New planting schemes and new plans

I've been working on a new project, a Strawberry Hill garden in a triangular plot, with circular lawn, mellow brick boundary walls, NW facing, a beautiful camellia and mature cherry. And lots of new, deep loamy soil. Just me and the planting. I will photograph it in a month or so, once the plants bed…

Crown Imperial

Another fritillary, the Crown Imperial, Fritillaria imperialis. Hailing from Turkey, this is an imposing plant with mature bulbs throwing up stems up to 1m tall. Atop a bare stem, up to 6 nodding bright orange (or yellow) flowers, rich in nectar, below a pineapple tuft of green foliage. Excellent container plants and equally happy in…

Summer Snowflake

Sometimes confused with the snowdrop, the summer snowflake, Leucojum aestivum, is a much larger, later flowering plant, growing 60-75cm tall. Each stem has three-five bell-shaped nodding flowers with green tipped sepals and, though I have yet to put this to the test, a scent of chocolate! Flowering in May and preferring the shadier, wetter spots…

The Bold and the Beautiful..

One of the classic tulips, Red Apeldoorn, with strong outline and bold colour. A Darwin Hybrid Group tulip bearing cherry-red flowers with signal-red margins. Insides are signal-red with yellow-bordered black marks and black anthers. Mid-spring flowering (whenever that might usually be, though now, in my garden). Height to 60cm with wide, blue-grey leaves. Darwin Group…

Pinks, lime and black… and a Musical

Four completely unrelated plants, though all catching my eye yesterday and each of considerable merit. Clematis alpina Diamond Anniversary, with creamy white tepals backed with a gentle webbed shading of pale purple. Early flowering, growing to 2m. A mediterranean spurge, Euphorbia Black Pearl, a compact form of Euphorbia characias, with black nectaries giving the plant…

Royal Botanic Gardens Kew (Magnolia storm)

I had hoped to get down to the Hillier Gardens this week, or at least to RHS Wisley but time seemed to be against me. And then I remembered that my annual membership to the Romsey garden also includes entry to Kew, which I happened to be passing, (after spending a couple of hours in…

Dawn Redwood ‘Gold Rush’

Beware, not for the average garden! The Dawn Redwood (Metasequoia glyptostroboides) is a large tree. Many trees planted in the late 1940's are now over 100 ft tall, 25 ft wide. Rather optimistically I have this specimen in a large pot as I like the bright foliage so much but I know that it will…

Bold & Brilliant

It is almost tulip time, given the speed at which spring seems to be accelerating just now. Magnolia blossom has exploded in our gardens and cherry blossom isn't far behind. I planted up 15 litre containers last autumn with Red Apeldoorn, bright-pink Barcelona, lily- flowered-bright-orange Ballerina, sultry-dark- plum Ronaldo, tall-red Doll's Minuet, white-becoming-intensely violet-purple Shirley's…

Forest Flames

Pieris formosa var forrestii 'Forest Flame'. "One of the most beautiful of all Pieris species, with electric-red new growth that literally stops people in their tracks " (Micheal Dirr, from his encyclopedia on Trees and Shrubs, and no argument from me!). "The new growth transitions from red to cream and then to green and any…