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Helleborus 'Anna's Red' on the Ashwood Nureries StandThe first RHS London show of the year, for me, always signals that winter is nearly over. Hurrah, bloomin’ hurrah!

I can’t wait to see what delights lie in store. Scrumptious hellebores no doubt,

Snowdrops

all manner of delectable snowdrops,

Asplenium scolopendrium Crispum

and oodles of luscious ferns. What more could a girl ask for ?? All this (and more!) from some of the best nurseries in the country.

Chilli Peppr seeds

Theres’s also a whole programme of talks, a plant clinic, seeds and a generous selection of seed potatoes to buy. Always worth the journey.

Elephants

Tim Bushe is well known and very much admired in our our neighbourhood as he created this fantastic herd of elephants from a troublesome corner hedge a few years ago. No longer can unwholesome acts be carried out behind dense cover of privet and the area now boasts a wonderful piece of much-loved public art.

Now such artistry (and good deeds) have not gone unnoticed and Tim has been espied on The Great British Garden Revival on the BBC as well as The One Show and has featured in various articles in the local and national press.

Photo by Andrew Meredith

Currently, his work is on display in a window at Selfridges in Oxford Street as part of their ‘Bright Old Things’ exhibition featuring 16 ‘individuals who’ve embraced a new vocation later in life’. Tim is still working full time as an architect, but having studied sculpture earlier in his career, creates marvellous pieces of topiary at weekends to raise money for the Hft charity who look after his sister. Donations can be made on his Just Giving page.

IMG_6549Venture inside Selfridges to see more of Tim’s topiary and other artworks by Tim and his fellow creatives in the dedicated ‘Bright Old Things’ pop-up space. The exhibition continues until the end February.

Topiary cat created by Tim Bushe
Tim is also happy to undertake new topiary commissions and can be contacted at tim@walkerbushe.co.uk or on Twitter @HedgecutterMan

Sweet Cicely

Sweet cicely 2Ah, the first snow of the year (in London)! I’m deliciously warm and cosy inside, and this enforced idleness from gardening allows me a little time for reflection and planning for the year ahead.

Sweet Cicely (Myrrhis oderata) has to be one of my favourite herbs. Its subtle aniseed flavour is always a great addition to salads and this perennial herb is also a natural sweetener, so can be added to Rhubarb and other tart fruits when cooking, instead of sugar.

Last summer I visited ‘Little Sparta’ just south of Edinburgh (another post to follow on this wonderful artist’s garden) and was enchanted by the use of Sweet Cicely as soft feathery underplanting around a small copse of trees, looking like the most delicate of fur collars. Now I think the soil at Little Sparta may be somewhat damper than my own garden, but certainly an idea to experiment with and proof that not all herbs need full sun to flourish.

Sweet CicelyIf you fancy experimenting yourself and don’t have a herb nursery on your doorstep, Herbal Haven is a great online herb nursery that always sends out quality plants at very reasonable prices.

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