After winter, intimations of Spring… Kew Gardens

and finally, the shop - orchid mania due to the extravaganza going on in the Princess of Wales Conservatory

Still bewitched by Witch Hazels…

The woods of the Wild Garden, betwixt the Rock Garden, Alpine Meadow and Seven Acres (at RHS Wisley) were bright and fragrant with witch hazels, with names I had read about but not seen either on Battleston Hill nor at Kew. These delicate thread-like flowers are completely hardy and will thrive, unharmed by snow and…

Anna’s Red and Penny’s Pink

Hellebore Anna's Red - my favourite, a statuesque crown of flowers on long richly coloured stems and more outward facing blooms (not so shy as many other nodding varieties!) Hellebore Penny's Pink Two recent introductions from the plant breeder Rodney Davey. I've said much about these plants and their rich colours. Anna is Anna Pavord,…

Anna’s Red, Candy Love & Angel Glow…. more Hellebores!

The deeply luminous Hellebore Anna's Red - big plants with big flowers and all in a rich ruby red. The cultivar is only a few years old but specimens bulk up nicely, with outward facing and nodding flowers held on tall stems. A real star and a favourite of mine, ever since I saw it…

Escape winter….. Orchids at Kew 2014

Did you know that 8% of all flowering plants are orchids? Well there are quite a lot of them here in the Princess of Wales Conservatory for the Orchid Festival at Kew Gardens... Warm, humid spaces, with a tropical soundtrack too, filled with all manner of floral delights, thousands of orchids and other exotica. The…

Flower!

Further findings from my most recent walk through Kew Gardens (we've seen Bark!) and I hadn't expected to see much by way of trees in flower, this early in the season. Three specimens caught my eye. The Cornelian Cherry, Cornus mas, was putting on a delicate show, by the lake. bright but widely spaced clusters…

Bark!

A walk through Kew, enjoying a bright chill day that the BBC weatherman assured me would hold nothing but rain upon more rain. Plus there was a parking space by the Victoria Gate entrance, so there was no excuse to call in. My rules! I've recently explored  (deep breath..) the woodland area by the Temple…

Hellebore Mrs Betty Ranicar – definitely not a Tasmanian devil…

Sometimes nature does all the work - this beautiful, double white hellebore was a chance find in a Tasmanian garden, albeit the garden of the noted plantswoman who has given her name to this snowy Lenten Rose. Like all hellebores, give it deep, rich soil, in semi-shade and reliable year-round moisture and enjoy... a Tasmanian…

I can resist everything but (Skimmia) Temptation

Hermaphrodite Skimmias offer, if it needs to be said, the best of both worlds - self-fertile plants with flower and fruit. Here are two - Skimmia japonica Temptation and a form of Skimmia japonica subsp. reveesiana - Chilan Choice. Admittedly the flowers are not the Main Event that they are with, say, Skimmia rubella or…