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Passing on a Cambridge garden

Tim Ewbank recently sold his Cambridgeshire home and garden. He decided at the same time to pass along his Shoot account to the new home owner so they could benefit from the information about their new garden - like a 'manual' for their new garden. We asked Tim some questions about what he liked most about Shoot and the benefits of the garden transfer to the new home owner.

Tim Ewbank in his garden

How did you find Shoot?

I came across Shoot about five years ago (maybe longer) at a time when I was planning a redesign and needing information about plants for dry shade. I think it was another gardener who recommended Shoot as a great online reference source.

Tim Ewbank's garden

What was the main benefit when you first found Shoot? What were you looking for or to do?

The main benefit was it being online, rather than in the form of a paper directory. I found the user interface easier to access than comparable online sites (eg RHS) and information more succinct.

Tim Ewbank's garden

What was the best thing about Shoot over time as you used it more and more?

The overwhelming advantage of Shoot was the ability to store plant lists online. Up until then I’d been using a well-thumbed, paper, garden diary, which was getting rather scruffy with crossings out as the garden evolved. The ability to sort plants by group or area of the garden was a huge help as we had over a hundred varieties. Recording plants on Shoot also made it much easier to keep records of changes, particularly moving plants around. I operate a “two strikes and you’re out” policy. If a plant does not like it’s initial planting position it has one further chance to succeed elsehere, or it will be permanently replaced. In a large garden knowing what moved from where and when, was more than I could remember.

Tim Ewbank's garden

Please tell us about the garden areas. How many plants are in each section?

We had a substantial garden, about two acres, divided into four areas in terms of planting:The main garden which is orientated in such a way that one side was much sunnier than the other. So there was one set of plants for the sunny border and other for the shaded border. The area in front of the house contained more shrubs & a few specimen trees, so recording the pruning cycles was useful (with help of Shoot maintenance tips). Lastly we had a small soft fruit garden, in which plants are replaced every few years; so, again current records were useful.

Tim Ewbank's garden

Why did you want to transfer the Shoot garden profile and plant lists over to the new home owner?

I had over a hundred plants on my plant lists, by the time we moved house. So, from my perspective, having taken the time to record & maintain these lists, it just seemed such a waste to delete them all, when they could be of use to the new owners.They would benefit from knowing what was in the garden (as we sold in November, some plants were not easy to identify) how long each plant had been there, plus its maintenance history.

Tim Ewbank's garden

How did the new Home owners respond to the idea of getting a record of their new garden online?

As it happens the new owners have employed a professional gardener, who was grateful not to be starting from “cold” it terms of identifying and recording everything. Being principally a gardener rather than a soft-fingered geek, not having to create the plant list was definite plus.

Plants in Vic's new garden

Taxus baccata
Crocus x luteus 'Golden Yellow'
Acanthus spinosus
Alchemilla mollis
Salix alba var. vitellina 'Britzensis'
Digitalis x mertonensis
Anthemis tinctoria 'E.C. Buxton'
Aquilegia vulgaris var. stellata 'Nora Barlow' (Barlow Series)
Cistus x purpureus
Vitis coignetiae
Viburnum davidii
Viburnum opulus
Stipa gigantea
Stipa tenuissima
Santolina chamaecyparissus
Ribes sanguineum 'Pulborough Scarlet'
Centranthus ruber
Gunnera manicata
Allium hollandicum 'Purple Sensation'
Cistus x dansereaui 'Decumbens'
Ceanothus thyrsiflorus var. repens
Chaenomeles x superba 'Knap Hill Scarlet'
Euphorbia amygdaloides var. robbiae
Dryopteris filix-mas
Dryopteris wallichiana
Callicarpa bodinieri var giraldii 'Profusion'
Pittosporum 'Garnettii'
Geranium 'Johnson's Blue'
Robinia pseudoacacia 'Frisia'
Dicentra spectabilis
Digitalis purpurea f. albiflora
Heuchera micrantha 'Palace Purple'
Pittosporum tenuifolium 'Silver Queen'
Elaeagnus x ebbingei 'Limelight'
Geranium macrorrhizum 'Ingwersen's Variety'
Nandina domestica
Physocarpus opulifolius 'Diabolo'
Mahonia x media 'Charity'
Mahonia x media 'Winter Sun'
Prunus 'Accolade'
Skimmia japonica 'Fragrans'
Syringa vulgaris 'Mrs Edward Harding'
Clematis 'Elizabeth'
Thalictrum delavayi 'Hewitt's Double'
Viburnum x bodnantense 'Dawn'
Viburnum tinus 'French White'
Forsythia x intermedia 'Lynwood'
Buxus sempervirens 'Elegantissima'
Crocosmia 'Lucifer'
Helleborus orientalis subsp. guttatus
Sisyrinchium striatum 'Aunt May'
Tellima grandiflora
Phygelius x rectus 'Devil's Tears'
Euphorbia cornigera
Gaultheria mucronata 'Wintertime'
Rosa 'Madame Knorr'
Hypericum 'Rowallane'
Lonicera periclymenum 'Graham Thomas'
Lonicera pileata
Clematis cirrhosa 'Freckles'
Euphorbia amygdaloides 'Purpurea'
Anemone nemorosa 'Robinsoniana'
Epimedium x rubrum
Stipa arundinacea
Geranium macrorrhizum 'Spessart'
Heuchera 'Rachel'
Sambucus nigra 'Guincho Purple'
Lilium African Queen Group
Lychnis coronaria
Spiraea japonica 'Magic Carpet'
Weigela 'Rubigold'
Geranium phaeum 'Samobor'
Hemerocallis lilioasphodelus
Hemerocallis 'Red Precious'
Hosta 'Shade Fanfare'
Carex brunnea 'Variegata'
Geranium endressii 'Wargrave's Pink'
Kniphofia uvaria
Paeonia suffruticosa 'High Noon'
Clematis cirrhosa var. balearica
Philadelphus 'Virginal'
Symphoricarpos x doorenbosii 'White Hedge'
Indigofera amblyantha
Kerria japonica 'Pleniflora'
Trachystemon orientalis
Anemone hupehensis 'September Charm'
Phaseolus vulgaris 'Ferrari'
Polygonatum multiflorum
Penstemon hartwegii 'Tubular Bells Rose'
Hebe 'Autumn Glory'
Tulipa 'Zurel'
Tulipa 'Angelique'
Hydrangea anomala subsp. petiolaris
Tulipa 'Stresa'
Prunus x cistena
Rudbeckia fulgida var deamii
Euphorbia characias 'Black Pearl'
Brachyglottis Dunedin Group 'Sunshine'
Euonymus fortunei 'Blondy'
Hosta 'Patriot'
Berberis thunbergii f. atropurpurea 'Harlequin'
Buddleja davidii 'Nanho Blue'
Cotinus coggygria 'Purpureus'
Delphinium 'Astolat'
Euonymus japonicus 'Aureus'
Daphne laureola subsp philippi
Wisteria floribunda 'Violacea Plena'
Euonymus japonicus 'Aureo Marginata'
Salix babylonica
Syringa vulgaris 'Madame Florent Stepman'
Senecio cineraria 'Silver Dust'
Syringa 'Red Pixie'
Weigela florida 'Monet'
Hemerocallis 'Happy Returns'
Sedum telephium 'Autumn Joy'
Bergenia 'Sunningdale'
Rubus 'Benenden'
Linaria purpurea
Ajuga reptans 'Atropurpurea'
Lavandula angustifolia 'Hidcote Blue'
Geranium phaeum