Apr 162011
 

Regent's Park

Since I swapped an overpriced and overcrowded commute for a walk through Regent’s Park every morning, my life has improved no end. Not only do I finally ‘get’ dogs – all enjoying the best part of their day and getting up to all sorts behind their owners’ backs – but I can see the seasons gradually evolve. At this time of year everything is happening so fast that I keep spotting things I’ve never noticed before.

Like this border – how could I have missed it until now? It’s a mix of dark-leaved phormiums, pink wallflowers, dark red tulips and wine-coloured heucheras – a contemporary take on the traditional tulip/wallflower combo.

I’m not a huge fan of bedding, but there are lots of combinations in the park at the moment that are really original. I get the impression that the planting is becoming more sustainable – mixing shrubs such as phormiums and tiny, acid green euonymus into the schemes. I’d love to meet the person responsible for coming up with the ideas.

Feb 282011
 

Southwold

Plants that have been ravaged by the winter everywhere else appeared to be unscathed in Southwold this weekend – phormiums and astelias were still standing proud despite being reduced to a mush in other parts of the country. There wasn’t much to photograph though, until I spotted these calamagrostis outside the Adnam’s shop – a contemporary touch in a traditional seaside town. Close to Southwold is another Suffolk institution, the legendary nursery Woottens. The nursery is run by Michael Loftus, and the Loftus family have a long history with Adnams – so maybe Michael supplied the grasses here.