Antiques Roadshow…

Viola F1 'Antique Shades' The following is from the Seedaholics website I have recommended before and is more complete than I could possibly be. Plants are on sale now in garden centres and nurseries, though seeds might be the way to go next year.... Some unbelievably coloured violas have come on the market in recent…

Summer Cocktail

Echinacea Summer Cocktail I'm really rather looking forward to the changes in colour this new, short-ish coneflower promises - this very attractive, sunny yellow, taking on salmon-rose colours as they mature.... Position: full sun Soil: most soils, except very dry or boggy Rate of growth: average Flowering period: June to September Hardiness: fully hardy A…

An English Rose… and another…

A whole lot of David Austin - not much writing, but plenty of pictures for this Friday night. Grace David Austin rose, Grace, with distinctive quilled petals. One of the shorter bush roses and also excellent in a container. Princess Anne A rose of exceptional health, immune to powdery mildew and blackspot and flowering in…

Life after the petunias….

Viola Beacon Blue - just one from a myriad choice of violas and larger flowered pansies Large-flowered Cyclamen, bringing colour to autumn and winter containers September next week it is, and the nights are drawing in. Containers full of summer colour - lobelias, petunias, marigolds, begonias and all that - might be looking a little…

Boiling Lady Emma…

I'm making a start on my first ever batch of Rose Petal Jam and have beheaded Lady Emma Hamilton - many of her in fact - for the purpose.... The petals have been carefully picked over to remove any unwanted joyriders but no more. They had not been sprayed with chemicals, obviously this is important…

Rich orange flowers and dark foliage – but not Lady Emma Hamilton?!

Dahlia David Howard I'm really taken with this dahlia, though this will probably be of little surprise, being as it is orange, but with these neat blooms sitting a top such dark foliage, it really is a winning combination. Small enough for the front of the border, or a container, but big on impact. Position:…

Dark chocolate and blackberry

Dark leaved Heucheras, very useful 'evergreen' perennials Now I love a Heuchera and every season, there are more and more to delight. These three are in the darker spectrum, Mahogany (rich, chocolately), Black Beauty (glossy, deep blackcurrant) and Binoche (unusually, a matt near-black). Typically growing to between 40-80cm, a leafy crown of ruffled leaves, topped…

Here she comes again…

Lady Emma Hamilton Lady Emma Hamilton, my favourite English rose from the David Austin stable. I'm inflicting yet more pictures on you here, my one-man crusade to bring this rose up to the levels of popularity enjoyed by Gertrude Jekyll. Fresh, rich plum foliage, gorgeous citrus scent and glowing blooms. Healthy as anything, repeat flowering.…