Online Catalogue
Start of Content


Online Catalogue | CURRENT ISSUE

HORTUS  142  (Summer 2022)
HORTUS 142 (Summer 2022)

Price (not including postage) 10.50

Extracts From The Current Issue
From the editor's introduction to HORTUS 142, Summer 2022
I’ve not tried my hand at eucryphias before, fearing both their expense and their supposedly exacting needs with regard to siting. Hillier’s Manual states that they ‘thrive best in sheltered positions and in moist loam, preferably non-calcareous’, which I take to rule out placing them against walls where cement is present. But at Powys Castle in mid-Wales I remember seeing an individual against a south-facing brick-and-mortar fac?ade but paying the price of losing its top growth once it had pushed its head above the ramparts, proving a susceptibility to wind.

divider 1
From ‘Tradescant’s Diary’
by Hugh Johnson

20 February 2022: It was warm enough at breakfast time to leave the French windows of the kitchen open, and the scent flooding in was enough to put me off my yoghurt. The combination of daphne and sarcococca is almost a cliche? of front gardens around here, ambushing you in waves as you walk by. There are two daphnes contributing to my breakfast ordeal: D. odorata, which at present has more flowers than leaves, and a D. bholua that arrived in a tiny pot, a seedling from the garden on Isola Madre in Lake Maggiore. She is seven feet high now, and challenging our little winter-flowering cherry, which I planted in its pot to keep it small enough. Apart from one cheeky root escaping by climbing over its rim (the effect quickly became obvious in lusty new shoots above) the bonsai experiment has worked well.

divider 2
From 'Our Garden Birds: The Great Spotted Woodpecker'
by Adam Ford
The Great Spotted Woodpecker is one of the most exotic birds to appear on the British bird feeder. His bold black-and-white markings with a pink ventral area and scarlet nape (the female lacks this last detail) is breath-stoppingly dramatic. The nine-inch-long Great Spotted is doing well in this country, becoming permanently established in suburban and city gardens, and is far more common than his rare and diminutive cousin, the sparrow-sized Lesser Spotted.

divider 3
From ‘Haptic Herbs’
by Alison Sparshatt
Touch the softly, minutely corduroyed texture of a sage leaf; see the way the distinctive grey-green colour absorbs light; crush it imperceptibly in your fingers, feeling the slight stickiness and releasing the warm, complex aromatics; roll it into a minute cigar and chop it finely, on the diagonal, a satisfying, squeaky, firm resistance to the edge of the knife blade.

divider 4
From ‘Grounded and Content: Tom Coward at Gravetye Manor’
by Ambra Edwards

What makes him happiest? Tom Coward pauses, and leans on his spade as he ponders the question. A seraphic smile spreads across his broad, cheerful face. ‘Watching my daughter riding a horse. She has a remarkable seat. Then there’s nothing like catching up with old friends . . . Or the sumptuous fragrance of a perfect peach . . . And I’ll be very, very happy if this tree survives,’ he declares, surveying the somewhat scrawny specimen of Eucryphia × nymansensis ‘Nymansay’ he is tucking in beneath the woodland canopy in perhaps a little too shady a spot. ‘But that willow will be down before too long, and let a bit more light in.’ That’s another source of joy – embarking, after a dozen long years of slog, on the third phase of his restoration of Gravetye Manor, the Sussex garden created by nineteenth-century garden pioneer William Robinson (1838–1935).

divider 5
From ‘Things are Looking Up: New Roof Gardens in the City of London’
by Katie Campbell

Ever since the Hanging Gardens of Babylon first enthralled the nomadic tribesmen trekking across the Mesopotamian plains, the tantalising vision of gardens hovering between earth and sky has exercised an enduring fascination for nature-starved humans. Today, as part of an effort to encourage visitors back into the Big Smoke, roof gardens appear to be springing up across the City of London. The most recent, the Artist’s Garden, has been dropped onto the roof of Temple tube station on the eastern edge of the Square Mile. For the first time since the station opened in 1870 the half-acre rooftop space has been put to good use. Four years in the planning, the Artist’s Garden is a collaboration between Transport for London, Westminster City Council, and the art groups 180 Studios and coLAB, both of which encourage emerging artists to transform unlikely spaces with unusual art.

divider 6
From ‘In Pursuit of Individuality: Perrycroft, Herefordshire’
by Catherine Beale
(with a garden plan and a suite of drawings by Simon Dorrell)

>!The year 1894 saw a passing of the baton in the Arts and Crafts in Britain. One of the movements founders, Philip Webb (18311915) completed his last, great, country house masterpiece, Standen, near East Grinstead in West Sussex [see HORTUS 134]; the same year, C. F. A .Voysey (18571941) was breaking ground on his first, Perrycroft, Colwall, on the west side of the Malvern Hills in Herefordshire. Both commissions sprang from the desire of the affluent middle classes of the late-Victorian period to escape from the hustle, press and grime of city life and recapture some of the bucolic idyll and fresh air lost to modernity and the factory chimney. !!<

divider 7
From ‘Our Garden Colours: Silver & Gold’ by Peter Dale
You want a bouquet for a Silver Wedding anniversary? But it’s easier said than done, though florists take it in their stride almost daily. Silver flowers belong to brooches, not botany. Or they belong to occasional tricks of the light. Or they are the stuff of folk tales where beguilingly beautiful flowers conceal vicious thorns and seduce the unwary by their duplicitous promises of wealth. Golden Weddings are much easier; there are few plants with truly golden foliage but almost no end of blooms that at least approximate to gold even if, really, they are kinds of yellow.

divider 8
From ‘Threnody for a Chestnut Tree: Shadow’s Indian Horse Chestnut’
by Charles E. Nelson

We have started naming storms, one a girl, the next a boy, and so on. It was Eunice who toppled the Indian horse chestnut that had grown for a century at Glasnevin on the slope above the ancient mill race behind the splendid curvilinear range of glasshouses. Like other names and words rooted in ancient Greek and beginning with the prefix ??? (Anglicised as ‘eu’, and meaning well or good) – euphoria, eucomis, eucharist, eucryphia – Eunice (????????, good victory) is presaged as good, benevolent, but she wasn’t. Eunice was unforgiving, ill-tempered, tracking eastwards across our islands, battering and smashing. She also tumbled many other trees including an antique apple tree in the University of Cambridge Botanic Garden said to have been propagated from the one that gave Isaac Newton the clue to gravity: gravity had the last word after Eunice’s blow.

divider 9
From ‘The Warden Pear’ by Patricia Cleveland-Peck

Pears go back a long way, deep into a past when they were valued more highly than today not only for their taste but also for their beauty. Homer mentioned them in his Odyssey and Virgil, in his ninth eclogue, wrote, ‘Graft the pear trees Daphnis, your grandchildren will gather their fruit’. Our European pears derived from the wild pear Pyrus communis, which itself has a long history. Over time improvements were made by selection and many varieties developed. In Britain a dozen or so were known by the thirteenth century with, as Joan Morgan says in her 2015 Book of Pears, ‘one or two that have survived to this day’. Could one of these be the Warden, known to be an ancient variety, which was traditionally thought to have originated near Old Warden in Bedfordshire?

divider 10
From ‘From the Home Patch’ by Tom Petherick
Despite making good compost and using the biodynamic measures with intent over the years, the soil in my vegetable garden, across the whole farm in fact, remains poor. Some time ago I sold a heifer to a farmer from mid-Devon who, on collecting the beast, peered at the grassland and observed that no livestock would ever get fat on such land. This was not news to me and I was able to wish him and his new acquisition well on their journey back to the rich clay soils of Crediton in the plush four wheel drive and sparkling trailer.

divider 11
From Digging with the Duchess: The Red Wall’ by Sam Llewellyn
We are toiling in the new greenhouse nowadays, and pretty arduous it is too. Besides the pelargoniums and aloes and aubergines and what not, there is a large wicker armchair with pleasing cushionage, and a big pile of back issues (there is no other kind) of Tit-Bits and Reveille. With these and the occasional Havana cigar against the greenfly we while the time away, trusting in a dense screen of foliage to hide the presence from the Duchess, who prowls and prowls around in the manner popularised by the Hosts of Midian. She is restless. Very restless. It all dates from a trip we recently made to Spain.

divider 12
RHS Roses: An Inspirational Guide to Choosing and Growing the Best Roses
by Michael Marriott, reviewed by John West

The Plant Hunter’s Atlas: A World Tour of Botanical Adventures,
Chance Discoveries and Strange Specimens

by Ambra Edwards, reviewed by Patricia Cleveland-Peck

English Garden Eccentrics: Three Hundred Years of Extraordinary Groves, Burrowings, Mountains and Menageries

by Todd Longstaffe-Gowan, reviewed by Tim Longville

The Doctor’s Garden: Medicine, Science, and Horticulture in Britain

by Clare Hickman, reviewed by Katie Campbell

Lucian Freud Herbarium

by Giovanni Aloi, reviewed by Rosemary Lindsay

The Tree Experts: A History of Professional Arboriculture in Britain
by Mark Johnston

The Story of Trees and How They Changed the Way We Live

by Kevin Hobbs and David West

A Tree a Day
by Amy-Jane Beer

Lilacs: Beautiful Varieties for Home and Garden

by Naomi Slade

The Eighth Wonder of the World

by Lionel de Rothschild and Francesca Murray Rowlins

Borde Hill Garden: A Plant Hunter’s Paradise
by Vanessa Berridge

The View from Federal Twist
by James Golden

Gardens in My Life
by Arabella Lennox-Boyd

Plants & Us: How They Shape Human History and Society
by John Akeroyd

The Jungle Garden

by Philip Oostenbrink

divider 14

HORTUS 143 (Autumn 2022) will be published in October

Online Catalogue | CURRENT ISSUE

End of Content