Sloane Square, ready. Sun shining, tick. May 21st, it must be the RHS Chelsea Flower Show.
Alliums may not be top of the pops at the show this year but they are still number one for the bees.
Artisan gardens are hugely popular. Green Switch by Kazuyuji Ishihara rightly achieved an eleventh gold and drew the crowds.
Glorious acers and moss and room to park the motorcycle. A natural combination. Perhaps. The planting is exquisite.
The garden created by Tom Stuart Smith for RHS Bridgwater Garden, Salford Greater Manchester was full of wonderful planting combinations. Supposedly highlights of the 154 acre garden to be completed in 2020 this will most certainly be worth a visit.
The show gardens are covered in great detail by the BBC. I found their coverage somewhat obtrusive today.
Sure the film crews have a job to do but actually they were in the way on several gardens we were trying to view. RHS you seem to have forgotten that the paying public want to see the gardens not the back of the camera man and his equipment.
The D-Day 75 garden was a poignant tribute to the last surviving Normandy veterans. I am not sure if it has had any coverage. Designed by John Everiss it is hoped that the garden can be rebuilt on a site above Arromanches by 6/6/19 as a tribute to the veterans who now are approaching 100 years of age. DDay 75 is the link to the crowdfunding page.
M&G investments are once again sponsors of this years Show. Their garden by designer Andy Sturgeon was masterful. Described as green planting, I rather liked some of these planting combinations.
A brief roundup of my visit. Lots of glorious sights.
Good night. D.
Aesculus hippocastanum, Anthriscus sylvestris, California poppy, cow parsley, Eschscholzia californica, harts tongue fern, horse chestnut trees, house leeks, papaver patty’s plum, sempervivums, six on saturday
May is possibly the most exciting time in the garden. So much is happening. You can almost hear the growing. The ferns are unfurling and that is where I shall start.
Harts tongue Asplenium scolopendrium
This is a plant which came to me from Rambling Cathy a couple of years ago and how established it looks now. The freshness of the green is strong and those tongues look at their most interesting as they uncurl.
Horse chestnut trees Aesculus hippocastanum
There were 5 of these in 2015 and I took the decision to have two of them removed to enable these room to grow. They are looking at their most majestic now. Growing below them, in the dry shade is my number 3
I know it is a weed, I know it may make a bid for total control but I love it. I shall cut it back hard and remove some of it next week.
Cow Parsley, Anthriscus sylvestris
4. From green and white to hot orange, these are self sown orange Californian poppies.
Today is overcast and they haven’t fully opened but their vibrancy is working hard to brighten the sky.
5. More poppies
Another poppy trying to brighten the skies.
The centre seems so bright and yet the outer petals live up to its name Papaver Patty’s Plum. I love the fat hairy buds on perennial poppies.
6. House leeks
Newly potted sempervivums. I love these plants, so many variations, all beautiful.
My six favourites today to share with you and our host The Propagator .
Do share your six with us or if you haven’t got time at least take a few minutes to scroll through some other bloggers joining this popular meme.
Enjoy the weekend. D.
Allium Purple Sensation, Anthriscus sylvestris, Anthriscus sylvestris ravenswing, Aquilegia, Borago officinalis, cerinthe major purpurascens, Hebe hulkeanea, hedgerows and bonnets, in a vase on Monday, New Zealand lilac, persicaria bistorta, Sweet cicely, Thalictrum Elin
From the title, some of you may immediately know what I am going to have in today’s vase: Cow Parsley and Aquilegia. You are not wrong.
A froth of cow parsley in its own cream pot.
Shades of purple bonnets from Aquilegia in the tiny cream pot sharing space with Cerinthe.
In a separate old syrup of fig bottle is stand alone Allium Purple Sensation. Too stylised a form to share space with the froth.
In the fourth vessel, another old cream pot is a mix of blue starred Borage, Anthriscus sylvestris Ravenswing which is, most certainly, a refined form of cow parsley blessed with burgundy stems.
There is yet more Cerinthe which is having a bumper bloom. There are candy floss pink sticks of Persicaria bisorta. The taller purple flowers are from Thalictrum Elin and the whiter froth is from Sweet cicely.
If you look carefully, there is also the just about to open, lilac coloured sprig of Hebe hulkeana or New Zealand lilac. This is the first time it has flowered.
A complete contrast to my green and white effort Last week.
Please now take a look at Our host Cathy to see her vase and those from other bloggers all over the garden world.
Have a great week and thanks for reading. D.
Hello. This week I took a couple of days out to visit the Malvern Show and Trentham Gardens. I wrote a quick post about Malvern Here.
Trentham in Stoke-on-Trent is a magnificent green space with a mile long lake created by Lancelot Capability Brown. There are new meadow schemes by Nigel Dunnet and the original Italian gardens by Charles Barry have had a contemporary makeover by Tom Stuart – Smith. In addition there is a floral labyrinth created by Piet Oudolf.
According to James Alexander Sinclair Trentham is “the garden makeover of the decade” and certainly some of the best names in horticulture and design have been involved.
Highlights of my visit are my Six on Saturday, joining The Propagator .
Balustrades and boats on Trentham lake.
I loved how they had filled the boats with tulips and floated them out.
2. Bulbs. There were the most magnificent pots of tulips, violas, pansies and muscari, primroses, grasses and heuchera.
Arrangements on steps and around benches. It surprised me how far behind they were compared to mine which have all finished.
Scale. The scale of the gardens is very impressive. Looking across the Italian gardens towards the lake.
Colour. Stuart-Smiths use of colour is fabulous. Orange, blue and lime.
The blue is from Camassias.
lime and orange from Euphorbias
I really admired the decision to give the Irish yew columns a flat top cut. This has the effect of stopping the eye from travelling up and up their height. They punctuate the frothy colourful planting rather like columns of a building. 6. Sculpture
Garden sculpture is a key addition to the gardens. From intricate willow woven into vast floral or animal forms
This is a dragon of living willow along the riverside walk.
Leaping bronze deer in the stumpery area of the lakeside walk.
My favourite were these fabulous gigantic dandelions by Amy Wight. These were literally blowing in the wind.
If you have the chance to visit Trentham, just do it. Enjoy your weekend. D.
Yesterday I visited the Malvern Show. RHS members day, we arrived just after the show opened.
The weather was inhospitable but we gardeners have the right gear for all weathers. Undeterred, we headed in!
Gabriella Pill Mediterranean Terrace
Defiance by Sara Edwards at No 30 Design Studio
An artists studio at home. Jessica Makins Garden Design and Hartwyn Natural Builds.
These are garden buildings created from old shipping containers. Brilliant. The gardens all made use of raised beds and vertical structure which included a framework for climbers or shade. A sense of enclosure. Coordinated planting. These garden creations could be adapted or copied for new build houses with small plots and city gardens/ courtyards . Inspired creativity on more modest scale.
Alas the BBC coverage on Gardeners World this evening did not see fit to interview the youngsters who created these gems. A lost opportunity. Trying to attract young gardeners? Not sure I believe the RHS knows how.
In the floral marquee, the plant exhibitors were top quality.
Succulents. A few of the spectacular exhibits.
My favourite plant vendor was this chap
Sunray Plants, selling a wonderful selection of sempervivums.
The Malvern show was really very enjoyable, despite the weather. If you are in the area or have time to travel to the show, it is a good day out with some inspiring gardens and top rate vendors.
Coverage by the BBC may have missed an opportunity for some fresh faces but the highly respected Carol Klein and Adam Frost were there.
The Malvern Show is on all weekend. Details at http://www.rhsmalvern.co.uk
Hello Cathy. Here we are again, Monday. My vase this week is green and white, against a “skimming stone” coloured wall and arranged on a proper linen tea towel which came from a house sale at Winslow Hall, Buckinghamshire.
Featuring Solomon’s seal and Brunnera ‘Betty Bowring’ at least that is the variety I have noted down. The Brunnera came from a WI stall years ago and then a division from my last garden. A fresh green with tiny white flowers, it too likes a shady spot.
The containers are a flask and my Japanese thumb pot which I purchased a couple of years ago at Darsham Nurseries, Suffolk.
I love Solomon’s Seal however the slugs and snails do too, so I am more than happy to take a few stems now, before they do.
Polygonatum x hybridum
Arching stems with pendulum bell like flowers they seem to like my heavy clay soil.
I hope you enjoy your ‘extra’ day this weekend. Make time to look at Cathy’s blog, link above, to see some other Monday vases. Enjoy! D.
Borago officinalis, Cercis canadensis, Euphorbia amygdaloides 'Purpurea', euphorbia griffithii Dixter, forget me nots, geranium macorrhizum, May, Myosotis arvensis, Sambucus Nigra Black Lace, six on saturday, Trifolium repens atropurpureum
Is it me or is this year galloping by? My garden is surging ahead, almost without me. I am inundated with weed seedlings but the dry clay is making it almost impossible to remove them properly. Weeding is a frustrating and almost futile exercise. How we need some rain but at night only please!
My Six to share with you and The Propagator this Saturday are these:
Euphorbias are at their most splendid at this time of year. Fresh and bright, eye catching
I have had this Forest Pansy tree for at least eight years, initially it was in a pot, now its home is in a raised bed and this is the first time it has flowered. Very exciting to see. It is, honestly!
Once you have got borage in your garden you will always have it. These are self sown. Glorious colour and nectar for the bees. The flowers are a lovely addition to a gin and tonic, frozen in an ice cube. Talking of G&T….
This is Geranium macorrhizum
It forms large clumps of fresh foliage which when brushed against or crushed smells distinctly like gin and tonic.
Trifolium repens atropurpureum
A great ground covering plant. With purple toned clover like leaves it is attractive and interesting.
Some class these little beauties as weeds. Not me, I adore their particular shade of blue. So cheery. I think they look rather classy under the foliage of Sambucus nigra Black Lace.
In memory of Heather, my kind and generous friend, Mother in law and Nanny. 20/6/40 – 4/5/12 . Remembered every day. How I would have loved to share this garden with her.
The catch up following my trip is all consuming and I missed joining Cathy and her merry band of bloggers yesterday.
So here on Tuesday I am having the cheek to share a handful of leaves.
Not any old leaves, but crisp and crunchy, spicy, cut and come again, salad leaves.
If you are used to these from another kind of supermarket, in a ready to eat bag, let me just say these bear no resemblance.
If you have a sunny windowsill try sowing a packet of leaves. You will be amazed at the difference. National vegetarian week is running from 13-19 May, you can be ahead of the game!
If you have more space, you should consider finding room for some rainbow chard. If you don’t like it, just enjoy its sheer blooming beauty.
Enjoy the week wherever you are and thanks for reading. D.