Piet Oudolf, pom-poms and fish fingers

A double border, 147 m long and 11m wide, designed by Piet Oudolf using large swathes of herbaceous perennials, grasses and shrubs - plants repeated along the length of this extravagant piece of theatre, running down to the lake and Glasshouse. Today, the pompom heads of Allium Purple Sensation provided the fun and drama, bouncing…

Orange/Totally Awesome

The name tag for this gorgeous and beautifully impressive specimen is lost somewhere in the neon skirts of this rhododendron/evergreen azalea (I forget, is it that 'all azaleas are rhododendrons, but not all rhododendrons are azaleas?). A meandering walk through the pathways of Battleston Hill at RHS Wisley and some real treats along the way.…

Peonies – which to choose & how to look after them…

Crocus, the online plant retailer, builder and planter of many  Chelsea show gardens etc., have just sent out their June Plant Care newsletter featuring peonies. I've included it in full here as I think it covers a lot of ground. Admittedly dense text, without their pictures, sorry. Do persevere... Long-lived and beautiful at every stage,…

The Red Peony of Constantinople, no less…

Paeonia peregrina, on the Rockery slope at RHS Wisley today, basking in warm sunshine (truly). The Byzantine Peony or The Red Peony of Constantinople. Marvellous!An extremely important plant for breeding (the RHS Encyclopedia of Perennials tells me), its unusual combination of pigments being largely responsible for the development of coral-coloured flowers in hybrid peonies. Spreading…

California dreaming (no lyrics this time)

The Californian poppy, Eschscholzia, blooming its head off in one of the Alpine Houses at the Royal Horticultural Society gardens at Wisley, Surrey. I remember that our neighbour (in Olden Times), Mr and Mrs Greenall, grew these very successfully in north London - their garden wrapped around the corner of the road - a closely…