How to divide Iris

Is your Bearded Iris reluctant to flower or congested? This quick “How to” guide will give you the confidence to chop yours up and start again!

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Last time we spoke about Iris I had been trying to pin down the name of our prolific mystery Iris but what if you have an Iris that is reluctant to flower?

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Searching for Iris

Bearded Iris are superstars of our gardens, their elegant flowers have been gracing our borders for well over a century and luring us to try and extend their range of colours but what happens when you forget the name or inherit a beauty?
Here’s what I did…

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Since working at Ulting Wick there has been an exceedingly prolific Iris onsite which has eluded identification. Not that unusual given that many Irises were bred by amateur growers that kept little to no records, but I am nothing if not dogged in my pursuit of all things garden plus I needed to occupy my brain which is receiving less and less of a workout these days!

I didnt realise exactly what I had committed myself to though when I decided to try this…

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May… I have your attention please?

With lockdown continuing for all of us take a moment to see our hard work at Ulting Wick courtesy of the NGS film crew, its the closest we can get to having you visit! Stay safe and continue looking after each other ❤

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Firstly happy Beltane to each and every one of you! The year is shooting past, the seasons are no respecters of what’s happening in our world and roll on regardless.  Whilst we keep to our houses, looking after our loved ones and communities. Denying ourselves pleasures we had previously taken for granted to save the lives of those we care about and others we have never met. The plants carry on regardless, they have no need of our admiring glances to achieve what they set out to do. It is definitely us that needs them and this unforeseen situation is really bringing that home.

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April showers or dry as a bone?

Catching up after my bout of the lurgy, Feeling anxious, growing veg and fighting a losing battle with clay soil. This is how my April is going, how about you?

It was wet for months and the relentless rain now feels so very long ago, there have been a few other things which have challenged a positive attitude….

Mid March I decided the most positive thing I could do other than just do gardening in general was put some of my previous skills back into use and actually grow a serious amount of veg. I figured that I could use it to help my neighbours, barter it for things I didn’t have such as eggs and of course eat it myself.

One thing I didn’t figure on was getting floored by the virus myself!

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Phil cat waiting to eat my face as I’m laid up in bed

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What March brings!

A quick look at what we will be doing in the garden in March at Ulting Wick, weather permitting, and a few ideas for yourself at home. Sowing seeds, veg gardening and hoping for a bit more sunshine!

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A quick update as to what I’m up to in my garden at home and at work at Ulting Wick. To those of you who are being discouraged by the utterly vile weather we’ve been having I say hold on! In the words of Brandon Lee “It cant rain all the time”. Just a lot of it apparently!

I wrote the words above in the expectation that the weekend would bring more storms but as it turned out, for me at least it was bright and sunny for the most part. I gardened on the bits that werent squelchy, put some primulas I bought into pots, killed a few vine weevil grubs and generally pottered to my hearts content.

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Product Review – Empathy Bulb Starter

The wonders of friendly Fungi! Its taken a year to trial this product and I cant tell you how glad I am that its been such an amazing success having lost so many bulbs in previous years. Find out exactly what I did with the Bulb Starter packs from Empathy…

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In order to be completely transparent about this blog post id like to say up front Empathy did bung me a couple of packets of their mycorrhiza Rootgrow and Bulb Starter for gratis. They haven’t chucked any money at me (not that id object if they did) and they have neither sought nor have I given them any say over what is written here. Right! now we’ve got all that awkwardness out of the way, I’ll begin!

Some of you may remember the absolute trauma I had with some of my Snowdrop bulbs in the spring of 2019. Possibly due to the ridiculous heatwave of 2018 or to be honest any number of reasons I lost around 50% of my special snowdrops including 7 bulbs of Wendy’s gold that I had been treasuring since 2016. One thing I did know wasn’t the problem was Narcissus Bulb Fly.

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Snowdrops galore!

What better than a walk through crisp, cold woodlands, your breath coming out in clouds and the tip of your nose tingling, with the added delight of a carpet of pure white flowers shivering in the breeze for as far as the eye can see… come and join the Galanthophiles and learn the joys of snowdrops!

As you may know I’m a bit keen on Snowdrops and I’d like to share some of this joy with you!

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I’ve put together a very short calendar of events and I’m sure I’ve missed more than I’ve found so if you know of somewhere that I haven’t included please do add it in the comments section below!

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Apple Pruning Workshops 2020

Our Apple pruning workshops are now into their 4th year. We specialise in small personal groups ensuring you receive one on one training whatever level you are.
Perfect for the professional or home gardener looking to extend their skills.

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Myself and Nick Black are now into our 4th year of our Apple pruning workshops, every year they have been growing in popularity and we are now confident we have found the best possible venue for our students to challenge them and also to give you the best experience possible.

We limit the number of places available on each day to ensure you get as much time with us, the tutors, as possible. Giving you ample time to ask questions and become completely confident with techniques. Continue reading “Apple Pruning Workshops 2020”

Trekking for Marie Curie

For the last 2 years I have been raising money for this charity that is close to my heart. They helped us enormously when mum was dying and to give something back has been cathartic. Heres the story of how I and 12 other brave(mad) people trekked Cambodia for Marie Curie!

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As I’m sure a lot of you already know I recently completed my Marie Curie trek No.2, this time in Cambodia.
Much like the first one, where we climbed 3 mountains in 3 days all over 3500 M, I had no concept of what I was asking of myself.
Often people assume it’s a bit of a jolly, having done it twice now I can assure you it’s no holiday. However the people that you walk with are often the most wonderful people you could ever hope to meet, and this group were absolutely amazing from start to finish! Continue reading “Trekking for Marie Curie”

The Cotswold Wildlife Park – The Book!

I was given the opportunity to see the park first hand and a copy of their new book about the gardens… and its brilliant!
A visit to the park is wonderful but how do the gardens staff create this perfect environment for the flora and fauna that live there?
Find out a bit more for yourself!

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I have had the pleasure of visiting and having a tour of the gardens with Tim Miles twice now, yes I am that greedy, but with so much to see its worthwhile to make repeat visits to this wonderful venue.

The most recent visit was to cover the book launch ‘A Celebration of the Gardens’ written in collaboration by Harriet Rycroft and Tim Miles. Now most of you will have heard of Harriet who’s expertise in arranging seasonal floral displays is legendary to say the least. This book is utterly enchanting.

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