467 items found

Services (1)

  • Appointment

    If you have a specific date and time in mind when you wish to visit the Yard then book an appointment online. Appointments in the past have lasted 15 minutes up to 90 minutes - so I only specify 60 minutes as an average approximation. Appointments are always my top priority. In the case I am not open that day, I will open the Yard for the purpose of your visit. As soon as I receive notification you will be booked into my personal diary. In the situation that I am already booked for a delivery or site visit at that time I will let you know straight away so we can reschedule.

View All

Blog Posts (46)

  • Todays Import - A New Model!

    Hello happy gardeners! This morning my latest import of Cretan terracotta pots arrived. The import of 270 pots features a return of my best selling pots and I have been able to make space for a good number of a new model - the Roubakia. The Roubakia is a beautiful planter. Featuring a shapely design, handles, soft decoration and that Cretan colour we all adore - it's perfect for making beautiful displays. Go wild with colour and foliage or keep it simple by opting for a tree with generous underplanting. The options are endless! Measuring 65 x 65cm, the price is falling in at £195 per pot. Having done a quick search last night, there are 3 other importers in the country who stock similarly shaped pots. Their prices fall in at... 60 x 70cm - £380 62 x 68cm - £250 60 x 60cm - £245 As always, I endeavour to offer Cretan terracotta pots at the UK's most competitive prices.

  • Dig Lavender and Iris

    Well well well, that’s the first half of the year done and here we are in July. Each month I, Leigh Abbosh, Founder of Leaf & Dig (leafanddig.com) will bring you a timely horticultural topic with gardening tips, interesting facts, and inspiring places to visit. I hope you dig this months topic! This month, we dig Lavender & Iris. With the high temperatures we’ve experienced in the last few weeks, and low levels of rainfall it’s easy to see why there is a move in public gardens, such as those under the custodianship of the National Trust, to increasingly establish Mediterranean style gardens and even gravel gardens. I’m currently in Kent as I spent yesterday gardening at Sissinghurst Castle garden. Over the last few years, the Sissinghurst gardening team, lead by Head Gardener Troy Scott-Smith and celebrated garden designer Dan Pearson, re-imagined Vita Sackville-West and Harold Nicolson's (who originally created the Sissinghurst gardens) vision for a garden inspired by the Greek island of Delos. Vita and Harold set out their Mediterranean garden after being inspired by a trip to Delos in 1935. However, the Kent climate (at the time) combined with a north facing site and limited knowledge of Mediterranean planting meant the garden never really worked and over the years reverted to woodland style planting. But in 2019 work began to bring the garden back. It has been fascinating to see the public opinion to this part of the garden as, whilst Vita and Harold set out the Delos garden almost 85 ago, there have been many who think it doesn’t work to have such a stylised Mediterranean garden against the quintessentially English red brick walls and buildings of Sissinghurst Castle in the Kent countryside. Yet last night as I sat on the sandstone boulders under the glow of the late June evening sunshine, taking in Delos all to myself, all I could think was that this garden is a triumph. I love it. After the exuberance of the Rose Garden, and the serenity of the White Garden, Delos somehow lowers the heart rate and envelopes you in a feeling of calm. The many boulders offering a space to sit and contemplate whilst listening to the buzz of pollinators excitedly searching out the nectar. For me, it fits perfectly at Sissinghurst. Photograph: Eva Nemeth/The Guardian Delos also addresses critical questions for us gardeners about the warming climate. We are increasingly experiencing hotter, drier summers and wetter winters. And so we need to consider plants that can cope with these conditions. In a recent interview with The Guardian, Head Gardener Troy said “I do worry generally about trying to perpetuate a garden like Sissinghurst, with its elaborate flower borders – delphiniums, lupins and all those things – in an increasingly drier situation. There’s no question, we won’t be able to have the same plants that we do now in 20 years’ time.” And so two plants I’d like to consider that are famously well suited to the kind of conditions we are increasingly seeing, and that put on a fine show this month and into August are Lavender and Irises. Lavender Lavender or Lavandula is a genus of 47 known species of flowering plants in the mint family, Lamiaceae. Native to the Mediterranean, the Middle East, Northern Africa and India Lavender has been used in gardens for over 2500 years. The hardiest varieties for our climate are those cultivars of English Lavender (Lavendula angustifolia and Lavendula x intermedia) with Hidcote Lavender being the classic variety most people will be familiar with. But others are worth seeking out too. I’m a particular fan of Lavender ‘Grosso’ which has a paler more delicate flower than Hidcote, although it is also larger at 1m tall and wide so it is often best placed as a feature plant rather than used as part of a lavender hedge. White Lavenders such as Lavandula angustifolia ‘Nana Alba’ should also be considered to provide a nice alternative to the classic purple lavender. French Lavenders (Lavandula stoechas) are less hardy and so likely to last only a couple of seasons at best, and so I rarely use these in planting schemes. Once established, lavender needs very little care and in fact suffers if over watered or if the soil is too fertile. The one thing to remember is to keep them clipped to maintain a neat shape otherwise they will become overgrown and leggy and then it is impossible to get them back into shape once the stems thicken and become woody. An easy trick to help remember when to do this is 8-8-8. On the 8th day of the 8th month (August) you should cut your lavender down to 8 inches from the ground, either into a neat ball shape or as part of a hedge. This removes the flowering stems before they go brown and unsightly and ensures the foliage doesn’t become overgrown and leggy. So mark that job for next month - 8-8-8! Photograph: Leaf & Dig Iris Iris is a genus of 260–300 species of flowering plants. Another Mediterranean plant, it takes its name from the Greek word for rainbow - no wonder given the huge spectrum of Iris colours available. Iris is also the name of the Greek goddess of the rainbow! Most irises flower in the summer, apart from the earliest bulbous types, such as Iris reticulata, which flower in early spring. You can plant irises in the border from late summer to autumn, or in the spring. Plant them so the top half of the fleshy rhizome, is above ground and facing South so they are exposed to sun. Don’t let the leaves of the iris block the sun hence facing the rhizome South. Once they have finished their display, allow the iris leaves to die back naturally so the bulb can build up energy for next year. Once they have browned up, take some sharp secateurs or snips and cut the leaves back to a fan shape as seen in this image. Photograph: Leaf & Dig Iris are long-lived but flowering declines once clumps become older and congested. Rejuvenate them every few years, by dividing and replanting the younger, outer parts of the clump in late summer. Ease out the clips with a garden fork and then you can simply snap into single plants at the rhizome. Each plant only requires about 3 inches of rhizome so cut away anything longer and cut away any brown roots leaving only the white roots on the plant. You can then replant, with the rhizomes facing south as seen below. Don’t be tempted to replant all the plants. Instead, pick out the healthiest younger plants and discard the rest. Photograph: Leaf & Dig And finally onto a few places to visit in July for Mediterranean gardening inspiration: Sissinghurst Castle Garden As mentioned earlier, I highly recommend a visit to Sissinghurst and to the Delos garden if you are heading over to Kent this summer. A real feast for the senses as you move through the various garden rooms in this much celebrated National Trust garden. https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/sissinghurst-castle-garden Photograph: Leaf & Dig Cotswold Lavender Fields Transport yourself to Provence with a trip to the incredible lavender farm near Broadway, Worcestershire. It can get quite hectic with Instagrammers, as it is a picture perfect location, but if you go a little later in the day you’ll be in for a more relaxing visit. They have a lovely cafe and as you’d expect there are quite a few dishes with lavender...I highly recommend the lavender ice cream! https://www.cotswoldlavender.co.uk/pages/lavender-fields-meadows Photograph: Cotswold Lavender York Gate Garden, Leeds Again this garden is further afield up in Leeds but with the summer upon us, hopefully you might find opportunity to visit if travelling north. It really is a magical garden. Small at only an acre but with so much beauty packed in, it really is lovely garden to visit. I’ve pulled this out as they have recently created a stunning Mediterranean gravel garden which you can enjoy from the terrace of the restaurant whilst tucking into some tasty Yorkshire cooking. https://perennial.org.uk/garden/york-gate-garden/ Photograph: Clive Nichols

  • Mediterranean Plants for Pollinators

    A garden, to me, is all about life. Fortunate to have been raised in the rich Herefordshire countryside, some of my fondest memories as a child were spending hours in the garden, watching swarms of bees descend upon our lavender... it's a warm, fragrant memory that I remember to this day... perhaps overly romanticised to this point, but nonetheless. At some point I would like to do a separate post on pollinators, so to be brief... pollinators (bees, moths, butterflies, beetles, flies) are vital for our gardens and wider environment. Plus, a garden without bees and birds flittering doing their thing would be sterile... utterly lifeless. When it comes to plants for encouraging pollinators, I think we typically envisage a traditional English garden or a wild meadow setting... the likes of borage, yellow rattle, foxglove and nasturtium in pure abundance. However, if you're looking to create an authentic Mediterranean garden, you may be looking to swap out the yew hedging for a row of Italian cypress. Mediterranean plants we typically use in the UK are great for offering instant structure... but after speaking with many Clients I find people lack ideas of what to fill the in-between areas with. In addition, whilst olive trees and palms look fantastic - they don't offer much to encourage pollinators. So here is a list of native Mediterranean plants you can use in your Mediterranean garden that are a) authentic b) loved by our winged friends and c) look fabulous! Honeywort is a native Mediterranean annual featuring bell-shaped flowers, clusters of bracts and silvery/green foliage. Flowering from May through to September, the flowers are available in a number of colours however blue/purple are most popular. It's easy to grow from seed in either beds & pots and the bracts are very attractive to pollinators. Self-seeding. For the best colours, plant in full sun. Unlike typical plants from this region, Honeywort tends to prefer a more rich, moist environment. If growing in pots general multi-purpose compost will do. Overall height is around 60cm however can vary +/-. Red Valerian is a native Mediterranean woody-based perennial featuring clusters of crimson flowers and pale green foliage. Now widely naturalised in the UK for many Centuries, Red Valerian will flower from June right through to the first frosts. To avoid self-seeding, cut back spent stems in the Summer. Not fussy on soil, just make sure it has the benefit of full sun for the best display. Overall height is around 90cm tall. Slightly fragrant flowers. Phlomis (Jerusalem Sage) is a native Mediterranean herbaceous perennial featuring large sage-like green foliage and whorls of flowers in intervals along the upright stems. Whilst known for their yellow displays from July - August, you can find some Phlomis that produce mauve and occasionally even pink flowers. Their seed heads are rather attractive in Autumn. Phlomis performs best in moist but well-draining soil and, again, as the rest on this list do, require full sun. They can tolerate poor soils but just watch out for soggy soil in Winter. Overall height is around 100cm tall. Note - unlike traditional 'Sage', Phlomis is not edible. Cardoon (Artichoke Thistle) is a native Mediterranean perennial featuring large, edible purple/violet buds and silvery, spikey foliage. Considered by some as a weed, Cardoons are generally grown in beds as an ornamental plant (apparently loved by our Victorian ancestors!). If growing in pots, ensure their large root systems have ample space to develop. Loved for the silvery foliage, architectural nature and bright flowers from August - September, they can be eaten just as artichokes would. Cardoons perform best in well-draining but rich, moist soil. Full sun is ideal however they will take a bit of shade. Overall height is around 150cm tall. Three classic herbs that are native to the Mediterranean and whose flowers attract pollinators are Rosemary, Lavender and Thyme. Without breaking down each herb (simply put, full sun & good drainage), here are three varieties you could try this year... Rosemary - Ginger Rosemary (Green Ginger). Yes, this really does smell of ginger plus it produces an abundance of blue flowers. Great for cooking and a real wow-inducer to make your guests eyes light up when taking a whiff. Lavender - Lavender Rosea (Rose Lavander). Any lavender is gorgeous lavender however this Season I'm really enjoying this fragrant variety. A compact form with soft, rose/white coloured flowers and silvery foliage... you could say Rosea is a bit washed out compared to 'traditional' lavender - but I find the colours work very well with Cretan terracotta. Thyme - Thyme Caraway. A thyme I discovered this Season, Thyme Caraway is a matt-forming, highly fragrant, aromatic thyme producing mauve flowers that look great against the dark green foliage. I hope you manage to find something helpful in this post. Happy gardening and I hope to see you soon! Thomas

View All

Pages (34)

  • What Is Cretan Terracotta | Tom's Yard | Herefordshire

    What are Cretan Terracotta Pots? View my collection... Cretan Terracotta refers to pots from Crete, the largest Island off the Greek coast. ​ The history of Cretan terracotta can be traced back to the Minoan civilisation, around 3000 BC. The Minoan's used large open neck pots (shown above) called Pithoi to store grains & liquids and to decorate Palaces. Today, thousands of years later, the same pots can be recognised in private gardens and hotels around the UK - now housing Specimen Trees, Topiary, flowers and herbs... or simply standing gracefully as a feature. How are they made? The finest Cretan terracotta pots are hand-thrown on a potters wheel, a skill passed down from one generation to the next. Large pots are shaped and worked in layers over multiple days. This ensures they do not fall-in on themselves 1. Once the newly thrown pots have dried, they are fired in a kiln for a total of 3 days. On the first day the temperature slowly rises until it reaches an unbearable heat of around 1150 Celsius. ​ Over the second day this heat remains at a constant. On the third day the kiln slowly cools back down. 2. Once the pots have cooled down they are soaked with water for a total of 2 days. ​ This is all part of the traditional process. 3. The end result of this lengthy process is a beautiful pot , frost-resistant and each different to the last i.e. a larger thumbprint here, a wavier line there.... ​ It's no surprise Cretan terracotta pots are seen in the most prestigious gardens around the Country. 4. Why is Cretan Terracotta so good? Each pot is a celebration of skill passed down from one generation to the next. No nasty chemicals are used in the process and each pot should last a lifetime. ​ Arguably the key benefit is the fact that Cretan terracotta is extremely frost-resistant. This is because these pots are fired hotter and longer than your typical terracotta pot. Clients of mine have owned Cretan pots for over 20 years and they last to this day crack-free. Ensuring your potted mixture is well-draining is key to your pots survival. Standing water will only freeze and expand, forcing pressure on the walls. It's always a good idea to raise your pots. ​ On top of being very hardy, plants thrive in Cretan terracotta. This is because the walls of the clay are very porous. This means that on top of relying on drainage holes - excess water is able to escape through the walls of the pot. ​ The colour... On a Summers afternoon the warm glow given off from new Cretan terracotta is divine! ​ Lastly, the way they weather... because Cretan pots are so porous, they age very quickly. This means that within the first year you will notice your pot taking on a delightful, almost milky white colour. A few years after this, depending on the situation of the pot in your garden, they will begin to develop black patches from the elements. In around 10 years they will look sensational. ​

  • | Tom's Yard

    270 Pots Just In! On July 1st I received my latest import of Cretan terracotta pots. Featuring a restock of my best sellers and the all-new 65 x 65cm Roubakia planter, I currently hold over 300+ Cretan pots in stock. ​ The UK's most accessible collection of authentic Cretan pots.

  • Garden Dressings | Tom's Yard | Herefordshire

    Highlighted Products Cloud Olive Trees Price £380.00 3ltr Mahonia 'Soft Caress' Regular Price £39.99 Sale Price £18.99 Cretan Terracotta Trays Price From £35.00 Cretan Terracotta Pithoi Price From £225.00 Inc Nationwide Delivery Specimen Smooth Olive Trees Price From £500.00 Large Cloud Olive Trees Price £595.00 Cloud Olive Trees Price £380.00 3ltr Mahonia 'Soft Caress' Regular Price £39.99 Sale Price £18.99 Cretan Terracotta Trays Price From £35.00 Cretan Terracotta Pithoi Price From £225.00 Inc Nationwide Delivery Specimen Smooth Olive Trees Price From £500.00 Large Cloud Olive Trees Price £595.00 Cloud Olive Trees Price £380.00 My Journal My online journal includes a fantastic monthly column from Leigh Abbosh (owner of Leaf Leaf & Dig - a Cotswolds based business providing expert garden maintenance), my personal book recommendations (a slight bias towards garden history!), gardening tips, occasional interviews, experiences visiting local gardens, stock updates and general news. ​ The plan for 2022 is to really focus on providing great content for my followers. I don't send out many newsletters, but if you would like to stay up to date with posts and news around the business then I recommend you subscribe to my newsletter. Subscribe Following a number of years working in the family furniture & interiors business I spent some time with one of Europe's leading retailers of Decorative Antiques and Garden Ornaments. This involved working with renowned Interior Designers and Antique Dealers from around Europe. ​ Over that time I developed my skills, honed my eye, and knew it was only time before I pursued the dream of running my own business... Since launching I now supply a mixture of home owners, businesses (retail & hospitality), garden designers and country estates with quality, timeless garden dressings. ​ I hope to see you soon, Thomas Pearson About Visit the Yard If you're looking through my website and would like to see my collection in person, all of my stock is on display at my aptly named premises in South Herefordshire. ​ Located next door to Simply Stunning Interiors, Herefordshire's leading independent furniture & interiors retailer, we have ample parking, toilet facilities and an on-site coffee shop. ​ Clients have travelled many hours to view my collection from as far as London and Penzance. For guaranteed hours where I'll be found at the Yard, head to the dedicated page below or book an appointment if you have a set date and time you would like to visit. Open Hours Directions ''I stopped by to visit Thomas after a friends recommendation, and what a wonderful find this was. Thomas was a delight to talk to and was so helpful in regards to the pieces on display. I will certainly be back as soon as I can.'' Private Client ​ ''Shopping with Thomas at Toms Yard for the last 18 months has been a pleasure every time. Tom is incredibly knowledgeable, full of inspiration and never without a smile on his face.'' Estate Manager ​ '' I just want to say how pleased I am with the delivery of pots and plants. They are all excellent quality and I will certainly keep your details for future reference. You’ve been very helpful.'' Garden Designer ​

View All