Two beautiful magnolias (I want to say ‘Steel Magnolias’ but it just doesn’t work..)

Wandering through the winding paths of Battleston Hill (RHS Gardens Wisely, Surrey) this first week of June, I wasn't expecting pristine Magnolia blossom, despite the chilly countenance of Spring setting most flowering calendars out by a week or three. Taking a new path on the lower slopes (the gardeners have been extending the network of…

Piet Oudolf, pom-poms and fish fingers

A double border, 147 m long and 11m wide, designed by Piet Oudolf using large swathes of herbaceous perennials, grasses and shrubs - plants repeated along the length of this extravagant piece of theatre, running down to the lake and Glasshouse. Today, the pompom heads of Allium Purple Sensation provided the fun and drama, bouncing…

Orange/Totally Awesome

The name tag for this gorgeous and beautifully impressive specimen is lost somewhere in the neon skirts of this rhododendron/evergreen azalea (I forget, is it that 'all azaleas are rhododendrons, but not all rhododendrons are azaleas?). A meandering walk through the pathways of Battleston Hill at RHS Wisley and some real treats along the way.…

The Red Peony of Constantinople, no less…

Paeonia peregrina, on the Rockery slope at RHS Wisley today, basking in warm sunshine (truly). The Byzantine Peony or The Red Peony of Constantinople. Marvellous!An extremely important plant for breeding (the RHS Encyclopedia of Perennials tells me), its unusual combination of pigments being largely responsible for the development of coral-coloured flowers in hybrid peonies. Spreading…