Posts Tagged ‘Lamport Hall’

Nectaroscordum siculum

April 26, 2010

One of my favourite plants, Nectaroscordum siculum is now well up in my garden. The distinctive onion smell of its bruised leaves betray its allegiance to the onions.

The pendulous flowers of Nectaroscordum siculum are subtly coloured

It’s a quiet plant, with a cluster of bell-shaped flowers that hang down from the upright stems in summer. Dull cream, tinted with red and green, they are hardly showy but for that very reason blend well with nearly all other plants. Interestingly, when the flowers fade, the stems turn upwards as the seedheads develop. The BBC website recommends growing in gravel, but it also does well on steeply sloping banks at Lamport Hall, competing well the grass and cow parsley. It also copes well with light shade.

Like many bulbs, it’s a native of Turkey, south-east Europe and Ukraine. It’s also extremely easy to grow from seed (or simply allow it to seed itself).


Autumn colour

October 19, 2009

There has been much mention on today’s news about autumn colour – specifically, leaf colour. That may take a week or so to develop fully (though the display is fleeting), but meanwhile we have the daisies to enjoy – asters, rudbeckias and the like.

Yellow daisies at Lamport Hall

Yellow daisies at Lamport Hall

They are good if you have space to plant them in bold drifts, as here at Lamport, where they are backed by the leaves of Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ and flanked to the right with Acanthus spinosus. There are some feathery grasses beyond – Miscanthus, I think.

This sort of planting is low maintance – the plants are close enough together to cover the ground and effectively block out any weeds. But I do think a large canvas is essential.

Hatton Country World

July 21, 2009

Had an interesting phone call yesterday, from an ex-garden design student who is now looking to set up some gardening courses at Hatton Country World ( Nothing finalised yet, but we’ll probably start with two day-courses in the autumn, one a general intro to garden design (I have taught garden design in the space of a weekend before now, but to cover the whole thing in a couple of hours is stretching it a bit), the other on plant propagation.

Hopefully we’ll be able to build this into something good. Hatton is on the way to Birmingham out of Warwick, so there’s no conflict with my existing commitments at Lamport Hall ( – besides, it’s a different set-up.

The glasshouse in the middle of Jephson Gardens, Leamington Spa, where I teach City & Guilds garden design

The glasshouse in the middle of Jephson Gardens, Leamington Spa, where I teach City & Guilds garden design

Coincidentally, today I’ve also pencilled in dates for the City and Guilds Garden Design Certificate at Warwickshire College in the autumn – I’ll post dates for all of these on my website ( when all are confirmed, in the next week or so. And provide more details in my next newsletter.