Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Snapshots from a long weekend of gardens

Part of the Perennial Legacy Garden, designed by Paul Harvey-Brookes, at the RHS Tatton Park Flower Show (Thursday) - deservedly 'Best in Show'.
 My friend Gary Keim  from Philadelphia has been visiting, and by taking a day off, and fitting garden visits between meetings we were able to get to see a number of good gardens and the Tatton Park Flower Show. Each could have its own blog post, but I've chosen one shot from each as a representative of things to see in each garden at present. Not an easy choice!

Amazing mulleins in the tropical border at Harewood House, at peak flowering (Friday), presumably mostly derived from Verbascum olympicum.

A shimmering mass of perennials in Piet Oudolf's central section of Scampston Walled Garden (Saturday).

Sunglasses needed: Corn Marigold (Glebionis segetum) at Breezy Knees garden (Saturday).

Mist in my garden on Sunday morning (Agastache 'Serpentine' is conspicuous).

Clematis 'Mme Julia Correvon' at the Garden House, Condicote, Gloucestershire (Sunday)

Helianthus 'Little Becka' in the sunflower trial at RHS Garden Wisley, a superb multi-branching short cultivar, with very attractive flowers.

Sunday, 5 July 2015

From Ryedale to Holderness

Eryngium alpinum in evening light on Saturday. These are a few pictures from a pleasant weekend of gardening and botanising.

My garden is currently full of flower, colour and interest - I'm very happy with how it looks.

Wharram Quarry is my most local Yorkshire Wildlife Trust reserve: it has an excellent chalk flora, currently in full flower. Masses of Dactylorhiza fuchsii were conspicuous yesterday afternoon.

One of the special plants of Wharram Quarry is the nationally rare Thistle Broomrape, Orobanche reticulata subsp. pallidiflora, which parasitises Woolly Thistle, Cirsium eriophorum.


The reserve was gifted to the YWT to preserve the population of Bee Orchids, Ophrys apifera.

A plant fair today gave an opportunity to visit the gardens of Dalton Hall in the East Riding of Yorkshire. The productive kitchen garden  also has large blocks of  wildflower meadow, curiously with wigwams of sweet peas in each corner, though the mixture of formal and informal was rather pleasing.

The plant fair was merely a diversion on the way to the annual National Garden Scheme opening of the Pottage family's garden at Withernsea - a location that always makes me think it's 'to Hull and gone'.

Cultivated for centuries, but there are still few plants that match the scarlet of Lychnis chalcedonica.

A view across the top of a Hebe cupressoides in the Pottage garden. As always, an enjoyable and educational afternoon there. 

I returned home through a thunderstorm south of the Wolds, and found another had just cleared this side, leaving the garden well washed and watered. Chamaenerion angustifolium 'Stahl Rose'.

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Summer flowers from Ray Wood


Perhaps the finest of summer-flowering trees, Aesculus indica 'Sydney Pearce' is now in full bloom. It's resistant to both bleeding canker and leaf miner, so should be the horse-chestnut of choice for future plantings.

Silky-soft flowers of Stewartia ovata.

Roy Lancaster's collection of Philadelphus delavayi, L905, collected in Shaanxi, 1981.

Opulent but ephemeral - Magnolia officinalis.

Rosa moyesii 'Geranium'

Sunday, 21 June 2015

Morning Iris

May 29 - 'Langport Flash'
 On a sunny morning at the end of May I was at my desk and saw the sun shining through and lighting up the flowers of the bearded Iris just outside.  I stepped outside, took a picture with the iPad and posted it on Facebook simply captioned Morning Iris.  Next day another was catching the sun, so got the same treatment. from then on, for the past 24 days, there has been a different 'Morning Iris' (with two on 11 June), until today, when I've posted the last to come into flower in this garden. All have been taken with the iPad, in sun or rain, and here is the full series. I inherited many of the clumps of bearded iris from my predecessor, and the labels have disappeared from some others, so  I don't know the names of all, but they are indicated where I do.

Which do you like?

May 30

May 31 - 'Darkness'

June 1

June 2

June 3 - mourning Iris, after a horrible gale the night before.

June 4 - 'Quagga'

June 5 - 'Tutti Ne Parlan'

June 6 - 'Cognition'. One of the comments on Facebook said this looked as if the Queen of the Night was saying good morning.
June 7 - 'Petit Tigre'

June 8 - 'Gay Hussar'

June 9 - unknown very old cultivar, a gift from Barn House, Whittington, Glos.

June 10

June 11 - 'Godfrey Owen'

June 11 - 'Giardino Rex'

June 12

June 13 - my unnamed I. sibirica selection

June 14
June 15 - I. pseudacorus Albus Group - a very pale seedling from 'Albus'

June 16 - 'Dark Aura'

June 17 - lost label freebie from Cayeux, Moraea huttonii behind

June 18 - another old cultivar or possibly I. albicans

June 19 - 'Art Deco'

June 20 - unnamed I. sibirica selection.

June 21 - 'Scramble'





Sunday, 7 June 2015

Late-flowering Rhododendron diversity in Ray Wood

Rhodododendron 'Vanessa Pastel'  (Soulbut Group x R. griersonianum), Hybrids involving R. griersonianum are often rather attractive and appear usefully late in the season.

'Damozel' - not a very dainty one... (unnamed x R. griersonianum: possibly not correctly labelled)

'Fabia Roman Pottery'  (R. dichroanthum x R. griersonianum)
The Rhododendron season is slowing down but there are still many species and cultivars in flower in Ray Wood, ranging from big, showy hybrids to diminutive species, including members of genera such as Ledum and Menziesia now subsumed into the greater Rhododendron. Their inclusion may seem surprising but their floral and vegetative morphology fits well within the broad range of Rhododendron variation as well, and their relationship is backed up by genetic evidence.

Rhododendron multiflorum var. purpureum (formerly Menziesia ciliicalyx var. purpurea)

Rhododendron (formerly Ledum) groenlandicum, the aromatically-foliaged 'Labrador Tea'.

Believed to be a hybrid between R. atlanticum and R. luteum - a very delicate and charming deciduous azalea.

Anything but delicate; R. 'Yaye-hiryu', number 39 of Wilson's 50 Kurume azaleas.