Acers in my garden

Acer palmatum dissectum Acer palmatum Atropurpureum Acer griseum These three acers are all in pots, at the bottom of the garden and effectively screened from the house by a miniature forest of boisterous bamboos and all manner of more traditional ever-greenery. They form a backdrop to the thatched Breeze House (placed under the canopy of…

Chaos theory, logarithms and cauliflowers

Brassica oleracea 'Romansco' A trip to the supermarket and back with a little piece of fractal mathematics - spirals within spirals within logarithmic spirals - in fact, this is probably the first time since school that I've made any mention of logarithms... The chartreuse green of this little, rather pricey, vegetable hasn't truly come through…

Pure white Nerines

The pure white of the Guernsey lily, Nerine bowdenii 'Alba' The Cape flower or Guernsey lily is a beautiful perennial bulb, producing upright stems of white, lily-like flowers, occasionally flushed pale pink, with wavy-edged, recurved petals, appearing in the autumn. The rich green, strap-like leaves appear after the flowers. Cultivate in any good, moist but…

Cotinus Golden Spirit

Cotinus coggygria Golden Spirit  - an addition to the smoke bush family, adding to established favourites Cotinus coggygria Royal Purple (the darker leaves, framing the golden leaves of Golden Spirit), Flame and Grace. I have Flame in my own garden, a tall, oval leaved tower of blue-greenery which obscures the house beyond beautifully and is…

A touch of orange – Dahlia David Howard

Dahlia David Howard, among grasses and late flowering salvias, catching the November sun.. The dahlias are almost over - the inevitable frosts are heading our way, to blacken the foliage and signal the time to lift and protect the tubers until next spring. This particular variety, compact and with already dark leaves and small, beautifully…

Strawberry Tree

Arbutus unedo - the Strawberry Tree A slow growing, evergreen tree that deserves to be more popular here in the UK - it is already widely planted in the Continent, even used in street planting and is attractive on so many fronts. Evergreen, of course, is always useful - a flowering tree ticks more boxes,…

Cyclamen, three ways…

Cyclamen africanum One of my favourite place in Kew, the dramatic clam-shell of the Davies Alpine House - though if I am honest, I prefer the more traditional layout at RHS Wisley, with a matched pair of raised benches and specimen pots sunk into sand. The plants are all at just the right viewing height…

Acer Sango-kaku

The rather beautiful Acer palmatum, Sango-kaku, in golden garb, photographed in the Woodland Garden at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, yesterday In fact, this garden was full of delights - more maples, a marvellous Black Walnut, the totems of Cardocrimum giganteum mentioned earlier, Aconitums (flopped but still dangerously blue), Epimediums looking lush and vigorous...