Welcome to February with Parrotia persica Vanessa

Vanessa' is a selection of Persian ironwood that develops a more upright, columnar habit than the species. This durable tree is beautiful in every season, as its foliage, branch structure and bark are all exceptional. Its leaves are oval shaped with somewhat scalloped edges. They emerge green edged with burgundy, maturing to midgreen in summer.…

Minka House at Kew/Heavenly Bamboo

Read all about it! Nandinas tall and short - I think the variety on the left is Purple Passion. A favourite plant, this, and worthy of the name Heavenly Bamboo - though it is not a bamboo. Nandina are in the Berberidacea family, though they bear little resemblance to a Berberis, and they have no…

Birch – Himalayan and Szechuan

Betula utilis var. jacquemontii - one of the most desirable forms of Birch tree, with clean white bark. Brand new flesh, here.... with a gentle blush Betula szechuanica, above A young trunk which will mature to display chalk-white, textured, peeling bark. There is a grove of Birch trees, of many different varieties, at the top…

The Mediterranean Landscape at Kew

There is a lot you would quite rightly expect to see in the Mediterranean Landscape at Kew - olive trees, of which there are many (and my garden has them both old and gnarled) rock roses - Cistus of many varieties Hebes - ditto above Phlomis tuberosa (ragged) tall slender Cypress (I shall use a…

Chokushi-Mon, a Japanese Garden at Kew

The Japanese Garden at the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew. Beautiful here in mid-winter, with sculpted box, evergreen waves of Liriope muscari, flowering Iris unguicularis, clipped Pachysandra terminalis, Cotoneaster and Callicarpa in berry, a few choice Chaenomeles flowers, beautifully spreading Winter Cherry - Prunus subhirtella Autumnalis, sunshine and raked gravel.   http://www.kew.org/heritage/places/japaneselandscape.html

Edgeworthia chrysantha

Edgeworthia chrysantha - an annual pilgrimage A particular plant that I have sought out year after year on the lower slopes of Battleston Hill, the woodland gardens at RHS Wisley, though there are others (against the House, by the water lily canal and the red-flowered form further on into the woodland). Felt-grey padded chrysanthemums, each…

A little more death and decay, please…

If you are designing a garden for all four seasons, and you consider your options for Winter, there are plenty of plants that will add that necessary spark of life, colour and scent - but allow for some plants to die, gently decaying and giving up their bones. These hydrangea heads have been left uncut…

Cornus – bright stemmed dogwoods at Kew

Just photographs for this piece, although I am sure I have written about these invaluable providers of colour (and form) in the winter months on other occasions - most likely with reference to the varied stand of dogwoods, willow and rubus at Wisley - like here, planted to double the enjoyment, reflecting their myriad colours…

Golden brown texture like sun…

Golden brown texture like sun Lays me down with my might she runs Throughout the night No need to fight Never a frown with golden brown Every time just like the last On her ship tied to the mast To distant lands Takes both my hands Never a frown with golden brown Golden brown finer…