Episode 94 - Show Notes & Advice

Grow, cook, eat, arrange podcast 94
Grow, cook, eat, arrange podcast - 94

episode 94 | show notes & advice

episode description


In this episode, Sarah and Arthur discuss their top recommendations for trees, shrubs, and climbers, which make perfect additions to any type of garden. Cherry-picked for their most defining qualities, learn how these fantastic varieties for add structure and style.  

in this episode, discover


  • Crab apples for the kitchen and garden
  • Sensational shrubs to elevate your garden or patio
  • Foliage that garden birds will love


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Hydrangea arborescens 'Incrediball'
Hydrangea arborescens 'Incrediball'
Hydrangea paniculata 'Limelight'
Hydrangea paniculata 'Limelight'
Honeysuckle Collection
Honeysuckle Collection
Sold outSold out
Clematis koreana 'Blue Eclipse'
Clematis koreana 'Blue Eclipse'
Ipomoea batatas 'SolarTower Black'
Ipomoea batatas 'SolarTower Black'
Thunbergia alata 'SunEyes Terracotta'
Thunbergia alata 'SunEyes Terracotta'

advice sheet


The wonderful world of crab apples (2:50) 

A wonderful mixture of blossom and fruit and an important source of food for birds. 


Arthur’s favourite crab apple varieties  

  • Malus ‘John Downie’  
  • Malus ‘Royalty’  
  • Malus ‘Wisley’ 


Sarah’s crab apple picks 

  • Malus ‘Hupehensis’ - inspired by the beautiful trees at Great Dixter. Although a full-size tree, pruned, it would fit in any small to medium urban garden. It’s also covered in tiny, bead-like crabs, that the male blackbirds adore. Generally, birds seem to love this tree above apples, rosehip, amelanchier, and hawthorn. 
  • Malus ‘Dartmouth’ – inspired by Sissinghurst. Albeit no longer planted in the grounds, this variety boasts a classic crab apple blossom with jewel-like medium crabs. Sarah suggests that one single branch in a vase looks brilliant. Loved by the sparrows, dunnocks, and blue tits.


Sarah’s crab apple recipes:  

Here’s a selection of condiments for you to try at home that make excellent use of crab apples. Arthur suggests using Malus ‘Wisley’ for its large and citrusy fruit.


Shrubs and trees that Arthur and Sarah love (9:00) 

  • Holly trees – always alive with birds which use the barbed leaves for protection. Female holly plants also have a beautiful honey-like scent and little white blossoms. As the season draws on, the tree grows spectacular red berries which become more vivid as the season progresses. Also great for blue tits, robins, and black birds. 
  • Crataegus persimilis 'Prunifolia' (Cockspur Hawthorn) – an amazing hawthorn with crab apple-sized haws. Wonderful in the spring with big hawthorn blossoms, and absolutely covered in berries for the birds. Ochre, red, orange, flame – the sort of colours to expect from this wonderful variety. 
  • Amelanchier – multi-stem varieties. 

Understory plants (10:30) 

  • Arthur adores Hydrangea arborescens 'Incrediball' - excellent for picking, great value, and long-flowering life.  
  • Sarah loves Hydrangea paniculata 'Limelight'.  

Climbers (11:58) 

  • To dress a wall or a fence, hydrangea paniculata is hard to beat. 
  • Solanum laxum 'Album' white potato vine – produces blooms similar to potato flowers. In a protected place, can flower on until Christmas.  
  • Clematis ‘Madame Julia Correvon’ – people often say that clematis doesn’t flower for very long. But this is a vigorous and healthy climber. Look great above rebar frames.  
  • Honeysuckle ‘Graham Thomas’ – alongside hawthorn or looks gorgeous in the Nero Vase with Narcissus ‘actaea’. Also, Bullfinches love the berries.  

Black-eyed Susan trials at Perch Hill (15:07) 

Lovely combinations to try in your garden. 

  • Thunbergia alata 'African Sunset' – apricot, moving through pink and soft crimson. Muted and lovely. Spread out, experiment with hanging baskets, as well as climbing up and through things. 
  • Thunbergia alata 'SunEyes Terracotta’ – rich, burnt terracotta. Marvellous with pale palettes. 
  • Alternate with Ipomoea batatas 'SolarTower Black', which cuts through brilliantly and vigorously. Lovely trailing and curving shape in a vase, cascading down. Orange and crimson-black, a winner.  
  • Cobaea scandens – Sow in January on a windowsill, and then plant out when the nights are warm. Grow up trellis or an arch, a tremendous dresser.