Samantha Jane Garden Design

The Thrill of Planting a New Tree

Photograph of planted Parrotia persica 2014

Planting trees is always special, you get that wonderful feeling that you are leaving your mark on the landscape for a very long time. We probably plant on average 20 trees per year on the estate that’s not including all of the hundreds of trees for hedging. At the moment; we probably lose about 3 trees (all ages) per year due to stress and winds; I have just put in tree applications to remove one dead and one in serious decline. But we always replant and with more than enough.

I never replant in the same spot with a tree species from the same family to try and reduce the risks of pest and disease issues and whenever possible I will look slightly further afield to more open areas of the gardens to replant to give the trees a better chance in life.

Tree surveys need to be completed yearly and for any trees that I am concerned about I always get a second expert opinion from a good qualified arborist.

This week we planted a beautiful Parrotia persica, “Persian Ironwood”, a fabulous specimen as can be seen below. It is going to love the great open space and lots of sunshine to colour-up its leaves with gorgeous reds in the autumn before the fall.


‘Gardener’ Is Not A Dirty Word

A great little post by Kenny Higgs:

Placing Sculptures in the Landscape Article

I love seeing sculpture placed beautifully in gardens, on heritage sites and set within landscapes. This is a lovely article below highlighting a fabulous place to visit in Dorset – ‘Sculpture by The Lakes’. It also gives some great tips on how to create a sculpture garden.

Ragley Hall, Warwickshire  sculpture

Ragley Hall, Warwickshire sculpture

I visited Ragley Hall Gardens in Warwickshire the other day and they have some fantastic art set in the gardens and landscape, e.g. above.

Professional Gardeners Should be Respected More

Alan talks about the issue

The Yearly Chelsea Flower Show Gravitational Pull

The Positively Stoke On Trent Garden at Chelsea Flower Show 2014

What a fabulous day at Chelsea again. I do love the theatrical horticultural buzz; I am pulled towards it every year.

The most special moments for me are always catching up with old and new friends, especially from my years at Royal Botanic Gardens Kew.

It is also nice but strange; how many people that I recognise now due to Social Networking sites, sometimes, we have never met before but they feel like close like-minded companions due to regular virtual updates and fascinating horticultural conversation.

Hugo Bugg's Garden at Chelsea Flower Show 2014

Hugo Bugg’s Garden at Chelsea Flower Show 2014

Above is a picture that I took of the water storage inspired garden designed by Hugo Bugg; the youngest Chelsea Gold Winner. It was nice to see some new young designers at the show.

Attached is a link to his response to winning a Chelsea Gold Medal,

Le Tour de Yorkshire garden at Chelsea 2014

Le Tour de Yorkshire garden at Chelsea 2014

Above is a picture that I took of the gorgeous Le Tour de Yorkshire artisan garden designed by Alistair W Baldwin. I really loved the effect of the recycled bike wheels fixed into a section of the back wall giving a dramatic change in texture.

I usually find that I see more ideas and inspiration in the Artisan gardens at Chelsea, it is probably because the designers have such a small area to make an impact and that with the ‘artisan’ title the gardens are generally more craft-creative. I have to say that over all, the show gardens seemed to be playing it “safe”, but, of course it is a competition and everyone wants a gold.

Rosa 'Frilly Cuff' introduced by Peter Beales

Rosa ‘Frilly Cuff’

The Floral Design Marquee, has to be my favourite area of Chelsea Flower Show and I take my time digesting every stand. There was a new Rose launched that stood out for me and that was Rosa ‘Frilly Cuff’ launched by Peter Beales Roses Ltd with the help of Laurence Llewelyn Bowen; a Modern Classic Shrub Rose with a punchy depth of colour and a divine scent. Here is a link to take you straight to their website and the ‘Frilly Cuff’.

Since Chelsea, it has been ‘crazy-planting time’ in the garden plus quite unbelievably having to deal with a spurt of early fresh growth from plants meaning that summer-pruning of climbers like Wisteria, Vines and Roses is being encouraged much sooner than normal. This will be done whilst dreaming of Chelsea Flower Show 2015.


Chelsea Flower Show

Excited; one more day until Chelsea.

My Concerns for the Spread of Invasive Weeds

I bought a stock of Jumbo-sized bare-rooted Agapanthus in February from a supposedly reputable grower/supplier that I have used for years.
On receiving them; I potted them up and kept them in the propagation unit. Today, I got them altogether ready for planting out in the Herbaceous Borders and I was very disappointed to come across the growth of Equisetum probably arvensis, “Horse or Mare’s Tail” amongst the roots. There is no Equisetum in the gardens and I certainly would not want to introduce such an invasive weed.
I rung the supplier/grower; it was lovely that they offered me another load but I was very shocked when I was told that I could just ‘snap’ the Equisetum roots out. Where is the care for the natural environment and the future of our gardens?


A Fascinating Short Video to Watch

Amazing plants picture linking to an amazing plants video on Samantha Jane Garden Design website

Watch this short video giving more scientific research results on how plants respond to pain. click here

Gardening is Necessary and Exciting!

Alan Titchmarsh stands-up to support gardening; as it is not only a hobby, it is also an energising skilful profession!

The Latest Pictures of The Herbaceous Borders at The Beginning of April

The lush borders are really starting to fill-up now and the Tulips are beginning to burst open.