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Author Topic: Rebuilding a nursery - Copton Ash  (Read 86392 times)

Tim Ingram

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Re: Rebuilding a nursery - Copton Ash
« Reply #570 on: October 11, 2017, 05:23:22 PM »
"This is the reason I place the nursery at the heart of the garden... If I visit an Art Gallery I go to view the the results of vision and imagination, and skill. I may buy a book or print (or original) to bring that memory home. But if I visit a garden - and I'm not alone - it is very often the nursery and plants I will look for first, and those hidden practical places where the propagation and cultivation goes on. I'm not ignorant of the artistic skill and vision that has made the garden, but these inform my own garden and that presence or absence of a similar sensibility within myself.
The first of these pictures is what excites me most - the fact that others enjoy this too, and primarily that it is their own gardens that they go back to with renewed enthusiasm. And at Dixter it is the nursery that gives Fergus Garrett and all the students who work with him the material to play their tune. This lies at the heart of my critique of the Alpine Garden Society too, because it is the nurseries attending the various AGS Shows that underpin these events and really maintain that diversity of plants that everyone is fascinated by and grows. So to encourage new visitors the society needs to be more outward in the ways it looks. I suppose you might say that it is 'folk music' I love first and foremost, rather than 'opera'. Similarly I find grand landscape gardens dull by comparison with botanic gardens. And the large RHS Shows (with the exception of Chelsea perhaps) less appealing than smaller more intimate ones. I do see that artistic eye as an essential element of the garden but instead of looking for a Leonardo or Monet, I look to my own patch of ground." (These lines were prompted by Anne Wareham on Facebook, who places emphasis on 'the garden' as a work of Art, rather analagous it seems to me to over-emphasising the exhibition of alpines by comparison with propagating and growing them in the garden. But there is no doubt that viewing gardens as having Artistic value does focus your perspective on them, so the two aspects run together. And to focus attention on alpines as valuable garden plants, and hence Rock Gardens as works of Art, would be no bad thing! Great Dixter is an epitome of this in the wider sense591584-0591588-2).
Dr. Timothy John Ingram. Nurseryman & gardener with strong interest in plants of Mediterranean-type climates and dryland alpines. Garden in Kent, UK. www.coptonash.plus.com

Maggi Young

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Re: Rebuilding a nursery - Copton Ash
« Reply #571 on: October 18, 2017, 12:46:06 PM »
Another reminder of the  AGS  Kent Autumn show this coming Saturday - 21st October -

 9.00am to 4.00 pm (Show Hall opens at approximately 11.00am after Judging))

at SUTTON VALENCE SCHOOL, NORTH STREET, SUTTON VALENCE, KENT, ME17 3HL

Colourful display of autumn flowering dwarf bulbs and alpines and plants to buy at the plant sales.

Admission £3.00, AGS Members & Children Free. Refreshments, Tombola. 
Margaret Young in Aberdeen, North East Scotland Zone 7 -ish!

Editor: International Rock Gardener e-magazine

Tim Ingram

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Re: Rebuilding a nursery - Copton Ash
« Reply #572 on: October 20, 2017, 10:12:28 AM »
Shamelessly using the SRGC Forum to advertise our AGS events in Kent - thank you Maggi and everyone 😉 - this will be a wonderful talk if you are free and not too far from Canterbury on Friday 10th November... Heather Angel has sent me this beautiful image to illustrate Macro lighting of flowers for her talk to us in November - part practical and part looking at the pollination of flowers. If you are in Kent and free that evening, this will be a rare opportunity to learn from one of the foremost Natural History Photographers in the British Isles - and visitors are very welcome.
http://www.alpinegardensociety.net/gro…/East-Kent/programme/
Dr. Timothy John Ingram. Nurseryman & gardener with strong interest in plants of Mediterranean-type climates and dryland alpines. Garden in Kent, UK. www.coptonash.plus.com

ian mcdonald

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Re: Rebuilding a nursery - Copton Ash
« Reply #573 on: October 20, 2017, 03:20:52 PM »
It should be a good talk. Heather Angel has long been known as a very good photographer of wild flowers and has written books on the subject. A pity Canterbury is so far away.

Tim Ingram

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Re: Rebuilding a nursery - Copton Ash
« Reply #574 on: October 24, 2017, 09:59:17 PM »
I will aim to write a short description for the AGS website Ian. Many years ago I went on a week's course up on the Scottish West coast, just north of Oban, which Heather Angel taught. This is where I learnt about that versatile Benbo tripod. She is thoroughly inspirational, so I hope we can encourage a good audience of your confrères with a strong interest in Natural History down here in Kent. I am sharing details about the meeting as widely as possible.
Dr. Timothy John Ingram. Nurseryman & gardener with strong interest in plants of Mediterranean-type climates and dryland alpines. Garden in Kent, UK. www.coptonash.plus.com

Tim Ingram

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Re: Rebuilding a nursery - Copton Ash
« Reply #575 on: October 24, 2017, 10:37:15 PM »
A few pictures of further progress into the overgrown centre of the garden, following on from last year. We have had a little help from several young students prepared to tackle the brambles, and it's surprising how concerted effort has made headway into this area relatively quickly. The aim is to grass this area down when we get some significant autumn rains and then gradually replant, mostly with dryland shrubs and perennials. At the same time we are clearing an area for polytunnels and the nursery. Still a good bit to do but now the paths are close to connecting from the more maintained parts of the garden and winter should allow consolidation as growth slows and less work is needed elsewhere. The second picture is the path made last year which leads into this new clearing. The bramble-covered mound in the third picture is the remains of a large weeping willow blown down in a gale a decade or more ago. Once this has been cleared it will be much easier to envisage how the whole area can be replanted. Maybe the answer will be to replace the brambles with a rambling rose over the old stump  ;). This central area is warm and sheltered and gives much of the incentive because of the prospect of how it may develop. Finally the 'coal-face'. Not as bad as it looks because just beyond here I started clearing from the other side over the past couple of years, so progress should speed up! Come back in the spring to see how this might change...
Dr. Timothy John Ingram. Nurseryman & gardener with strong interest in plants of Mediterranean-type climates and dryland alpines. Garden in Kent, UK. www.coptonash.plus.com

David Lyttle

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Re: Rebuilding a nursery - Copton Ash
« Reply #576 on: October 25, 2017, 09:45:12 AM »
Hi Tim,

It is a law of nature that a garden is never static but continues to offer challenges to the gardener. My herbaceous border is reverting to forest with all the NZ natives I have planted over the years seeding and growing into it. Time to get out he chainsaw and shredder though there may be something to be said to let it revert to forest and become a carbon sink.
David Lyttle
Otago Peninsula, Dunedin, South Island ,
New Zealand.

Tim Ingram

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Re: Rebuilding a nursery - Copton Ash
« Reply #577 on: October 25, 2017, 12:55:32 PM »
The best situation is to have a garden that either merges into natural woodland or slowly becomes woodland I think, because steadily it forms that balance of different plants guided by the seasons and light and climate. The trouble is that the 'woodland' developing here is all seeding elders and sycamores, and a rather large willow, coming from the surrounding hedges, plus brambles! Good wildlife territory, but not so good when we open the garden for visitors. But in the long term, yes, I'm with you with creating a carbon sink and that heading towards a climax vegetation, and from a field of old cherry trees 40 years ago the garden is definitely doing this! I'm just too keen to grow too many unusual plants in it!! The winter helps to see it differently as it stops growing for a while, and the winter and early spring flowers are a real delight.
Dr. Timothy John Ingram. Nurseryman & gardener with strong interest in plants of Mediterranean-type climates and dryland alpines. Garden in Kent, UK. www.coptonash.plus.com

Tim Ingram

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Re: Rebuilding a nursery - Copton Ash
« Reply #578 on: October 29, 2017, 07:41:42 PM »
Very enjoyable day at Wisley with the Fritillaria Group today. Two really illuminating and stimulating talks from Robert and Rannveig Wallis on the Fritillarias - but also many other plants - of Central Asia and the drama of travelling in these regions, plus the artistic wonder of Samarkand. And some tulips too.
http://www.fritillaria.org.uk/meetings.html (And the opportunity to rejoin the Cyclamen Society).593518-0593520-1593522-2
Dr. Timothy John Ingram. Nurseryman & gardener with strong interest in plants of Mediterranean-type climates and dryland alpines. Garden in Kent, UK. www.coptonash.plus.com

Tim Ingram

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Re: Rebuilding a nursery - Copton Ash
« Reply #579 on: November 02, 2017, 06:00:24 PM »
It's remarkable how certain plants can persist for many years hidden under brambles and seeding elders! Here there are hellebores, Cyclamen coum, snowdrops, brunnera, and arums and Ophiopogon planiscarpus 'Nigrescens' in pretty dry soil in the centre part of the garden we are just clearing. To perk them up after this long period of neglect this area is getting a good topdressing of compost. There were originally many more choice woodland species here, such as corydalis, several fritillarias and Scoliopus bigelovii, so it would be exciting (but probably hopeful!) that some of these might reappear. 593928-0
In the middle here are the remains of a large weeping willow blown down a decade or more ago in a gale and having cleared around a good part of this we have planted a small specimen of the Californian buckeye, Aesculus californica, as a kind of focus for the planting to come. This has striking white candles of flowers and can have distinctive white bark, good in winter.593930-1
We still await significant autumn/winter rains and the soil is very dry, but in time the ophiopogon in the foreground of this picture - which tolerates severe periods of drought - will be split up and spread to make groundcover around the buckeye and perhaps interplanted with Californian bulbs such as Triteleia. The theme will be Californian/Mediterranean running around ultimately to a very large Eucalyptus gunnii and established plantings.
Dr. Timothy John Ingram. Nurseryman & gardener with strong interest in plants of Mediterranean-type climates and dryland alpines. Garden in Kent, UK. www.coptonash.plus.com

David Nicholson

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Re: Rebuilding a nursery - Copton Ash
« Reply #580 on: November 02, 2017, 06:59:37 PM »
Crack on with it while you can Tim. It really is quite remarkable how quickly  time begins to catch up with you and the back becomes a bit of a problem and the knees are not as flexible as they used to be!
David Nicholson
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Tim Ingram

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Re: Rebuilding a nursery - Copton Ash
« Reply #581 on: November 02, 2017, 10:41:30 PM »
The big thing is having had some help. Not that much because it was/is only a few days, but it sets things in motion and the support motivates me to crack on. So far the worse thing is that hole in one finger of the gloves which keeps getting caught by the brambles! I don't want to have to repeat all this in a hurry so need to make sure we plant it up well. This picture was around the same time last year when it really was more in hope than expectation! The wilderness was daunting. Now there is that exciting prospect of replanting, and it will be interesting to see what people make of it when we open for the NGS next year.
Dr. Timothy John Ingram. Nurseryman & gardener with strong interest in plants of Mediterranean-type climates and dryland alpines. Garden in Kent, UK. www.coptonash.plus.com

Tim Ingram

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Re: Rebuilding a nursery - Copton Ash
« Reply #582 on: December 21, 2017, 02:15:16 PM »
I don't have a weatherproof camera that can be left in situ and enable me to take a 'time-lapse' film of the garden changing through the year, so my 'early-day' New Year Resolution is to take weekly photographs of specific parts of the garden from the same viewpoints and post them here (and elsewhere), in contradistinction to the present political malaise, and as a way of finding the value in the changing face of 'the garden'.
Here are the first two - alternative viewpoints - of the 'bottom corner', cleared in preparation for the emerging snowdrops and hellebores of winter.
(This is a project, partly encouraged, but partly reacting to, the Social Media, and taking inspiration from the other blogs here on the Forum which relate the changing nature of the natural world with the garden).
Dr. Timothy John Ingram. Nurseryman & gardener with strong interest in plants of Mediterranean-type climates and dryland alpines. Garden in Kent, UK. www.coptonash.plus.com

Jan Jeddeloh

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Re: Rebuilding a nursery - Copton Ash
« Reply #583 on: December 22, 2017, 11:36:11 PM »
I'm catching up on forum posts and I wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed and agree with you October 11 post.  Small gardens and nurseries are so much more enjoyable than the big display gardens.

Jan
Jan Jeddeloh, Portland, Oregon, USA zone 8

ian mcdonald

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Re: Rebuilding a nursery - Copton Ash
« Reply #584 on: December 23, 2017, 07:17:50 PM »
Tim, it looks like you are making good progress. How did the Heather Angel talk go?

 


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