A Blackbird Sang - News
RHS Chelsea 2022: Our stand's plantingWe've had lots of lovely compliments and questions about the planting on our stand at RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2022. Designed, supplied and installed by Shaun Beale and his colleagues (Ben and Mandie) at Longstock Park Landscapes & Nursery (Leckford Estate), here's some close-up photos and a little more detail on some of the plants featured.
'The Dene' Wildflower Meadow Restoration Project
We live and work in a cottage called 'Dene Edge' in Stonesfield, a village in West Oxfordshire, with the field behind our home and studio being called 'The Dene'. We have recently leased 'The Dene' from the Blenheim Estate for an initial period of 5 years with the aim of restoring the biodiversity of this 1.4 acres of grassland, to bring back the wild flowers, butterflies, bees and other invertebrates. Wild flower meadows are one of the rarest habitats in the UK and we have lost 97% of our wild flower meadows since the 1930s.
Wild flowers grow best in low nutrient soil, so the initial aim is to reduce the enrichment of the soil through grazing in the winter/early spring, and taking a haycut and removing the hay in the summer, followed by aftermath grazing.
There may be seeds in the existing seedbank that will be allowed to flourish by reducing the vigorous grasses, cow parsley and nettles. Additional species will be brought in by using local green hay.
The bottom of the field is marshy and prone to flooding, so may support wetland species such as Bugle, Meadowsweet, Ragged Robin, Meadow Buttercup, Great Burnet and Devils Bit Scabious.
The drier sides of the valley could support some of the calcareous plants seen on Stonesfield Common SSSI such as Birdsfoot Trefoil, Knapweeds, Scabious, Quaking Grass, Wild Thyme, and Salad Burnet. Some unmown and ungrazed edges will be left around the field to provide good habitat for invertebrates, refuge for reptiles and amphibians, and scrub areas for nesting birds.
If you are interested in getting involved or would like to learn more, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow our wildflower meadow restoration project updates here on the blog, or via our social media accounts on facebook, Instagram and twitter.
- Genny Early
- Tags: Amphibians Bees Biodiversity Birdsfoot Trefoil Bugle Butterflies Devils Bit Scabious Genny Early Grazing Great Burnet Hay Invertebrates Knapweeds meadow Meadow Buttercup Meadowsweet Nesting birds News Quaking Grass Ragged Robin Reptiles restoration Salad Burnet Scabious Stonesfield Tony Davis Wetland Wild Thyme wildflower Wildflowers
'The Longstock Way' Showcase Garden at BBC Gardeners' World Spring FairAt the BBC Gardeners' World Spring Fair at Beaulieu in April we were delighted to collaborate with Shaun Beale, Nursery & Landscape Manager at Longstock Park Landscapes (part of the Waitrose & Partners Farm on the Leckford Estate), on 'The Longstock Way' Showcase Garden. Read more...
- Jess Huband
- Tags: Art Artwork BBC Gardeners' World Spring Fair Beaulieu Bittern Commission Fly fishing Garden design Gardeners Genny Early Horticulture Kingfisher Leckford Estate Longstock Park Landscapes Mayfly Planting design Reed Warbler River Test The Longstock Way The Test Way Tony Davis Trout Waitrose & Partners Farm Wall art Wall Screen
A Blackbird Sang artwork helping to raise awareness and funds for charitiesWe are very proud to be raising awareness and funds for three charities via the display and sale of our artwork.
Feeding the birds and the RSPB’s Big Garden BirdwatchIt’s an important time of the year for feeding the birds, both in our gardens and further afield. Read more about Genny's work with The Farmland Bird Aid Network and how to take part in the RSPB's Big Garden Birdwatch.
“Gifts from our Artisans” – We’re featured in the December 2021 Country Living (UK) magazine!A Blackbird Sang featured in “Gifts from our Artisans”, Country Living, December 2021 issue.
- Jess Huband
RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2021: What a joyous event!We have just returned from a truly wonderful (and very tiring) RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2021. Postponed from May 2020, RHS Chelsea 2021 was a historic event: Held, for the first time in its 108-year history, in September. Despite the challenges this posed to designers and growers, the planting throughout the Show site was beautiful: a strong naturalistic planting theme with masses of perennials (definitely the year of the Echinacea!) and grasses.
January 2021 Bird Survey Results – and New Designs!
Thank you to everyone who took the time to complete our bird making survey back in January 2021. We received a fantastic response with over 390 respondents making some inspired suggestions! The most popular bird suggestions were: Wagtail, Curlew, Red Kite, Starling, Long-tailed Tit and Dipper, which we are now developing, and in some instances, have just launched, so thank you!
There were lots of other bird species suggested. If your idea hasn’t been selected yet, there is a good chance we will make it in the future.
We are delighted to announce that the survey prize-winner(s), selected at random are: Jan Jeffery, Sarah Percival, Louise Younger, Annie Throssell and Beth Garrett, who will be sent a set of birds as a “thank you” from us.
The following new designs are now available in our online shop and we’d love to hear your feedback on them (spot the odd one out):
Best regards, Genny & Tony
- Genny Early
We live and work in the countryside on the edge of a village called Stonesfield. It's where the first recorded dinosaur bone was found. We also featured in December's issue of Country Living magazine. They have a pull out section with 60 interesting ideas for gifts including A Blackbird Sang. Lovely to have work recognised by the press but most of all we enjoy every single interaction we have with people online too. Why don't you tell us how you found our work, what you like about it and where it's going to live in your home?