In The Genus Garden

The first real frost

We had our first real frost last week.  Not a surprise for late November but still a bit of a shock.  It turned out to be a day of bits and pieces.  The border that extends around from the...

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Black in the Garden - Pelargonium sidoides

The first thing you learn when using ‘black’ plants in the garden is that they’re rarely black; dark reds, purples, and sometimes dark blues are usually the norm.  Despite this, plants like Pelagonium sidoides do look virtually black in a...
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Black in the Garden - Blackfly

‘Hands up who likes blackfly’?  No, we don’t either.  They often appear suddenly in the garden and can cause several problems that need to be dealt with.

The bean aphid Aphis fabae is probably the one most commonly seen in gardens...
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Black in the Garden - Aeonium 'Zwartop'

We love Aeonium ‘Zwartcop’.  It’s a tender branching succulent that can grow up to 1.2 metres high and is a perfect specimen to have as an architectural centrepiece in pots or troughs.  Lucky inhabitants of Cornwall or The Isles of...
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Wallflowers for spring

Good weather last week enabled us to get several hundred tulips planted in the borders at Genus HQ.  This week we overplanted the tulips with the wallflowers that were sown back in August.

Red-hot ‘Fire King’ is a...

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Inspired by grasses

Ornamental grasses are extremely popular with gardeners in the UK.  With their height, movement, and colour they easily earn their place in any garden.  Last week could well have been called  ‘National Grass week’; social media was awash with stunning...

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Renewals and repairs

Some days at Genus HQ have to be more about the infrastructure than the plants, so this week we put aside a day to complete a few practical tasks that required attention.  Our vegetable garden is made up of...

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Your November gardening to-do list

It’s getting colder, the leaves are falling fast and it’s time to tidy up dead and tatty growth and prepare for winter.

  1. Protect slightly tender herbaceous plants like penstemon or Verbena bonariensis with a thick mulch.  With plants like kniphofias (red...
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Bulb planting

Ordering  spring bulbs is an exciting job.  An evening in with the fire lit, a cat on your lap, and bulb catalogues spread all around.  Perfect!!  But it’s not until several huge boxes actually arrive that you realise just what...

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Berries for the birds

It’s at this time of year that we realise the garden here at Genus HQ, whilst still retaining colour in the flower borders, is lacking colour elsewhere, particularly in the form of berries.  Berries are always attractive to look at...

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Rosy prospects

New french doors at Genus HQ have replaced a window and necessitated the removal of a grape vine that was originally trained over it.  Groundworks had disturbed the roots, grapes would shower down on the paving, staining it purple, and...

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A peeling clematis

The north facing wall of the cottage at Genus HQ has a number of climbers but in autumn the ‘orange peel’ clematis ‘Bill MacKenzie’ shines a light into this shadier corner.

Orange peel clematis are a confusing bunch, seemingly coming...

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Your October gardening to-do list

Autumn is the time to clear up the garden and begin soil preparation and bulb planting for next spring.

  1. Tall shrubs like buddleia which will be pruned hard in spring, can be reduced by about half their height, to...
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In the Genus Night Garden

With over 2,500 moth species in the UK we thought we’d try and see what lurked in the Genus HQ garden at night.  So we set up a light trap which comprises a funnelled collecting box with an ultraviolet bulb...

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Party favourites

You may remember our disappointment a few weeks ago when we wrote of the sorry state of the garden at Genus HQ after the winds and rain had battered the summer out of it and brought out a decidedly autumnal...

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Best behaviour

Plants are like children.  There are the naughty troublesome ones that require constant supervision, the loud shouty ones that are actually quite delicate, and the ones that just quietly get on with their lives requiring very little input and parenting....

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Dividing iris

Forward notes are a wonderful thing.  There’s always so much to do in the garden that without some planning important jobs would be missed.  And so it was this week when the Genus phone ‘pinged’ with the alert ‘DIVIDE IRISES!!!’ ...

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Spring planning

We mentioned late season colour last time and we also mentioned that our focus was on our spring borders which have been lacklustre for the last few years. Consequently the Genus HQ coffee table has disappeared under a small hill...
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Colouring In

We’ve been honing the late season colour palette of the garden at Genus HQ over the last few years, going from ‘not a lot’ to ‘more than enough’.  Each year has seen successes and failures but we’ve been slowly...

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Hard Graft

Scion, cleft, four flap, and whip are some of the terms we’re getting acquainted with over the next few weeks; words we haven’t used since our college days!

Last week we mentioned that several branches on our plum...

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Cherry Aid

2020 must surely go down as the gardeners’ ‘year of the cherry’.  We’ve waited years for our trees to produce a respectable crop and this year they excelled, benefiting from a combination of a wet winter followed by a hot...

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