Cottage Garden Plants: Pink love-in-a-mist

Various shades of pink love-in-a-mist flowers

Pink seed strains of Nigella damascena seem to be increasingly fashionable at recent British flower shows. It’s a quirky flower, by any standards. Layered petals wheel around a crazy eye above lacy bracts.

The complex, decorative flower form has inspired many folk names. I use love-in-a-mist, but you may know it as love-in-a-tangle, love-in-a-puzzle, kiss-me-twice-before-I-rise, Jack in the green or lady in the bower. Continue reading

A Red And White Dahlia With An Exclamation Mark

Dahlia flower, close up

Gresgarth Hall has a walled kitchen garden where fruit trees and vegetables grow alongside flowers for cutting, depending on the season. I was about to describe the dahlia I photographed there as bicoloured, but could not ignore the flush of peach that gives it a sophisticated look. A tricolour, then. I know someone out there is going to want to grow this when they see it, but unless an identification appears in the comments below, I have no idea what it is. The orange blurs in the background are nasturtiums and the feathery foliage, nigella.  Continue reading

Impressions: Cutting Garden At Arley Hall And Gardens

Cleome with annuals

If I was using a macro lens rather than an iPhone, I’d be able to isolate the spidery flowers of cleome against a nicely diffused, neutral background. As it is, I’ve learned to appreciate the impressionistic quality the iPhone can give. It’s nice that our eyes can drift along the flower border and make out some of the annuals: pink and red cosmos and blue cornflowers (Centaura cyanus). And I’m often impressed how well the iPhone captures colours, especially the blues, which my old camera struggled with.  Continue reading