Country Gardener

Widely regarded as the authority on gardening in the south west

Peony perfection!

Straddling the tail end of spring and the first few weeks of summer, there is something special about peony flowering time.

The name peony comes from the Greek Paeon, a physician to the gods, which alludes to the plant’s medicinal qualities. Zeus turned Paeon into a flower to protect him from his jealous teacher Asclepias.

To my mind it would have been more appropriate to change the bad guy, but then again I am a mere mortal so know nothing of these godly things.

There are between 25 and 40 species of peony which belong in the family Paeoniaceae. In the wild they can be found in north western America, southern Europe and Asia. They come in herbaceous forms, that is they die back each year, or shrubby meaning they retain a woody structure throughout the year. Flowers can be single, semi-double, double or anemone, all produced in a rainbow of colours.

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Make a herb display


With their attractive foliage and flowers, their scent and their usefulness in the kitchen, herbs grown in containers will make a lovely display in any size garden.

Many are compact and can be easily accommodated in a small space. Some you can grow easily from seed but it may be better for you to buy small plants, especially if you only want one or two. Specialist nurseries will give more choice than some large garden centres, while plants bought from a supermarket and grown under glass may not do well, so if you risk buying them, harden them off for a few days by putting them outside and bringing them into the greenhouse or a cool part of the house at night.

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Make a herb display

Thu, 14/04/2016 - 10:58

Nothing suits container gardening more than herbs. Easy to grow and rewarding, a herb garden is attractive, useful, and can be moved around

Peony perfection!

Thu, 14/04/2016 - 10:53

Gill Heavens delves into the world of peonies, historically revered in the Far East, where they are the flower of spring and whose voluptuous colours can brighten early season beds

Jurassic plants for a Jurassic coast

Tue, 15/03/2016 - 14:53

Andrew Verreck from Chestnut Nursery in Poole gives his choice of what plants will thrive and impress in a coastal garden

Gardening in coastal areas whether you are situated on the water’s edge or set a few miles back from the salty brine can be challenging to say the least.

Hillside retreat garden opens for NGS

Post date: Wed, 13/04/2016 - 09:41

For the last 25 years business woman Dame Alison Carnwath and partner Peter Thompson have been working on a garden around their secluded hillside retreat, just outside the East Devon village of Sidbury.

Pocket park for Taunton

Post date: Wed, 13/04/2016 - 09:40

Taunton is set to get its own pocket park after a successful bid for Government funding. Pocket parks are small areas of inviting public and garden space where people can enjoy relief from the hustle and bustle of city streets

Topaz Grove Open 3 July 2016

Thu, 05/05/2016 - 09:25 Post author: RedCrossHampshireIOW

Open Garden in aid of the British Red Cross 2016

This is a part-walled modern garden with a koi fish pond. There are lots of different varieties of shrubs and bushes. Enjoy your afternoon cream tea by the small summer house.

03 Jul 2016

Opening times:

Entrance fees:
Adults: £2.50.
Children under 12 free

Open Garden: Scotlands

Fri, 11/03/2016 - 14:56 Post author: rmurray

Open Sunday 11 September, 2pm-5pm.

These diverse gardens cover 4 ½ acres. The same family has created them over 40 years. There are both formal and woodland walks with water features and a small lake – perfect for exploring. Formal lawns and a french parterre box clipped garden.

Admission £3.50 per adult, children under 12 free. Opening for the British Red Cross.

Jealott's Hill Community Landshare

Fri, 11/03/2016 - 14:55 Post author: rmurray

Open Sunday 4 September, 2pm-5pm.

This inspirational and multi-purpose garden is used and enjoyed by the local community. The community support each other on horticultural activities and with creating a haven for wildlife across the six acres. Sharing skills and produce is at the heart of the project. Local groups and individuals grow fruit, vegetables and plants – and generally enhance the biodiversity.

Garden Open at Musbury Barton nr. Axminster

Event date
Saturday, June 18, 2016 - 14:00 to Sunday, June 19, 2016 - 17:00
Sunday, June 19, 2016 - 14:00 to 17:00
Musbury Barton Musbury Axminster Devon EX13 8BB United Kingdom


Event date
Thursday, May 26, 2016 - 11:00 to Sunday, June 12, 2016 - 18:00
West Lavington Manor West Lavington Wiltshire SN10 4LA United Kingdom

Flower Festival

Event date
Thursday, June 16, 2016 - 10:00 to Friday, June 17, 2016 - 17:00
Friday, June 17, 2016 - 10:00 to 17:00
Saturday, June 18, 2016 - 10:00 to 17:00
Sunday, June 19, 2016 - 14:00 to 17:00
Church Street Sidford Devon Ex10 9RE United Kingdom
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