Gardeners who have little time, or who are simply seeking an easier horticultural life, will be happy to hear that the English Gardening School, at the Chelsea Physic Garden, has a new mail-order border kit. For a cost of pounds 380-450 (excluding VAT) you are offered a choice of three selections: Pale Scented, Classical English, or a Flower Arranger's border. The kits consist of nine shrubs, three climbers and 44 perennials, packaged up and sent to you along with preparation instructions, a planting plan printed on fleece, a plant bibliography and care instructions, plant labels - and details of a freephone help-line service. The kits can be ordered on 0800 203000 and will be sent out in early February.
The English Hurdle Company has a new range of living willow structures for next year: screens and arbours which will take root, produce leaves, and grow with your garden. You can obtain the structures by mail order, or ask for one of the company's willow growers to call and plant the feature for you.
Prices range from pounds 29.38 for a living trellis, to pounds 440.63 for a living arbour. More details are available from the English Hurdle Company, Curload, Stoke St Gregory, Taunton, Somerset TA3 6JD (01823 698418).
If you're planning a garden-gazing holiday for next year, bear in mind a small but significant leaflet put together by the Normandy Tourist Board. This gives details of some of the glories of this area of France - the Chateau de Vendeuvre, the park at Champ-de-Bataille (which has been undergoing impressive restoration work), and Agapanthe - which was first opened to the public last year. Contact the Normandy Tourist Board at The Old Bakery, Bath Hill, Keynsham, Bristol BS18 1HG (0117 986 0386).
The alternative to a DIY gardening holiday is an organised tour. Boxwood Tours is offering a range of trips from spring next year. These include the Flowers of Andaluca in April (eight days at a price of pounds 965 per person, including half board accommodation but not flights) and the Spring Gardens of Cornwall and Tresco (seven days, at a price of pounds 799 per person for half board). More information from Boxwood Tours, 56 Spring Road, Abingdon, Oxfordshire OX 14 1AN (01235 532791).Reuse content