Nestled deep in the Ashdown Forest, East Sussex, was the location for one of our Christmas photo shoots. It may sound strange, but I live and breath Christmas all year round; it’s my job. Somehow I’ve become immune to the absurdity of untangling fairy lights in warm spring sunshine and to trimming trees in sweltering heat. Fortunately it doesn’t tarnish the genuine article when it comes around; I can separate the reality from the insanity.
The property where we did our shoot, complete with snow machine, was situated in an idyllic forest glade. The gardens were cursorily contemporary and I wasn’t sure I liked them especially much. As usual my gaze was caught by the plants the landscapers had chosen; lots of predictable box, birch and miscanthus. Rather incongruous in this naturalistic setting was a slightly unkempt bush covered in small, scorching pink daisies. After a bit of research I discovered this to be Olearia phloggopappa ‘Combers Pink’, all the way from Tasmania. Quite what, apart from its amazing flower power, lead to the choice of this sun loving antipodean beauty I will never know, but it lent character to an otherwise photo-fit, low-maintenance scheme.
Olearia phloggopappa ‘Combers Pink’ is available in a 3L pot from Burncoose Nurseries at £13.50. Order online or risk having to pronounce it over the phone – hard to do without unnecessary phlegm being involved. Go on, I dare you!