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RHS Garden Rosemoor

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    sheiladearing on 04 Feb 2014 at 10:58 AM

    Even now in late winter time the days are already lengthening and the precious sunlight is creeping over the cold earth warming the soil and bringing the promise of new life.  From times immemorial this is that vital period when, if man is to survive, he must plant the seeds for the crops which will grow through the coming months and allow his family to live and thrive.  Life for agrarian societies, dependent as they were on the land, was harsh and even mere existence was a tenuous affair.  Starvation was a constant threat in such people’s life.  Freshly sown seed and tender new growth were always in need of protection from the brutal forces of nature which conspired to destroy man’s future scarce resources of food.   Birds and especially the Corvid family have always plagued farmers, descending en masse on the freshly ploughed and sown winter fields to sate their voracious appetites on man’s hard won crops. 


  • Tarting Up the Tatty and Replacing the Rotten by Andrew Lane

    sheiladearing on 04 Apr 2013 at 03:43 PM

    Visitors and staff alike may have noticed a sudden and rapid renovation occurring in the Potager at RHS Garden Rosemoor. A new wall here, new paving there and sadly the disappearance of long standing Vitis and Pergolas along with the mournful removal of an iconic Wisteria macrobotrys that has adorned the central structure for the best part of the last 20 years.

     It’s not as bad as it sounds though and there’s no need to panic as the key to renovation is to get your target area to a stage from which it can be developed. This sometimes requires a seemingly drastic reduction of what is already in place so that you have wider parameters to work within and more scope for improvement.
    In the Potager, however, it is a case of less is more and the four square iron pergolas that have been removed create a more open feel to the garden and allow the design to flow into that of the Cottage and Herb Gardens more harmoniously.


  • Get Set – Get Sowing by Catherine Norman

    sheiladearing on 27 Mar 2013 at 09:26 AM

    Now is one of my favourite times of year as spring starts and the days are getting longer  it is time to start seed sowing and all the promise that holds for the coming year.

    I have been busy on the nursery getting the seeds sown ready for the planting season. It started with sowing sweet peas, one seed into a 7cm pot on 15th February but there is still plenty of time to get them going. Ours will soon need potting up into 1 litre pots and tying into canes. Many people set their sweet peas off in the autumn but ours are ready and waiting to get out in the garden by the end of May and always put on a good display in the garden.

  • Not quite a hedge, but a 'Fedge' by Peter Earl

    sheiladearing on 21 Mar 2013 at 04:11 PM

    Next time you are near the PBLC site, look out for the newly planted ‘fedge’; it’s a cross between a fence and a hedge, made of willow and you can see it contouring around the Willow bed.

    This bed was planted up last winter with a selection of hard wood cuttings, and they have established well in what was a very wet year.


  • Exploring South Africa by Peter Adams

    sheiladearing on 26 Feb 2013 at 02:47 PM

    At the start of February I swapped the cold and damp winter weather of North Devon for the far hotter and drier climate of South Africa’s late summer.  I spent 17 days adventuring around some of the furthest reaches of South Africa’s Eastern Cape, covering some 2273 kilometres; travelling from the coast at Port Elizabeth to the high Drakensburg Mountains overlooking the Eastern Cape and bordering on to Lesotho. I took the opportunity to climb the highest mountain in the Eastern Cape some 3001 metres above sea level, then ventured back to the coast at Kei Mouth to explore the coastal plants of South Africa; whilst visiting everywhere, it seemed in between. This included venturing over South Africa’s highest road at Naude’s Nek at 2500 metres above sea level on dirt roads that seemed to have been scratched into the mountain side with shear drops on every corner. To give you an idea of height, Ben Nevis is only 1344 metres above sea level.

    South Africa is well known for its never ending array of plants, one that has strongly interested me for years as a horticulturalist,  South Africa seems to produce a never ending list of genus, that we all enjoy seeing grown in gardens all over the world and botanist continue to find new species on a regular basis even today. Yet very few horticulturalists and gardeners get to view them growing in their natural environment, often tucked away in minute plant populations in some extremely remote areas with the ever present risk of extinction caused by humans over grazing areas with animals or developing areas of land for roads and buildings; so the opportunity to fulfil the ambition of visiting South Africa was one not to be missed


  • Ornamental Prunus are looking great!

    sheiladearing on 18 Feb 2013 at 10:06 AM
    I was walking round the garden earlier in the week and noticed how wonderful our early flowering Prunus were looking. I spotted the first one on approaching the Herb Garden from the Stream Field. This is the beautiful white blossomed Prunus mume 'Omoi-no-mama' (Japanese apricot); a small tree that is in its prime when everything else in the Herb garden is still to get going.



  • Horses for Courses - By Andrew Lane

    sheiladearing on 08 Feb 2013 at 03:49 PM

    Did you ever wonder what the saying ‘Horses for courses’ actually meant? I discovered that it is an old English idiom that means the right method or tool for the right situation. Well, here at RHS Garden Rosemoor we have the perfect example of horses for courses, in the actual form of horses!

    Remember the tree felling and brash burning that ensued before Christmas? It was done with the intention of removing hazardous trees that had been killed or were dying due to Dendroctonus micans infestation. I did tell you to watch this space and here it is. As a continuation of that effort, with the brash burnt, the final thing to remove is the felled and cleaned trees


  • Breaking the of January by Peter Adams

    sheiladearing on 31 Jan 2013 at 02:21 PM

    At the beginning of January, we decided to give the allotment plots in the Peter Buckley Learning Centre (PBLC) vegetable growing area a spruce up for this year’s growing season by boarding out each plot.

    The vegetable growing area has multiple uses; however the main one is by Rosemoor’s own community allotment course. We offer ten plots to members of the local community to come and learn the skills they need to successfully grow their own veg. For £50 each, the allotment keepers are given a small plot of ground, all the tools and equipment and the manure and compost they require. The seeds are generously donated by Thompson and Morgan for each plot holder. The allotment keepers also receive one tutorial a month from one of the fruit and veg. team on what they need to be doing at that time of year, from soil cultivation and seed sowing to pest and diseases to harvesting their crops which they get to keep and enjoy. The course runs from February through to October, with a new group of people starting each year.


  • Magical Witch Hazels by James Shepherd

    sheiladearing on 18 Jan 2013 at 11:53 AM

    The mild weather before and immediately after Christmas has hastened the flowering of many of the shrubs in the Winter Garden at Rosemoor and the Hamamelis, or witch hazels, have been putting on an especially dazzling display of colour.

    Pale yellow-flowered Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Arnold Promise’ AGM and red-flowered H. x intermedia ‘Diane’ AGM are two of the star performers in the Winter Garden, although neither has the strong, spicy fragrance of H. x intermedia ‘Pallida’ AGM


  • No Hedge to High by John Bridge

    sheiladearing on 03 Jan 2013 at 09:03 AM

    For the last few years we have been finding a new innovative way of cutting the tops of our ‘New Garden’ hedges. With the hedges slowly creeping up each year and the difficult access, coupled with the various dangers of using ladders; using a hired M.E.W.P (Mobile Elevated Work Platform)or cherry picker known to some, saves time, effort and  increases productivity.

    Armed with risk assessments, cones and more safety barriers than you can shake a stick at, our team of trained operatives begin work


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