Spring is a fantastic time at Westonbirt Arboretum, with a huge array of colours provided by both flowers and fresh foliage. Dendrologist (the study of trees and other woody plants) Dan Crowley has been sharing a snippet of what is on show.
The South West Coast Path National Trail through Devon has been voted the Best British walking route for the second time in a row and the timing couldn’t be more apt.
In the past two months, the UK has suffered some of the most severe weather ever to hit these shores and the South West has taken the biggest battering.
The sight and scent of native bluebells covering a woodland floor on a warm spring day is one of the most magical experiences nature has to offer, and with over half the global population of bluebells flowering on these shores, Britain’s beautiful blue spring is a quintessential part of our landscape.
Cotswold Gardening School have been asked to mentor four new ‘Festival Gardens’ at the new look RHS Malvern Spring Festival in May. This new category of show garden will be open for anyone to enter regardless of previous garden design or show garden experience.
The Cotswold Gardening School will be on hand to help - so that lack of practical experience or drawing skills need not get in the way of a great concept. It’s open to anyone - designers were sought through a national competition and the best four designs will be chosen to be built.
With all the vagaries of the recession years, it is very heartening to hear of family run nursery businesses that have progressed to reach a special anniversary.
Despite the recent dreadful weather Devon’s gardens are springing into life and so are plans for a bumper year for the National Gardens Scheme. Nearly 160 gardens will be open in Devon for The Yellow Book this year.
Overbeck’s, the Edwardian National Trust property near Salcombe that is named after its last private owner, Otto Overbeck, enjoys a mild micro-climate that shelters many plants and flowers, giving an early start to spring.
Head gardener Cat Saunders has written about some of the highlights at the garden in March.
“March is a curious month; traditional calendars mark it as winter until Lady Day on the 25th, but every gardener feels the change in the air as the first spring flowers arrive.
Award-winning Newent Plant Centre will be celebrating their fifth birthday this March. When Mark Moir and Kate Clowes opened in March 2009, they had a clear vision of what the plant centre should offer.
“We both were passionate about plants,” said Mark. “We wanted to offer a fantastic range of plants, grown by ourselves and local specialist growers.”
Inspirational displays and a “Collector’s Corner” of unusual delights soon started to develop. “We wanted to share our enthusiasm and knowledge,” said Kate, “on all aspects of gardening.”
It's been a busy winter for the Country Gardener production team. Holed up at their desks, they've missed the extensive flooding incapaciting the country, whilst working on the exciting new look for the magazine which launched last week.
Taking inspiration from a variety of sources, they've given the magazine a more contemporary look, with all the freshness and colour you'd expect from the Spring edition. The covers have also had an overhaul to ensure your favourite magazine stands out in the crowd.
By Corina Reay
It is commonly recommended that, when you move into a new home, you "leave and observe" your new garden for a full year to see what plant treasures pop up during the four seasons.
So, with itching fingers and our trowel and spade looking rather clean in their new potting shed, my partner and I set about doing just that whilst familiarising ourselves with our new abode.