Magnolia Study Day 2023

On Saturday April 8th students and faculty from Wisley, Great Dixter and Kew gathered round a table of vases of magnolias in current bloom, selected from the WHF collection of around 250 species and cultivars from Magnolia, Michelia and Mangleitia. These students were joined by WHF Friends and Volunteers from a variety of backgrounds, fromContinue reading “Magnolia Study Day 2023”

Propagation: crucial now not just for garden collections, but also for conservation

WHF held a propagation skills workshop on a cold weekday in early March 2023. Talks were given by Chris Lane on grafting, Peter Shotter on seed germination, Maurice Foster on cuttings, and Nadeesha Bandara shared details of the research project she’s part of at Nottingham University about the influence of hormones on rooting. We hadContinue reading “Propagation: crucial now not just for garden collections, but also for conservation”

Owan Hayman reports on the Hydrangea aspera study day at White House Farm

This is a repost of Owan Hayman’s blog ‘Hydrangea aspera: in love with lacecaps at White House Farm’ as part of his monthly blog series ‘In From The Garden’ for garden designers Bestall & Co (first published on September 8th, 2022). In mid-August, I joined a trip to visit a little-known treasure trove of aContinue reading “Owan Hayman reports on the Hydrangea aspera study day at White House Farm”

‘Planting an Idea’: Maurice Foster asks should more be done to reconcile good taxonomic practice with the needs of gardeners?

This article first appeared in The Plant Review (previously The Plantsman), the RHS publication devoted to the diversity of cultivated plants

A good year for hellebores

In the dark days of winter when snowdrops and hamamelis are the only spots of colour a range of different hellebores can offer an eye-catching unexpected pastel patchwork. Hardy perennials that provide good colour in the winter garden Their pastel colour range when grown nearby each other is itself attractive Briefly upstaged by far moreContinue reading “A good year for hellebores”

Deutzia seedlings at WHF: the problem of selection

‘Deutzias are a group of plants that all keen gardeners are aware of, that most gardeners with an interest in woody plants grow, that very few understand as a group, and that are greatly confused in cultivation.,’ says Rod White (Vice-Chair of the RHS Woody Plants Committee with responsibility for Trials). ‘The range of DeutziasContinue reading “Deutzia seedlings at WHF: the problem of selection”

Magnolia ‘Premier Cru’

Coming into bloom early in March, this hybrid combines extraordinary intensity of colour with free-flowering habit in a 40 foot tree (some twenty years old) that appears to be still growing. Premier Cru is one of the most noticeable magnolia seedlings raised by Maurice Foster at White House Farm. It is a sister seedling ofContinue reading “Magnolia ‘Premier Cru’”