The RHS Great London Plant Fair 2013

I ventured out into a chill London afternoon, after a roundabouts stroll across London, for the RHS Great London Plant Fair (their title, not mine). I'm glad I made the effort (Mike Parks Books my only purchasing opportunity though) but it was quite a quiet affair, fewer people than I have seen in these dramatic…

Pasque Flower – Pulsatilla vulgaris

Another charmer from the RHS London Plant Fair today, the Pasque Flower. In spring, upright or semi-pendant, bell-shaped (or narrowly bell-shaped) silky-hairy flowers in shades of deep to pale purple. This variety, Pulsatilla vulgaris Blaue Glokke. And isn't it beautiful! Grow in an alpine house, rock garden or scree. I'm in love.

Dicentra spectabilis

Bleeding Heart, Dutchman's Breeches or the Lyre Flower and now, more properly, Lamprocapnos. Beautiful spring perennials with pendant heart-shaped flowers, in pink, white, purple or red held on arching, fleshy stems. Brittle too. Growing over a metre tall. The white form, alba, is more robust, producing flowers until midsummer. A relatively new variety, Valentine, first introduced…

Has anyone seen Spring?

A continued fall in temperatures and vast swathes of the countryside under deep snow. Buxton, Derbyshire, where once I spent much time, seems to have it particularly bad. Sky News trundled up to Syon on Saturday and were looking for confirmation of the doom & gloom inevitably set to follow slow sales. It is, admittedly,…

Rain and freezing temperatures return…

Was it really just Tuesday when the sun shone over Wisley? Rain again today and a noticeable drop in temperature and gusty winds too. I had planned on getting back to Wisley for the RHS Grow your Own Weekend but with it feeling like -5ºC, well I might stay home and read the April edition…

Prunus ‘Kursar’

Excerpts from the RHS commentary on this early flowering cherry: This small tree packs a punch with beautiful deep-pink saucer flowers profusely borne on bare stems. It is a favourite of our gardeners because it gives a splash of intense colour before the other showy flowering trees such as magnolias... really get going. The ornamental…

Perennial refresher course…

I've spent much time these past two days (while the sun shone beautifully outside) on a perennial plant 'refresher' course. Past projects, books and t'internet to hand. The winter months parade by and suddenly - spring springs up on you, or very soon will. Time to bring to mind the joys of the herbaceous palette, as well…