The month when we treasure any plants which remain in flower and the emphasis moves on to autumn foliage colour.
Erica terminalis is a form of “Tree Heather” and can grow up to 90 cm or more in favourable conditions. The growth is stiffly erect. Flowers are produced over a long season from summer into autumn months. They fade to a warm brown colour and look attractive through the winter. Plants will tolerate alkaline soils and flourish in a sheltered, sunny situation. Sometimes known as the Corsican Heath, native to the western mediterranean. Not too easy to buy a plant nowadays; but, I found some at Bodnant.
Coreopsis verticellata ‘Grandiflora’
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Our home garden is on the west side of the Malvern Hills, 800 feet above sea level. In 2014, I started a renovation project and, given the area involved, it is likely to be an ongoing task.
This area is at the northern end of the largest level piece of ground in the garden. It used to be a chicken run, then was just a patch of rough grass mowed at irregular intervals. All of it completely infested with running buttercup.
Looking towards the north, this border screens the vegetable garden. Beyond you can see that the garden has a generous background of mature trees. The area of garden facing west has a tree or two at the southern and northern ends. We are careful not to plant anything which might obscure the view along the 100 metre stretch in between. This consists of two very steep banks with a narrow pathway running midway. There used to be a “Ha Ha” between the garden and the front park field. Eventually, the supporting wall collapsed. For many years we did not have time to do more than allow the banks to grow a wide assortment of wild flowers and a giant specimen of Rose ‘Wickwar’. Willow Herb, Teasels, Foxgloves and Buddleias fought their way through brambles and rose briars. We started the clearance job in 2014. The Rose ‘Wickwar’ still remains on the upper level. It is a massive grower with viceous thorns, of the sort which retain your clothing after you have escaped. A lot of pruning is required every year to prevent it from imitating a triffid.
The pictures in the gallery below give an idea of the current planting. If you click on one a larger image and slideshow will appear.
The conifers on the upper bank were planted in 2015 and are growing in a sunny location between the ‘Wickwar’ and a large Silver Birch. on the north side of the birch the bank is much lower and is semi-shaded. This area is now home to a variety of plants needing acid soil and shade. South of the birch and below the conifers, in full sun, there is an alpine bed. Further to the south, over 40 metres of raised bed, on the sunny lower bank, holds a wide variety of plants able to cope with dry conditions. The steep upper bank on this southern stretch is still being worked on. In 2019, a mixture of Lavenders and Roses was planted along the top level, next to the croquet lawn.
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This year’s show was held in Colwall on Saturday 10th August. Over 70 exhibitors took part. Many of them were members of the Wyche and Colwall Horticultural Society. The Society have organised the show since the 1960’s; before then it was known as The Wyche and Upper Colwall Show and was founded in 1942.
The horticultural society members donate proceeds from the show, an annual lecture and other events to The Percy Picton Memorial Fund.
Area where I can waffle freely
SPRING COLOUR around the garden
Saxifraga oppositifolia ‘Alba’
The Picton Garden. Southern end in April. This is where many of the Snowdrops were flowering earlier in the year.
Primula ‘Broadwell Chameleon’. A hybrid with Primula allionii raised by Joe Elliott.
Prunus incisa ‘Oshidori’
Hepatica x schlyteri
Primula clarkei. This plant flowered first in March and was frost damaged. But, here it is again in April, as good as new.
Camellia ‘Debbie’. Camellia plants seem to be tougher than the flowers. They seem to grow well in various places on the Malvern Hills. Given reasonable weather, we get to enjoy the blooms.
Rhododendron pachysanthum. This plant is growing in the silver garden, where we benefit from the very attractive young growth.
Anemonella thalictroides ‘Oscar Schoaf’
Ribes sanguineum ‘Koja’
Magnolia stellata ‘Waterlily’
Sanguinaria canadensis ‘Flore Pleno’
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HELLEBORUS AND OTHER PLANTS FOR WINTER INTEREST
PERCY PICTON was a well known plantsman, gardener, nurseryman, lecturer and broadcaster. The Charity was established by The Wyche and Colwall Horticultural Society in 1987, as a lasting memorial to their late president, who had a special interest in encouraging people to learn more about the world of plants. The society organise an annual lecture to raise funds for the charity. In addition the members of the Society raise money from plant sales and other activities.
The charity is small and qualification for a grant is restricted firstly to people who are resident in the Malvern Hills area and then those resident in the counties of Herefordshire, Worcestershire and Gloucestershire, plus the Stratford-upon-Avon district of Warwickshire.
Grants can be available to people following horticultural studies at Pershore College or similar establishments. Help is also given to apprentices and trainees in private and public gardens and nurseries. Research studies related to plants are eligible for consideration. Training should lead to a career within Horticulture, Gardening or Botany
We are grateful to the Great Dixter Trust for enabling the charity to arrange for short time work experience in the garden at Great Dixter. Other locations in gardens and nurseries are usually available.
Funds are available now. Applications are welcome and should be sent to the trustees at the address below.
THE PERCY PICTON MEMORIAL FUND
registered charity number 518787
Mr. David Hodgson, Phelps Cottage, Coddington, Ledbury, Herefordshire HR8 1JH
telephone 01531 640622
READ MORE ABOUT PERCY PICTON IN THE SHORT BIOGRAPHY ON THE PAGE
PERCY PICTON a life with plants
NEWS AUGUST 2018
Between 2016 and 2018 the PP Memorial Fund has been delighted to help two horticultural trainees from Malvern to further their education and careers.
Dominic is now employed by the National Trust at the world famous Hidcote Garden.
Daniel has just completed his course as a student at The Royal Botanic Gardens Kew. The Fund was able to help him undertake a scientific study of alpine plants in their natural habitat and in several Swiss alpine botanic gardens. He has recently been on a work experience course at Great Dixter and learned much about their unique way of using a wide variety of plants. Daniel is now about to work in a Swiss alpine botanic garden and will, this autumn, become a student gardener at RHS Wisley.
Click on the link below to see more.
NEWS DECEMBER 2018
This autumn the trustees have received a number of enquiries. Several have been followed up by applications for a grant. The trustees have been able to award grants to two applicants who are training in practical horticulture, one applicant who is completing a PHd course and one applicant who is undertaking a course in botany, with a view to teaching others.
LATEST NEWS 4th DECEMBER. The WYCHE AND COLWALL HORTICULTURAL SOCIETY have raised their largest ever donation for the charity. Thank you to all the members and committeee for such a wonderful effort.
Special thanks to Heather and Kay for their hard work with the brilliant plant stall. TO ALL TRAINEES and STUDENTS of HORTICULTURE please keep the applications coming !
PERCY’S PLACES AND A FEW FAVOURITE PLANTS