Lasting Love – Tulips take centre stage

These are Lasting Love, dark rich-red tulips planted up into two huge terracotta planters. There were crocus first, with violas, and deep-blue Hyacinths which sparred with these emerging tulips and Muscari armenaicum spotting blue throughout the show now. Red tulips were the favourite for this lady's husband, and with such a beautiful name, the choice…

A banquet-kaleidoscope-smorgasbord-gallimaufry of early Spring colour and scent … (or Where’s Thug?)

Ah, well, you've got me - one huge gallery of images and barely a note to cover the 'who, what, why, where and when' of it all - The 'where'will be at Kew and Wisley and a few points in between, including those deliciously cool crocus on my own front step, delicately rain-dropped and rather…

February made me shiver….

I am dreaming of Spring, mostly. There is a great deal to admire in February so I worry that we might wish the month away without appreciating what is looking - or giving - its best right now, or the quiet simplicity of our gardens stripped bare of all of the spring and summer fireworks…

More hyacinths – one of my favourite scented flowers

I love the scent of hyacinths and have made a statement piece here using a long zinc wndowbox (without drainage holes) and packed it with Skyjacket hyacinth bulbs that I picked up at the Rochdale County Council nursery in Middleton, Manchester, at the beginning of December (a bargain 50p each, so I bought a whole…

Thug, the Petersham cat, reminding us that is is bulb planting time…

We might just have stepped into September, but bulb planting - or at least bulb choosing time - is upon us. Certainly the best choice in the shops is now, even if you are going to delay planting up in the garden and in containers for a few weeks yet. Tulips really should be left…

The best of the rest at Kew – a miscellany from my latest visit: the Rock Garden, Woodland and Water Lily House

Geraneum phaeum (above) - small, dark, richly colouted flower heads held in a haze above chevron'd foliage. Ideal for shady spots. Scilla peruviana (above) - last seen in the Alpine House at RHS Wisley - here it is in amongst the peonies at Kew The Japanese Pagoda Tree (below), well supported - Wild Garlic (above…

Allium rosenbachianum in the Davies Alpine House at Kew Gardens (something a little sparkly – little else was….)

Not strictly an alpine bulb - it is quite garden worthy - but one of the earliest Alliums to flower and a favourite of Vita Sackville West. Here it was sitting in the Davies Alpine House at Kew. Dare I say it, this was probably the most exciting thing there, large or small; I'm usually…

Rococo – just the most flamboyant, frilled, flame-coloured Tulip

Tulip Rococo An early, short-ish tulip, in volcanic shades of scarlet, crimson, cerise and orange. Frilled, puckered and alternately silky-sheeny-shiny and matt, with yellow, green and black, for good measure. The carnival outfit for the outspoken plant in Little Shop of Horrors. An excellent variety for a container - these are in a quite shallow…