I’ve loved Wales ever since university days in Swansea, so we always try to fit in a family holiday or weekend there. This August, we hired a cottage on Anglesey for a week to take advantage of its wonderful sandy beaches, the epic landscape of nearby Snowdonia and the many wonderful historic gardens on offer. With my wife, two teenage sons and mother coming, there was something for everyone – perfect for a varied, budget-friendly, three-generation holiday (even if the car on the way up was a bit of a squeeze).
One real horticultural highlight of our trip was visiting Bodnant Garden, a mile or two inland from Conwy. It’s in a spot where you’d hardly believe a garden could be made, descending down a steep hillside to a wooded valley, with spectacular views of Snowdonia.
The site was bought in 1874 by Victorian inventor and industrialist Henry David Pochin, who after a career that included revolutionising the soap industry (it’s thanks to him that soap today is a pleasingly white, scented product rather than a dull, brown blob), decided to retire to the Welsh coast.
This was an extremely energetic form of retirement, however, as he used his latter years to kick-start the redevelopment of the garden, in particular planting large numbers of exotic trees and shrubs. Upon his death he passed on the site to his daughter Laura, who in turn developed the upper formal gardens with exuberant herbaceous planting.
I almost felt sorry for Pochin as I was walking around with my mum, as he will never have had the chance to see the saplings that he planted mature into the grand specimens they are today. Sadly, 50-70 trees, including a 50m sequoia, were lost to storm damage in the winter of 2021 and the National Trust, which has managed
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When you go to the Philadelphia Flower Show, it helps to take along the right attitude. If seeing gorgeous, high concept gardens full of the most fashionable flowers makes you feel insecure, then take yourself elsewhere. If you need a massive dose of color, fragrance, humidity, and horticultural inspiration, then the Philadelphia Flower Show will be perfect for you. On my calendar, it officially marks the end of winter. It also reminds me of everything that a garden can be—provided you have a forklift, a crew of ten, at least $20,000 and the ability to make crocuses, roses and hydrangeas all bloom simultaneously.
After the torrential rains of December, it is a wonder that anything is blooming in Pacific Northwest gardens. Thankfully there are great plants that survive the downpours and even flourish when everything else is a soggy mess. Along with the plants surviving, there are insects that winter over in the trees, and they love to see the sunshine just like we do. As soon as the lukewarm sun starts hitting the trees, the groggy bees stumble out looking for some food (kind of reminds me of teenagers). It is essential that we gardeners provide early-blooming plants for these very important members of our planet. Interestingly, some bees are not at all particular about their food supply, while others are. Our goal should be to provide both native food sources and ornamental garden food sources. Nature’s creatures have a way of adapting to what is available, but they also search for specifics. The following are a few of my favorite late-winter-blooming plants for pollinators.
In the ever-evolving tapestry of horticulture, 2024 brings forth a new chapter as gardens undergo a transformative journey guided by the latest trends. From the integration of nature into outdoor spaces to the tech-savvy approaches that are revolutionizing horticulture, this year's garden landscape is a canvas of innovation and sustainability. Join us as we delve into the heart of these trends and explore how they are changing the way we imagine, cultivate and experience our gardens. Step into a world where sustainability meets aesthetic expression, where technology blends with the natural, and where each garden becomes a unique testament to the creativity and conscientiousness of its caretaker. Welcome to the garden trends of 2024 – a celebration of greenery, diversity and the limitless possibilities that bloom in the outdoors.
A mini organic garden can give you wonderful vegetables which are pesticide-free and delicious. It is not really necessary to have a large garden area to grow plants or vegetables. All you will ever need in veggies will grow in a reasonably small plot.
As the sun dips below the horizon, transforming the sky into a canvas of twinkling stars, your garden becomes a magical setting for an enchanting night picnic. The allure of dining al fresco takes on a new dimension when the moon casts its gentle glow on nature's stage. This celestial soiree explores the art of crafting an unforgettable night picnic under the stars, where the ordinary transforms into the extraordinary.
Away from the Show Gardens on Main Avenue, the Sanctuary Gardens offer plenty of inspiration and often on a more achievable scale. A garden that honours 200 years of the National Gallery, a family space that can bounce back from heavy rainfall, and a sensory haven that supports the emotional wellbeing for children undergoing cancer treatment, feature in 2024’s line up.
We have wonderful indoor vertical gardens! Hanging planters, wall pockets, ladder stands, floating shelves, repurposed wine bottles — these ideas suit everyone. Whether cascading down stairs or in bathrooms, each idea brings nature closer, making it easy to spruce up your space.
Lately, I have noticed that the mail-order garden supply catalogs are full of Asian-themed garden accessories such as pots, traditional bamboo fences, and stone lanterns. This seems to go along with the trend toward Asian-inspired minimalism in home décor. In California and the Pacific Northwest, traditional Asian and Asian-inspired gardens have been popular for years. Can a national vogue for Chinese and Japanese gardens be far behind?
The Main Avenue of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show is the heart of the iconic event. An extraordinary opportunity for talented newcomers and experienced designers alike to showcase innovation, creativity and the transformative power of a garden space in the heart of the city and watched by an audience of millions. Tom Massey is back after his 2023 Chelsea Flower Show success, this year partnering with Je Ahn, and familiar faces Ann-Marie Powell, Matthew Childs, Tom Stewart-Smith and Robert Myers are designing show gardens supported by Project Giving Back.
Discover a gardening haven at diygarden.cc. Get inspired with our expert tips, DIY projects, and innovative ideas to create a beautiful and thriving garden. From plant care to landscape design, our articles, guides, and videos have you covered. Join our community of passionate gardeners and share your success stories. Find tranquility and harmony with nature as you nurture your garden. Let us be your guide on this rewarding journey.
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