Epimedium Weekend 6th and 7th May 2017 From 10.00am to 4.00pm

We are having a Garden Open Weekend in order that interested gardeners can come and enjoy our National Collection of Epimediums.

Of course there will be many other plants to see including trees, shrubs and bamboos.

Unfortunately we do not have the space for raising many Epimedium plants for sale ourselves, but Dave Sisley of Straight Mile Nursery ( www.straightmilenursery.co.uk ) will be here with Epimediums for sale on both days. Over the last few years he has increased his range in stock to include some less common varieties.

Our address is;-

The Magnolias, 18 St John’s Avenue, Brentwood, Essex, CM14 5DF.

We look forward to meeting some of our website followers.

National Collection of Epimedium

We have recently received confirmation from Plant Heritage that we have been given full National Collection status for Epimedium species, cultivars and hybrids.

As visitors to this website have probably guessed we are pretty keen on Epimediums, so earlier this year after discussing with various people whether we should aplply for a National Collection, we decided to approach Plant Heritage. Quite a lot of forms were filled in and a few days spent as we have worked hard, creating accession sheets. These allocate a unique number to each plant derived from a particular source.

Also we have devised a four letter code to identify each source, be it a nursery or an individual, and two numbers indicate year the plant was aquired since 2000. For example 239-Edru-13 (accession number- Edrum Nursery- 2013) The year before 2000 is a bit irrelevent even if we knew them.

We have purchased a Brother label printer which is connected to our PC and prints 36mm wide self adhesive labels which unlike Dymo seem to stick well to the tee labels, we have been using. Our son, Paul set up the printing of the labels so they include our Magnolia logo, which does give the completed label a touch of class. The labels also show the accession number, and source and date codes.

The work in doing the above was quite time consuming but I am already finding it useful to know where a plant came from and when, from the codes on the label.

As well as the documentation and labelling works, we have achieved a fair amount with buying quite a few new ones and preparing areas for new Epimedium plantings. Each new plant is protected with four short canes, against badgers digging up the recently planted specimens. This system works remarkably well as badgers regularly dig between the plants without disturbing them.

Plant Heritage like National Collection holders if possible to have more than one specimen of each plant, two growing in the ground and one in a pot. We probably will not manage this with many varieties, due in part to space constraints, but we will try to do this for all the species we can collect. Previously we had few Epimediums in pots, only those growing on to a sufficiently strong specimen to be planted out.

In order to show the potted plants off we have utilised our old plant sales, tiered area. To accomodate more potted specimens we have started clearing a rather neglected area behind our biggest greenhouse.

We would be please to hear from any other keen Epimedium collectors.

Two Days Dry, We’re Promised!

I don’t know about you, but I’m a bit fed up with this drought! The ‘experts’ never mention that gardeners wont have been using their hose pipes a great deal for the last five or six weeks, not to mention farmers, who wont have been irrigating anything. Also they have been saying the water will have been taken up by trees and not soaked in. Many trees have only just got leaves on them and wont have been taking up water. Surely the situation must be much better for water companies now!

What has been having a field day with all the rain are the molluscs. As someone who tries to protect their Hostas, Epimediums and other vulnerable plants without the use of too many toxic slug pellets, I use the capture and destroy method. I go out with a torch and collect a range of undesirable creatures. As well as slugs and snails you can catch Lily Beetles, Black Vine and other weevils and night caterpillars all about their destructive work, once it is dark. One does of course have to have a degree of determination to get out of

the arm chair and trudge round the garden stooping low in the rain. However, I am convinced I would have had considerably fewer Epimedium shoots and flowers and more holes in many plants had I not been so dedicated. The picture is one recent ice cream box of slugs, collected in the rain during a session of about an hour.