This post is really just for my own records, as a package of 12 bare root shrubs has just arrived from Thompson & Morgan, that I bought for an amazingly cheap price.

Annoyingly, I’ve had to look each shrub up, using its label and in some cases it doesn’t say what colour the shrub is so below I’ve done my best guess, purely so I have a record somewhere of what they all are:


Ribes odoratum

Ribes aureum, Golden Currant, Flowering Currant, Buffalo Currant

Hardy Shrub
  • Fragrant blooms followed by edible berries

Set against a backdrop of glossy green foliage, the pale yellow flowers with a spicy clove-like fragrance are produced in bunches at the tips of arching stems. The early spring flowers of Ribes odoratum are followed by edible black berries that often persist well into late summer. By autumn, the foliage turns to bright shades of red and purple. This fabulous flowering currant provides a long season of interest, and being tough and resilient, it will grow well in most gardens. Height and spread: 2m (6′,6″).


Ramanas Rose (Hedging)

Rosa rugosa

Hardy Shrub

A tough, resilient and reliable rose shrub that will grow and spread readily in almost any situation. Ideal as a security hedge too as the prickles and thorns will deter any would be intruder, the ramanas rose, rosa rugosa is a good performing hedging plant. In spring a profusion of simple pink flowers will cover the hedge, giving of a sweet scent. The flowers will develop into bright red round fruits, or hips, that are not only attractive to wildlife but are also a good source of vitamins A, C and E when used in jellies or Jams. Supplied as 50 – 80cm bareroots (20 – 31″) Height: 150cm (59’). Spread: 150cm (59’). Planting Distance: 60cm (24″)


Weigela florida ‘Polka’ (Large Plant)

Hardy Shrub

This spreading deciduous shrub looks glorious in Summer when its arching branches are filled with soft pink trumpet shaped blooms. The nectar rich flowers of Weigela florida ‘Polka’ are gently scented and attract pollinating insects. The foliage is an unusual dark blue-green colour and forms a dense cloak of leaves that creates an excellent background for summer flowering perennials when grown in mixed borders. Height: 120cm (48″). Spread: 150cm (59″).


Forsythia x intermedia ‘Goldrausch’

Hardy Shrub

Forsythia is that yellow flowering shrub which everyone asks about each spring! The bare stems of this plant are cloaked in bright golden-yellow flowers, when nothing else is in the bloom in the garden!

Forsythia ‘Goldrausch’ is a compact variety, which can be grown in a shrub border, trained as a colourful hedge or grown against a wall. An excellent plant for small gardens. Forsythia plants are an easy to grow shrub, which is easy to prune and will last for many years. Height and Spread: 2.5m (8’).


Berberis thunbergii f. atropurpurea ‘Atropurpurea Nana’

Berberis thunbergii ‘Crimson Pygmy’, Berberis ‘Little Favourite’, Barberry

Hardy Shrub

This dwarf deciduous Barberry makes a colourful addition to rockeries and borders. This RHS AGM variety has red-purple foliage that brings a bright splash of colour in spring before maturing to fiery scarlet in Autumn. The yellow spring flowers are loved by pollinators, and the berries that succeed its blooms will attract plenty of birds. Berberis thunbergii f. atropurpurea ‘Atropurpurea Nana’ is hardy, growing happily in any well drained soil. With its neat, compact habit, it makes a useful low hedge too. Height and spread: 100cm (40″).


Symphoricarpos ‘Albus’


Hardy Shrub

A compact plant which produces a mass of small white flowers in summer which go on to produce white fleshy berries in autumn (harmful if eaten). A non fussy shrub, Symphoricarpos ‘Albus’ will thrive on most soils and although prefers to be in sun, it will tolerate part shade. The deciduous foliage is a yellow tinted green colour, which goes beautifully with its white fruits. Height & Spread: 80cm (32″).


Potentilla fruticosa ‘Mango Tango’

Shrubby Cinquefoil

Hardy Shrub

Cup shaped orange-yellow flowers stand out nicely from the grey-green foliage of this compact Shrubby Cinquefoil. Blooming over a very long period from May to September, Potentilla fruticosa ‘Mango Tango’ provides real value in a sunny border or rockery. This hardy deciduous shrub is adaptable and surprisingly tough, despite the delicate appearance of its fine stems and tiny leaves. Grow it en masse in hot, sunny borders, where it will superb drought tolerance once established. Height and spread: 60cm (24″).


Deutzia setchuenensis var. corymbiflora

Hardy Shrub

Deutzia setchuenensis var. corymbiflora is a particularly attractive deciduous shrub. From early summer the white cupped-shaped blooms are borne in dense clusters against the grey-green foliage. In winter, the upright stems are revealed, with mature plants displaying fabulous pale brown peeling bark. This elegant shrub has been awarded an RHS AGM for its garden performance, and makes a classy addition to woodland areas, mixed borders and cottage gardens. Height: 200cm (78″). Spread: 150cm (59″).


Lilac ‘Katherine Havemeyer’

Syringa vulgaris

Hardy Shrub

Elegant panicles of double lavender-blue flowers are produced against a backdrop of heart-shaped foliage on this beautiful, spreading lilac. Syringa ‘Katherine Havermeyer’ is a quick-growing, trouble-free variety with nectar rich, fragrant flowers that are loved by butterflies. A well loved specimen shrub for cottage garden borders that requires little maintenance. Height and spread: 7m (22′).


Tamarix tetrandra

Four Stamen Tamerisk

Hardy Shrub

As a medium size shrub or small tree, however you see it, Tamarix tetandra is deciduous with feathery foliage consisting of small, needle-like green leaves. Originally discovered in Holland, this plant will withstand UK winters, down to temperatures of around -20C. The RHS have awarded this plant a prestigious Award of Garden Merit for its arching, almost black branches, together with large plumes of light pink flowers in late spring. A worthy winner! Height & Spread: 4m (13′).


Cornus alba ‘Sibirica Variegata’


Hardy Shrub

Beautiful variegated foliage in cream and green cover this vigorous shrub during Spring and Summer, making it an interesting addition to the back of a border or as part of a larger shrub collection. In the Winter, Cornus alba ‘Sibirica Variegata, as with all Dogwoods, really steals the show, with thickets of bright red stems which will liven up the garden when most other plants are dormant. !. Height: 300cm (118″). Spread: 300cm (118″).


Spiraea japonica ‘Green and Gold’

Japanese Spiraea

Hardy Shrub

Japanese Spiraea is a robust deciduous shrub that deserves a place in every garden. Spiraea japonica ‘Green and Gold’ produces a profusion of flowers against a background of the yellow-green foliage from mid to late summer. Adored by butterflies and other pollinators, Spiraea is an excellent choice for a wildlife garden, where its vibrant autumn foliage will add a splash of late season colour. Tough, resilient and easy to grow – a superb low maintenance shrub. Height and spread: 120cm (48″).

That’s if….off to get them planted out 🙂

Yorkshire Flowers…

Another old post, this one was started in August last year, when we’d just returned from a trip to Yorkshire.riverside flowers I know I mention it a lot, but I’m always amazed by the wild flowers there, it’s not that there aren’t wild flowers in Kent, but there’s something about the variety and abundance when we’re walking back home, that has me permanently reaching for the camera, or just taking a moment to sit and admire.boyswalking I walk quite a lot with the boys.  We have, in fact just returned from a few days North a couple of weeks ago and as we went up on the train (I drive there enough and at nearly 5 hours it’s sometimes nicer to be a bit more relaxed and go by rail), we had no car, so walking is only way to get around….or ‘Foster Cabs’ as my poor Brother is sometimes known.  We usually walk from Burnsall to Grassington (as above) one way via Thorpe and then back later, along the riverside.  It gives us a chance to see all my relatives and it’s a good excuse to get the boys outside and moving.
yorkshireflowersI love walking along the river, it does tend to be quite busy, but there’s always so much to see.  Once, last year, we spent quite a lot of time watching the swallows swooping low to catch insects, it was fabulous to watch, I don’t think I’ve  ever seen them from above, I was amazed at how bright and blue their back feathers are.foxgloveI also try to go up and walk on my own, when I get a chance, as I do like a proper trek, ideally up a big hill and back.  I walked from Burnsall to Mossdale Scar on one of my visits last year.pansiesThe little yellow violets all over the fields above Grass Woods were just stunningorchidAs were the orchids.IMG_20150813_173724I take pretty crap photos on my phone, I just don’t have the knack, or the patience, and I always find that the flowers, which look amazing in real life just look a bit flat and unexciting when I’ve attempted to capture them.IMG_20150527_123420I also seem to photograph my lunch a lot, more because my own daft choice of food always makes me laugh (at myself, I should add).  On this walk, it was a pork pie (bought in Grassington as it’s a bit of a highlight to stop by the butchers, for me), some beef jerky and an entire bar of Lindt chocolate!!!???PANO_20150527_122809I remember I’d saved it for the ‘top’ of the walk (Mossdale Scar), as a kind of reward but when I got there, it was all a bit eery and somber.  It was the scene of the world’s worst caving  accident when six young men died there in the late 60’s.  Both my parents helped with the rescue (Mum helping with food and Dad with sandbagging the river, he was a potholder himself and for some time part of the Fell Rescue Team)…I don’t think they knew each other then, but everyone in the area came out to do what they could.

IMG_20150527_123052The only other couple I saw out walking that day had clearly had the same plan, as they stopped briefly, then changed their minds and walked back some distance to shelter under a wall to eat with me.  We all had a chat about how grim it was and who in their right mind enjoys potholing (it’s honestly not for me, squeezing through small holes in the ground and crawling through water, nope, the idea makes me shiver).

mixedfamily1980spring003I often think of my Dad when we are walking.  We walked a lot as kids (I remember him walking us up to Mossdale Scar, actually) and he usually had his camera with him, which considering it was a huge thing to lug about back in those days must have been an effort.  I blame him for my not enjoying having my photo taken, he made us pose at every available opportunity.  The nice thing is, I have many scanned slides of us in familiar places where I also walk the boys.  I believe this is Tom Lee’s Cave (Cove Hole??), Grassington, where we go often (although we can’t seem to get to cave itself any more, only view it from below).

kids19770005And on our last walk, I tried to get the boys to replicate one of Dad’s usual posed shots by standing on a stile…IMG_20160216_094630with mixed results, mainly them trying to shove each other off!!IMG_20160216_102148That’s better boys.mixedfamily1980sep019One I wont be asking them to copy is this…. Dad, what were you thinking!!!

I have no idea what my original plan for this post was…I can only assume from the title I had thought to add lots more photos of flowers I’d taken randomly over the years but it’s clearly morphed away from that.  Still, I’m enjoying getting all this unpublished ‘drafts’ out there, even if they are a bit chaotic 🙂

Vegetable Plating Lists 2016

Drying Flower Heads

I saved a lot of seeds last year, especially flower ones, and they have been laid out drying (and hopefully not going mouldy!) in the greenhouse.  I’ve gone though the seed box and along with everything I’ve collected, the only thing I should need to buy are cucumber seeds, which I hope to pick up locally, and maybe some things that are a bit different to grow just for fun.  And so, my ‘list’ is pretty much the same as last year:


Tomatoes Brandywine, San Marzano, Tigerella & Ildi

Aubergine Money Maker F1

Sweet Pepper Worldbeater

Chilli (I need to buy new seeds, again, not sure what variety yet)

Artichoke Violette di Chioggia


Spinach Bordeaux

Cucumbers (Need new seed, again not sure what)

Courgettes Zephyr

Melon Edonis

Radish French Breakfast, Sparkler & Cherry Bell

Broad Beans Crimson Flowered

Peas Oasis & Purple Mangetout

Herbs Dill, Chives, Garlic Chives, French Sorrel, Thyme, Mint, Coriander, Lemon Grass


Swiss Chard Bright Lights & White Silver

Beetroot Bolthardy

Sweetcorn Conqueror

Spring Onions Welsh Red Stem & North Holland Blood Red (seed collected from last year’s plants)

Pak Choi Mei Qing Choi & Rubi

Beans Blue Climbing

Broccoli Red Arrow & Rudolph & Kailaan No 2

Carrots Yellowstone, Rainbow Hybrid, Purple Haze, Healthmaster & Sugarsnax

Turnip Sweetball & Snowball

Lettuce various varieties

Herbs Thai Basil, Sweet Basil, Winter Savory and many more…

Squash Crown Prince, Sweet Dumpling, Turks Turban, Hooligan & Barbara Butternut F1 


Pak Choi Tatsoi

Fennel Romanesco

Spinach Perpetual (Leaf Beat)



Kale Cavolo Nero & Red Russian

Herbs Parcel, Cress (Bubbles)

I realised that I’ve not bought garlic for years now, I grow more than enough to keep us going and often find myself throwing some away when the new bulbs are ready and I tire of the old, dried ones.  Because of this, garlic is also on the list and was bought and planted last autumn.  I went for garlic Germidour, which I haven’t grown before but I wanted to order everything from one place.  It’s a french, soft-neck variety that can be planted in autumn or spring.  At the same time, I bought potatoes, Pink Apple, and shallots Longer.  The potatoes are now chitting in the kitchen and the shallots are on their way in the post.

I still haven’t planted up my February list but need to get on with it, so perhaps that’s one for the weekend 🙂