering rare and unusual – as well as more common – garden plants and bulbs as a fundraiser for the Advocacy for Neuroacanthocytosis Patients. If you can help with a donation, please do get in touch. If you have any more tips for increasing delphinium size, I’d love to hear them! The post SWG006 Early April in a Scottish cottage garden appeared first on The Stopwatch Gardener.
12 minutes | 7 years ago
SWG005 Mid-March in a Scottish cottage garden
For gardeners it is indescribably exciting when the bumblebees get moving, the pollen starts flying and the blossom on the fruit trees starts bursting in springtime. In this episode of the Stopwatch Gardener podcast, I’m looking at the mystery daffodil that baffled me for years before being identified by the friendly Duncan at Croft 16, and I’m indulging in early fantasies about the roses to come, the first of which will appear in May. Two of my favourite roses in the garden are Gloire de Dijon because of its long, full branches of pale yellow flowers that appear as early as May in my garden, and Rose de Rescht, which makes up the dense rose hedge halfway up my garden. I take a look at these developing plants, including the very first buds on the Old Glory rose, plus I have a look at the startlingly beautiful osmanthus delvayii, whose first tiny, hanging white bills are starting to burst open. I will forever be grateful to Duncan from Croft 16 daffodils who identified the mystery narcissus under my rose hedge: it is Feu de Joie, a raggedy cream double daffodil with shreds of orange and yellow peeking from the centre. Marvellous. Please don’t forget to get in touch if you would be willing to donate plants to my Rare Plants for Rare Disease fundraiser for neuroacanthocytosis research on 24 May 2014. If you run a nursery, especially if you trade in rare or unusual plants, I’d love to ask you for a donation to this worthy cause. Contact me here if you can help with a rare plant donation. Here’s some more of what I’m talking about in this week’s episode: Bumblebees Chionodoxa Tulip Early Emperor Vinca Wall-trained pears Williams Bon Chretien and Concorde Hyacinth Wisteria floribunda Osmanthus delvayii Rosa Gloire de Dijon Rose de Rescht Narcissus Feu de Joie The post SWG005 Mid-March in a Scottish cottage garden appeared first on The Stopwatch Gardener.
11 minutes | 7 years ago
SWG004 Early-mid-March in a Scottish cottage garden
Welcome to another episode of the Stopwatch Gardener podcast, where this week I’m rushing about the garden like a mad thing, getting excited about every early-spring plant and the very first humming bumblebee of the season. I also take a minute to remember my lovely, much-missed dog Lizzy as I look at the place in the garden where she was buried a few years ago. I’m delighted that Crug Farm has joined Beth Chatto, Vanessa Mann and Frank Kirwan to donate plants to my Rare Plants for Rare Disease fundraiser for neuroacanthocytosis research on 24 May 2014. If you run a nursery, especially if you trade in rare or unusual plants, I’d love to ask you for a donation to this worthy cause. Contact me here if you can help with a rare plant donation. Here’s some more of what I’m talking about in this week’s episode: My magic portal made from an old fireplace surround Chionodoxa Tulips Anemone Blanda Crocus tommasinianus Daphne Peach Avalon pride Dividing delphiniums Salvia Layering clematis Rouge Cardinal The post SWG004 Early-mid-March in a Scottish cottage garden appeared first on The Stopwatch Gardener.
8 minutes | 7 years ago
SWG003 Mid February in a Scottish cottage garden
Welcome to the latest Stopwatch Gardener podcast, where I take a mid-February walk around the garden. In this episode I’m looking at a creeping phlox, dreaming of meconopsis, and announcing my 2014 Rare Plants for Rare Disease Research fundraiser for neuroacanthocytosis patients. There’s a link to subscribe to this audio podcast at the bottom of this blog, or you can sign up in the margin here to get an e-mail alert whenever I publish a new episode. This week I take a look at some of the shade-tolerant plants growing in my slim east-facing border, including a phlox I saw originally at the High Line in New York, plus I’m glancing out at the window boxes which make such a difference during my working day here in the office. In this episode I am also delighted to announce my 2014 Rare Plants for Rare Disease Research fundraiser, which I first conducted in 2012. Essex-based Beth Chatto Gardens are the first sponsor on board, agreeing to donate plants for this year’s fundraiser. Thank you, Beth! I’d love to hear from you if you run a nursery and would be willing to donate any rare or unusual plants to this unique event. Contact me here if you could donate plants.The sale will be here in my garden outside Edinburgh on 24 May, from 10am-1pm. We’re raising funds for research into one of the world’s rarest rare diseases, neuroacanthocytosis (NA), a neurodegenerative disease similar to Huntington’s. My friends’ daughter in London was diagnosed with NA some years ago, and since then my friends have funded scientists’ research themselves — through both grant-raising and direct fundraisers like ours — hoping to find the cause of and potential therapies for the disease. Please get in touch if you can help! Plants mentioned in this episode: Rhododendron Meconopsis Bergenia Wintermarchen Hebe Cyclamen coum Phlox stolonifera ‘Blue Ridge’ Snowdrop: Galanthus Nivalis flore pleno Crocus Subscribe to automatically hear the latest episode of the podcast. Find me on Stitcher http://bit.ly/SWGstit or iTunes The post SWG003 Mid February in a Scottish cottage garden appeared first on The Stopwatch Gardener.
8 minutes | 7 years ago
SWG002 Early February in a Scottish cottage garden
Welcome to the latest Stopwatch Gardener podcast, where I take a sunny February walk around the garden. If you use iTunes, there’s a link to subscribe at the bottom of this blog, or you can sign up in the margin here to get an e-mail alert whenever I publish a new episode. In this episode, I take another look at the courtyard, which has had a fabulous early-spring cleaning with a power washer, and I take a stroll through the emerging foliage of bulbs, from muscari to tulips to narcissus. I’ve also spotted leaves of an emerging bulb I can’t identify, but I’ll come back to that in a future episode. I also take a peek at my just-pruned wisteria floribunda, which has challenged me to grow it in such a way that its longer racemes of flowers show well: this variety is really better grown on a pergola, so its flowers can be shown to best effect, but in my garden it’s up tight against the wall. Whatever you’re doing in your garden this week, I hope you get a spot of sunshine for it! Plants mentioned in this episode: Peach Avalon Pride Anemone Blanda Narcissus Tulips Allium “Purple Sensation” Muscari Hyacinth Snowdrop: Galanthus Nivalis flore pleno (pictured above) Crocus crysanthus Wisteria Floribunda Do you use iTunes? If so you can subscribe here: Stopwatch Gardener cottage gardening podcast on iTunes Feeding BritCaster.com The post SWG002 Early February in a Scottish cottage garden appeared first on The Stopwatch Gardener.
6 minutes | 7 years ago
SWG001 January in a Scottish cottage garden
Welcome to a new departure for Stopwatch Gardener: a walk around my cottage garden, which I will periodically publish as podcast that you can subscribe to. In the meantime, click the player at the bottom of the page to listen to this 6-minute inaugural podcast episode. In this episode, I take a quick walk around the courtyard, take a look at my peach tree that’s threatening to burst into flower even though it’s only mid-January here, and have a look at what’s in flower, from the hellebores through to an extremely unseasonal lupin. I also take a look at the vegetable bed where I’ve put up some defenses to fight off the cats that do unspeakable things in the soil there when I’m not looking. Plants mentioned in this episode: Euphorbia Helleborus foetidus Cerinthe Daphne Wild Maine Lupins Peach Avalon Pride Anemone Blanda Narcissus Sun Disc Rose de Rescht Do you use iTunes? If so you can subscribe here: Stopwatch Gardener cottage gardening podcast on iTunes The post SWG001 January in a Scottish cottage garden appeared first on The Stopwatch Gardener.
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