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Previewing Three More New Plants From the Four Oaks Trade Show in the U.K. Last Week
by Art Drysdale
by Art Drysdale


Art Drysdale, a life-long resident of Toronto and a horticulturist well known all across Canada, is now a resident of Parksville, British Columbia on Vancouver Island, just north of Nanaimo. He has reno-vated an old home and has a new garden there. His radio gardening vignettes are heard in south-western Ontario over radio station Easy 101 FM out of Tillsonburg at 2 PM weekdays.

Art also has his own website at

September 14, 2014

Above, two examples of “living art” from Baugaarden of Denmark’; and two cultivars of the new Hollyhock (Alcea rosea) series. Below, two shots of Golden Club a marginal water plant.
Photos courtesy introducing nurseries.



One of the more unusual presentations at last week’s Four Oaks Trade Show in Cheshire, UK was that of a Danish company: Baugaarden, who specialize in what I call plant sculptures made from willow wood. Included with this item you can see some of the trees and sculptures, they have designed. Every winter, when the willow is harvested, they design new sculptures out of ideas and inputs which they have received through the season. Lots of test plants are developed, and the coming season will show whether they meet the company’s requirements for quality and durability. Therefore, it may well take several years from the time the idea is created to the final tree being represented.

With the willow's unique quality and strong durability forms and shapes are created with respect for nature. It is Danish design and true craftsmanship, produced in Denmark and targeted at private gardens as well as professional businesses in Denmark and abroad.

In 2004 Baugaarden created the first living willow trees. With willow from their own fields they experimented with different designs and the trees were sold at the local market squares. The trees generated much attention and within a few weeks they were sold out. The production was optimized to the best of their abilities and the long winter evenings were fully booked with production of trees. Customers' reactions reflected a fascination of the simple and symmetric style. This has been a cornerstone of their development process.

The demand for the trees has risen steadily since 2004 and the business base has now expanded to include professional businesses. The creation of new designs is made upon new ideas and in collaboration with companies who want living art customized to symbolize the company's identity. Baugaarden creates living sculptures, which year after year grows and turns into pieces of art in nature.

Baugaarden have a minor standard range, which consists of trees, they produce every year. Additionally, they create customized trees and sculptures which are not part of their normal range. The company say “We have only a few copies of these and they may not be reproduced when they are sold out.”

They create living pieces of art for professional businesses. Sculptures of living willow are made through a co-operation with the company. In this process, the company's values, logo and corporate identity are analyzed to create a piece of art which symbolizes the image of the company.

Another new product at the show this year was a single Hollyhock ‘Halo’ (Alcea rosea). As with most hollyhocks there is a considerable colour variation, as the two shots here illustrate. Also, most of the colours have a good colour contrasting centre.

Halo produces a stunning combination or single flowers up to 7.5 cm (3") across in bright colours - each flower made more appealing by the darker centre "halo". This classic English cottage garden flower is ideal for adding height to borders. Flower stalks reach to 1.8 m (6') in height and are loaded with flowers. Halo makes a beautiful cut flower!

For an early start, sow seed 8-10 weeks early indoors using a soil-less mix. Just cover seed, mist lightly and germinate at 21-24C (70- 75F) for 10-21 days. After that, grow on under lights at a slightly cooler temperature of 15-18C (60- 65F). This plant is also very easy to direct garden sow in May (or September for flower in the following year). Space plants 60 cm (24") apart in the garden.

And, by the way, as to availability, I note that the Aimers Seed division of OSC Seeds in Waterloo Ontario are stocking seeds for this plant currently.

One water plant I noted at the show, of which I was unaware was the Golden Club (Orontium aquaticum). It is considered a marginal plant and is native to several southern US states from Texas east and north to New York. It was exhibited by Anglo Aquatic Plant Grower located in Enfield, Middlesex, UK.

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