Thursday, 21 February 2013

RHS London plant show and succumbing to temptation

Ok so I now seem to be the owner of a rather gorgeous looking Schefflera macrophylla...  yes this is the same species of plant that I paid far too much for a few years ago only to see it survive the winter and suddenly die in June. Yes I’ve said I wouldn’t get one again, and even commented this when Will Giles commented about his suddenly dying too. I should know better I thought as I handed over my bundle of cash for a new one...however the other voice says ‘wahey you have bought one of the most fabulous hardy exotic plants you can get’  I had also easily justified the cost as why buy lots of little things when you can buy one big thing? And hey I hadn’t treated myself for a while, well, at least a week...
Talking with others it seems like they shouldn’t be allowed to dry out and what they like is moist very free draining soil. Hardiness also seems to be debatable with some people suffering winter die backs and others not being so my plan is to keep it in a pot where I can ensure it is properly watered, and where it can be sheltered on my terrace. Fingers crossed that it survives, as to kill the most expensive plant I have ever bought twice would be very careless! However I hope that even if it doesn’t last for long it makes a fabulous summer bedding plant.
Spring has arrived in Westminster
Last year I bought far too many plants at the show as my eyes are far bigger than my plant carrying muscles and I had to get a cab home with a beautiful Rubus linefolia that the cab driver seemed convinced was a Cannabis plant! This year I was determined not to do the same so was pleased that the Schefflera was of a manageable size (well about 4-5ft high and wide, but light) so I grabbed it and the new Aspidestra I bought and felt confident about braving the overland train. This was all until I was told to avoid touching the leaves much as they could cause blisters and I should therefore avoid the underground! Clutching the plant gingerly I think I was at least 10 meters down the road before I felt myself starting to itch, this then got worse and new itches started on the train journey and once home I rushed to the sink to see how hideously disfigured my face would been from this plant which had been bitch slapping me all the way home. However, thankfully this was all totally psychological and I was completely fine, phew!

So all in all it was a good plant show, and great opportunity to meet up with Mark and Gaz who are far cleverer gardeners and bloggers than me, so I was hoping some of their brilliance would rub off (PS it’s all their fault that I bought the Schefflera, they are such a bad influence). The show was full of people including lots of older ladies whose elbows were razor sharp when it came to getting to the front and spotting a bargain...I have a lot to learn. There were also some great nurseries and good opportunities to buy plants...if you were a snowdrop lover you could also pick up pots of special plants at £25 a pot which makes my Schefflera look a bargain! Together with the sun it made for a really positive experience as it really feels like the new gardening season has started again and new things are bursting into life. HURRAH!

I loved this plant as it looked like it had been squashed/slimed!

There was always a big crowd around the Crug stand...

More pictures of the Crug many pretty things!


  1. Well done on buying the Schefflera, it's a gorgeous specimen! It was a great day, had a fab time and was nice to see you again and catch up! Hopefully we'll meet up again later this year and not leave it again till next year's show :)

  2. Wait a second!!! All that talk but no picture of the Schefflera? You're killing me!

  3. I totally agree about the elderly ladies with sharp elbows! I was seen off with a few swipes of a walking stick. The irises did it for me on the day. I'm glad I didn't notice the price tag on those snowdrops otherwise I might have laughed and received dirty looks from the galanthrophiles. All in all a great day and what we needed to lift our spirits at this time of year.

  4. Pictures to is such a pretty thing I was just standing gazing at it earlier!

    The iris's were fabulous but it was the galanthrophiles that drew the serious admirers....dont mess!

  5. I know its not quite the same, but we have a similar plant here that grows wild - Schefflera actinophylla. It can actually be a pest in the wrong spot because its roots will infiltrate water and sewerage pipes. It LOVES water esp in summer.

  6. Missy your garden is fabulous! thanks for the Schefflera tips, good to know what they like when they escape.....