It’s Chelsea Flower Show Time Again!

The Arthritis Research UK Garden

Though I’ll not be able to visit the Royal Horticultural Society’s Chelsea Flower Show, my thoughts always swing back to it at this time of year. This is a glimpse into one of my favourite gardens from a few years ago: The Arthritis Research UK Garden, designed by Chris Beardshaw and Keith Chapman Landscapes.

I love mixed, herbaceous borders – especially twin ones like these that echo each other, pulling the eye in all directions until all but the most disciplined visitors start to flit from one plant to another like large bees, unsure which nectar they should sample next.  Continue reading

Jubilant

Disa cultivars

Spare a thought for Britain’s specialist plant nurseries and garden designers who will spend this weekend agonizing over their displays for the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. Driven by a love of plants, they also know that a Gold Medal or Best In Show will enhance their professional reputation. So a lot is at stake: the boundary between success and failure can be difficult to tread when you’re working with a finite supply of live plant material and trying to second guess the judges. Continue reading

Weekly photo challenge: ephemeral

Floral tie and buttonhole

This week’s photo challenge is ephemeral: a wonderful word for short-lived, fleeting. Things we might easily overlook, although our lives are made richer by noticing them.

Buttonholes are ephemeral – small posies of flowers and foliage, their stems out of water. We know they’ll stay fresh for only a day or so, but we wear them as a small token of celebration to mark special occasions.

Buttonholes of tiny, blue forget-me-nots, pink columbines and cow parsley were presented by some fellow exhibitors in the Great Pavilion to visitors one year at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. I never learned which company had the idea, but I saw several pinned to celebrities during Press Day and was attracted by the delicacy of the design. Continue reading

Tips for photographing roses 3: work with nature, not against it

Tips-for-photogrphing-rosesEver seen a field of yellow sunflowers in an open field in Tuscany, all obediently facing the same way? It’s a beautiful sight, though it always looks a little eerie to me – such clear proof of the irresistible pull of the sun.

If they were humans, we can be sure there’d be a few rebels amongst them. But plants tend to grow to face the sun to a greater or lesser extent. Continue reading