Magnolia ‘Black Tulip’

An initially confusing name for a very beautiful small, deciduous tree, bearing large goblet shaped blooms of an arresting deep colour. Underplant with contrasting bulbs (deep blue muscari or pale narcissus perhaps) for a show-stopping display! One of the smaller growing magnolias, more suitable for a town garden, in full sun or light shade, with…

Camellia japonica ‘Sylva’

A strong and upright shrub, photographed here at Wisley last year (15th March), with glossy dark green leaves, profusely bearing large, single, crimson-red flowers, with prominent golden-yellow stamens. Early blooming. Camellias are elegant shrubs for a border or woodland garden; they also make excellent specimen plants, both outdoors in open ground and preferring ericaceous compost,…

Primula auricula

Primula auricula, Alpine House at RHS Wisley. Now this is a group of plants you could really get obsessed about - and many have - with such a range of colour and form. Primulas, the garden centre variety, are just coming into Syon now and while I could grow to love the auricula (we might…

Such care from RHS Chelsea exhibitors

Such care from RHS Chelsea exhibitors, individually wrapping these paeonia (peony) blooms. Jumping ahead to Spring again with this post - I can't resist. Our first range of baby herbaceous plants arrived at Syon today and bring with them a promise of exuberant growth and colour. In the spirit of the season however, I brought…

Spring bulbs for a chill, wintery day

All grey and overcast today so I though I should brighten up the day with a selection of Spring bulb images from my own back catalogue! The Roehampton garden project will be considerably brighter for all the bulb planting that went on last year (and I have about 20 large pots of bulbs yet to…