Sunday 22 February 2015

The February RHS Show

Yesterday I went to the first London RHS Show of the year and was impressed! It was busy, things felt different to last year and there were a lot of extras going on. There seemed to be two places where talks were going on, you could do potato print art works and even make a sculpture out of mashed potato!

There were of course lots of things to buy...I had my annual thoughts of 'oooh, perhaps this is the year that I start my Arisaema collection' however in a moment of sensible clarity I realised how a) I couldn't remember which species I had actually already bought and b) perhaps I should try and perfect the growing of the ones I have already before killing new ones. This clarity was not shared by my companion whose new tact was to simply buy all the most expensive things on offer...

I am however more drawn to start a polypody collection...these ferns are very reliable, cope well with drought (you commonly see them growing in walls) and also appeal to my botanical urges as there is often a lot of Latin going on 

The sharpest elbows at the event were all around the potatoes as there were lots of opportunities to buy your stock for the year.

Why am I always drawn to the snowdrops that cost £20 a bulb???

I do like a nice neat line of Hepaticas

mmm nice big fuzzy tropical leaves
Yeee Ha! it was potato skittles rather than a barn dance, but who knows what happens after closing?

Late February

Things are changing, it's lighter in the morning, spring flowers are pushing through ands all the many thousands of sycamore seeds which litter the garden are germinating. When the sun shines it makes you think that the worst of the winter is over. However, when it rains you never want to go outside

I think I have about 14 giant Echiums...mostly self seeded. So far the frosts have been kind, but it doesn't take much to rot their growing points

The Cyatheas are also alive, with only the new growth being blasted

The new temporary greenhouse seems to be working

This is it inside....the Begonia luxurians and Brugmansia are still all ok

The odd flower of Petasites

The garden becomes more and more open...frost saw off all the Cobea. Fingers crossed they will come back from the ground

This was an experiment last year....putting in all the tallest sticks I could find to help lift the climbers (here a Murhanbeckia and Kiwi) off the fence to better hide the neighbours and make more of a feature of it. Hopefully the climbers are now holding the sticks more in place

Sunday 1 February 2015

February... staying in and watching TV

Gosh, I have blinked and it is February and I haven’t blogged for ages...apologies! The weather is grim and although we have had an odd bit of snow nothing has settled. So a month for planning, pondering and watching TV which leads me on to...

Good gardening TV: well I use the word ‘good’ loosely. I really enjoyed seeing Bruno’s Cork jungle garden on Sky’s ‘Show me your garden’ he has used his space fabulously and has loads of well looked after plants. Overall the program is ok...the basic premise being that 3 people show each other their gardens and then they vote on which one is the best...I can imagine this concept being thought up by some cool young Hoxtonite with asymmetric hair and a giant beard as in theory it works (and is a well used tv concept) However gardeners are generally far too nice and so far there has been no sniping or bitching behind the rosebushes. Although who knows, perhaps they are saving it for the finale?

I liked ‘Britain’s best back gardens’ more, and good on Alan Titchmarsh basically doing a program where he gets paid to visit loads of great gardens across the UK and pick his favourites! There were lots of inspirational ones, including lots of great NGS gardens and ones which had been on TV before. Probably my favourite program of late.

I’m a bit ‘blah’ about the Great British Garden Revival as I feel I should like it, but feel the concept is weak as basically it is about doing a feature on all the main aspects of gardening....which isn’t really a revival. Although I want to like it I find myself skipping through the sections I don’t like and even not watching some (which says a lot). But I did like Jo Swifts bog garden bit (with some fab tree ferns) and James Wongs Lilly's (I may buy some Lily Regale and spray with garlic water to keep the Lilly beetle at bay)

Bali: Something which has been fabulous has been a 1969 David Attenborough program on Bali which is on the BBC Iplayer. Gamelan orchestras are making me want to book a flight. UK audiences can find it here

New Blog Discovery. I have just discovered Jungle Mike's Blog. I am in love...amazing atmospheric pictures of the jungle in Borneo with lots of the kind of plants I like. He is very talented! Be inspired...
Pondering seeds and bulbs: plant catalogues have been falling through the letterbox faster than snow giving lots of food for thought. I am very enamoured with summer bulbs at the mo as Acandanthia always performs well. My current dilemma is which colour of Tigridia to order?! White, red or yellow? I feel as usual this order may be more expensive than I was planning.....

Garden is all too frost bitten to post pictures of! so here is a nice bananas dangly bits and some tropicana from the Palm House at Kew to cheer us up.