Piet Oudolf & Tom Stuart-Smith at Wisley

We've been here before, the double borders created by Piet Oudolf at Wisley, combining perennials with grasses, wave after wave - and the equally dramatic planting around the lake, concentric arcs of repeated blocks, catching the low autumn sun. The Piet Oudolf Borders pre-date the Glasshouse and are relatively mature now, evolving along their considerable…

Live and let die…

Piet Oudolf Borders at RHS Wisley Much that one can say about prairie style planting and especially the combination of grasses with late season perennials, is that the show doesn't stop when the blooms die and the rot sets in - add low, slanting sun, a stiff breeze for animation and later, frost and snow…

Like a Maple, but not a Maple….

Liquidambar styraciflua My feet take me, every autumn, to a small stand of liquidambars in the arboretum at RHS Wisley, trees which vie with the Japanese Maple for the bonfire colours they take on as the weather cools and the sun heads south. The yellow leaves are a fastigiate (slender, columnar, narrow) cultivar called Kirsten…

Tetradium glabrifolium var glaucum. So there!

A tree...this really is a beautiful specimen - at RHS Wisley, in the area behind the Bowes Lyon Rose Garden, that, earlier in the season, would be carpeted with spring flowering crocus. Gorgeous elongated leaves, with a twist, and in a Joseph's Coat of autumn colour.  With colchicums at the base, the Autumn crocus. Symmetry.…

Blue Lagoons

Pansy Beacon Blue Such intense colours, on a plant that could go on flowering right through until next spring - unfazed by much that a typical winter can throw at it. Deadhead regularly keep in a sunny spot (but remember they don't like too much heat) trim back if the plant gets too leggy watch…

Antiques Roadshow…

Viola F1 'Antique Shades' The following is from the Seedaholics website I have recommended before and is more complete than I could possibly be. Plants are on sale now in garden centres and nurseries, though seeds might be the way to go next year.... Some unbelievably coloured violas have come on the market in recent…

Life after the petunias….

Viola Beacon Blue - just one from a myriad choice of violas and larger flowered pansies Large-flowered Cyclamen, bringing colour to autumn and winter containers September next week it is, and the nights are drawing in. Containers full of summer colour - lobelias, petunias, marigolds, begonias and all that - might be looking a little…

RHS London Plant & Design Show 2013

A delightful afternoon at the RHS London Plant & Design Show, with hellebores, snowdrops, iris and all manner of plants for the spring garden shown off in typically fine form by the exhibitors. Mike Parks was there for books (very glad I took a rucksack), Implementations with their copper gardening tools (I am saying nothing..),…

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,…