Category Archives: SERVICE

ANEMONE hupehensis (Pretty Lady Series) ‘Pretty Lady Julia’


This  series of Anemone is bred by Mr. Yoshihiro Kanazawa of Japan, this series of Anemone features four pink forms and one pure white, ‘Pretty Lady Julia’ has double flowers.  All in the series have good compact habits, 40cm high and 60cm spread, fully garden hardy they make ideal border plants for today’s smaller gardens also good for containers and patio. Flower from August until October.

So when selecting subjects  for plant breeding it’s important to select for colour and height and also take into account today’s market trends in plants.

Having a series that has variations in colour, flowering either singles and doubles is good and makes it easier to get a take up commercially if there are more to follow.

So now is the time to be busy looking at your flowering plants and those that are flowering from your selections and breeding work and making further crosses and selections.

As you can see from the picture above new cultivars can be created be from plant breeding and crossing. It’s a long process, its good to look at plants in your own garden, looking for improvements that may be possible.

You see with the Anemone, by getting a shorter flowering plant it makes the plant more fitting for todays market and also for growers more plants can be transported on a lorry in flower as its shorter so it’s a good growers plant.

Keep records of any crossings you make. Be critical when making a selection, be prepared to be strict when discarding plants.

Pictures are important so get the camera ready to take photos to record your work.

For developing your new plant breeding selection or new plant discovery I can offer full trialling and new plant development service more details available on my website.

Also pictures can be taken and stored if needed. 


Well the weather has now changed to cooler conditions and we have had some welcome rain, lawns are beginning to recover. Daytime is still warm though but temperatures at night

have been quite low down to around 7°centigrade and lower in some places here in UK.

Plants to look for in September

Anemone (Japanese)


Buddleja – all gardens should have one



Geranium Rozanne®




Phlox paniculata







Hydrangea arborescens


You will still need to keep all baskets and tubs watered and checked each day.

Start thinking about autumn bedding

Apply liquid feed regularly once a week is ideal

Look out  daily for slugs and snails check your local garden centre for best controls, an idea I have seen is to place an old roof tile on ground, snails go under here during daytime just turn over and pick them off each day.

Deadheading plants like Dahlia will prolong flowering.

Good time to plant new perennials they will establish before the winter and get a good start in the spring and be ready to have some resistance to drier conditions as they will be more established.

Perennials dying down or fading can be trimmed back to encourage growth before the winter.

Regular weeding  and hoeing whenever you can will keep weeds under control. If time is short pull off seed heads this will help to reduce seeded weeds.

Continue to take semi-ripe cuttings now.

Good time now for seed collection now, storage is important, remember cultivars will not come true to type.

You can continue to trim evergreen hedges now.

Look out for Aphids and other pests, black spot on Roses, check with local garden centre for best controls.

Look out for Vine Weevil damage, damage shows when plants start to wilt, on inspection roots will have been badly eaten you may also see white c shaped larvae, apply a biological control, plants in containers are unlikely to recover.

Sedums and Geraniums can be badly affected.

Prune climbing roses once flowering is finished.

Continue to mow lawn regularly, keep edges neat, still time to apply weed killer for perennial weeds, use a selective weed killer here.

Seeding and repairing of dead patches can continue now through the month, but you will need to water as weather can still be quite dry.

Apply a fertilizer but do not use summer feeds as these are too high in nitrogen fertilizer, slow release is best. Do not apply in drought conditions, if  using feed and weed avoid getting onto ornamental plantings as it will cause damage.

If you have wild flowers in lawn and want to keep them then do not use feed and weed.

During the dry period if you are watering the lawn do this at night when evaporation is low.

If you have a pond then keep water circulating, using waterfalls and pumps, fountains etc.

Clean filters as needed, remove blanket weed and skim off floating weeds such as duckweed, feed fish as needed.

Remove any debris leaves etc reduces toxin build up.

In the Greenhouse, open greenhouse and increase ventilation on sunny days, extra shading like shade paint applied to outside may be needed during hot periods, don’t let greenhouse get to hot.

Damp down the floor of the greenhouse on hot days this will control Red Spider mite.

You should be having some good tomatoes and cucumbers now.

Keep greenhouse clean and as crops come to an end remove and clean up,

Citrox is a good cleaning product.

Check for pests like Aphids, red spider mite, white fly, regularly, biological controls are available look online.

For vegetables there is still time to plant leeks from leek plants and onions from sets.

Time to plant broad beans, Garlic,  and spring cabbage plants if you can find them, look in local garden centre.

You can also set up new Asparagus beds,

Time to paint fences and sheds carry out any repairs, in the greenhouse replace any broken glass needed before winter, take advantage of the evenings while they are still light.


Take time to relax in garden at some time each day while it’s still light evenings for barbecues and generally  enjoying the fruits of you hard work.

The garden should be an extension of your house an extra room if you like and it will be looking good.

PRIMULA ‘Tortoise shell’ (DACLAND)

Primula Tortoise Shell  unusual form of Primula (polyanthus type with double flowers from now until early summer, good for borders and containers.

This plant was selected and bred by Daphne Lloyd and Norman Draper of the UK.

It was brought to me for trials a few years ago from their plant breeding and selection.


Now is the time to be busy with seed sowing of seed from your plant breeding projects, for developing your new plant breeding selection or new plant discovery I can offer full trialling and new plant development service more details available on my website.

It look like spring may finally be here with temperature forecast to rise although still having rain.

Most trees and shrubs are now budding up, looks like frost has passed for now.


Will April be full of April showers or drought!

Hardy annuals can be sown now, can sow direct into borders to fill gaps.

Many hardy perennials can still be sown now, sow into plugs or small pots.

Instant colour can be provide by planting Primula and Viola, look for cornuta types.

Look out for slugs and snails on new Hosta shoots, check your local garden centre for best controls

Pot up plug plants, water in well but allow to dry a little between watering

Put bedding plants outside during daytime on fine days, but bring them in at night this harden them up plants will get a better start.

Regular watering of containers is needed now, feed also will help get things underway.

Too early for summer bedding, but you can plant up tubs and baskets if you have a frost free area.

Regular weeding should be carried out whenever you can will keep them under control, perennials infested with spear/couch grass

can be divided and weeds removed.

Divide those clumps of perennials like Hosta’s, Hemerocallis, this will invigorate and improve plants, every three years or so.

For cut flowers you can plant up Delphiniums and annuals.

Prune Lavenders to new shoots.

Deadhead Pansies, Viola and Primula.

Clean up winter bedding that has not survived remove self-seeded forget-me-nots so they do not take over other plants.

Look out for Vine Weevil damage, damage shows when plants start to wilt, on inspection roots will have been badly eaten

you may also see white c shaped larvae, apply a biological control, plants in containers are unlikely to recover.

Sedums and Geraniums can be badly affected.

Look for slugs and snails check online for best control methods or ask at local garden centre

Evergreens in cooler areas you can still move evergreen shrubs but it is getting late now and watering could be difficult as season progresses.

Much roses with organic matter.

Cut back Salix and Cornus.

Remove frost damaged shoots from evergreens.

Take cuttings of your favourite conifers.

If you have newly planted trees you will need to put on guards to protect against rabbit damage.

Mow lawn regularly now, keep to an even height throughout season.

Apply a spring fertilizer, can include moss killer if needed but care is needed with application as pollution of ground water can

Occur if used incorrectly.

Alternatively rake or scarify lawn to remove moss.

If you see a lot of starling on your lawn then you may have leatherjackets – Crane fly larvae, look for controls on line, biological control

is the only control available to amateur gardener.

If you have a pond start using water filters now, fish will be starting to be active don’t overfeed.

Continue tidying marginal and bog plants.

In the greenhouse prick out seedlings, space out plants, check watering every few days.

The greenhouse will need venting each day now when weather is warm, you may need light shading on bright days.

R=Temperatures can droop at night you may still need the greenhouse heater or other protection.

On warm days damp down greenhouse floor helps to control red spider mite.

House plants can begin feeding now, check watering every few days.

Wipe clean shiny leaved plants with damp cloth.

In the veg garden winter sown broad beans and peas will be in active growth now, peas will need support, twiggy sticks are ideal.

Keep on top of weeding whenever conditions allow.

Plant potatoes now.

Continue sowing vegetable seeds now for succession of  crops.

Any seed for march can still be sown in April.

Sow, Beetroot, leaks, carrots, lettuce, cabbage etc.

Under glass sow, cucumbers, pumpkins, tomatoes, peppers.

In sheltered areas make fist sowing of French beans.

Sweet corn can be sown now use a peat pot so you can plant direct in garden later.

Strawberries and Raspberries will be starting to grow now, feed with a tomato feed, not a high nitrogen feed.

Time to get out the barbecue and garden furniture ready to enjoy the long summer days.

Take time to walk round garden each day  – enjoy.

HELICHRYSUM ‘Ruby Cluster’

March is well here now, and officially spring has started, but last week you would not have guessed with heavy snowfall and temperatures below freezing during the day.

But that has gone now and today the temperature is 9°c and raining!

I see many plants starting to grow, Delphiniums, Primula, Lonicera is coming into bud, and Crocus still in flower seems unaffected by the cold weather and snow.


One early flowering plant that will be coming into bud and flowering towards the end of the month is Helichrysum Ruby Cluster, grey foliage woody stemmed plant with dark red flowers, its is a plant that likes free draining soil the plant is quite hardy but dislikes winter wet.

This Helichrysum is available in other varieties and colours, Pink Sapphire, Amber Cluster, Emberglow, they are all from UK Plant Breeder – Chris Bowyer based in the North midlands.

So it if you have a plant breeding project underway and are looking for advice, assistance in developing your new plant commercially then I can be of service, more information is available on my website.


Will March be full of spring cheer of will winter return for another bite!!

Finish clearing the last of leaves and winter debris.

Still time to finish cutting back and trimming grasses.

If you have overwinter Fuchsia, prune back to one or two buds on each shoot.

Pruning early flowering Clematis once their flowers have finished and summer flowering Clematis before growth starts.

Prune bush and climbing roses, add some fertilizer to base, look for specialist rose fertilizer.

Plant new roses either bare-root or container, do not though plant where you have had roses before.

Trips to your local retail nursery or garden centre will find many plants starting to arrive for planting, still too early for spring bedding though, don’t be tempted to plant outside yet!

You can sow and plant hardy annuals.

Good time to plant snowdrops in the green brighten up garden next year.

You can start planning the new beds you prepared last month.

Time to revitalise established plants in containers, remove top 5cm of compost and replace with new add some all season slow release fertiliser.

Containers will need regular watering now.

If you have Dahlia tubers you can start them now,  place in pots or trays and cover only the tubers with compost, water, keep frost free, you can take cuttings from the new shoots if you need more plants.

Spring flowered bedding you can give regular feeding now, this will help to produce a good display during the season,

For a good display of spring bulbs next year you can remove spent flowers and seed heads, leave leaves for now.

Keep an eye now for slugs and snails use your usual method.

Lift and divide and perennials that you want to revitalise, move or create more plants.

You can take basal cuttings of perennials that are showing new growth.

Seed sowing is well underway now, look for some new varieties to try.

Cut back Cornus (dogwood) and Salix (willow) grown for coloured stems in winter.

Where possible start regular hoeing of weed seedling as you see them it will help later in the season to keep on top of them now.

Now is a good time to lay new turf, work from planks, do not walk over it for several weeks, you will need to water it during dry periods, first cut should be on the highest setting.

Established lawns can be cut now if needed and weather allows, don’t mow if frosty or if frost is forecast. The first cut of the season should be light, keep blades 1cm above usual height.

Good time to get blades sharpened and mower serviced if you did not get it done last month.

Later in the month you can apply a spring fertilizer that is high in nitrogen this will help the lawn recover from winter.

Any bare patches, fork over and loosen soil then apply some fresh grass seed, keep watered, may have to protect from birds.

Neaten edges with a turf iron, it  will make lawn borders look a lot better. Work from a board if it’s wet.

For ponds you can start feeding fish now, give a little but often.

Check, repair or replace pumps and filters.

Tidy up plants in bog garden add new plants if required.

In the veg garden you can start chitting early potatoes for planting later in month, plant shallots, onions and garlic.

Dig in some green manure or compost to improve soil.

Prepare seed beds for planting and you can start sowing , carrots, radishes and lettuce under cloches for early crops.

Continue to plant fruit trees and raspberry canes, autumn fruiting canes should be cut back to ground to encourage new canes to develop. Summer fruiting cut back to top of supports to a bud.

In the greenhouse you can start sowing winter greens.

Sow tomatoes in a heated greenhouse.

Start sowing bedding plants ready planting after the last frost.

Repot house plants and orchids before they start active growth.

Carry out repairs to pathways.

Clean algae and slime from patio and fences several products are available that will assist with this, just ensure that it is safe for plants and pets.

When planting in garden consider using a mycorrhizal fungi product like Rootgrow™ it helps with plant establishing.

Take time to walk round garden each day.


January can be a bleak month, still shortage of daylight and as I write we have just had some very wet days.

Thinking of New Plants and breeding now is the time to start sowing perennials, the cold weather will help stratify seed aiding germination as the days get longer and temperature start to rise.

Helleborus will soon be flowering, I have seen some in flower already, look for some interesting colours, double flowers for new cultivars or hybrids.


Helleborus niger crosses are more commercially viable, Helleborus Orientalis produce more mixed hybrids

If you have breeding lines and are thinking of how you can develop them further I can assist you with any trialling that is needed.

Further advice can be found on my website.


Happy New Year!

With recent storms there may be branches and leaves to clear from the garden, these can be trimmed up and burnt, composted or taken to local recycle centre.

Carry on trimming back perennials and tidying garden beds.

Can still take root cuttings and seed sowing of perennials, shrubs etc can be carried out now, either in greenhouse or outside. You may need to protect seed trays from vermin. Cover with wire netting is ideal.

Plant lily bulbs and check Dahlia and Canna tubers for drying out and mould, remove any that are rotting.

Outdoor pots and baskets overwintered may need some water, can dry out surprisingly quickly during windy weather

During freezing weather winter bedding such as Viola, wallflowers can lift slightly from soil, go round beds and firm gently back in.

If growing sweet peas you can sow them now indoors, pinch out tops when 5cm high

In the veg patch you can cover some bare soil with clear polythene or cloches to warn soil ready for early sowing in March.

Remove any weeds that appear.

Still time to plant Garlic, I received some bulbs this week and will plant as soon as frost has lifted.

When lawn is not frozen or waterlogged cut lawn edges to improve appearance of garden, you may also need to give lawn a light trim once if month is mild.

Remove any leaves and debris remaining. Aerate the lawn to improve any wet areas.

Remember don’t walk over the lawn during frosty weather.

Remove any leaves from pond, melt a hole in ice with hot saucepan, check water levels, take advantage of any sales on for aquatic plants and pumps filters etc.

Move any shrubs, tress and plant new ones.

Cut back ornamental vines

Good time to do any landscaping

Pressure wash pathways to prevent algae, clean drains, check pipes, taps for damage from frost lag or drain if needed.

Hippeastrum bulbs need to be brought into active growth by watering and feeding, looking for flowering in late winter to early spring.

Check and clean gutting and down pipes, clean down pipe filters.

Now is good time to take some time to look at your garden and consider new projects, plants to add, things to change.


Now is the time to think of log fires and presents round the tree.

But there is still time to think of gardening and plants.

Now is the time to look through the seed and plant catalogues for new and interesting plants and plan for new plantings next year.

From seed of course you can get new and interesting plants and also think of interesting crossings and plant breeding projects for the new season.


Remember if you are thinking about plant breeding projects I can provide a full plant development service

If you have a new plant and want further advice, my contact details and further advice can be found on my website.


Most leaves are now down from trees good time to clear either compost or take to local recycle centre

Trimming of deciduous trees and shrubs can be carried out now but avoid doing during very frosty weather.

Continue trimming back perennials clearing weeds from beds

Root cuttings can be taken now and seed of alpines sown

Raise pots on the patio for winter to aid drainage bring in tender plants if not done so already

Clean leaves from lawn you may need to cut also as it will continue to grow if temps are above 5°c but do not cut as short as in summer months

Re-cut lawn edges look for wet areas and carry out aeration where needed

Do not though work on your lawn in frosty weather

Dig over the veg patch and work in some manure or soil improver

You can plant Rhubarb, Raspberries, Blackberries, other currents and strawberries now

Still time to plant garlic

Inside you can herbs and grow on the windowsill

Hardy salads can sown undercover.

If you have a pond net it to keep away herons, remove fallen leaves and debris from pond regular

Good time to remove any pumps and filters and clean ready for new season

Pressure wash paths and patios to prevent algae and mould building up

Clean and sharpen tools

Don’t keep too much fuel for your petrol tools over winter as it will not keep

Finally Happy Christmas

Time of fogs and frost

This time of the year I like the colour of the leaves on the trees, working in the garden can be rewarding doing plant breeding, clearing leaves and pruning deciduous shrubs, trimming back perennials and collecting those final seeds.

In the garden there are still jobs to do, continue with leaf clearing, consider composting in your garden if you have the space.

A simple compost area can be created using wire netting and posts the cheaper ones are the ones used as tree stakes.

It’s time to sow Broad Beans and peas, look for Broad Bean Aquadulce Claudia ideal for winter sowing and Pea Meteor Dwarf ideal for winter or early sowing.

Both will need some protection from birds when germinating and also cover during periods of severe weather.

Bring in tender plants to protect from frost

Raise up pots on your patio to aid drainage in winter

You will still need to cut grass during mild weather, it will continue to grow in temperatures above 5°c but do not cut it too short and not during frosty weather too late now for herbicides though

Plant tulip bulbs for spring display

Plant colourful containers to brighten dull winter days, use a combination of Viola, Pansy, miniature cyclamen, Carex, Ivy and Cupressus

Some of my favourite Viola are the Viola Bonnie Lassies™  – from Scottish Viola Breeder  – Hugh Boyd

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VIOLA  Bonnie Lassies ™ ‘Isabella’

Geranium Rozanne – RHS Plant of the Centenary

Here you will find all the information you need for one of the most versatile garden plants and other plants that associate well with Rozanne.

 In my own garden spring is well underway, with many perennials and grasses making active growth, not too late for a frost though.


A favourite Primula to look out for now is, Primula veris Katy McSparron.

A plant I trialed at Bressingham a few years back, it has double flowers.

From UK Primula breeder Geoff Nicole

Now’s the time to prick out seedlings, finish pruning summer flowering shrubs and mowing the lawn.