Magnolia

A little early for magnolia blossom, although the flower buds are already plump and furry. Such a variety of form and flower, evergreen and deciduous. I have M. x loebneri Leonard Messel, an unnamed M. soulangeana and an apricot flowered form at home, the name of which escapes me (bought last year). All beautiful. Black…

Camellias

Time to visit Chiswick House I think, their camellia collection in the glasshouse ought to be coming into flower. Built in the 1830's by the Duke of Devonshire, at a once world record beating 300' long, the recently renovated greenhouse houses a unique collection of camellias - all but one planted between 1830 and 1850.…

Hellebores

Hellebores are a group of plants usually grown in 'woodland' conditions in the UK, flowering from late winter through to mid-spring. The flowers are white, cream, pink, purple, or green, sometimes spotted, and are pendant or outward facing, saucer to cup shaped or tubular bells shaped! New varieties are becoming available such as Anna's Red…

Primula auricula

Primula auricula, Alpine House at RHS Wisley. Now this is a group of plants you could really get obsessed about - and many have - with such a range of colour and form. Primulas, the garden centre variety, are just coming into Syon now and while I could grow to love the auricula (we might…

Hamamelis x intermedia Copper Cascade

Hamamelis x intermedia Copper Cascade (Witch hazel). Back to seasonal themes with this astonishingly beautiful and richly coloured witch hazel, Copper Cascade. The overall impression, particularly against the dark evergreens and bare branches of other woodland trees is more subtle, but close up - wow!

Such care from RHS Chelsea exhibitors

Such care from RHS Chelsea exhibitors, individually wrapping these paeonia (peony) blooms. Jumping ahead to Spring again with this post - I can't resist. Our first range of baby herbaceous plants arrived at Syon today and bring with them a promise of exuberant growth and colour. In the spirit of the season however, I brought…

The White Garden, Sissinghurst

Spurred on by the BBC4 series starting tonight - and having read Adam Nicolson's book "Sissinghurst - An Unfinished History" last summer, it seems a good time to look through the photographs taken on a rather damp early August day last year. For a few brief minutes I had the garden all to myself. Heaven.