The English Garden April 2021

Enjoy over 60 beautiful gardens a year with The English Garden. Every issue features country, city, cottage and coastal gardens, with advice on how to recreate them. Be inspired by articles written by the country's top garden designers and discover the best plant varieties for your garden, chosen by expert nurserymen and plantspeople.

United Kingdom
Chelsea Magazine
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13 Issues

in this issue

1 min

Jacky Hobbs Creative freelance writer, stylist and photographer Jacky has moved to the Cotswolds, working from her garden studio, which oversees a flower-filled garden. She explains wisteria care on page 87. Mimi Connolly Mimi is a photographer specialising in gardens, artists and makers. Her interest spans digital and traditional techniques, and she is always seeking new gardens to photograph. Her photos appear on pages 20 and 39. Michelle Garrett Michelle is an award-winning photographer based in London. Her latest project was taking the photographs for Simon Lycett’s book, People of the Flower Market. Her images appear in features on pages 56 and 87.…

1 min

That tulips really need to be planted afresh every year for truly spectacular displays, puts these bulbs among the most theatrical of plants. The stage is set anew each spring for a display that can be changed and tweaked, polished and perfected, while the colours and flower shapes allow annual experimentation and the garden’s supporting cast can be honed. Whether it’s an incredible show on a large scale like that at Arundel Castle or something more achievable at home – bulbs packed into pots or scattered through spring borders – colourful tulips really do take your mind off troubling times, and this issue has masses of them for inspiration. Mind you, if it’s a theatrical display you want, April brings plenty of other candidates. Wisteria, that most glamorous and alluring of…

2 min
people to meet

Neil Miller Hever Castle’s head gardener on how he combines gardening with volunteering, and his hopes for the season to come I started out as an insurance broker in the city. I was made redundant during the recession in the early 1990s, so I started doing gardening jobs for people. Before I knew it, I had a business. Only then did I take my qualifications by attending evening courses. It’s always daunting when you lose your job, but it is possible to turn things around. Life is too short to ignore a passion if you’ve got one. I joined the team at Hever 18 years ago and working here is superb. I volunteer at a garden in Jerusalem twice a year. That’s taught me a lot about arid planting and has demonstrated what…

1 min
neil’s favourite gardens

The World Garden at Lullingstone Castle Kent Tom Hart-Dyke’s World Garden at Lullingstone Castle is a knockout, filled with diverse and wacky varieties from all over. It’s a really fun day out if you love exotic and tropical plants. Tel: 01322 862114; West Dean Gardens West Sussex Totally opposite, but equally impressive, is the Victorian walled kitchen garden at West Dean. Everything from chillies to melons and Swiss chard is lined out immaculately and beautifully labelled – no weeds in sight. Tel: 01243 818210;…

2 min
out & about

Celebrate spring blossom Following the success of last year’s campaign, the National Trust is encouraging people to take a moment to enjoy nature and the fleeting beauty of blossom this spring. Alongside various nature-inspired activities in its gardens, the organisation urges everyone to share images of trees in bloom using the hashtag #BlossomWatch. The concept was inspired by hanami, the traditional Japanese celebration of blossom. Research shows that just 20 minutes spent enjoying nature boosts our mood, whether it’s the earliest blackthorn flowers or the brightest cherry. Plant Heritage adds 13 new National Plant Collections Horticultural conservation charity Plant Heritage has accredited 13 new National Plant Collections, including collections of Nerine and Ruscus (left) that were relocated after facing challenges caused by Covid-19. Others include the UK’s only collection of Abutilon, in…

2 min
things to do

Divide & CONQUER The Great Terrace at Iford, Harold Peto’s ‘Appian Way’ is a masterpiece of design. Carved out of the hillside, the level terrace is lined with statues, sarcophagi and terracotta urns guarded by ancient junipers and cypress. The underplanting is deliberately Mediterranean, with emphasis given to texture, foliage, and scent. These short-lived sub-shrubs and sun-loving perennials require continual analysis and reworking to maintain a harmonious balance of the component parts. Unless I’m working on clay, which can be too cold and wet for the establishment of plants, I usually lift and divide perennials in autumn. However, the Mediterranean planting on the Great Terrace, responds far better if this work is done in spring. When working in the borders, try not to trample the soil: use wooden planks to spread your weight…