What ‘English style’ owes to Asia’s gardens

Gardening Advice - the Guardian -

Our traditional national landscapes of sweeping lawns and undulating hills are deeply indebted to China and Japan

Like so many other aspects of our culture, the origins of British garden style can be traced back overseas. As an avid reader of garden history books, I can’t help but wonder if our collective compass might be a tad off when it comes to understanding the primary source of influence in classic British garden design.

In 1685 Sir William Temple wrote an essay describing the East Asian appreciation of irregularity and asymmetry

Continue reading...

Strong winds and troubled trees | Allan Jenkins

Gardening Advice - the Guardian -

As autumn’s blustery weather arrives it’s time to take stock of struggling trees – and plant bulbs for some early spring colour

It is near winter at the summerhouse. Toadstools carpet the grass, some in clumps like fairy homes, others tall and on their own, white like ghosts. The climbing rose is still flowering, a delicate pink and strongly scented. Flocks of birds flit through the rowan, all agitated feeding. Soon they and the red berries will be gone. We have stocked up on sacks of sunflower seed for the residents.

Strong winds shake the trees, swirling leaves colour the grass. Soon the oaks and beech will be stripped of leaf, our neighbours exposed. Bo, the tree surgeon, is here to advise on the dead silver birch and the broken branches on the oak. Last year’s endless summer is still taking its toll. The oaks overheated, threw out hundreds of acorns. He advises cutting back the crown, points out the long-term damage. We will wait on any work until spring, but take a closer look when all the trees are bare.

Continue reading...

Tulips, growing garlic and Kilbroney Integrated

BBC - Podcasts and Downloads - Gardeners' Corner -

In Gardeners' Corner this week an autumn walk at Mount Stewart reveals beautiful late autumn colour. Also in the programme a visit to a school garden and a memorial garden and practical tips on planting up tulips and garlic for spring. That's Gardeners' Corner with David Maxwell this Saturday morning just after the 9 o'clock news on BBC Radio Ulster and BBC Sounds.