How to Grow Ornamental Gingers in UK Gardens

  Ornamental gingers – we’ve admired them whilst on holiday in tropical countries, or seen them curated in the glasshouses of botanical gardens, but how many of us have considered growing them in our own gardens? Surely gingers need more heat and sunlight than the British climate can offer? Aren’t they going to be hopelessly […]

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Daily Flower Candy: Hedychium densiflorum ‘Sorung’

    Ginger lilies are disgustingly straightforward to grow, which is satisfying when one considers their fabulously exotic appearance. Hardy gingers from the genus Hedychium produce lush foliage on robust stems, topped by clusters of fragrant flowers during the summer and autumn months. Ginger lilies are not thwarted by our typically cool, damp summers; these […]

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Little Miracle

  With the exception of bringing a child into the world, there is nothing in life so rewarding as growing a plant from seed. The emergence of a single vulnerable seedling from a tough, dry husk is nothing short of miraculous, a tiny incident of creation, evolution and the continuation of life on Earth. The […]

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Daily Flower Candy: Kniphofia rooperi

Before the Second World War kniphofias, better known as red hot pokers, were one of Britain’s most popular garden plants. They sustained gardeners’ Victorian fascination with the exotic, whilst enduring our less than alluring weather. The Dig for Victory campaign saw flower gardens ploughed up from Land’s End to John o’ Groats, making way for […]

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Daily Flower Candy: Zantedeschia ‘Picasso’

I have always rather shunned the colourful, smaller cousins of the Ethiopian lily, Zantedeschia aethiopica, mainly because of their artificial looks and regular, cellophane-wrapped appearances in florists’ shops. But, as with most plants, I eventually succumbed and decided to give them a try this year. The beauty of bulbs and rhizomes is that they can […]

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Daily Flower Candy – Anemone apennina

The last time I had a full week away from work was last August, so I am, in a word, exhausted. Our forthcoming break in Cornwall is so keenly anticipated that I am afraid it may have rather too much to live up to. At least the inevitable dose of tonsillitis, which normally afflicts me the moment I start to […]

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Daily Flower Candy: Schizostylis coccinea

Relishing our mild wet winter (so far – I have probably spoken too soon!) is the South African flower Schizostylis coccinea or Hesperantha coccinea. Both names sound more like a form of food poisoning than a pretty perennial, so let’s call it by its common name, the Kaffir Lily. I spotted this spike of pink flowers […]

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Daily Flower Candy: Hedychium densiflorum ‘Stephen’

Clearing our borders of tender perennials last weekend, I was surprised to see the earth scattered with what appeared to be large pomegranate seeds.  At first I thought they were escaping lily beetles, but looking up I could see they had fallen from the 8ft tall flower stems of Hedychium densiflorum ‘Stephen’.  It seemed such […]

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Flowers of Bhutan – Curcuma aromatica

This curious little fella is Curcuma aromatica, or wild turmeric. We discovered it today, growing amongst the pine needles at the side of the Mo Chhu, or Mother River, a couple of miles up from Punakha’s mighty Dzong. It’s a member of the ginger family and has rhizomes with a strange fragrance and attractive deep […]

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