Tag Archives | Noel Kingsbury

BREAKING NEWS – Oudolf rips out hedge shock …and the joy of pleasing the inhabitants of Bexhill-on-Sea.

Written by Noel Kingsbury

Click here to see Piet Oudolf’s iconic hedge last week.

This is how we are used to seeing it – the ‘curtain’ hedge at the back, as featured in books and countless magazine articles.

And here it is going into a shredder:

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A finger in the ocean – Cornwall.

The classic view of Trebah, planted early 20th century; perhaps the most typical Cornish valley garden.

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Daffodilophilia

Daffodils at Acorn Bank garden, Cumbria, UK, mostly wild Narcissus pseudonarcissus crossed with some old varieties genetically close to the original wild species. Photo:NK.

Daffodils are somehow the quintessential spring flower. The appearance of their distinctive yellow flowers is a sure sign that winter has either ended or is about to soon. Unlike the tulip, which appears to be dependent on us for its continued re-emergence in the garden, daffodils re-appear faithfully every year; and not just in the garden but in places such as roadsides, churchyards and parks where they have been planted, often decades ago – in some cases over a century ago. These plants are clearly great survivors, as witnessed by the number of flowers which appear in places where they have clearly been accidentally dropped or discarded – the flowers frequently mark where someone emptied the boot of their car of garden waste into a ditch or hedge, little thinking that the event and scene of their crime would be annually and flamboyantly marked for so many years to come.

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Garden or Museum – what’s the big deal with heirloom veg?

Medieval peasants worked hard for low yields. Do we really want to go back to their heirlooms?

Heirloom vegetables and flowers (or as well call them over here – heritage) have been big for some time now. Much more so in North America than home. In fact I am always really surprised about how enthusiastic American gardeners are about ‘vegetables our grandmothers grew’. The love of heirloom veg however goes along with a certain hostility to modern varieties, and modern breeding methods such as F1 hybridisation, particularly claims that heirlooms taste better; there is also an undercurrent that heirlooms are somehow better for the world, more ethical. Here I’d like to challenge this and stand up for modern scientific plant breeding. There is also a political point I’d like to make.

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Singapore – The Garden City State

A Licuala palm, probably L. grandis

How to describe the city state of Singapore? Downtown is like an American downtown (with even more malls – yes really!), the suburbs like Continue Reading →

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