Sharpen Your Secateurs, There’s Work To Be Done

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

August is that time of year when the garden is looking a little unruly after the wonderful display it put on in June and July but you will be surprised by how much tidier it will look after what is effectively a short, back and sides.

All plants, shrubs and trees respond well to a good pruning, it stimulates fresh and vigorous new growth.  However, you shouldn’t just prune everything in the garden willy nilly.  Perennial plants are fairly easy, as are roses but flowering shrubs are a little more tricky as are the one time flowering older varieties of rose.  Here is my quick guide on late Summer pruning.

Modern roses

Modern varieties of roses (those that repeat flower) can be pruned at any time of year, although the main pruning should occur early in the year when the first buds appear.  I water my roses continuously when they are in active growth (April-October) and I find that this results in vigorous growth and more flowers, so the occasional haircut keeps things in order.  This Summer there has been a decent amount of rainfall so you might find that by August you have a few stems that are a bit leggy and it really is a good idea to reduce these down the the height of the other stems.  It maintains a good shape and will promote flowers uniformly on the plant rather than just on the longer stems.  Always prune to just above a leaf joint as this is where the growth node is for the next flower.  Keep the cut tight to the leaf joint, cutting higher results in die-back which will turn brown and be dead wood which can allow fungal infections to develop.  This method I generally use with Bush roses but you can also use the same technique with climbing roses but don’t reduce the stems by much are long arching stems is what we are going for.  With climbing roses I usually only cut stems back by 1 or 2 leaf joints.  With Ramblers just cut off an inch or two below the finished flower heads.  If you are unsure you can send me a photo of the rose and I will give you my opinion.

Perennial Plants

I tend to just keep on top of dead-heading perennials unless they are really scruffy and the thing with perennials is that they all need pruning differently to promote late-Summer flowering.  Here are just a few to give you an idea, others you can look up on the Internet or you can ask me directly.

Phlox – simply cut just below the spent flowerhead and this will promote new flower development.  Do not cut them down to the base, that’s a Spring job.

Delphiniums – Cut then off at ground level and new, albeit smaller flower spikes will develop.

Lupins – after seed pods have started to develop cut back to a leaf joint below the seed pods and a new flower should develop from here.

Flowering Shrubs

The pruning of flowering shrubs all depends upon whether they flower on new wood or wood from the previous year. Forsythia is a prime example, it flowers on the previous years growth, if you must cut it then only prune a 3rd of stems otherwise you will have no flowers next spring.  In reality, the ideal time to prune forsythia is just after it has flowered, allowing time for new flower bearing growth to occur. Lavender should be cut back hard at this time of year to prevent it becoming woody, I use a special lavender pruning tool but you can also use a pair of secateurs, prune to just above the start of the green shoots,this will encourage bushy growth and an abundance of flowers next year. My best advice on flowering shrubs is to treat each type as unique and to check in gardening books or online first.

 

Pruning now will tidyup the garden and promote more flowers, thereby extending interest in the garden well into Autumn.  Now is also a good time to label plants that need moving in the autumn, I use blank white plant labels, the type that fixes around the stems which I write on with a permanent marker pen.

And now a few words from the wise, generally the women in my family…..(and my thoughts)

If the house is untidy just put away 30 things, by the time you are finished you will be amazed how much better it looks and it doesn’t take that long.  Personally I think this is a trick to make me do housework.

The garden will look 100% better if you cut the grass, in my opinion Mothers are wiley creatures and will try anything to encourage sons to do work.

It will only take 5 minuites, pfah I say after 2 hours.

Let’s clean out that cupboard together, this in my opinion means I work and you supervise, note to self, never trust sisters.

Happy Gardening and I would loveto see pictures of your gardens

The Trials and Tribulations of a Gardening Life

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Who said Gardening was Stress Free?

It has to be said that on the whole gardening for a living is a pretty laid-back existence especially when you compare it to the stress of the corporate world but it does have its moments.  Last year in the Black Forest was very hot and dry and these were the perfect conditions for a certain type of beatle that make their home under to bark of trees.  The result of this infestation is death for the tree and all around us in the forest we have heard the sound of busy forest workers removing the affected trees, removal of the trees reduces the spread of the beatle. This was quite a blow for the forest as we had already lost a good number of trees early in the year.  The snowfall this year was not as excessive as in some years but it was very heavy and wet. Yes I know that snow is made from water before anybody advises me of the fact but wet snow is much heavier than dry snow and this resulted in many trees breaking in half.  We also have an infection of Asian Box Tree caterpillars in our box hedging. All of this might make any lesser gardener hang up their gardening gloves and call it a day but we gardeners are made of tough stuff and are not so easily deterred.  It just makes us work harder so that we can overcome these minor setbacks. That’s life!

The Latest News from The Moosbach Garden

Well, it has to be said that there is quite a lot going on at the moment some are good and some are not so good but it’s all about balance, right?

So the goose has been sitting on her clutch of 10 eggs for 5 weeks but nothing has hatched, so something has probably gone wrong or the eggs were not fertile but I’ve decided to let her come to that conclusion herself and in her own good time.

Bramble, our resident cat has been very busy controlling the mouse population and has graciously allowed us to carry on living here.

The sheep, who are an English breed called Shropshire, are growing nicely and doing a good job grazing our fields.

The older chickens are not laying very much but I don’t have the heart to kill them so they continue to live in The Moosbach Garden retirement home for chickens, the young chickens that we bred this year are due to start laying by the end of this month and will start to earn their keep.

The exciting news is that we have a new addition to The Moosbach Garden family, a gorgeous Border Collie puppy called Luna.  She is only 8 weeks old and has only been here for 24 hours but has already succeeded in turning our world upside down.

 

And Finally….

We are proud to announce that The Moosbach Garden will now be open to the Public on Wednesday afternoons from 12:00-18:00 and on the first Sunday of every month (April-October). Visitors can view the garden, enjoy a cup of tea and a piece of cake and buy top quality plants from The Moosbach Garden.  On the 25th August we have an open day and you can pre-book our famous English Afternoon Tea, numbers are limited so we would recommend booking early.  To book your place please visit our website by clicking here.  Please note that you must pre-book for this event.

We can still be found at the Oberkirch outdoor market every Wednesday from 08:00-12:00 next to the coffee stand, please come and say “Hello” if you are in the area, we love meeting new people. As always, gardening questions are welcome, just don’t ask me about Brexit or Football!

Some garden jobs to do now

The first flush of roses are mainly over now and they should be producing buds for their second flowering and the perennial plants that came after them may be past their best but there are many jobs that you can do now to tidy up the garden and extend the flowering season.  You can do all of these now unless you intend to collect the seeds for growing next year.

Roses

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Repeat flowering roses should have their spent blooms cut back to just above the next leaf joint, this is where the new growth and next flowers come from, we do this weekly so that all of the energy goes into producing new flowers and not rose hips.  It is also a good time to add a little rose feed so that the next flowers are as beautiful as the first. For roses that only flower once we recommend not removing the spent flowers and allowing the roses to produce beautiful hips which will look stunning when frosted in the Winter and provide food for birds.  Now is also a good time to tie-in climbing roses whilst the stems are still pliable, please note never tie in the last 6 inches of the stems as this will inhibit growth. Also check standard roses, removing any shoots coming out below the graft and any from under the ground as these are from the root stock and will take all of the energy which you want to go to the grafted rose at the top.

Phlox

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Phlox and Dahlia Nuit D’ete

Phlox is a stunning plant but as the flower heads fade they can look a little scruffy.  However, you can get them to flower again by cutting off the spent flower heads just below the flowers but above the next flower buds.  Be careful though as the new buds are quite close to the spent flower heads.

Delphiniums

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These majestic plants can produce a second set of flowers in late Summer if you cut the stems down to the ground and give them a good feed. They should flower in late August to September although the flowers will not be as tall as the first blooms.

Lupins

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Lupins have mainly finished flowering now but if you cut off the spend flowers at the next leaf joint this will promote new flower buds to develop.

Wysteria

Wysteria will benefit from pruning back to 7 leaf joints from last years growth, this will be hard wood and this years will be green and supple.

And finally……

Deadheading all perennials that have finished flowering will promote new growth and some flowers, all of which will extend your flowering season. Provide supports for any drooping plants.  We also recommend walking around your garden and taking some photographs and cast a critical eye over all your planting areas and make notes of plants that need moving or dividing in the Winter if they have outgrown their spot.  A good exercise is to take photographs of your garden throughout the year so that you can see where you can improve interest all year round, they are great to look at in the depths of Winter when you can’t get outside. A garden should always be a work in progress and evolve over many years.  Don’t forget to take time to sit and enjoy your beautiful garden that you and nature have created together.

The Benefits Of Mulching Your Garden

The environment and climate change are on most peoples minds these days and rightly so as we seem to be hastening towards the destruction of the planet and ourselves along with it.  With changing weather patterns comes ever increasing temperatures and concerns about water.  For me, the answer has to come in a localised and environmentally friendly form.  Quick fixes should become a thing of the past and must be replaced by sustainable solutions.  I’m afraid I have become a little like a reformed smoker and am annoyingly self-righteous about all things environment (I’m very sorry).

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Liatris Spicata in the foreground with assorted Phlox.

The biggest problems that we face in The Moosbach Garden are keeping the plants from drying out and keeping on top of the weeds. We have always been reluctant to mulch the garden over fears of the soil becoming too acidic for many of the plants but then we saw a video on YouTube that got us thinking.  Last year we were watering the garden every other day for 6 hours solid and although the garden was coming along nicely we felt it could be doing so much better.

The video in question was rather long at 3 hours but it inspired us to trial the approach in The Moosbach Garden.  The video was by a man who had purchased a ranch near Boston in the USA.  The ground was mostly rock and not much was growing, so he covered the whole property in bark mulch.  He now has a ranch that produces a plethora of different produce and is growing it all together regardless of the stated soil requiremments.

Watering plants that are in soil Vs Watering plants that have a topdressing of mulch

Firstly, you need to weed the area that you are going to apply the mulch to.  Mulch will suppress newly germinated weeds but established ones with extensive root systems will need to be removed by hand. The mulch needs to be of a sufficient depth to effectively suppress the weeds by excluding light and to minimize water loss by evaporation, we apply 4-6 inches.  Applying the mulch too sparingly is a false economy as it will quickly become part of the soil and the weeds will return quickly.  We have installed a drip watering system and this slowly moistens the soil and we find that this is more effective than watering with a hose where the majority of the water runs off. You can even water at night using a timer, allowing you the time for more important things, like drinking wine.

Due to the size of the garden we have areas that have been mulched and other areas where there is just soil. We were expecting it to take some time before we started seeing results but within a week we have much healthier plants with substantial new growth in the areas that have been mulched.  This has affirmed our belief that water was the biggest issue for us here.  We have Magnolia trees that have grown up to half a meter in a month and the roses have also responded very well. We have to admit to being a little cautious when it came to the roses but there have been no detrimental effects whatsoever.  You will still get some weeds coming through but this tends to be at a mangable level.

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Loose bark mulch that we buy by the trailer load

Sourcing Bark Mulch

Depending upon the size of your garden you can either buy your Bark Mulch from your local garden centre or you can source a company that produces the Bark Mulch rather than just re-selling it.  We buy ours from a company that processes wood for heating and we find that to be much more cost effective.  Bark Mulch also comes in different grades so it is worth shopping around.  Once you start using Bark Mulch you will be surprised at how much you get through and how little comes in a bag.  Our preference would be loose.

How Often To Apply Mulch

The Bark Mulch will slowly be incorporated into the soil, thereby improving the composition of your soil.  We would recommend applying Bark Mulch once a year to your garden either in Spring or in Autumn, our preference is in Spring but either is acceptable.  Applying the Mulch in Spring really sets you up for the Summer ahead and another added bonus is that slugs and snails do not like Bark Mulch and this is so much more environmentally friendly than using chemical controls.

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Here we use Bark Mulch as the flooring material in our nursery as it reduces weeds and helps to protect young plants from snail predation.

We have our own water supply here at The Moosbach Garden but if you pay for your water and have a meter then applying a mulch and installing a drip feed water system will save you money and result in a more beautiful garden.

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This Magnolia tree has been mulched and has grown 4 inches in a month

Bark Mulch is also great for newly planted areas as it reduces the risk of roots drying out and reduces competition from weeds.

Our Top Tip

If you have lots of potted plants you can top dress them with mulch and this will help retain water and reduce the risk of plants wilting in extremely hot weather.

 

Why I wouldn’t swap my garden for anything

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Paul’s Himalayan Musk is my favourite rambling rose, beautiful clusters of white and pink roses with a heady scent.

I am amazed by the array of wonderful plants at our disposal for creating our living masterpieces

I finally have a garden big enough to indulge whatever gardening whim blows my way and I really do appreciate how lucky I am.  Many gardeners have a limited space and whilst we all love looking at gardening programs, magazines, visiting wonderful gardens and garden centres many people have to think about where they can find the space to put this new ‘must-have’ plant.  I have a friend here in Germany who has a wonderful garden but of a limited size, when she discovers something she likes she just buys it and either digs up some more lawn to accommodate it or removes some other plant specimen. Some people might think that she is a bit crazy but it is her garden, her creation and the relationship that they share is unique, personal and nurturing.

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Gardening is a life lesson for the impatient

I’ve met a few very succesful people who have very impressive corporate careers and then decide to take up gardening.  Sometimes it is a painful experience both for them and for me.  For those people who have had ‘minions’ and expect immediate results in gardening like they have in their corporate lives it can be a reality that is hard to accept.

Gardens take time, there are always unexpected twists and turns and let’s face it sometimes nature can be unyielding, a little like my good self!  I often try to explain to people that gardening is a process, albeit an evolving one and that the process is just as important as the end result.

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I simply cannot move house again

I’m in my 50’s now and I’ve spent the last 5 years developing the Moosbach Garden and it feels like I’ve only just started.  Any logical person would sell the house and buy another with a good-sized garden that is flat but let’s face it I was probably at the back of the queue when they were handing out logic.  The Moosbach Garden is steep, there are very few even remotely flat spaces, the winter is long, cold and there is usually lots of snow. However, what is life without a few challenges?  I have worked many hours in my garden, I have planted uncountable numbers of plants and trees, this is a marriage that I simply cannot walk away from.  The thought of digging up thousands of euro’s worth of plants is not one I ever want to seriously contemplate.  My sister, who has lots of common sense (she got my share) tells me that I will never recoup the value of the plants when we move but I can’t think in those terms.  Every year those plants repay me for my financial investment by soothing my soul, bringing me untold amounts of happiness and providing a paradise both for me and wildlife, I reckon that is priceless.

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hazy summer days

 

I’m not a mover and shaker

I was never especially academic, I did OK but never excelled at anything, I had no idea of what career to follow and consequently was never going to set the world ablaze.  I have no children and am a little bit eccentric. What I can do is garden, I have been gardening for over 35 years but didn’t realise at an early age that I should make it my career.  Yes, you got it, I’m a slow learner! I have decided that I will be quite happy if during my time on this planet I can create a garden that is beautiful, that will endure and that people might visit it long after I have hung up my gardening gloves.  It is a tall order as there are so many beautiful gardens in the world and maybe I’m deluding myself but it’s my delusion so don’t deprive me of it.

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It’s great when things start coming together

When we moved here there wasn’t much of a garden at all and it has taken 5 years of hard graft, many gardening projects and lots of experimentation to get the soil and plant choices right.  The top garden is really starting to have the feel of what I wanted to create, the plants have found their feet and have lots of healthy top growth that is proportionate to the garden space.  We are just adding a pergola for the Paul’s Himalayan Musk and a row of poles and wires to support the climbing roses and then structurally we are finished.  The rest of the work in the top garden isn’t really work at all, weeding, dead-heading and pruning are the fun bits. I have a love of English flowers and as well as roses we have peonies, delphiniums and phlox.  Peonies appear to be my latest garden obsession, we have a mixture of herbaceous, tree and Itoh peonies. The first tree peony that I planted here is now 1.5 metres tall and is covered with flower buds and buds of a size that I have not seen before. I’m told that the flowers can be as big as a dinner plate once the plant is mature enough and happy. so fingers crossed.

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We are striving towards a BIO garden

We love nature and the planet and we want to do everything that we can to encourage biodiversity, so no weed killers, no slug pellets, no quick fixes.  We have a nature pond and a resident population of frogs, we have small lizards and we want to encourage hedge hogs. We have left piles of branches to provide overwintering habitats for hedge hogs and insects, what we are going for is a sustainable eco system.  I am not a gardener without misdemeanors, I have used far too many slug pellets in previous years and have also used weed killers.  However, this is not something that I am prepared to do anymore, I’m learning to work with nature rather than against it.  This year my other big goal is improving the soil composition to help retain water and this is so important with global warming.  I’m trying out bark mulch this year to see if it makes a difference.  In theory it helps reduce water evaporation, improves soil competition and allows mycorrhizal fungi to establish and this should lead to healthier plants.

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Are you getting it yet?

So the title of this piece is “Why I wouldn’t swap my garden for anything”  and I’m hoping that I have convinced some of you that a garden is a symbiotic relationship worth investing in, that it’s not just your garden that grows but yourself as well.   So you can keep your big cities, you can keep fortune and fame, I don’t need them.  What I do need is to be in a relationship that is honest, that has its ups and downs but where the needs of both parties are met and gardening fulfills these needs.  Don’t misinterpret me, I’m very happily married but I’m in 2 relationships, 1 with my husband and 1 with my garden, may they both be long and fruitful.  I partied endlessly in my youth but now that I’m in my 50’s I’d much rather be working in my own garden or walking around a National Trust garden than at a music festival.  Let my soundtrack now be the buzzing of bees, the trill of birdsong, the cockerel crowing from the orchard or a hen announcing proudly that she has just laid an egg.   Realising that not all rewards can be measured in financial terms, that the phrase ” return on investment” can be measured not only in an increase the value of your home but on how it’s improved your life-balance, your levels of happiness and helped nature and the planet. I’ going to sign off now as my husband has just finished baking a rhubarb cake from freshly harvested rhubarb from the vegetable garden and I think it would be rude to not try a piece!  I wish your all happy gardening, peace and joy.

 

The Moosbach Gardener.

 

 

 

The Royal Horticultural Society’s Rosemoor Garden

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I’m a big fan of the Royal Horticultural Society, it does so much great work and is so proactive in engaging with people who are new to gardening.  I’ve been a member of the Society for quite a few years now and the benefits are multitudinous.

With the membership you get the magazine for free (worth the membership fee on its own) but you can also ask their gardening experts for assistance with all things plant related. The RHS has some choice gardens that you can visit and one of these is RHS Rosemoor in Devon.  I would describe RHS Rosemoor as a garden park rather than a garden as it is very large.

I didn’t have any expectations from RHS Rosemoor, we’d had a manic few days, it was boiling hot and we had spent the morning walking coastal paths.  We had decided that it was too hot to walk any more coastal paths and to be honest we were both feeling tired. Thomas suggested a trip to Rosemoor.  So, we made the hour-long trip from our holiday cottage near Bude to RHS Rosemoor.  I was really not feeling in the mood for another 3 hours walking around a garden in the heat and all I really wanted to be was sit in the shade with nothing but a nicely chilled bottle of Sauvignon Blanc for company.  I think that sometimes life is like that, the parties that you really don’t want to go to turn out to be the best.  This turned out to be the case with RHS Rosemoor, what a fantastic place.

Now, for starters, RHS Rosemoor is a garden on a very large-scale and it is crammed full of interesting garden rooms, amazing vista’s and fantastic ideas.

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The Queen Mother’s rose garden has been in existence for 16 years and was looking stunning, as you may be aware I am a new convert to the joy of growing roses so I was particularly interested in this garden.  There wasn’t a huge variety of roses on display but they have created a wonderous display by planting enmasse.  I think that the rose garden looks beautiful especially bearing in mind the hot summer and lack of rainfall, I have to water our garden for 6 hours a day so I appreciate the mammoth task that they have at RHS Rosemoor.

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I think what makes RHS Rosemoor so great is that it has something to suit everybody’s taste and because of the scale of the garden you never feel that a gardening style has been crammed into a corner jus for the sake of it.  There are some classically designed garden styles on display in the garden like the long avenues planted with Yew hedging with a statue or tree in the distance making the garden feel like it goes on forever.

As you would expect from an organisation that advocates growing your own fruit and vegetables the orchards and vegetable gardens were fantastic and much tidier and weed free than mine.

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Although there were lots of cars and coaches in the car park RHS Rosemoor never felt crowded, partly due to the large size of the garden and this was really nice.  I am a firm believer in being able to mooch around a garden in solitude, undisturbed by masses of noisy visitors (I’m getting older and I’m entitled to be grumpy).  At no point during our visit did I feel anything but calm serenity and that makes RHS Rosemoor the perfect place to revitalise your spirit or be inspired to try new things in your garden at home.

One of the many things that inspired us on the day were the creative use of materials for creating steps, pergola’s, benches and walls.

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A great day out for all of the family, there is even a play area for children. The Cafe is nice and secluded and they don’t make a bad cup of tea!

If you would like more information on RHS Rosemoor click here.

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Hidcote Manor – A National Trust dream garden

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Hidcote Manor is a famous English garden hidden down a narrow country lane near Chipping Camden in the Cotswolds.  It was created by the American, Lawrence Johnston.  The estate, comprising the house and 287 acres (116 hectares) of farmland was purchased for him by his mother, Mrs Gertrude Winthrop in 1907.  It took Lawrence Johnson some 20 years to create this garden and he collected plants from all over the world to do so. He was a keen gardener and it is evident to the visitor that this garden was created with great thought and love.  Of course, Lawrence Johnson had the benefit of a benefactor in his mother.  The garden was gifted to the National Trust in 1948 who have maintained it ever since and shared it with the world.

We visited the garden halfway through our 10 days in England and it was definitely one of the garden highlights, this is praise indeed in a Country where the plethora of stunning gardens is hard to believe.

Like many of the grand houses and gardens created in a bygone era, it is lovingly maintained by the National Trust. I cannot stress strongly enough what a fantastic organisation this is, if you are planning a garden tour in the United Kingdom I would strongly recommend taking out a membership, it will give you free access to so many wonderful properties.  For more details click here.

I would suggest arriving early in the day before the masses descend upon Hidcote Manor.  I would advocate travelling by car, (it is quite remote) with enough space for those choice plants that you cannot resist, the plant shop is very well stocked with good quality plants which can be seen in the garden and they are not too expensive.

It is entirely up to you how much time you spend in the garden but in my opinion, a garden such as this should not be rushed, allow your soul to soak up the many wonders that Hidcote Manor has to offer. I think that a minimum of half a day is required, you can break your visit by having a cup of tea and a slice of cake in the cafe.

For me Hidcote Manor is a mixture of classic garden design and quirky intimate garden rooms.  The National Trust have been very respectful of the gardens original design and much of the original paving still exists (watch your footing in these areas) along with many of the original plantings.  I’m a lover of classic, timeless garden design and Hidcote Manor has this by the sack load. There are so many beautifully designed garden rooms with  long narrow beds, back edged with superb Yew hedging leading the eye forward to a  sneak preview of another garden or a panoramic view of the cotswolds.

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Hidcote Manor is not all formal design with straight lines and neatly clipped hedges, there are wonderful herbaceous borders and intimate meandering paths, the romance of which can steal your heart.

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One of the many herbaceous borders at Hidcote, it has a good depth with interest at ground and at eye level.

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Pictured above, original paving laid down by Lawrence Johnston.

There are some grand statements in this garden, like the pond for example.  The pond is classically beautiful with an understated water feature in the middle. So often an ornamental pond like this is overwhelmed by the sheer size of the fountain but not here and Lawrence Johnston has added an enticing view across this pond to the next garden.  This is a tantilising garden window, framed by two hedges, drawing the visitor forwards to the next delight that Lawrence Johnston has in store for us.  To be honest it is these small subtle touches that really inspired me at Hidcote Manor.

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These glorious delphiniums were over 6 feet tall and the most fantastic shade of blue.  If you want to grow delphiniums like this you can buy seed from Larkspur Nursery

Delphinium seedlings are prone to damping off, so remember to cover the seed trays with vermiculite or fine grit after you have sown the seeds and do not over water them.  Once the seedlings are big enough a weekly dose of liquidised tomato feed in the water will help them to establish more leaves and a healthier crown

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The steps at the end of this herbaceous border help to define the natural end of the border and act as a focal point for the entrance to the next garden room.IMG_4367

For me this is evocative of romantic summer days, where you can sit and read undisturbed by either people or the hot summer sun.  It was pertinent when it was created and even more so today in our world of stress and over crowded spaces.  What a wonderful thought, being able to sit here alone immersed in ones thoughts or a good book.

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A perfect place for a glass of wine (white, dry and definitely not Chardonnay).  I imagine 2 ladies sat here in years gone by discussing Mr Rochester or Mr Darcy.

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I like this idea,which extends the classic design of the garden by framing the doorway with hedges, many people consider the garden an extension of the house but this flips it around and make the house an extension of he garden.  I’m not sure that entirely works but it’s a very interesting idea.

 

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For me a quintessentially English scene with statuesque trees and horses.  The clever design trick here is that the end of the garden (in the foreground) melts effortlessly in the countryside. There is, however, a wall that prevents the sheep and horses from entering the garden. You can only see the wall when you are standing on top of it, I think that this is just brilliantly clever.

As ever, we came away inspired and determined to tweak some of the features of Hidcote Manor to fit our own garden.  I use the term tweak because every garden is and should be different, just imagine if every garden looked he same, wouldn’t that make for a boring world. I also realised how blessed we were to have been able to see this garden and I thought how lucky we were that people like Lawrence Johnston, Gertrude Jekyll, Vita Sackville-West and many others had the resolve and natural ability to create such wonderful gardens.  I really value my memberships of the National Trust and the Royal Horticultural Society without whose work these wonderful places would fall into disarray and be lost forever. Now that’s a very sad thought indeed.

We are back home now in the Black Forest and my normal routine of weeding, watering and dead heading has resumed.  I say ‘normal routine’ but this is simply not true as no 2 days are ever the same when you are a gardener, however, I feel blessed that I am able to envelope myself in something as wonderful and rewarding as gardening.

My final thought is this. Gardening for me is about 2 things, committment and acceptance.  Firstly, committment because you have to commit yourself to a garden and it is an open-ended committement.  A flower bed doesn’t stay weed free and those roses will not stay looking as beautiful as the day that you bought them unless you put the time in.  Secondly, acceptance, you have to accept that things will go wrong and you just have to dust off the dirt and start again.  Once you have mastered these two concepts then you will be rewarded by thankful plants, a beautiful place to live, an abundance of wildlife and a very grateful planet.

We’ve just made our selection of David Austin roses for next year and they will be available to view on our website shortly.  Why not join our mailing list and be notified of what is happening in the Moosbach Garden.

The Moosbach Garden team wish you many happy hours gardening.