Flower Gallery: Orchids at Longwood Gardens

If Kew Gardens was a little more on my doorstep, I’d have popped in to see their recent orchid exhibition. As it isn’t, I’ve been revisiting pictures taken at an orchid display I did manage to see, around this time of year in 2013 at Longwood Gardens, near Philadelphia. The plants were in tip top condition, displayed against a wall with a natural green patina effect that created an interesting backdrop to the blooms.

When I checked out the Longwood Gardens website, I discovered this year’s Orchid Extravaganza is on until 27th March. If you can get there quickly, you’ll also be able to catch their blue poppies (Meconopsis ‘Lingholm’) at the peak of flower.  Continue reading

Winter garden: Gresgarth Hall

I promised to share more pictures from my most recent visit to Gresgarth Hall – here they are. I’ve tried to give you a quick private tour of this lovely winter garden.

Pink hellebores

It’s not often I’ve had the chance to see so many mature hellebores flowering. I wanted to try to capture a different impression of these generous plants than a picture of just one single flower can convey.

Hellebore with many flowers Continue reading

Recipe for a Traditional English Cottage Garden

Described by the British Cottage Garden Society as an informal, abundant, diverse planting, this well-loved gardening style is always in fashion with ’real’ gardeners. If you’d like to create a cottage garden at home, follow this recipe. Add an extra dimension by including as many highly fragrant cultivars as you can from the plant lists below. Your challenge (should you choose to accept it) is to have no soil visible from year three onwards. Simple!

Essentials
  • Patch of earth (ideally cultivated and enriched for hundred years, though it’s never too late to start)
  • Some form of enclosure: hedge, stone walls, wooden fence
  • Path, winding
  • Garden gate

Continue reading