My Top Twelve Picks from the RHS Tatton Park Flower Show

  1. Award-winning fruit (and veggies)
Basket of cherries, gooseberries and currants

Andrew Baggaley’s first prize winning basket of cherries, gooseberries and currants

2. Bees for Manchester

3. The Young Designer Competition

To celebrate the tenth anniversary of the competition, five finalists have been invited to create gardens rather than the usual three. This is always one of my favourite parts of RHS Tatton Park Flower Show.

Calm in Chaos Garden was designed by Max Harriman to be like a woodland trail

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A Sense of Place: Wooden Beehives In Heather

Little Sparta

The heather is flowering at the moment, turning green hillsides purple. While we have lots of heather on Darwen Moor, I haven’t seen it looking as pretty as in these two pictures, both taken in Scotland during a recent trip. The first shows the view looking outwards from Little Sparta, home of the late poet Ian Hamilton Finlay and his wife, Sue. I highly recommend a visit.

Taking a long, but scenic detour on our way home, we happened upon these wooden beehives next to a stream in a Scottish valley. If it is true that the highest quality of honey comes from bees able to forage in unspoiled, natural surroundings, I would love to sample a jar from these hives.

Wooden beehives in Scottish heather with a stream running by

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A bee on a flower pillow

Bee exploring alliums

I wanted to share this picture of a bee exploring a mass of flowers at the recent RHS Tatton Flower Show. My iPhone shot isn’t perfect but I like the muted colours, the softness and the textures.

The bee may appear to be resting in this shot (we did see a large, intoxicated-seeming bee sleeping in a striped rose) but it was far from the ideal model, intently waggling all over the alliums, making the usual incoherent bee satisfaction and interest noises.  Continue reading

My morning honey, crinums, hives and carpenter bees

Bee hives in a wildflower meadow

I stir a little honey in my coffee each morning and firmly believe it’s much better for me than sugar (please don’t break the illusion!). It’s sweeter and tastier, so I use less.

I’ve recently sipped my way through a special jar of crinum honey, made by bees lucky enough to  forage in idyllic surroundings on the crop of crinum lilies that flourish almost at their hive legs at Jenks Farmer’s flower farm. Thanks Tom and Jenks! Continue reading