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Talking about Rhododendrons and Azaleas with Dan Turner, Director of the Award-winning Specialist Rhododendron and Azalea Nursery, Millais Nurseries

When we think of Rhododendrons and Azaleas, we tend to imagine lush, leafy plants adorned with an abundance of large and blousy, colourful flowers in May.  May is undoubtedly the main flowering season for Rhododendrons and Azaleas and we celebrate these magnificent plants in all their glory now, making this the ideal time to visit Millais Nurseries, our local, award-winning Rhododendron and Azalea growers. 

Heritage Open Days 2023

I’m mindful that my recent article about Gertrude Jekyll may have inspired you to want to learn more about this inspirational gardener and horticulturist, so in this post I’m sharing information on an array of Gertrude Jekyll themed events, as well as gardens, vineyards, and interesting places you can visit during the Heritage Open Days.

Every September, the Heritage Open Days allow visitors to experience local history, culture, and architecture. 

I was both excited and incredibly relieved when I heard that the National Trust had purchased Munstead Wood, the Surrey home and eleven-acre garden of the legendary horticulturist, designer, writer, artist, photographer, and craftswoman, Gertrude Jekyll.

Gertrude lived at Munstead Wood in Busbridge, Godalming, from the 1890s until her death in 1932.  Having met the renowned architect Edwin Lutyens early in his career, long before he achieved fame and was knighted, Gertrude invited Edwin to design her an Arts and Crafts house to complement the garden. 

Runner beans are miraculous vegetables that will comfortably fulfil any gardener’s lofty ambitions to grow stunning plants that look attractive, flower freely, and produce an abundant harvest of delicious beans within a small space!

I am a self-confessed runner bean fan.  For years, I’ve been running Runner Bean Trials searching for the best tasting and most productive runner bean varieties and the optimum growing methods to cultivate these vegetables. 

Divine Rose Gardens to Visit & Fabulous Rose Events to Attend in Summer 2024!

When we think of summertime we often think of roses.  I adore scented roses!  I love growing roses and visiting rose gardens.  Here are some lovely gardens where you can celebrate and immerse yourself in the rose’s beauty and fragrance.

How to use this calendar:

The events are grouped by geographical area, use the filter hierarchy below to select events near you – e.g.,

Magnificent Bluebell Woods and Bluebell Gardens

Bluebell woods are such relaxing and uplifting places to visit.  I hope you can enjoy time walking in amongst the bluebells this spring, so you can envelop yourself with the scent and beauty of these awe-inspiring flowers.  This is truly magical time of year!

I am a huge fan of our native British bluebells, which are also known by their latin name of Hyacinthoides non-scripta. 

2024 Calendar of Daffodil Garden Openings, Daffodil Shows, & Daffodil Events

Daffodils are full of spring cheer!  I want to brighten up your spring and so I’ve created this calendar of daffodil events.  If you’re holding a daffodil talk, daffodil walk, daffodil garden opening, or daffodil show, do let me know and I’ll add your event to this calendar.

I hope this article helps you to find beautiful daffodil gardens to visit; as well as some lovely, fun, and interesting daffodil events to attend in 2024.

Peatlands cover just 3% of our planet’s surface, yet these precious areas store more carbon than all the world’s forests and vegetive plants combined.  Home to rare plants and wildlife, peatlands support a biodiverse range of plants, insects, birds, and wildlife, including many species that can only survive in these unique habitats.  As well as protecting us from climate change and providing us with beautiful open countryside refuges, peatlands offer us many other advantages. 

Winter provides us with a wonderful opportunity to plant trees.  What could be a better Christmas gift than planting a tree with your family?  I’m a particular fan of planting bare-root trees: trees that are grown in the ground (not containers) and then lifted, dispatched, and planted while they’re dormant.  Bare-root trees are grown in the soil, they’re naturally peat-free, require less watering at the nursery, and can be grown plastic-free – as there’s no need for containers. 

Garden Designer Jackie Currie and Plant Heritage won a Gold Medal for their ‘National Plant Collections Everywhere!’ exhibit at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2021!  This stunning exhibit showcased plants from National Plant Collections grown inside living rooms, glasshouses, gardens, and allotments, across the UK.

One of the stars of the exhibit was the Salvia caymanensis, grown by John and Linsey Pink who hold a National Collection of Salvias. 

For the past fourteen years, I’ve grown a delicious harvest of Florence Fennel bulbs by going against traditional gardening advice; instead of ending my sowings of Florence Fennel seeds by June or July, I’ve continued sowing seed throughout August and September.  Gardeners in Northern regions of the UK would be unlikely to succeed following my advice, but in my Surrey garden’s sandy soil these later sown seeds have produced a wonderful last hurrah of medium-sized sweet tasting Florence Fennel bulbs.

Butterfly Conservation’s Big Butterfly Count 2021!

Have you taken a Butterfly Count this year?  Butterfly Conservation’s Big Butterfly Count runs from until Sunday 8th August 2021; so you still have time to participate in this lovely activity.  The weather this summer has been absolutely atrocious; so far, I’ve only managed to find one 15 minute period that I was able to take a Butterfly Count in between the heavy rain showers!

Butterfly Conservation’s Big Butterfly Count 2021!

Butterfly Conservation’s Big Butterfly Count runs from Friday the 16th July 2021 until Sunday 8th August 2021.  I’d really like to encourage you to join in and take your own Butterfly Count – this is such a lovely thing to do.  A Butterfly Count only lasts for 15 minutes – this activity won’t take up much of your time – you could take a Butterfly Count in your lunch break. 

Family Days Out & Gardens to Visit on Father’s Day 2021

This year, Father’s Day will be celebrated on Sunday 20th June 2021.  I’ve put together a list of special garden events and activities held over the Father’s Day 2021 weekend to help you find a memorable day out and celebrate a very happy weekend with your family.  Don’t forget that you may need to book tickets for these Father’s Day events in advance and places may be limited. 

I’m supporting Peat Free April – a campaign by garden writers, nature writers, and gardeners who want to ban the use of peat in horticulture and protect the planet’s peatlands and peat bogs.

We really need your help to push the government to protect peat bogs and peatlands, so please sign this petition to ask the government to ban the use of peat in horticulture.

2024 Calendar of Specialist Plant Fairs, Festivals, Plant Sales, & Plant & Seed Swaps

Here’s my calendar with the dates and details of plant sales, festivals, and other super opportunities to buy wonderful, locally grown plants!  Great quality, rare, hard to find, unusual, choice plants and old favourites can all be found at the specialist plant fairs, plant sales, plant and seed swaps, and other events that I have listed for you below.

Snowdrop Events Calendar 2021

To head to my current calendar of the latest upcoming snowdrop events, please click here.

Welcome to my 2021 Snowdrop Gardens, Talks, Virtual Events, and Open Days Calendar!  Here are the dates, and all the details of the openings of the most beautiful and magnificent snowdrop gardens.  These gardens are opening to allow visitors the chance to experience the joy of visiting their snowdrop collections.  

You may remember back in 2018, the proposed plans for improving the A3/M25 interchange in Surrey were set to result in the compulsory takeover of 10,000sq meters of the RHS Wisley Gardens and the destruction of over 500 important specimen trees, including the treeline, which provides a shelter belt between the busy A3 and the RHS Wisley Trials Field.  Although Highways England’s plans have now changed, the new plans that are being proposed by Highways England are set to destroy 44 ancient trees and cause great concern for the Royal Horticultural Society.

Butterfly Conservation’s Big Butterfly Count 2020

I adore spending time immersed in nature, studying plants and butterflies.  Today I wanted to tell you about the Big Butterfly Counts I’ve taken at Bookham Common, in Surrey.

Butterfly Conservation’s Big Butterfly Count runs from Friday the 17th July 2020 until Sunday 9th August 2020 – so you still have plenty of time to join in and enjoy taking your own Butterfly Count! 

Space2grow: community gardening in Farnham, Surrey

For every problem we experience in life, nature provides us with the ingredients we need to heal ourselves.  Springtime presents us with many wonderful opportunities to begin again and start anew.  We sow seeds to generate new stock and discover plants that seemed dead and lifeless just a few months ago are now bursting into life.