Six on Saturday From The RHS Chatsworth Flower Show

I’m joining in with The Propagator to share my six favourite plants from the ongoing UK flower show that runs until Sunday 10th June. It’s a good discipline to be just allowed six, but you should know there was a small battle for every one of these slots. I hope I’ll not be the only one this week to share pictures from Chatsworth, as I’d love to see other people’s highlights. Here goes:

  1. Digitalis ‘Foxlight Rose Ivory’

Pink foxglove flowers with speckled, cream throat

Looking this up online, the first search result is a data card for trade sellers, saying: ‘…bold novelty colors boost retail appeal and drive impulse sales’. I’m sure they will! I had thought this foxglove was part of the Illumination series, but was puzzled by the pointed lip, so was pleased to find I’d photographed the label. This doesn’t always happen, especially if I am over-excited to see the plant.

2. Polemonium ‘Northern Lights’

Polemonium cultivar with blue backed flowers, lighter inside

I’ve always had a soft spot for polemoniums. This cultivar has a radiance because the lighter centres of the flowers are displayed against lavender blue petal reverses. The yellowy-orange stamens help too.

3. Gaura ‘Rosy Jane’

White gaura flowers with a pronounced pink edge

I love gaura (butterfly bush), even though it does much better in my sweetheart’s Mississippi garden than it ever did in my own tiny Lancashire one. The petals of Gaura ‘Rosy Jane’ have white centres and broad pink edges, with attractive veining along the border where the two colours meet. I note that Wikipedia is listing a new name for gaura, but as the label had the ‘old’ name and as even the Wiki article seemed to be using half and half, I’m going to pretend I haven’t seen it.

4. Heirloom beans

Red speckled, purple speckled, green and cream bean pods

Does ‘lovely’ and a warm sigh cover it? I think so, especially as I didn’t make a note of the names.

5. Corydalis calcicola

Delicate blue tubular flowers with burgundy mouths

Corydalis always has a lovely flower form – the tubular flowers seem to swim in shoals along the stems, rather than simply grow. The ethereal colour combination is an added delight, with the luminous, pearlescent blue, the green snouts and the burgundy mouths. The label actually read Corydalis cf. calcicola – if anyone knows what cf. means, I’d love to know.

6. Ixia viridiflora

Blue and red bottle trees with plants

Every RHS show I’ve ever been to has at least one first, but this shot has two. As I mentioned in my earlier post about Chatsworth, I’ve not seen bottle trees at a UK flower show before, though I don’t mind betting this will not turn out to have been a one-off, given the amount of attention they were attracting. The plant that really lifts Hillview Hardy Plants’ already colourful display, making it remarkable for me, is the turquoise ixia. It’s unearthly.

I’ll leave you with a link to The Propagator’s weekly post with an exhortation to check out some of the other submissions, and one to the RHS Chatsworth website where you can find more information and pictures from the show.

Those who read my earlier post might want to join in with my ‘Hurray!’ at finding out that the People’s Choice Award has been won by ‘Hay Time In The Dales’, as I’d hoped. 

47 Replies to “Six on Saturday From The RHS Chatsworth Flower Show”

  1. Love the Ixia. it’s much the same unlikely colour as the jade vine (Strongylodon macrobotys) that puts on such a show at the glasshouse at RHS Wisley.

    1. The Naples Florida Botanical Garden, which is sub-tropical, grows it and I always marvel at the color of the jade vine. When I have posted it I feel I have to note that I hadn’t post-processed the color because it just doesn’t look like something you would see in nature.

    2. I googled the vine you mention – I haven’t seen that in flower, but would love to. It seems like it’s a touch brighter if anything – this was on the chalky side, as if inspired by one of those matt paint colour cards.

  2. The Ixia is gorgeous,m it stops you in your tracks when you see one. And so darn hard to photograph that colour properly!

  3. I’m trying to imagine the whole of it, thinking about that “small battle” for each of these six slots. What a show! Your descriptions are every bit the match for it; I’m in awe of your word choices. Every image here is beautiful, but I am particularly smitten by the beans. I had no idea! But then there’s that photo with the bottle trees…well, who can find a single favorite among such wonders? I’m so pleased about the People’s Choice! A clothesline will do it every time!

    1. There’s so much to choose from at the shows. I bought some speckled beans to make soup a while ago, and was sorry that the colour faded as the beans cooked.

  4. I’m just home last night from a group tour with 22 to East Anglia, which culminated with a day at the Chatsworth Show on Wednesday. (Sorry to miss seeing you!) I’m thrilled to hear the news about Hay Time in the Dales as it was far and away the best garden at the show. Hope to post some photos soon, but want to put a plug in for Calacanthus ‘Venus’, which I saw for the first time and thought was absolutely incredible.

    1. Sorry to miss you too! We weren’t there on Wednesday or I’m sure we’d have spotted you. I’m glad you had such wonderful weather for your tour. I didn’t spot the double calacanthus, but looked it up online and it does look interesting. They are all relatively new for me.

    1. I love the light one too – that was the one that vanished in my garden. I squeezed too many plants into a small space and all the most dainty ones got swamped out by the vigorous ones.

  5. I suspect that “cf” means it was supplied to us as C. calcicola but we don’t think that’s right. It’s very nice, I’d take it whatever the name. The Ixia is a showstopper for sure. Several people offer seed of it, wonder how long it takes to flower.

    1. I suspect you are right. I had wondered if it meant it was like C. calcicola (thinking about c/f meaning ‘compared to’) but couldn’t find any reference to it online. I didn’t ask questions about the ixia – we were too busy talking about their bottle trees.

  6. I love the bottle tree! I have one in my garden too. They are thought to keep evil spirits away. When the sun comes up the spirits fly back into the bottle.It is a superstition from the African community. My neighbor, however, leaves messages in mine!

  7. Nice. I especially liked the heirloom beans. Not sure if that’s because of the all of a sudden appearance of something different or just a basic reaction to the pleasing colors, textures, and shapes.

    1. I was offered some black peas to taste at the Chorley Flower Show and they were delicious – or rather I should say ‘it was’ as I was only offered one. I could very happily have eaten a bushful. They were not black eyed peas but like green peas except from black pods.

  8. You picked some beauties but your composition also highlights the subjects you chose. I really enjoyed your picks.

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