FRIDAY, 8 MAY 2015

It's been an exciting week if you're a plant nerd like me!

It's not often that I come across plants that I have absolutely no idea what they are. So for it to happen twice in one week. Usually the real challenge is finding out the variety/cultivar/sub-species of plant I am looking at, so to find two plants (ok one did turn out to be a bit of an obvious one) that I had not clue about was a real kicker!

This was the "dead give away", so obvious that I just couldn't see it! It's actually a Euphorbia, which is pretty common, this one threw me as typically they are green flowered. Its actually really nice, Euphorbia griffithii "kings caple"

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This second one was a bit more tricky, its a climber we have on allot of the walls around the gardens and it really did throw me for a while. One of the downsides to being so busy is not having the time to go around and identify everything that I want to. Anyway, a few visitors asked about this one and it gave me the perfect excuse to find out what it was.

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An exotic looking plant this is called Akebia quinata or the Chocolate vine. A native of China and Japan its the fruits of these plants that are really bizarre! I cant wait to see if it produces some. 

So I was asked to pick some plants that look good right now. As a Head Gardener thats like being asked to pick one of your kids are the best looking....So I'll let you decide from this mix of Azaleas and Rhododendrons!

Azalea 1

Azalea 2

Azalea 31

Azalea 4

Azalea 5

Azalea Border

Rhodo 1

Rhodo 3

And lastly a Cornus kouza, Japaese Dogwood which is also pretty stunning right now...

Cornus Kouza 2



It was starting to feel like the height of summer, which is confusing for the poor plants. Not to mention the fact that the nights have been as cold as they should be for a mid April week, which means that all our frost tender plants just cannot go out yet. Even though they are cooking in the greenhouses!



As busy as I get, I hope I always have time to rescue amphibians from the Italian garden ponds. So far I'm up to 1 frog, a warty toad and 3 Smooth/Common newts. All rescued and placed in a very comfortable and stylish hat for transportation down to one of our wildlife ponds.



Having started working as the Head Gardener for Arley Arboretum (we do garden some of the Village too!) last month, I've had plenty of time to think. Well not really, I've been as busy as a Jack rabbit in July; with 7 greenhouses to organise, almost 50 acres of Arboretum to manage as well start organising plans to conquer the world....of gardening.