Bits & pieces

Former television gardener Eion Scarrow has died at the age of 81. Read a news story about that here. A 2012 interview with Eion about how he got started in television and  life since is here.

I’ve added a new link (on the right-hand side of the page) to a Canadian website, Botany Photo of the Day, run out of the University of British Columbia Botanical Garden that features photos from around the world.

The answer to my question about the name of the salvia I’d been given came through the post – the latest issue of NZ Gardener has it under the “Pick now” section.

Salvia confertiflora has flower spikes that can reach up to 60cm long, with the plant itself reaching up to 2m. It is also known as red velvet sage and is native to Brazil.

And Laurie Jeyes kindly offered the reason why my potted chrysanthemum has grown so tall in the garden – the “dwarfing chemicals” used by the original growers have worn off!

Anyone interested in finding out a bit more about plant growth retardants (PGRs) can read this article from the University of Massachusetts.

Fancy a meadow garden? I know I do, the main thing stopping me being my lack of a meadow. Philip Mould, one of the paintings experts from the Antiques Roadshow, decided that he couldn’t live without a meadow garden … and has written an article for the Daily Telegraph about the experience (which so far has had a less than ideal outcome).

Landscape designer Sarah Price (who did some of the “Olympic meadows” in London) has written a useful piece about “naturalistic” plantings, something of a fad in Europe, thanks to the much-admired work of Dutch landscaper Piet Oudolf and English gun Tom Stuart-Smith (who also did some Olympic work).

Sarah’s article includes some useful how-to advice that could be adapted to include some of our native plants.

Tom is interviewed here about his Olympic work and how to create a meadow garden.

Within the Olympic meadows were several themed areas – South African, North American, etc – that were held together by the overall design. Interestingly, this “big picture” design was by two horticultural tutors from Sheffield University. See some pictures of their work here.


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