Great Balls of Fire – Sandling Park in May

There was such an extraordinary amount going on in May that I am now working through a draft post pile-up. In contrast to the scarcity of blogging fodder during the winter months, early summer offers incredibly bounty. I find myself spoilt for choice and with a backlog of fine subjects to share. Now that June is […]

Read More

Daily Flower Candy: Lilium speciosum ‘Rubrum’

This graceful lily, Lilium speciosum ‘Rubrum’ is one of the last lilies to flower each summer. It blooms profusely, its bold burgundy-red speckled petals curling back on themselves as the buds open. Like other lily species, the flowers’ fragrance is unmistakable and intoxicating. L. speciosum ‘Rubrum’ dislikes our chalky soil, so it’s essential to grow […]

Read More

Daily Flower Candy: Rhododendron macabeanum AGM

No, it’s not an exotic ginger or some new discovery from the steamy rainforests of Vietnam, it’s the detail of the bud scales of Rhododendron macabeanum . One of the easiest of the large-leaved rhododendrons to grow, it has a lot to offer if you have a sheltered spot with acidic, well drained soil. Huge […]

Read More

Flowering Now: Stachyurus praecox

The flowers of Stachyurus praecox are like rows of seed pearls dangling from a expensive earring. A deciduous shrub, Stachyurus hails from the mountains of the Eastern Himalaya and Japan, but is perfectly at home in the UK. I first came across this shapely shrub in the gardens of Caerhays Castle, Cornwall, standing out amongst […]

Read More

Hydrangea macrophylla “Merveille Sanguine”

Hydrangeas are something of a staple plant in Cornish gardens, where the moist but mild climate suits them perfectly. My grandmother grew them to perfection, watering them regularly with used washing-up water (complete with stray teaspoons), encouraging them to produce flowers of the clearest, brightest cornflower blue. Used inappropriately hydrangeas can be coarse, clashy and […]

Read More

Other People’s Gardens No.2 – Goodnestone Park, Kent (Part 2)

One thing all this rain and cool weather has been good for is prolonging the flowering period of spring and early summer plants.  Back in March my daffodils seemed to go on for weeks, when in other years a hot spell has sent them over in a matter of days.  So it was a nice surprise […]

Read More