Always a Springtime treat, the Alpine House and especially my local, at the RHS gardens at Wisley. Add in some glorious sunshine and these technicolor beauties really sing. I shared my time inside the Glasshouse with a raucous group of children tasked with drawing some of the specimens on show. All seem delighted with the bright colours and array of diverse plants hailing from far-flung corners of the world. Still, was glad after a quarter of an hour to get the space all to myself.
This is a traditional display of Alpine plants, with potted specimens in their terracotta pots sunk into a raised sand-filled beds – it keeps their roots cool – and does at least mean they are at a convenient height for old crocs like me. The clamshell design of the Alpine House (the Davies Alpine House) at Kew is amazing and the plants displayed therein superb, but it does mean I have to lay by 6’2″ frame flat out on the floor to take photographs of many of their specimens and I am sure I represent a significant trip hazard when I do.
Alpines are an eye-catching and amazing collection of plants, hardy in the most extreme of environments often and provide such a rainbow of colour, especially in the early Spring months, that they deserve all the dedication and praise they can get. If there is an Alpine Show near you, please go – links below to the various societies and collections. Well, I wanted to add more but my internet connection this evening is rather prehistoric, so for the moment, these two links are all you are going to get. Time to switch it all off and then back on again I think ….