Plant of the Month – Cyclamen coum

Plant of the Month –  Cyclamen coum

Always a joy to see at this time of the year is the dainty little Cyclamen coum that produces masses of colourful flowers through February and March. This hardy tuberous perennial grows wild in the Black sea area, Bulgaria, Turkey and Caucasus where it makes a spreading ground cover just 5-8cm (2-3in) tall. It’s totally hardy down to -20°C and is perfect for growing in the garden under trees and shrubs or naturalised in lawn areas where it makes a wonderful show of flowers to brighten up the latter part of winter.

It’s also perfect for growing in containers on a patio.  Flower colour ranges from white, through pale pink to carmine-red and when you grow several different plants they will hybridise and produce even more colours.

Foliage and flowers can start as early as January and will carry on into March. After flowering, the foliage gradually dies down and the underground tuber remains dormant over summer. New plants can be raised from seed, or at this time of the year you’ll find plants in garden centres in flower.

To grow well, they prefer a humus rich, well-drained soil and if left undisturbed in the garden, they will seed and gradually form a group of plants that you can enjoy for many years.   

Martin Fish is a gardening columnist, broadcaster, speaker, RHS judge and all-round horticulture expert. He writes for publications including Garden Answers, Kitchen Garden and Which? Gardening.

We have worked with Martin closely over a number of years and each month he will be choosing a favourite Plant of the Month for us, with tips and advice for planting and growing in the garden.

You can find more about Martin at www.martinfish.com or find him on Twitter!

 

Plant of the Month – Dogwoods

Plant of the Month by Martin Fish

Dogwoods (Cornus)

A great way to add colour to the garden through the winter months is to grow dogwood (cornus). These hardy shrubs are grown for their coloured stems that look great from November when the leaves drop, right the way through until spring. For best effect they should be planted in groups. There are several different types of dogwood with colourful stems that make excellent garden shrubs, including Cornus ‘Sibirica’ with its bright red stems, C. ‘Kesselringii’ which has a fark purple-black stems, C. ‘Flaviramea’ which is a lime green-yellow and C. ‘Midwinter Fire’ with yellow-orange-red stems. Easy to grow, dogwoods prefer a fertile soil that retains moisture. In fact, they are the ideal for growing in a damp part of the garden. For good colour each winter, the long stems should be hard pruned to almost ground level each spring, around mid-March. It looks drastic, but by cutting all the growth back, it encourages strong new shoots to grow over summer, which will be brightly coloured from November onwards.

Martin Fish is a gardening columnist, broadcaster, speaker, RHS judge and all-round horticulture expert. He writes for publications including Garden Answers, Kitchen Garden and Which? Gardening.

We have worked with Martin closely over a number of years and each month he will be choosing a favourite Plant of the Month for us, with tips and advice for planting and growing in the garden.

You can find more about Martin at www.martinfish.com or find him on Twitter!

Paskett PR welcomes two new recruits

Paskett PR welcomes two new recruits

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Puja Kotecha (left) and Sarah Bryan (right) joined Paskett PR in November

 

We are pleased to announce the appointment of two new employees.

To manage the influx of new business and existing clients, Paskett Public Relations, the UK’s leading specialist gardening and lifestyle PR agency, has hired social media expert Puja Kotecha as an account executive. With more than three year’s experience in retail, marketing and social media, Puja joined the team early in November.

Joining Puja to support clients – which include big brands such as BASF, Forest Garden and The Posh Shed Company – is former journalist and account executive Sarah Bryan. In addition to her newspaper experience, Sarah brings with her a background in technology and business PR as we as social media expertise.

Commenting on her new appointment, Puja said: “It’s been great getting involved with both new and existing clients and helping to achieve the best possible results. I’m really looking forward to utilising not only my writing skills but also my social media expertise to help assist the team in the strongest way I can.”

Sarah added: “I am thrilled to have joined the Paskett team at such an exciting time for the business. I have always had an interest in B2C communications as well as gardening so combining the two together is a perfect fit for me. I look forward to embarking on this new adventure.”

Graham Paskett, managing director of Paskett Public Relations, added: “I am pleased to welcome both Puja and Sarah to the Paskett team. Both ladies have great experience and enthusiasm which has shone through right from the onset. With some big plans and ideas for 2019, I look forward to working with the new team to bring it all to fruition.”

Paskett Public Relations specialises in gardening and lifestyle PR and social media support for many household brands.

Plant of the Month by Martin Fish: Cotoneaster ‘John Waterer’

Plant of the Month by Martin Fish

COTONEASTER ‘JOHN WATERER’

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If you are looking for a large shrub or small evergreen tree that looks good all year round, then look no further than Cotoneaster x watereri ‘John Waterer’. It’s fully hardy, fairly fast to establish and only grows to around 5m when grown as a tree, making it ideal for gardens or all sizes. Being evergreen, it very handy in a position where you want cover through the year. As a shrub it makes bushy growth, but I prefer to see it grown as a tree with a clear trunk and its arching branches that form a good-shaped head. The dark green, glossy foliage is a feature on its own and remains on the tree throughout the year. Although an evergreen, it can lose some foliage in a very cold winter, but fresh new leaves grow back in spring. In late spring large clusters of white flowers are produced, which the bees and other pollinating insects are attracted to. The plump berries that follow ripen to a rich red in autumn and remain on the tree through winter and for me this is when the tree is at its best. On a bright winter’s day, the berries shine like jewels, but equally, they brighten up the garden and add colour and interest on a dull day.   

Martin Fish

Martin Fish is a gardening columnist, broadcaster, speaker, RHS judge and all-round horticulture expert. He writes for publications including Garden Answers, Kitchen Garden and Which? Gardening.

We have worked with Martin closely over a number of years and each month he will be choosing a favourite Plant of the Month for us, with tips and advice for planting and growing in the garden.

You can find more about Martin at www.martinfish.com or find him on Twitter!

 

 

IT’S NATIONAL TREE WEEK SO…

IT’S NATIONAL TREE WEEK SO…

One of my aims this week is to complete the planting of my almost complete collection of native British trees in my Staffordshire garden.

There are 32 native British trees of which I have 14 already growing in my garden.  In 2017 I bought from Hillier 12 of the missing 18 and decided to pot them on to grow to a larger size and plant out now.   The first three, the Goat Willow (Salix caprea). The Crack Willow (Salix fragilis) and the Bay Willow (Salix pentandra) have already been planted in a very damp area of the garden.

So, to mark National Tree Week, the other nine will be going in before Saturday.  They are:

  • Bird Cherry (Prunus padus)
  • Rowan Mountain Ash (Sorbus aucuparia)
  • Downy Birch (Betula pubescens)
  • Aspen (Populus tremula)
  • Wild or Gean Sherry (Prunus avium)
  • White Willow (Salix alba)
  • Field Maple (Acer campestre)
  • Hornbeam (Carpinus betulus)
  • Hazel (Corylus avellane)

We have got enough space for them but the ground is still pretty dry and I don’t want to have to spend December watering them.  So I shall be doing my own version of the rain dance!

The six missing trees are the Small Leaved Lime, Wych Elm, Sessile Oak, Ash, Black Poplar and the Midland Hawthorne.  If anyone know where I can obtain any of these – do please let me know via email grahampaskett.paskett.co.uk . It is terribly important to grow native British trees because they are an important genetic link to our history and the natural hosts to all wildlife and insects.

The challenge I am facing is trying to find labels that will identify these trees – including the ones already growing.  I really would like something with the Union Flag on it but, as yet, have failed to identify something that will last the life-time of the tree and be attractive.  It will also be interesting to find out whether the willows already planted actually help to dry out the land in which they now live.

Graham Paskett