Little bowls of sunshine

With galanthophiles staring intently at the ground at present, there is more than enough white around the garden. So a brilliant burst of yellow at soil level is more than welcome. Winter aconites, or Eranthis hyemalis to give them their botanic name, grow from small tubers, usually planted in the autumn. Some gardeners complain they are […]

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Hungry to flower

Keen gardeners get impatient at this time of year. Bulbs have been poking their noses through the soil since autumn, and we want them to grow a bit more and open their flowers to show that spring really is on the way. But they are not going to be rushed. Rain, hail or snow will […]

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It Caught My Eye

As well as the big Flower Shows such as Chelsea and Hampton Court, the RHS runs smaller events in London at their Lindley and Lawrence Halls, just off Vincent Square. The first of these is held in mid February each year. You come in from a bleak landscape to be confronted by a kaleidoscope of […]

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Glad all over

Gladiolus – those brash, showy, top-heavy spikes of flowers, often seen at flower shows but rarely in gardens these days. Well yes, there are those, but there also the specie gladioli, smaller, more subtle, and sometimes hardy enough to be left in the ground over winter. Growing from corms, gladioli are found in Asia, Mediterranean Europe, […]

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Some heritage daffodils

Those who live in the UK may remember two series of programmes on the BBC called “The Great British Garden Revival.” One of them featured Carol Klein extolling the virtues of heritage varieties of daffodils, some of which have naturalised in the hedgerows of Cornwall, a county that used to grow them for the early cut […]

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A frit by any other name

Have you noticed how many plant names have changed in the past few years? Schizostylis became hesperis, dicentra spectabilis is now lamprocapnos spectabilis (who makes up these names?!), and some of the asters are now symphiotrichum. Several years ago, Russian botanists decided fritillaria sewerzowii displayed enough differences from the rest of the family to be split […]

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Small but perfectly formed

There are some plants that as soon as you see a picture of them you say, “I must have that.” I have a list of these, my ‘wants’ list, that never seems to get any shorter. Does anyone else have the same problem? Of course these are nurserymen who prey on people like me, putting […]

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