An excellent tulip

While we are waiting for the large tulips to start, many of the smaller species ones are out of bed and flowering already. One of these is Tulipa praestans, a native of Kazakhstan and Tajikistan, where it grows on rocky slopes and screes, and in light woodland. In the garden, it should be given a […]

Read more "An excellent tulip"

Getting it wrong

While some plants pine away and die in our gardens, others become a pestilential weed. They either have roots that run, sending up new growth anywhere there is space or among precious neighbours, or are prolific self-seeders. Or worse still, both. Plants that are intent on world domination, starting with your back yard. I have […]

Read more "Getting it wrong"

Unimproved

As I get older, I find I am increasingly drawn to simpler flowers. There are exceptions – I still adore the magnificent old double red peony, Paeonia officinalis ‘Rubra Plena’ and admire the passion flower clematis, Clematis florida ‘Sieboldii’. But the simplicity of Paeonia emodi and Clematis koreana are now more my style of plants. Highly bred hellebore flowers with picotee edging or […]

Read more "Unimproved"

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 […]

Read more "Little bowls of sunshine"

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 […]

Read more "Hungry to flower"

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 […]

Read more "It Caught My Eye"