Thursday, 31 January 2013


Follow Me on Pinterest

We've started a board on Pinterest - click on the link to take you there.

We are pinning a wide range of images of spherical shapes found in gardens - quite a regular occurence when you really start to look - which shows how important the sphere shape is in nature and the man made landscape.

Friday, 25 January 2013

Burns Night....

Quite a tenuous link here but what the heck - Stoneballs Company has very firm Scottish links!

Today is Burns Night which is celebrated in Scotland on or around January 25. It commemorates the life of the bard Robert Burns, who was born on January 25, 1759. and contributed a great deal to Scottish culture - Auld Lang Syne being but one ditty.

So, in honour of Robert Burns we turn our attention to Scotland today and the link here is the carved Neolithic stone balls found in parts of Scotland.

These are a uniquely Scottish find with over 400 found especially in Aberdeenshire, .
Many of the carved stone balls found have 6 carved 'knobs' / bosses or have intricate designs but some are plain and all are similar in size.

The uses of the stone balls found is unknown but many theories abound. Were they weapons, a throwing game, weighing stones or luck charms? 

For further information click the link.....

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Snowdrops / National Garden Scheme

Despite the wintry weather much of the country is currently suffering from, it's not too long before the first signs of
Spring appear - snowdrops being the first sign that all is not lost! Many gardens will soon be open to visitors to see the carpets
of this very welcome bulb.

Current research reveals that it isn't just a pretty sight but
can be used in the treatment of headaches, as a poison antidote and most interestingly as a treatment for Alzheimer's disease which is associated with a drop in acetylcholine levels. Galantamine derived from the snowdrop bulb may stop or delay the decline, helping to maintain memory according to studies by Dr Melanie-Jayne Howes of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

So, if you can remember do visit a local display near you. Check out the Yellow Book published by the National Garden Scheme (NGS) to find a local garden with Spring displays. (Pictured is last years display at Easton Walled Gardens, Lincolnshire.)

Every year the National Garden Scheme across England and Wales welcome about 750,000 visitors. Most of the gardens are privately owned and open for a few days each year. Some gardens open as part of a group with the whole community involved. The gardens give all the money raised directly to the NGS (including from the sale of teas and plants); the only exceptions being in some cases they ask that a small proportion goes to a nominated local charity.

Postscript:It was great news that Terry And Vanessa Winters are now listed in the Yellow Book so visitors who follow their blog and the creation of Ordnance House Garden will be able to enjoy seeing their new garden first hand. Follow the link for opening days.

Monday, 21 January 2013

Snow Days

Hoping to avoid losing more shrubs (as we have in previous years) – we have invested in horticultural fleece. Our once 6 feet tall Phormium Tenax was reduced to a rotting stump a couple of years ago in similar snow bound weather. After stripping away the rotting leathery strap leaves (no mean task) we have nurtured and encouraged it back to life. Now the gorgeous, tender young leaves are wrapped up (and securely pegged down) in their duvet like fleece and hopefully will survive the cold spell.

Other snow bound shrubs have had the snow knocked off which may bend branches and bubble wrap swathe the pots on the terrace.

Snow days are a good time to have a look at the structure of the garden as the dark wood of shrubs stand out and you can see the role (if any) they play in the structure of the border. Are they spaced optimally? Clustered in unpleasing groups? Make a note and move them when the weather improves.

Snow days are also a good time to plan ahead on planting. If you care to follow trends in gardening current trends include Kniphofias (easy to grow and great impact in the border) clipped evergreens, Hydrangeas (very versatile as climbers or border shrubs) and (our favourite) Umbellifers are a huge favourite with designers and cover a range of plants – our favourites include Angelica archangelica, Astrantium and Fennel – all give a wayward and romantic look to the border.