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Time for The CHOP

Written by Noel Kingsbury

We’re delighted to have Noel contributing to GGW.  Alot of you are most likely familiar with his name. He has written several books; I have more than a few of them on my bookshelf. As well as being a prolific writer, Noel is a lecturer on plants and gardens. He has been in the nursery business as well as doing garden design. Mostly known for his promotion of naturalistic and wild-style planting design, his gardening interests are wide-ranging, global and eclectic. Two years ago Noel completed a PhD with the University of Sheffield on long-term plant performance; he is hoping to continue research on a number of different fronts. He has a fantastic blog that’s worth checking out.      Fran Sorin

I think everyone on the garden lecture circuit has a least favourite, but frequently asked question from the audience. Mine is “what about small gardens?” my own fault as the most dramatic pictures I show are usually of larger ones. Piet Oudolf’s is “when do I cut my perennials back?” There is a somewhat pained look on his face, as to him this is a rather absurd question. His reply is always “when you want to”.

Once upon a time there was always this idea in gardening that there is a right way and a wrong way to do just about anything. The right way would be explained in a Royal Horticultural Society manual (I always wanted to write a book – ‘Digging a Hole, the RHS Way’).  Nowadays we tend to be more pragmatic, but those new to gardening still yearn for clear and unambiguous instructions.

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How My Thoughts On Gardening Have Changed

When I started my garden on a bare piece of ground twenty plus years ago, I never could have imagined that it would develop into what it is now: intensely planted multi-tiered layers of garden rooms housed on a steeply sloping one half acre property.

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This garden of mine has gone through several transformations, as have I as a gardener and as an individual. It reflects where I am in my life. Now I am the steward of a very mature garden, a property where I must renovate in order to feel infused with the exhilaration of observing plantings develop from their infancy onwards within the context of a new design. Continue Reading →

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