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Posts Tagged ‘Victoriana Nursery’

Sumptuous curves of Amsterdam

Inspired by Wellywoman’s Golden Welly awards, I thought I’d have a look back over the year and round-up some of my favourite horticultural experiences. So in no particular order (other than what first pops into my head)…..

On the third weekend every June, usually hidden Canal Gardens in Amsterdam are open to the public, so I popped over to Holland with fellow blogger Veronica (you can just see her there in the background) to have a look. (In 2013 Open Canal gardens are 14-16 June ).I have to admit, the omnipresent box parterres were slightly overwhelming by the end of the weekend, but I loved the giant curvaceous sculptural box forms in this garden at Kerkstraat 67.

Sumptuously curvy hedging in Amsterdam 2

Impeccably maintained, this garden was the most inspirational by far out of the 25 gardens or so that we packed in over the two days.

pots in Amsterdam 2

I haven’t been to Amsterdam for years, and I’d forgotten what a fantastic place it is just to hang out. And maybe the real horticultural treat for me over the weekend was not so much the canal gardens (although some were stunning), but the great planting that you see in the streets throughout this beautiful city.

pots in Amsterdam_

At every turn, pots were bursting with blooms,

Streets of Amsterdam

and roses adorned all manner of objects, seemingly springing out of deep concrete. Amazing!

De Kas Restaurant in Amsterdam

To complete our horticulturally themed weekend, we dined at De Kas restaurant, a short tram ride just outside the city centre. It’s a fabulous spot. Vegetable beds surround an enormous revamped municipal greenhouse and dining in this open airy structure added to the joy of eating their delicious meals, where fresh produce from the gardens is used as much as possible.

Black Krim tomatoes

Back in Blighty, I know it wasn’t a great year for tomatoes, but Black Krim, a beefsteak variety which I’d tasted the previous summer at Victoriana Nurseries , was another curvaceous delight. It looks wild and tastes great. Really meaty and rich. I’m definitely growing these again next year. (more…)

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Although I ordered most of my bare-rooted plants weeks ago, new thoughts and ideas for myself and clients mean that there are more plants to order. So having done my last day of gardening work for this year, I can sit down and spend time perusing catalogues and websites again-a very pleasurable activity. I’ve plumped for Rosa ‘Paul’s Himalayan Musk’ for a client wants a rose to grow up a tree and although not arriving for a few weeks yet, I could make the most of the promised mild days ahead to start preparing the ground for this scented beauty. The nice people at Peter Beales were happy, as ever, to give good advice about planting a rose near a tree. Try and plant at least 3 feet or more from the base of the tree to avoid competition from the tree roots and prepare the ground very well with loads of organic matter-home compost and well-rotted manure would be ideal. When planting, point the rose towards the tree and use a bamboo cane or rope to train the rose towards the tree. Next, wrap rope in a coil up the trunk to keep the rose stems as horizontal as possible as this will encourage the most flowers. Keep an eye on growth next year and tie stems in as they grow, as once the rose shoots up horizontally, it will be impossible to retrain without lopping off new growth. Paul’s Himalayan Musk is a Rambler, which means (unlike a Climber) that I shall have to wait a year before I see any flowers, as roses are formed on old wood. But I’ve chosen this variety as it’s a vigorous plant which will tough it out on poor soils and put up with a bit of shade, so with plenty of watering and judicious feeding, I will be rewarded with a wonderful skyward display in 18 months time!!

I’ve also just planted this wild rose (Rosa rugosa) as hedging in a neighbour’s front garden and hopefully will see the fruits of my labour this coming summer. There’s still plenty of time to order bare-rooted roses: Toby Buckland’s Nursery offers 10 well-selected cultivars, very reasonably priced wild rose hedging can be ordered from Victoriana Nursery and an abundance of roses can be easily selected on the very user-friendly Peter Beales website

On the fruit side, I’ve just ordered some ‘Joan J’ raspberries (from Ken Muir) to test alongside recently purchased ‘Polka’ canes and my ‘Autumn Bliss’ patch, for what I think is the best tasting variety.

And sweet, juicy Japanese Wineberries can be planted to fill the gap between your summer fruiting and autumn fruiting raspberries. Available bare-rooted from Victoriana Nursery, and Ken Muir.

And finally, I’ve been digging up Jerusalem Artichokes to eat for weeks now, but saving a few to replant in order to double my growing area for more of this delicious veg next year. The less knobbly Fuseau variety of tubers can be bought from Marshalls and can be planted from now until March.

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Over the last few days, a flurry of parcels has arrived, containing a gorgeous assortment of bare-rooted plants. Delighted to receive them all, but slightly panicked too as they all need planting or potting up as soon as possible, along with planting a whole heap of Tulips that are already lurking in the wings. Above is some privet hedging for a sad piece of land in need of topiary tlc, some autumn raspberries for a neighbour’s front garden, wild rose (rosa rugosa) for hedging and climbing and shrub roses that arrived today from Peter Beales too.

Why order bare-rooted plants? Well there’s often greater choice if you order bare-rooted plants and they’re also cheaper as there are no heavy pots of soil to transport (or indeed plastic pots to feed landfill sites with!) As the growing season slows down, plants that are now dormant and can easily be dug up and delivered far and wide.

easybanner

I’ve recently noticed on the Twittersphere that Toby Buckland (previously of Gardeners World) has now started up an on-line bare-rooted nursery selling bare-rooted perennials and roses for autumn dispatch. His website looks very user-friendly and he’s a great proponent of mycorrhizal fungi as “its bacteria speeds up establishment and makes for bigger, better plants full of rude health!”. Must say, I’ve only used mycorrhizal fungi when planting bare-rooted roses before, but Toby’s ‘planting powder’ does sound very beneficial for one’s plants, so will definitely be ordering a pot or two of this helpful product to lavish on my next order of bare-rooted plants. On his website there’s also a very useful ‘how to’ clip for planting bare-rooted new plants -well worth a look.

Some of my bare-rooted arrivals are ‘Polka’ autumn fruiting raspberry canes (above) as I’m intrigued to see what differences there are between these fruits and my Autumn Bliss raspberries. I’m preparing the bed with garden compost and well-rotted manure and will now be sprinkling the roots with some mycorrhizal fungi (bought initially solely for the roses) to help the roots in establishing themselves (thanks Toby!). With all bare-rooted plants, soak the roots for 20-30 mins before planting and for raspberries, canes need to be spaced each about 40cms (16 inches) apart. Dig a generous hole, position the canes to be planted at the previous soil level, sprinkle the fungi powder over the roots and carefully backfill and firm the soil around the roots. Water in well and continue to water the plant should this unseasonably dry weather continue. There’s nothing more to do until Feb now, but click here for more detailed info on planting raspberries and how and when to cut back autumn fruiting raspberry canes in February.

Another welcome delivery is this Old Blush Climber rose. Unlike most other plants, you need to plant the graft union (the knobbly bit where the stems join the rootstock) a good inch below the soil level. Roses need good rich soil too, so mix in plenty of well-rotted manure into the soil and sprinkle the roots with mycorrhizal fungi before backfilling and firming the soil.

There’s still time to order roses, fruit bushes, fruit trees and all kinds of hedging as these can be delivered from November through until March, although the longer you leave it, the less choice there may be. Peter Beales supply great roses (and are very helpful on the phone) and this year I’ve ordered fruit canes from Victoriana Nursery , Ken Muir and Marshalls. The healthy looking privet (in top pic) was supplied by Hedge Nursey.

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