Thursday 1 November 2012

Monday 22 October 2012

Wednesday 3 October 2012

Preparing for Winter!!

The nursery is  now being moved into the winter mode, involving a huge amount of plant shuffling to their winter stations.

As part of the winter relocation of plants, there are now Baobabs and Erythrinas hanging naked from the tunnel roof !!!!!! 

Monday 1 October 2012

Cheilanthes Lanosa

Another new one for the nursery, coming in 2013.

File:Cheilanthes lanosa 3 (FM).JPG

 Cheilanthes Lanosa

Also known as the Hairly Lipfern (great name!), this is a soft-textured fern with green leaflets along a brown stem.

It's ideal for rock walls and in shady stone troughs.  It's equally at home in fairly well-drained garden soil and in containers.

It's not a huge plant at 30 cm high to 40 cm wide... perfect for those small places.

It comes from the US, Pennsylvania to New Mexico... and would look lovely in our UK gardens!

An added bonus is that it's also deer resistant, great for round here! 

Wednesday 19 September 2012

A new variety coming to the nursery - if it grows!

Some formal info for you!

Cyathea Australi

This is a tree fern native to Australia.  It's also known as the Rough Tree Fern. It grows in moist shady forest, and hopefully soon in the East Sussex countryside!

It has a stem covered with frond scars, and a mass of wiry roots at the base. 

It can grow up to 12 m tall, and may reach 4 m in length, better tell the neighbours! It has a distinctive crown that is dark green above and lighter green below, should look great.

September Update

Sorry that I've been neglecting my blog a bit... like most, I've been manic over the summer, with show after show.

I hope you've followed our facebook and tweets - where we've been and what we've won.

The last big one was at RHS Wisley, which was great with fab weather. I think you will agree our stand was looking particularly wonderful.

 We also got on the radio, check this out... sorry about the Chest Comment... but you know me!!

The lack of bees really have been a problem this year. Check out my interview for some tips of plants to grow.  Please help them as I love my food, and no bees no food.

Right from now on I'm going to stop being clever like Stephen Fry and do more factual tweets and blog posts!

I'm looking forward to 3 new varieties for 2013, cyathea_australis, cheilanthus_lanosa, cyrtomium_falcetum - and will removing 2 varieties heuchera snowstorm (because it is rubbish at growing) adansonia greggorii (unlike the others, again poor growth).

More to follow!

Thursday 30 August 2012

This Sunday, 2 Sept, we will be at the Sussex Prairies Unusual Plant and Art Fair. See for details.

There will be a rare collection of exciting nurseries, artists and crafts people coming together in the prairie garden bringing a great selection of unusual plants and beautiful pieces for you to buy.

A great chance to source some amazing plants and artifacts for you, your house and your garden!

.... Sounds good to me.  REMEMBER TO COME AND SEE OUR STALL!!!

Wednesday 22 August 2012

For the first time ever, one daviesia pectinata and daviesia cordata put aside for RHS display plants.

daviesia pectinata - Thorny Bitter-pea
This shrub is native to Australia, so it's great that it's growing in my nursery in East Sussex. It will be red and orange when in bloom, hopefully growing to about 120cm in height. As it grows it will develop spines or sharp edges

As it is at the moment (just a baby)


daviesia cordata - also known as Bookleaf
Native to West Australia this will be a small woody shrub with large, bluish-green leaves, it will have orange-yellow to purplish-red flowers... but at the moment looks like this...

 I can't wait to see how these two progress and will keep you posted with new pics!!

Wednesday 8 August 2012

Next stop Gold!

Check out the coverage of our RHS Silver Medal... and you'll see a photo of me and the wife!

Tuesday 3 July 2012

And silver it is!

Our award winning display at RHS Hampton Court Flower Show - we were only one point away from a silver gilt... next time!

Wednesday 27 June 2012

Hampton Court Flower Show

What can I say but I'm really chuffed - we've been invited to exhibit at Hampton Court Flower Show - in the floral marquee - FM71.

Time is short, but I find I work best under pressure!?!?! 

The show runs from 3-8 July - pop along and see the display I've been planning!.. this time let's make it a silver!

Monday 25 June 2012

Wednesday 20 June 2012

Saliva Apiana
also known as white sage, bee sage & sacred sage

This evergreen perennial shrub with its silvery light foliage, long leaves and delicate white flowers is heaven for bumble bees!  It'll grow to a height of around 4 feet over time and has a wonderful aroma (its leaves are often used for incense)

Originating in southwest USA, it's popular with wildlife... and is also known to attract humming birds - not sure you'll find many of them over here, but it would be good to help the bees out (they also pollinate it)!

One thing to watch... as the stems are hollow, be careful where you plant it, as they can snap easily. 

Monday 18 June 2012

Tiarella Wherryi

also known as the 'foam flower'

This hardy perennial orginated from Central & East USA, but thrives here in part shade and moist soil.  Plant it and it will not only form clumps but also self seed.  Even though it's quite slow growing, it's perfect for ground cover in shady places - requiring little intervention on your part!

It grows to a height of 8" and will spread to 12" and beyond. producing beautiful frond like white flowers from late Spring to early Summer.

Why not order yours now

Monday 11 June 2012

King Protea - in bud...

Just lent this to the RSPB for their migratory birds and landscapes display on South African plants.

It's the largest flowering protea, also known as unsuprisingly enough... Giant Protea!  Also goes by the name of King Sugarbush.  Will upload an image when it comes into flower!

Everything's blooming - new pics!

Just uploaded some new photos of the nursery - clivia miniata, baby sun rose, allium, blue eyed grass, cornflower centaurea montana, painted daisy, penstemon erianthus, polygala x dalmaisiana, pratia pendunculata county park, rubus cockburnianus... all coming into flower - you can view it in our facebook gallery...

Wednesday 6 June 2012

Our whereabouts in June

Another busy month ahead... if you are out and about you will be able to see us at:

2nd to 5th - Detling Plant Show
13th to 17th - BBC Gardeners World
24th - Rare Plant Fair 

But remember you can also find us at our nursery just outside of Wadhurst (East Sussex), just pop in...  or can had order our plants online... click here.

End of May... bring on June

Finally, we just got a platinum medal at the Kent Garden show, top marks for the first time ever. Maximum prize money, oh yes.

Well the hot weather has finished finish (for the mo), it has cooked alive some baby plants (agaves if you would) but many jungle plants have germinated 

And a a cultivational note, new plants and varieties (dudleya protea etc) are kicking in, even the delonix are showing their faces.

We showed our faces at the Lullingstone, which went well, and Finchcocks, which wasn't so much of a success for us.

Thursday 17 May 2012

What's happening at the nursery

Well we've been busy again, and getting frustrated with the weather... like everyone else!!

But we won a bronze at Malvern, which is great... but we still want that silver.

I made a birthday wish while at Malvern and what did I get, more groundfrosts!  Still on a more cheery note, solanum and nuytsia germinating despite all the cold.

Well well, melaleuca nesophila with flower buds appearing, obviously it's a sales plant not my RHS display one!

Thursday 10 May 2012

RHS Malvern

Ready and raring to go at RHS Malvern. We're on stand 37 and would love to see you.

Tuesday 8 May 2012

Boabab Trees

Thankfully it's warmer today, please can we have some warm nights now, as I've still got only 2 germinated boabab trees so far.

Friday 4 May 2012


Well you won't see this very often, greenovia dtplocycla, shame it will now die, but the seed!

Friday 27 April 2012

Drought resistant gardens

Southern Waters Chelsea garden to be.

I was asked to give a bit of help to the creation of their drought tolerant garden and this is what I came up with.

Drought resistant gardens... Why Prairie Plants ?

When asked to give a bit of advice I wanted to get away from the traditional Mediterranean solution of lavenders, rosemarys, and agaves. Which are great in hot and dry summers but struggle or fail in cool wet summer/winters.

I wanted to find plants that can survive all the rubbish that a typical British year throws at us (just look at this March and then April).

One answer was prairie plants, taking as inspiration the weather of the Russian Steppes, wickedly cold in the winter, miserably muddy in spring/autumn and devilishly hot in  summer. So anything surviving there would do the trick. Russian Steppes, European Plains and American Prairies it was.

As you know that is not all, but that will be another story!

Sunday 22 April 2012

RHS Cardiff - Bronze

Pleased with bronze medal at RHS Cardiff, especially as our plants are germinating sooo slowly this year! Although really wanted Silver this year!

Friday 20 April 2012

Day and a half later voila. One Cardiff display!... just add sweat blood and tears!

Saturday 14 April 2012

By the way I have also found a really easy way to germinate erythrina seeds in about a week, but just to keep you watching, more news later.

Erythrinas, Adansonias and other Caudiforms/dry winter tropicals

Right as promised
How to overwinter Erythrinas, Adansonias and other caudiforms/dry winter tropicals. I will publish a definitive list (well ones that I've tried and succeeded with) "promise".

Very simple easy and best of all saves precious greenhouse space!!!

Basically pull the plant out of its pot in early October, bash the loose roots off and leave to fall, or cut off its leaves, place it in an open box and store somewhere fairly light, very dry and cool (top of a cupboard in the spare room for example). Early March, re-pot, water and add heat and hey presto instant jungle plant.

It may need a bit of pruning back to the live bits but essentially this will allow us poor British people to at least have some decent sized tropical patio plants without busting the budget.

Friday 13 April 2012

Thursday 12 April 2012

What's to come

Right first time for everything, once I've got a few spare seconds, two topics I will cover soon
1. A planting list of drought resistant water loving plants (yes you have read correctly)
2. How to overwinter tropical Erythrinas and others extremely easily

Tuesday 10 April 2012

BRONZE MEDAL - RHS Great London Plant Fair

Pleased to have won a Bronze medal with our display of exotics. 

Now looking forward to RHS Cardiff... lets see if we can improve on the Bronze!

You can see a pic here.

Wednesday 4 April 2012


Despite the cold nights, our tropical plants are starting to reactivate, including the first of the very rare erythrinas Lysistemon (Lucky bean tree) and  Speciosa.

This is particularly rewarding as we've used a new method this year... more to follow.


RHS Great London Plant Fair

Getting ready for next weeks RHS London Plant Fair. As you can imagine there's lots to do. It's always a last minute thing, waiting to choose the plants which are ready and looking there best. Here are some pics of the plants picked so far.

If you fancy a trip out here are the details.  It should be a good show

And do remember to come and see us.

Tuesday 3 April 2012

Handkerchief Tree - disaster!

Nooo, just got into nursery to find a mouse has eaten five out of seven handkerchief tree seedlings, taken a year to germinate!!

This is native to the woodlands of China, and has a small flowerhead surrounded by two large white bracets, one side much larger than the other, giving it its common name.

It's a hardy tree which grows well in fertile, moist but well drained soil.  It prefers sun or partial shade.

Also known as the Dove or Ghost tree.

For a great story on how this tree arrived in England there is an good piece on the Kew website, click here.

Monday 2 April 2012


Everything seems to be bursting into flower... which means it's time for the frost... yep and as if by magic the frost appears.

Friday 30 March 2012

 Viola “Molly Sanderson”

Now is a great time to plant some beautiful Viola “Molly Sanderson”. This is one of the few plants to have black flowers, very striking!

It’s a relatively easy and hardy variety to plant, enjoying full sun and partial shade. It suits well drained, light and moist soil. Keep it trimmed after its first bloom to encourage further growth.

Check out our website to order yours.
Viola, 'Molly Sanderson'