No-one can argue that tree ferns have an incredible architectural presence in the garden but unless they are maintained correctly they can lose their vibrant colour and easily fall into poor and often stunted condition. Correct feeding of Tree Ferns is imperative when it comes to maintaining a quality look to your plants but it is not as simple as pouring liquid soluble fertiliser around the root system. English horticulturist Simon explains in detail how tree ferns have evolved to survive in their cloud forest environment and how that effects the way they access nutrients. This means that tree ferns require fertilisers applied differently to most other plants which once in place drastically improves the condition of these amazing plants.

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Tropical Upgrade for Boring Trees!

You tend to see the same ten ornamental trees wherever you go in the UK. This is because they are tried, tested, have an element of ornamental value and generally easy to grow. However if you are seeing the same trees time and time again then eventually they end up fading into the background, no longer drawing your attention. This doesn't need to be the case as they can be adorned and upgraded simply by mimicking the tree environments found in the tropics where a single tree can be home to a dozen other plant species, greatly enhancing the look of a tree and adding multiple layers of ornamental interest!

There are a range of hardy plants that can be employed to give you this look that is created by tropical epiphytic plants such as bromeliads and orchids and even Spanish moss!

So with English Horticulturists Lorna and Simon first attempt at upgrading their boring trees how did they get on? And what do they have in store for next season?

Tropical Garden Successes and Failures! We show you our dirty secrets.

Many gardeners aspire to grow a cold-hardy, tropical effect garden and to be honest it is not as difficult as you might think. Once you have done a little homework on what plants have been proven to be hardy and where it should be planted it requires no less work that a typical herbaceous border.

That being said it is easy for things to go wrong and often this a problem with suppliers wrongly labelling plants or plants being sold with underlying bacterial or fungal infections. Of course, simple bad luck can also be a factor.

That aside there are many videos on how clever gardeners are in growing their cold-hardy tropical effect garden (we are no exception) but this doesn't help those who are struggling to achieve the same result. Therefore we decided that it would be a far more valuable teaching tool to showcase the mistake and failures we experienced. Therefore by standing in solidarity with our gardening brethren we can share our bad experiences and use these as a teaching moment to improve our gardens in the future.

Top 100 UK gardens: Highdown gardens full tour and review

Deep in the West Sussex countryside, Highdown gardens has an enormous amount of horticultural history attached to it and rightly so. Originally a working chalk quarry it was purchased by Sir Frederick Stern in 1909 who, against the advice of the contemporary leading horticulturists created what would have been a world class garden in the wonderful countryside of what is now the South Downs national park. 

Groundbreaking in his attempt to grow anything he could get his hands in his chalky soils, he managed to prove many of those around him wrong. Over the years he published several books on chalk gardens, on peonies and snowdrops and part-funding expeditions to China to bring back yet more exotic plants to try out at Highdown. He was rewarded the Royal Horticultural Society's Victoria Medal and became vice president of said organisation. He was chairman of the John Innes Horticultural Institute from 1947 to 1961 and vice-president and treasurer of the Linnean Society from 1941 to 1958.[4] Stern was knighted in 1956 for his services to horticulture

Do the gardens reflect this grand history? Well why not join English Horticulturist Simon and Lorna as they visit this historic site. If you would like to ask us a question then you are very welcome to leave a message in the comments section. Also consider supporting our chanel by clicking the 'LIKE' and 'SUBSCRIBE' buttons. 

Desert Cacti and Succulent Glasshouse, Wisley walk-through, and review

The Royal Horticultural Society gardens at Wisley are not only the best of the five gardens currently under the RHS stewardship but they are also amongst the best in the world! So why not join English horticulturists Lorna and Simon as they walk around and discover the delights of their Desert glasshouse which holds their permanent collection of established cacti and succulents as well as a rolling display of quality pot grown specimens. Keep your eyes out and you will always see a number of extremely rare and unusual cacti and succulents usually only found in the grasp of the most ardent and enthusiastic cacti and succulent collector!

We have visit Wisley numerous times over the years and the desert glasshouse is always an absolute treat. If you would like to ask us a question then please leave a message in the YouTube comments section. Also consider pressing the 'LIKE' and 'SUBSCRIBE' buttons. It is absolutely free and also as helps to support out channel.

How to Grow Tradescantia from Cuttings

Tradescantia are a fantastic genus of plants which can provide exotic ornamental foliage as house plants, ganging plants and even garden plants! Surprising under-rated and even non-exist and in many garden centres, they are extremely tough with some species capable of surviving freezing conditions!
However, arguably their best feature is that they are super easy to propagate from cuttings, in fact they will even root in a glass of water.

In thus video English horticulturist Simon explains two, very simple technique to grow Tradescantia from cuttings and so if won't be too long before you will have them coming out of your ears.

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Best Tropical Garden in England! RHS Wisley

If exotic or cold-hardy tropical effect gardens are your thing then you are in for a treat because in this video we get to visit the impressive exotic gardens planted out at the Royal Horticultural Society's flagship garden - RHS Wisley. Created in 2017, it has over the years matured into one of England finest examples of an exotic garden - if not the best exotic or cold-hardy tropical effect garden in England!

So why not join English horticulturists Simon and Lorna as they walk-through the exotic garden pointing out and discussing the plants that catch their attention? There is a lot to see and the planting scheme is full of species and cultivars that you really won't see in regular garden centers. However you can use the RHS's plant finder services to located the required specialist nursery should you see anything that your hearty desires. Ginger lilies, the range of hardy palms and the various cultivars of hibiscus moscheutos were of particular interest to us.

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How to Grow Coleus From Cuttings

I love Coleus, they are just a fantastic choice for any garden - let alone an exotic or tropical effect garden. Yes they can be taken by slugs and snails but with a little cultural help this can be resolved. So why do I love them? Well they are one of the best species for providing colour in the shade and they are super easy to grow from cuttings. So easy are they that they will root in a glass of water in just two weeks!

However there is just a little bit more you need to know to really succeed in growing Coleus for cuttings and this is all explained in the above video.

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The Prodigal Tortoise Returns

Oh my goodness it has been a rollercoaster of emotions these past couple of weeks! One of the tortoises had escaped its quarters and after a detailed search of both ours and our neighbours gardens realised that it was definitely missing. After a lot of emotion, all from Lorna by the way we had a stroke of luck. A couple walking their dog found Gonzales in the woods nearby, at which point they may have decided to keep him for themselves or just leave him there, however they decided to rescue him and taking him down to their local vets in the next town along. The vet then put out a notice on their facebook page however we are not on their friends list so our search could have ended right their!

Luckily one of our neighbours came across this listing and passed it on to us. We called them and went down with proof of ownership and fortunately the tortoise that they had was no other than Gonzales himself. Our family is now completed.

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Acer griseum 'Paperbark Maple' - Information dump!

If you have even the most basic of horticultural training then you would probably been introduced to the wonderful Acer griseum -'Paperbark Maple'. Native to central China it is considered to have one of the very best ornamental barks of any garden tree. Due to the price it isn't often seen in the suburban garden but it is a favourite of many temperate public gardens.

So if you are looking for a small tree that is as tough as nails and capable of surviving in a range of soil types and positions then Acer griseum has to be on your list. To find out more check out the video where English horticulturists Simon and Lorna discuss both the history and the merits of this wonderful species.

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How to Grow Free Tobacco Plant from Seeds

Growing free tobacco plants from seeds is arguably the easiest propagation you will ever experience. So viable and wanting to germinate are the seeds that you can literally shake a seed head over a damp bag of compost and they will grow - 100% guaranteed!

This is the beauty of propagation, the ability to grow new plants for free instead of only being able to purchase the limited plants available in your local garden centre or super market.

To find out more check out this video where English horticulturists Lorna and Simon go into detail on Nicotiana sylvestris. If you like content like this don't forget to press the 'LIKE' and SUBSCRIBE' buttons.

Caterpillar damage on Aeonium

Do you love Aeonium plants? Would you like them to not be eaten by caterpillars? UNlikely, but what can you do about it. In this video English horticulturist has found an infestation of caterpillars on one of their specimen Aeonium plants and discuss the various method of control that can be employed. These range from a live and let live philosophy to organic and inorganic management.

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Tropical Gardens at Monte Palace, Madeira - Full Unscripted Walk-Through...

Monte Palace Tropical Gardens is arguably one of the most exotic and flamboyant of all the gardens on the gorgeous island of Madeira. Yet despite being located half way up a steep volcano it is surprising easy to get to due to the extremely convenient cable car that takes you straight there from the harbour.

You can easily loose a couple of hours here so make sure you either take refreshments or purchase something in the cafe/bar on site. Once finished you can choose to take yet another cable car to the eat of the island to the Madeira Botanical Gardens or perhaps take the opportunity to almost get back to Funchal by experiencing the fantastic Monte toboggan ride. You can check out the video we made when we took the toboggan here -

If you would like to see more videos on out trip to madeira then check out out YouTube channel - 'Walking Talking gardeners'. And if you would like to support our channel then consider clicking on to the 'LIKE' and 'SUBSCRIBE' buttons.

Unboxing my new succulent plant - Cotyledon 'Choco Line'

Hello YouTube friends and family and welcome to our first ever unboxing video. We will be watching English Horticulturist Simon as he receives and opens a mail order succulent to add to his collection. The packaging of mail order plants is always a bit worrying as the boxing materials vary greatly.

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We Lost Our Tortoise - This is What Happened Next!

Oh, my goodness, our family has been on an emotional rollercoaster for the past week or so! One of our tortoises managed to force its way out of one of the summer enclosures and make his escape. After checking both our gardens and the neighbours gardens to no avail we assumed that he was just hiding and would naturally reappear a few days later. However ten days had passed and still no tortoise. 

Then out of the blue, a chance notification on facebook have us a tenuous lead. A tortoise had been handed in at the vets in a town 3 miles away for us. Was it our missing tortoise? Well you can find our as it happens in the accompanying video.

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Unboxing Tortoise super complicated Lego - Likey!

Unboxing videos are a cultural phenomenon and of course we at the 'Walking Talking Gardeners' YouTube channel are never ones to shy away from jumping onto any popular band wagon. That being said welcome to our very first Unboxing video where English Horticulturist Lorna opens up a brand new box of lego-likey bricks to build herself a brand new tortoise to add to her already 'too-many' collection of tortoise garden art. This my opinion not hers.

So start yourself in and prepare you mind for Lorna boxing video and if you like this kind of content then don't worry as i will be publishing my very own unboxing video in the next to distant future.

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Giant Tropical Canna Lily - What is the deal with it?

If you though that Canna lilies were lovely, small to medium sized ornamental plants ideal for the suburban border then you are wrong. |It turns out that Canna lilies can be huge and even take over the garden like a giant, creeping weed! Anyway, Lorna really loves this plant and wanted to invite you to see why she thinks it is so amazing. 

Unsurprisingly it is not my 'Cup to Tea', as it means that I am going to have to go in to the broader over the winter and dig out most of this years growth before it finds its way into the field next door at which point I will have the farmer banging down my door demanding that I deal with it!

Anyway check out the video and if you have any strong opinion on giant canna lilies we would love to hear from you in the comments. Don't forget that you can support our channel by pressing the 'Like' button, and even more so by click onto the 'Subscribe' button.