Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Plant and flower shows’ Category

Galanthus elwesii 'Millers Late'Compared to Chelsea and Hampton court, shows in the RHS halls in Victoria are small, almost intimate affairs and I love them for this. It’s the sweet spring scent that first hits you as you enter Lawrence hall, then as you hone in on the plants, it’s the details of all the different cultivars that lure you in. Choice nurseries from all over the country have their finest plants (and wares) on show and I have to admit being instantly smitten by this whopper of a snowdrop, Galanthus elwesii ‘Millers Late’ on the Harveys stand (@£16 a pop). Friend Catherine is holding a smaller (nivalis sized-ish) snowdrop next to it to give some idea of scale. Most of the snowdrops here are varieties you’ll never see in garden centres and they’re an absoute joy to behold.

Crocus Korolowii from HW Hyde & sonAnother beauty that caught my eye is Crocus korolkowii on the HW Hyde & son nursery stand and it’s definitely on my list for next year. Looks like it clumps up beautifully too.

Plant Belles plant supports allNow I’ve bought natty metal hoops from Plant Belles before to make a cloche to wrap up my winter veg, and they’ve worked really well. This time I was on the lookout for supports for slightly floppy Dahlias and the Sidney support at 87cm tall, 46cm wide (bottom left of pic) should hopefully fit the bill. I also have a client with a rather untoward climbing rose in the middle of a large bed and I’ve been hunting around for a tall support that I can wrap the rose around, inspired by the rose training at Notre-Dame Prieure D’Orsan in France. Always keen to help, Jenny at Plant Belles has been asked by another designer to develop a taller version(1.5-2m?) of their wider (74cm) George support (at back of pic), so looking forward to seeing what she produces for both us later in the season (will keep you posted on this). I can’t wait to start experimenting!

Iris Histriodes and Reticulata on Jaques Amand standAs Clive commented on in my previous post, Jaques Amand’s reticulata Irises were absolutely gorgeous. Plant breeder Alan McMurtrie was over from Toronto, generously sharing information on the new cultivars he had developed alongside Dutch bulb growers.

Iris Histriodes Gerorge

Iris histriodes ‘George’ seemed to glow in the light,

Iris Clairetteand the two-tone blues of Clairette were very appealing.

Iris Frank ElderThe softer tones of Frank Elder however finally won me over,

Iris Sorm

until I espied Storm

Iris Sea Greenand the more subtle tones and slightly torn looking petals of I. ‘Sea Green’. George, Clairette and Frank Elder will be in the Jacques Amand autumn bulbs catalogue and I’m in the process of checking whether ‘Sea Green’ and ‘Storm’ will be available too. Will let you know. Hope so!

Bronze tools from  from implementations.co.ukAnd finally, these lovely shiny bronze (94%copper) tools from Implementations had ‘buy me’ written all over them. The tool heads come with a 25 year guarantee (tool shafts 2 years) and according to their brochure their sharp edges stay sharp. I thought the pointier of the trowels looked fantastic for bulb planting, and was very tempted by the hoe. This has sharp edges back and front of the head, so it will cut through weeds when you both push and pull. As I get more into ‘no dig’, this seems like a perfect tool to keep weeds down and copper tools, allegedly, deter slugs and snails too. Now firmly on my birthday list!

These ‘small’ shows are such a treat. You have the opportunity to chat and buy plants and tools from some wonderful growers and makers from all over the country, right there on your doorstep, and I for one can’t wait for the next RHS show on 14-15th April.

Read Full Post »

Cannas on the Hayward's Stand, Plant Fair, Great Dixter Oct 2011Looks like the weather is going to be perfect for Great Dixter’s fourth plant fair this weekend,  5th and 6th October from 11-4pm. There’ll be 20 very choice nurseries attending, mostly from the UK, but also featuring sellers from France, Ireland, Sweden and Holland. What a treat!

Talks at Great  Dixter plant fair 2

Nursery owners will also be giving talks on a wide range of plants over the weekend, including Neil Lucas from Knoll Gardens talking about grasses, Paul Barney from Edulis on Edible Plants, Derry Watkins from Special Plants on Annuals and Marina Christopher from Phoenix Plants on Herbaceous plants. What a fantastic line-up!

The Exotic Garden at Great Dixter, August 2011Entrance is £7.50 and this also includes entry to the garden, which will no doubt still be looking lush and gorgeous in its late summer glory. Definitely worth the trip to East Sussex.

Read Full Post »

Rubus ulmifolius bellidiflorus

I may have mentioned in earlier posts that I’ve developed a bit of a thing for the Rubus genus. I already grow raspberries (R. idaeus), Blackberries (R. fruiticosus) and Japanese wine berries (R. pheonicolasius) and in 2011 I spotted this rather gorgeous ornamental Rubus ulmifolius bellidiflorus in the Plant Heritage marquee at Hampton Court. The pink pom poms sitting atop such a wild habit truly spoke to me, but alas, the plants were just for looking at, with none to buy. However, not entirely forgotten, its image has been lurking somewhere deep in the back of my mind.

 Rubus oderatus
Roll on two years and Barry Clarke is back again with choice specimens from his national collection (of 170 species and 30 hybrids), this time with cuttings aplenty. Not only did he have pom poms, but also small plants of  Rubus x fraseri, very similar in habit (and flower) to this gorgeous R.oderatus above. It does produce small quantities of edible fruits, so I’ll look forward to tasting these whenever they appear.  Although determined to leave the show empty-handed this year (there’s no room left in the garden), I departed from the Plant Heritage marquee with my two plants in hand and my heart full of joy! Thanks Barry!
Matthew Childs' Ecover Garden
I loved Matthew Childs’ ‘A light at the end of the tunnel’ garden last year which was about recovery and hope after he was injured in the July 7th bombings. His planting this year on the Ecover sponsored garden was positively exuberant and deservedly won a gold medal and best in show. Flowing planting, winding paths and three interlocking ponds expertly illustrated the ‘Water is life’ message and with their supersized products, Ecover was none too shy in pointing out their role in sustainable use of plastics for their products!
Four corners garden
Water and wildlife friendly planting seem to feature in many gardens this year and I really liked how Peter Reader used rills to divide his garden into distinct areas in his Four Corners garden.
Four corners garden 2
Peter has just finished retraining from doctor to garden designer, and won the Provender Nurseries 2012 Student Design and Build Award to create his first show garden at Hampton Court. Impressive!
The hot stuff garden
And lastly (for this post), I loved the “less hard landscaping and more plants” ethos in The Hot Stuff Garden, designed by Victoria Truman, Liz Rentzsch and Marcus Foster.
The hot stuff garden 2
Taking inspiration from the planting in the Exotic Garden at Great Dixter, this simple but lush garden was, for me, equally best in show.
Hampton Court Flower Show continues today and tomorrow (13 and 14th July 2013).
More gardens and fab comments can be seen and read at Weeding the Web, Vegplotting , Alternative Eden and Through the Garden Gate.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,170 other followers

%d bloggers like this: