Ham and Petersham in Bloom / Britain in Bloom and Petersham Nurseries

Petersham Nurseries have donated plants, time and a considerable amount of compost (I know, I carried it …) to plan, prepare and plant up three new stone troughs – horse troughs effectively – at three prominent sites within the local community. All part of Britain in Bloom and building on the success Ham and Petersham gained last year in the competition. Local pride rules, OK?

It has been a lovely process, for me,  and a real joy to plan and execute and the best bit, the planting, which happened this morning. Lots of positive comments from local shopkeepers and passers by and I hope these planters will each bring a little bit of the joy and passion at Petersham Nurseries, and the joy of plants, flower, colour and foliage to those that pass by.

The three stone troughs, measuring 1.8m x 60cm x 60cm have been planted up by the horticultural team at Petersham Nurseries today – situated respectively on Ham Parade, opposite Ham Common and on the grassy bank towards Sandy Lane.

Two of them are planted up in cool hues, with purple Verbena Lollipop and blue Geraneum Rozanne mixing with the cool flecks of Gaura Geyzer White, Erigeron karvinskianus (tiny white daisies also known as Mexican Fleabane) and a white-flowering Sedum. Pheasant Tail Grass, Anemantheles, give structure and movement and colours up beautifully in the autumn. Leucanthemum Banana Cream, tall heads of big creamy, shaggy daisy-like flowers, provide the focal point to these two planters situated on Ham Parade and on the grass verge towards Sandy Lane.

Both are open sunny sites and are planned to provide a long summer of interest.

The site opposite Ham Common is shady in the morning but does receive late afternoon sunshine. A mix of ferns, Erythrosora Brilliant, with plum, blackcurrant, cherry and caramel Heucheras make an interesting evergreen and colourful tapestry, with spires of bronze richly-flowering Rodgersia adding height and complimenting the Salvia Ember’s Wish with pink bracts and bright red trumpets which thread right through the scheme. These will fill out substantially and provide an intense display right through until the frosts. Muelhenbeckia will froth and fill out in between the planting and spill over the edge, small green leafy discs on wiry stems – it is a very useful plant in sun or shade. Finally, Fuchsia Annabelle, with pendant, slim shining white flowers, will bush up and trail right through the planter and lift the display in the shade of the morning.

We have used Carbon Gold Growchar 100% peat free compost for each planter, approximately 250litres in each, which will feed the plants through the season with a rich mix of organic fertilisers and mycorrhizal fungi.

Local resident Rachel Lipscomb has been the inspiration and driving force for the plan, and has overcome quite monumental hurdles to fund, source and ultimately place these huge stone troughs in position, negotiating with a vast and diverse cast of interested parties, so a huge thank you to her and to her supporters. A local volunteer force, residents and shopkeepers, will keep them looking beautiful, watered and well-tended.


Britain in bloom is judged within the next few weeks and Petersham Nurseries – me too of course –  are proud and pleased to be taking part in the process.





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