Monday, 22 November 2010

Harriet Rycroft, Whichford Pottery's Head Gardener

Welcome to Whichford Pottery's Garden.
Making the most of your container garden with ideas from idyllic Whichford

Click here to read the latest post.


Whichford Pottery and its surroundings are beautiful and relaxing to visit, but if you can't get here in person now you have the chance to see what we do in more detail.

I spend a lot of time planning and creating year-round displays at the pottery, so I'll be letting you know what I'm up to at the moment. You can follow me behind the scenes and see both the successes and the failures (well, the ones I'm not too embarrassed about, anyway). I hope to include plenty of photographs so that you can see how the plantings develop through the year.

I want my blog to help gardeners to make the most of their own pots. People worry too much about gardening - it is supposed to be relaxing, not a test. I want to dispel some of the myths and confusion about container planting, give some tips and ideas along the way, and most of all to encourage people to experiment and not to be intimidated by prescriptive books and programmes - creative gardening is certainly helped by technical knowledge, but I would say careful observation of your plants and learning from trial and error are just as important. All this combined with a willingness to pinch other people's ideas will get you a long way - it's how I do it anyway!

Click here to read the latest post, I'll do my best to write a new one every week..

All the photographs are by me and Copyright Harriet Rycroft unless otherwise stated.
Hope you enjoy the blog - please don't hesitate to comment if you have suggestions or questions.

Harriet Rycroft
Head Gardener


  1. Harriet,I so enjoy reading about your pots and planting schemes.Such a lot of information.I have a fairly newly planted spindle tree(two years) which had very few Seed heads on this autumn.What site does this shrub require and when should I prune it etc. Also how long has your climbing rose been in its pot,and how do you look after it?
    Thanks for your time.I wish I had more time to come visit.
    Iris clarke

  2. Thank you for your kind comments, Iris! I haven't grown spindle in pots but I have a young one at home which has been in for about 5 years and hasn't flowered. I think they probably only flower well when mature. My garden is also rather dry. I think they prefer that elusive "moist but well-drained" soil we'd all like to have. They shouldn't need pruning unless you want to change the shape - I would avoid unnecessary pruning but as it is a deciduous tree I don't see why you couldn't prune it late winter/early spring. A light prune during the growing season won't do it any harm, I'm sure. They survive being chopped about in hedgerows after all.
    As for the rose - it has been there for at least 10 years. I repotted it about 5 or 6 yrs ago. In early spring I remove a couple of inches of compost, add chicken manure pellets or slow release fertiliser and top up with fresh compost. I'm sure it isn't as big as it would be in the ground but it flowers well most years.

  3. Harriet, I came on a photography course at Whichford last summer and enjoyed it very much, even though I was the only one using a compact camera! I have finally decided to buy a DSLR and as your photos are so good, can I ask you the obvious question - what camera do you use?
    Thanks, - Andrew Richards

  4. Thanks Andrew - the good ones are more by luck than judgement! I have a Nikon D50 which I find comfortable to hold and easy to look through (wasn't the case with all the cameras I looked at in shops). My best photos are often the ones taken with my Nikkor VR (vibration reduction) 70-300mm lens. I am saving up to get another VR lens - can get pretty good results without a tripod and I'm always in a hurry!