How to bring colour into your Dorset gar­den

Dorset - - Garden Masterclass - WORDS AND PIC­TURES: Ed­ward Grif­fiths

At West­ern Gar­dens in Brank­some Park, Peter Jack­son has cre­ated a gar­den that of­fers all year round colour. We asked him to share some tips on how to achieve this

Win­ter is the time to take to one’s arm­chair and plan what to plant and sow in your gar­den. If cre­at­ing a gar­den with all round colour is top of your list then read on...

We’ve en­listed the help of keen gar­dener Peter Jack­son who reg­u­larly opens his mag­nif­i­cent plot in Poole to the pub­lic - West­ern Gar­dens in Brank­some Park - for the Na­tional Gar­dens Scheme (NGS). Peter and his wife Pauline started their gar­den, surely one of the most colour­ful ‘all year round’ gar­dens in Dorset, in 1976. To achieve this they com­bined well-known plants and shrubs with some more un­usual ad­di­tions from around the world, in­clud­ing rare and ex­otic species.

“The re­ally cold win­ters are less fre­quent now than they were 50 years ago,” said Peter. “Many of the plants which pre­vi­ously I would take in­doors over win­ter are now per­fectly happy to stay in the ground.”

He goes on to tell me that more rare plants flow­ered bet­ter than ever in the heat wave which fol­lowed the snows and frosts of early 2018. He reck­ons that many plants have sur­vived below -6°C in re­cent win­ters even though they’re cat­a­logued as ‘not suit­able below freez­ing’. “Ole­an­ders for ex­am­ple need a min­i­mum 10°C but they have sur­vived against the house wall for the past 30 years.”

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