On 15th June we were joined by Adam Pasco who explained to us exactly how to do this. Adam, who runs his own gardening media company, is a well known writer and radio and television presenter. In 1991 he launched the BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine which he edited for 22 years. He is now editor of the Waitrose Garden Magazine and works as a consultant to several gardening, retail and trade organisations. So we were very fortunate that he was with us, on Zoom, to share his expertise and horticultural knowledge …
Adam took us on a journey around his own garden showing us how to fill our gardens with colour throughout the year. His garden provides him with a continuous display within the borders and in pots. Adam starts off by planting bulbs – narcissus etc at the back of the borders so that the foliage can be left to die back naturally – very essential to feed the bulbs for the following year but the dying foliage is hidden by the plants in the front of the borders. Plants such as grasses can be grown in pots which can then be moved to change the display as the season progresses. Adam gave, as another example, pots of Japanese Anemone “Pretty Lady Susan” which can be tucked into a border of shade loving plants in a Spring garden – when plants like the Epimedium and Brunnera Jack Frost have finished flowering – this will give an instant pop of colour.
Adam advised on siting patio areas in different parts of the garden so that one can sit in a sunny or shady spot and enjoy different views. Adam recommended a huge range of hardy perennials that perform really well and most of them had an AGM – that is the RHS Award of Garden Merit – a good indicator of excellence. Of the many plants Adam mentioned I was particularly taken by Echinacea Green Twister with its lime green and magenta flowers. Campanula Kent Belle was also mentioned and there was much discussion, following Adam’s talk, on the merits of Erysimum Bowles Mauve which flowers for many months. Top of Adam’s list for shrubs were Hydrangea Macrophylla Miss Saori, Viburnum Plicatum Mariesii and Sambucus Eve Black Lace.
We were shown examples of layering of trees, shrubs and herbaceous perennials to give height to a border and provide a tiered effect. Interestingly, Adam uses some plants as living supports for others. For example, he has underplanted a Japanese Maple with Clematis Kingfisher and has grown Clematis Viticella Etoile Rose up through a hedge. Borders should be designed with care so that planting and grouping provide maximum impact and when one plant fades another can take up the story. Repetition of plants down the length of a border (if one has a large enough garden) provides continuity. Old flower heads and stems can be left to give structure in the winter and on a frosty or snowy morning give additional impact.
Adam provided us with a wealth of useful information, from the biodegradable coir fibre plant pots from the Hairy Pot Company to help us reduce our use of plastics to flowers to bring in the pollinators to the specifics of when to cut off the old leaves of epimedium to ensure that one can see the flowers and to encourage new growth in the spring – something that I, like one of the members who asked this question, have struggled with in the past. All good stuff – but whether we are weeding, feeding, watering, protecting, training, dead heading or pouring table salt on our patio weeds – another useful tip! Please, as Adam concluded, make sure you “Enjoy the moment!”
Adam’s photos were stunning and it was so useful to have each photo with the named variety of plant so that members could easily make a note if they wished. Many thanks to Adam for an excellent presentation.
[the photo above was taken on 20 June 2018 – when Adam presented ‘Easy Ways to better gardening’]
Please join us next month on 20th July when Kate Jones will be talking to us about The Worshipful Company of Gardeners. Following Kate’s presentation there will be a short AGM. Details can be found on our website. As usual this meeting will be open to all members and visitors. Linda Truscott
New members and visitors are always welcome.
For more information contact: Linda Truscott on 01234 270747