Category Archives: Plant supports

Gardening is….Satisfaction

First of all, there are no black fly on the broad beans… woohoo

Secondly, it was only 2 months ago that I was pruning this climbing rose on the garden wall… (Madame Alfred Carriere)



Admittedly I thought mid-April was a bit late but hey ho


… it worked beautifully!

The cloud pruning is working too – 3 years down the line




Just need a ladder to finish it next time.

Staking earlier on this year has been a blessing for these huge peony blooms



The sweet peas have started to flower already on their hazel wig-wam


And I couldn’t wish for more bees bees bees on the chives chives chives.  So easy to grow and divide, anyone can do it:


Gordon Bennett, time to get the show on the road!

The new raised beds for veg were still looking pretty empty yesterday and panic set in.  Time to get a move on.  Not before finishing tying- in the climbing rose by the wall first though… it’s got buds already, but better late than never


That done, pea sticks for peas, wigwam for runner beans, supports for broad beans are in, and French beans sown





Just time to add a small frame for sweet peas and that bed is done

I can’t help get distracted by the views


And must make time to enjoy the Spring garden, otherwise what is the point?


Those yellow Fritillary Imperialis are just knock-out.

Leek seeds are sown direct in the raised bed with the onions and garlic and the last task is to place an order for root veg seeds that we should have done weeks ago.

Another satisfying morning in the garden.  I love my job!

Plant supports for Peonies

Hopefully you will see the bright red shoots of peonies in your borders now, just about to unfurl their spring leaves.  With the on going drying warm weather in the South of England, there is no time like the present to put your plant supports in place.

Once in bloom the plants can just about support the flowers it produces without extra support but with a heavy rain or blustery day, the flowers get so heavy or thrown around that they often fall onto the ground, break their stems and the moment is lost.

If you leave the staking until the plant is flowering, the soil has quite often become so hard and dry, it is difficult to get the stakes in the ground making the job an unhappy task rather than a creative opportunity.

Today Bea got stuck in using a mixture of Dogwood and Willow.  both were coppiced 6 weeks ago and still had plenty of pliability to create these lovely swirly domes:




Unfortunately my photography does them no justice…

Please excuse my finger in the shot!

Highlights from a July garden on a soggy day

The pink flowers above are the fashionably late flowering perennials, Echinacea purpurea – just bursting out now. There are other interesting varieties and beautiful shades of Echinacea purpurea but none are as reliably hardy as this tough old boot and it is fabulous.


This is one of my first Dahlias in flower this season – D.’Karma Chocolate’ with a background of Cotinus coggygria ‘Royal Purple’, a white Hydrangea and brilliant red Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’. I love the colour combo.



This bright pink Lychnis coronaria is another ‘Free spirit’ self-seeding around the garden and amazingly adding a well spaced and enjoyable colour combination to the purple Phlox in this border.


I had to add this photo of Trachelospernum jasminoides flowering madly at the front door. The perfume of this evergreen climber is heavenly.


Note to self : Allium sphaerocephalon need staking early on. We missed the opportunity and what a disaster. Allium sphaerocephalon luckily, look great in a vase.

Sticks and String



Well, we are still making stakes around the perennials this week..

There are tall varieties of Aconites, Achillea, Echinops and Sanguisorba to stake on the main border and we have run out of Willow and Cornus.  That will not stop us though, as this is such a vital job at this time of year.  Sticks and string (garden twine) will do the job just as well although initially it doesn’t look that great.  Eventually the plants will fill out and none of these will be visible.

Sophie builds a plant support for Delphiniums

Well, it has been a fabulous week so far

photo 4First of all, we finished our rustic arches for the clematis to grow over.. and somehow it felt like they should always have been 3

Secondly we made supports for the peonies (they are always top-heavy, especially when the flowers get wet) from dogwood cuttings that are lovely and pliable right now.

photo 1


Thirdly, we have the most spectacular of plants to be flowering at this time of year, Euphorbia chariacas ‘Wolfenii’ – and this plant excels in the worst of conditions, very dry soil right next to the house and in the shade. Beautiful.


Getting the plant supports right!

Last year our conical wigwam supports for the clematis ended up a little top heavy.  Whilst I loved the ‘Noddy hat’ shape they became, I have decided this year to divide the clematis and create  rustic arches out of hazel branches, for them to ramble over instead.

I was inspired by the ones I saw in Sarah Raven’s garden in Perch Hill and enthused to my fellow gardener Alix, that we really must give it a go.

So, having spent a short amount of time scavenging our woodland for a supply of hazel stems and armed with a drill and some screws Alix and I set about arch making in the pouring rain:IMG_3115 IMG_3113

And the reason Alix is looking so happy in the pouring rain is that we haven’t actually made a support using drills and screws before. We have normally stuck with organic materials such as string, willow, a wing and a prayer…

The sheer joy of making a structure that feels so solid and secure put a smile on both our faces.

The arches will be completed next week… if it stops raining.