Ilex crenata, which is ideal for cloud pruning in layered organic shapes.
After many successful years as a commercial nursery, including exporting hundreds of hollies to the USA and selling thousands to famous gardens all over the UK, including Buckingham Palace and 10 Downing Street, Louise decided to close when the recession hit in 2008. “The dramatic change from phones ringing, transport lorries coming and going, catalogues sent out and orders coming in, was a very clear sign, and I dismantled the whole business quickly, so as not to run into debt,” she recalls.
This change of direction has led to the registration as a National Plant Collection for
Ilex by the National Council for the Conservation of Plants and Gardens. “I applied to the people at Plant Heritage, we had a visit from one of their officers and we gave them a list of the hollies held here. All the information went before two committees, and we were then registered. Very simple and straightforward,” she explains.
Groups are welcome by appointment to view the array of hollies and they are sure to be inspired by Louise’s passion for these hardy plants that suit all home gardens, both formal and informal in style. • Always buy healthy plants, making sure the roots are not circling the pot and that the leaves are shiny and green
• Choose a site with plenty of room for it to be admired
• Plant with great care in a good-sized hole, back filled with 30% compost and your own earth. Water and feed well
• Do not let weeds and grass compete with the holly roots, by mulching regularly
• Feed the young plant liberally, tomato food is good. Hollies are greedy feeders when young
Variegated Ilex aquifolium ‘Pyramidalis Aurea Marginata’