Thoughts turn to summer…

This semi-circular border was planted (on bare soil) in April and May 2012 and photographed at the end of July. Plenty of rain helped it quickly establish - the addition of annual cosmos and verbena bonariensis, creating a fuller, more mature feel this early on. Roses are set to take centre stage in the coming…

Early Flowering Cherry, Prunus hirtipes

The presence of this very early blooming cherry in the western world is attributed to plant explorer E.H. Wilson, who made numerous sojourns to the hills of western China in the early 1900s. Following on the heels of the snowdrops, this elegant cherry (formerly known as Prunus conradinae) produces slightly fragrant single flowers, white with…

A display of crocus, RHS Wisley

Almost time for the annual display of crocus - this photograph taken on 2nd March last year (at RHS Wisley). The displays at Kew should be even more extensive, with several hundred thousand new bulbs being added in the last few years. 2010 and 2011 were both pretty dry years and the annual show was…

Petersham Nurseries

Always a treat to visit this theatrical little garden centre, overlooking the water meadows (by the river, between Richmond and Ham Common). Extraordinary furniture and objets at jaw-droppingly obscene prices (part of the fun of the place), great cafe and good plant choices. I bought some big Hydrangea Annabelle there last summer, with huge football…

Rodney Davey, Hellebore Magician..

Rodney Davey, Hellebore Magician.. A link to an Independent newspaper article featuring Rodney Davey, hellebore breeder  - and the development of Anna's Red, a remarkable new form, now commercially available. I have two plants now, and a third of Penny's Pink, coming from the same esteemed magician.

Rose, Souvenir du Dr Jamain

A beautiful rose for Valentine's Day - Souvenir du Dr Jamain. Rich fragrance, velvet texture. Bred by Lacharme, France 1865, a seedling from 'Charles Lefebvre'. A superb rose if kept away from scorching sun, which it hates. Flowers are a rich ruby-red and, although semi-double, open to a cupped shape, sometimes showing off the anthers…

Cold day, winter sun

Very pleased to see some pale sunshine and blue-ish skies today despite temperatures not getting much above zero. Glad of my work boots with extra thick felt insoles, new winter socks, thermal leggings, fleece-lined trousers, long-sleeved thermal top, vest, 100% cashmere polo neck sweater (a chance find rummaging through the wardrobe this morning but a…