Showing posts from May, 2007

And another one...

I love the clever landscaping that's going on here. The small green shrubs at the bottom of the picture are Hebe 'White Diamond', a favourite of mine, having seen them at first hand at Wakehurst on a college field trip. Behind the cordalyne you can see a border of purple slate and the king of grasses, Miscanthus sinensis standing tall with its lush green and flicks of yellow. Let's face it - it's another classic Brighton garden. Hats off to the designer!

Nice Garden!

I passed by this front garden in Brighton and just had to snap it. It's not often that you come across a front garden that just catches your eye and makes you want to really look at what's going on. I love the use of large pebbles and slate, especially the mixture of greys and whites along with the greens of the variegated Euonymous and use of nice grasses. Thumbs up to whoever designed this one too. I think its a cracking Brighton garden!

Exclusive Pictures of CFS from Mike Donnelly

My friend Mike went to the RHS Chelsea Flower Show and took these wonderful pictures and kindly shared them with me. I managed to catch the last episode of the BBC coverage this evening and some of the designs were just fantastic. I didn't realise that there was such a grand sell-off at the end too. Enjoy the pictures.

The RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2007 is officially underway!

Tune in to BBC for copious amounts of coverage of outrageous gardens, garish gardens, and gardens bland and weird. Looks like 2007 is going to be a good year (like I know what 2006 and 2005 were like?) for the RHS Chelsea show. Joanna Lumley has already had a new variety of fushia named after her. It begs the question; What does the fushia have in store for Joanna? Or it would, if I were a Sun reporter.

All about Bonsai

How to Prune Wisteria with Alan Titchmarsh

Minimalist Style

A great example of a sylish, Brighton front garden. What a great idea, to break the levels of the paving with a snaking line of box (Buxus), offsetting beautifully an ornamental olive tree, especially effective against the white facade of the apartment building. Whoever designed this garden, well done, its very nice indeed.

Euphorbia Euphoria

Euphorbia characias subsp. Wulfenii 'John Tomlinson'

A popular Brighton plant, subtly architectural and rich in its lush green foliage and flowers. Euphorbia, commonly known as spurge, is a great plant and I've seen it quite a lot in front gardens too in Brighton. Pruning is easy, mainly taking out the dead and old stems right at the base of the plant. Be careful with it, however, as the milky sap in the stems is easily released on contact and this is highly irritant for skin and can cause quite a few problems. Always wear gloves and if you do have children, tell them to stay away from it as the sap is rather poisonous in general!

Angelica Archangelica

A remarkable herb. Angelica grows up to 2 metres tall and is suitable for large gardens. Structurally this plant is fantastic. Cultivate in ordinary deep, moist loam, in a shady position, as the plant thrives best in a damp soil and loves to grow near running water. Although the natural habitat is in damp soil and in open quarters, yet it can withstand adverse environment wonderfully well, and even endure severe winter frost without harm. Seedlings will even successfully develop and flower under trees, whose shelter creates an area of summer dryness in the surface soil, but, of course, though such conditions may be allowable when Angelica is grown merely as an ornamental plant, it must be given the best treatment as regards suitable soil and situation when grown for its use commercially.

The Garden House

This is a flyer for The Garden House, an exciting gardening venture that I recently discovered in Brighton. Click on this link to find out about great courses and visits which this company organise and at a decent price. During the summer they will be doing new day courses in propagation, a trip to Ventnor Botanic Gardens and Great Dixtor, as well as a series of visits to The Hidden Gardens of Brighton during May and June.

City College's Horticulture Gurus

This is Jim and Bridget, our lecturers and all round cool horticulture teachers at Stamner Park. In the pictures, Jim is showing us one of the many plant identifications we have to learn throughout the year. Bridget is taking us on a visual journey through the world of biennials. Both Jim and Bridget really bring their passion and enthusiasm for gardening to the students and make the lessons fun and enjoyable.

City College Brighton & Hove Hampton Court Entry

This is City College Brighton & Hove's beautiful entry for the Hampton Court Flower Show in July. We are working hard on propagating the plants for the show for this spectacular tropical garden design. Beth Roberts and Julia Harding from the course were responsible for the design which will fill a plot of 6 x 4 metres at the show. In previous years the college has won silver gilt awards and this year we are going for gold with this exciting design. It's going to be hard work getting all the plants together but the students are all confident we can do it. If it looks anything like the picture then its going to be pretty amazing.

Wisteria Wow Factor

What a perfect time it was to visit Kew Gardens recently. On visiting Kew for yonks, I was privileged enough to see this astonishing Japanese Wisteria, forming a canopy over a giant pergola.

Wisterias show off their highly scented racemes of flowers up to 30cm long. Flower colour changes according to variety but is normally a mixture of blue, purple or white. Flowers appear in late Spring or Summer and are followed by pendant bean-like green seed-pods.

The Japanese Wisteria pictured here at Kew can be dated back to 1820 when it was propagated from the first Wisteria cuttings imported into the UK in 1816. Originally housed inside, this Wisteria was moved and planted outside since 1860.

Ground Cover

Pulmonaria longifolia 'Bertram Anderson'

Another snap from Wakehurst Place. As you can see, all the plants at Wakehurst are labelled, just as they are at Kew Gardens and all RHS sites. I could wander around these gardens all day long and soak up the names and varieties of the plants. When I walks out of these gardens, it feels strange to re-enter a world in which plants are not labelled!

I took this picture of the interesting variety of Pulmonaria. This plant likes damp and shade and makes a good ground cover with interesting foliage and flowers.

Fatsia Japonica

This is my friend Martin from the course at Stanmer Park at City College Brighton & Hove. He's a great gardener too, of course. Look at the structural plant to his right. This is called Fatsia japonica, and you will notice this quite alot in gardens front and back in Brighton. It appreciates shade and damp and will grow in most soils. I love it myself for its architectural leaves jutting out in all directions. Stanmer Park is worth a visit. Some of the planting is amazing there and they have beautiful cherry trees (Prunus) which flower in Spring.

The Marvellous Magnolias of Wakehurst Place

Photographs cannot do them justice. However, I took this picture of the Magnolia 'Wakehurst' at Wakehurst Place on our second college trip in March. Isn't it stunning? We had an early Spring this year, so we went just at the right time to see the collection of magnolias, which are all over the grounds and they are delightful. If I had a garden of my own, it would be one of the first trees I would plant.

Sheffield Park Gardens

This is my friend Sharon on a college trip to Sheffield Park Gardens. As you can see, the weather was not good on this day, but Sheffield Park Gardens are stunning whatever the time of year or weather. And just to think it was all designed by one man, the excellently named Capability Brown. Well, he was certainly a capable garden designer that's for sure. In Autumn, the foliage of many of the trees turns a myriad shades of red, orange and yellow for a spectacular visual display. Sharon is my best friend on the course. Together, we laugh a lot. and share a surreal sense of humour. However, Sharon is a first class gardener and together we plan to raise more awareness of gardening in Brighton and make people happy by making their gardens wonderful.

An Introduction

Welcome to The Brighton Gardener. My name is Laurence England and this is a picture of me pruning in the early weeks of my OCN and NVQ2 Garden Services Course at Stanmer Park. I am nearing the completion of the course and am currently setting up a business renovating and maintaining the small gardens of Brighton & Hove. This blog is dedicated to the world of horticulture and aims to raise awareness of gardening in Brighton & Hove. When people think of Brighton they tend not to think of amazing gardens. But its amazing what you can do with even a small space in a city like Brighton & Hove. I've learned a great deal on the course, but as any good gardener knows, the learning never stops. I hope this blog is a useful addition to Brighton's gardening scene and most of all, I hope you enjoy it!