ChelseaFringe launch

An installation at The Garden Museum, London, set the scene for the first meeting of participants in ChelseaFringe 2014. Garden Designer Liz Seymour and her Illustrator friend Lucy and myself were there to promote ChelseaFringe Brighton. Tim Richardson gave a rousing introduction and now it feels real and great to be part of this diverse and dynamic community inspired festival.

In praise of Irises and Gloves

Today I headed up to the first Rhs show of the year, in London.  I was bowled over by the lovely displays of Hellebores, carpets of Iris and bountiful summer bulbs to pick and choose from. I never thought I’d be taken in by the myriads of different snowdrops available but even I was tempted by one,  until I saw the price tag – £45 .

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By the front Door

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Gorgeous blue Muscari are being pushed up by the Tulip leaves growing from below to form a delightful dome shape, in this terracotta planter.

Although it is too late to plant up a container with bulbs like this for Spring, there are summer bulbs you can plant NOW which will flower this year.  I have just treated ourselves to some Lilies which I have completely fallen in love with in the last couple of years.  It is time to leaf through those plant catalogues or head up to a garden centre and treat yourselves too.

Lilium regale is the traditional English country garden variety. Tall, white, scented, trumpet flower with a purple hue to the bud. You won’t be disappointed by this stunning and statuesque plant which will just look better with more blooms every year.

As always there are many other varieties to choose. I have bought L. ‘Zambesi’, an Oriental x Trumpet scented lily and another tall  orange Species lily L. ‘Henryi’ – both flowering in July and I can’t wait.

Cardamine hirsuta

IMG_3091I love the latin name of this herb.  The common name is hairy bittercress and in my garden it is most definitely A WEED.

If you have this in your garden too I would suggest digging it up with a hand fork and throwing it away before it self seeds everywhere. Those small white flowers are blooming now so now is the time to act.

 

Rain Rain Rain

Just to cheer us up today

Just to cheer us up today

Spring in a basket, a stunning combination of scent and colour

IMG_1557Why not plant up a hanging basket with

1 x Daphne odora ‘Aureomarginata’ – a young shrub with wonderfully scented pink flowers, 2 x White Anemone blanda – also romantically known as ‘Windflowers’, 3 x Fritillaria meleagris – a spring flowering bulb known as the ‘snakes head’  fritillary due to the scale-like patterns on the petals.

After they have gone over this year, plant them in a group in the garden and enjoy them  year after year after year….

Those red tips emerging are probably peonies

Very excited to see the early tips of Peony mlokosewitschii

Very excited to see the early tips of Peonia mlokosewitschiiIMG_1606

Which by the end of April will look like this!

Now is also the best time to start staking perennials as you see the new growth emerging and recognise the plants that require extra support. Do this while the ground is still wet and it’s easy to push sticks into the ground. We use a combination of hazel sticks, willow and string.

I will be posting photos and details of plants that need staking as we move gently towards Spring

Dividing snowdrops

Me dividing snowdrops

I suggest you don’t walk past a large patch of snowdrops without quickly digging them up with a trowel and dividing them into smaller clumps and re-planting straight away.

Snowdrops bulk up very quickly so as long as you keep dividing them,  it won’t be long before an area can be carpeted with these dainty little darlings.

Wow, look at these beautiful Cyclamen coum

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Under the old cherry tree, they look like they’re spilling over the edge onto the grass

Today, I enjoyed most the…

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HelleboresHellebores.   The worm’s eye view.