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Crimes Against Plants


I have decided to start a register of crimes against plants, as mostly perpetrated by municipal planters but it seems no plant is safe.
First up: Rubus cockburnianus. In summer this blackberry relative is not really all that, but in winter it comes into its own. Powdery, mauve-white stems arch delicately and thornily across the border, a striking contrast to other seasonal gems such as Cornus alba ‘Sibirica’ and early spring bulbs. Yes, it is a bit of a thug; and yes, the colour is best on young stems so it needs hard pruning, but I would suggest that it is generally better to do this in early-mid spring. Not to cut it back to six inches high well before Christmas, people. That is when you are supposed to be looking at it.

It has been a busy few weeks. Went to the launch of the National Gardens Scheme’s illustrious Yellow Book – a directory of gardens open for charity. And mighty fine they are too. The picture above is Tithe Barn, Berkshire. Watched with mild awe as they gave some stonking big cheques to good causes.

This was chased up by the Garden Press Event at the RHS Halls which had lots of new stands and products – I am looking forward to trying the soil conditioner from Carbon Gold, was excited (in a rather girly fashion) by the Laura Ashley gardening collection and can’t stop smiling when I see my new backdoor shoes. They have grass on. Cool.

Also did some slightly inconsequential gardening, mostly planting roses, and finally got around to applying for my press ticket to Chelsea Flower Show. (Time was that my Glastonbury ticket was awaited with such anticipation…).

In print this month: In the March issue of Period House writing about Englefield House which has 400 year old garden and is home of Richard Benyon MP. Also in the Feb issue of Berkshire and Buckinghamshire Life, discussing Waterperry Gardens.


Listening to Pop Party 6. Would prefer not to be. Not my choice.

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