Dec 212015
 
Greys-Court-plant-theatre

Greys Court, Oxfordshire

On a day out at Greys Court last year, my Mum admired a plant theatre, filled with pansies and violas. In the gift shop, she picked up a leaflet that contained instructions for making one, and then thought no more about it.

On Christmas Day last year, after all the presents had been opened, my Dad disappeared into the garage and came back in, carrying a large present for my Mum. It was a plant theatre, similar to the one above. Every time Mum had gone out, Dad had worked on it in secret. Dad’s not big on grand (or small) gestures, so we were all quite gobsmacked.

The theatre now has pride of place on the wall of the house, and is currently filled with pansies and violas, just like this one.

Season’s greetings!

Mar 152015
 

 

Display of crocus and gourds at Great Dixter

Great Dixter

I thought I’d done quite well with my bulbs in pots this year, but after a visit to Great Dixter I’ve realised I should have planted loads more, in lots more pots, to really make an impact. A lesson learned for next year.

Dixter-crocuses2

Ditto the crocuses that I planted under my apple tree. It took hours, and all I have is a tiny patch of purple. I think a badger may be to blame – there are quite a lot of bare patches where something has dug the ground up. Apparently they like tulips, too, so maybe the the Tulipa clusiana ‘Peppermint Stick’ that I planted to coincide with the apple blossom won’t come up either – eek!

Dixter-crocuses

Jul 222014
 
Scented-leaf pelargonium

Belcombe Court, Wilts

Pelargoniums have one thing in common with succulents in that they don’t need much watering. I’m spending an inordinate amount of time watering at the moment, with a hose that behaves like a demented serpent, so anything that isn’t needy on the watering front is very welcome.

I’ve got several types – ‘Attar of Roses’, ‘Fragrans Variegatum’ and ‘Candy Flowers Dark Red’. Some are in my conservatory, and some are outside. The plants in the conservatory are much more impressive – they’re smothered with flowers. The ones outside are smaller, with fewer flowers, and a little rain-bashed.

Jun 022014
 
Succulents in a trough

Bradford on Avon

I’ve recently fallen hook, line and sinker for succulents. This is mostly because they are some of the most undemanding plants you can grow. They’ve pulled through a winter in my conservatory (unheated, so with some big extremes of temperature) and the benign neglect that I have bestowed upon them. In fact they’re even flowering now – proof that if you treat them mean, they become even more keen.

These aren’t my succulents (pic to come) but a container I walked past the other day. I liked it so much that I’m planning something similar. My neighbour and I have gone halves on three big plants that we can get tons of baby plants from – succulents are dead easy to propagate. I will bring you the results of our labours soon.