I am very lucky to live in rural Pembrokeshire and even luckier to have a quiet country lane directly opposite the house. Known locally as Stoney Lane, it has steep banks on each side in the welsh style, stone overtopped by soil, and it meanders gently uphill for a mile or so and is ideal [...]
About Richard CainRichard Cain is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and after a 25 year career as a teacher and school inspector in the UK and overseas, left education to develop a specialist Plant Nursery in West Wales. Penlan Perennials opened in 1999 and quickly established itself as a leader in the field of environmentally friendly, peat free plant production. The nursery sells online, supplying enthusiastic gardeners, Botanic Gardens, the National Trust, Local Authorities, landscape and garden designers, as well as successfully exporting plants to over 35 countries. When he is not busy at the nursery Richard is a keen photographer and lectures and writes professionally on all aspects of horticulture.
The fat shoots of hellebores, pushing through snow or heaps of woodland leaves, are a sure sign of a new growing year, appearing as they do when most self-respecting plants are still sensibly dormant beneath their protective winter mulch. Hellebores belong to the Ranunculaceae family and the genus consists of a fairly small number of [...]
Winter Grasses I always endeavour to have colour in the garden throughout the year and, of course, it is the winter months that are the most challenging. Plants need to cope with low levels of sunlight, short days, cooler soil and air temperatures, not to mention hard frosts and snowy weather. This is [...]
It is interesting that two plants we might find growing in our gardens have such strong connotations with winter and the Christmas period. Pagans had customarily decorated their homes in winter with evergreens culled from the landscape long before the birth of Christianity and many people still put holly wreaths or garlands on their door [...]