RHS Hampton Court Flower Show’s Twilight Zone

Cross-sections of a boulder fitted together to make a path

A 8ft meteor has fallen to earth, coming to rest in a garden. The impact has blackened the fencing, scorched vegetation and reduced trees and shrubs to charred branches.

The path is miraculously unscathed: not quite so old as the meteor, it has been made from a Caledonian boulder formed millions of years ago. Smaller boulders lie around, giving the floor added dimension and creating a lovely backdrop for the silhouettes of low growing plants and twisted embers of wood.

Charred, twisted branches amongst foliage and flowers

The dark planting scheme glows red hot in places: the chocolate-red cosmos and orange-red helenium firing up the green and pewter foliage, the burnt wood and the futuristic lilacs. This is the Elements Mystique Garden from RHS Hampton Court Flower Show 2018, but the setting would not be out of place in an episode of The Twilight Zone.  Continue reading

Pelargonium L’élégante | Ivy leaf geranium

Ivy leaved pelargonium

This blushing geranium, technically, a pelargonium, has the good fortune to live in a traditional terracotta pot on a narrow ledge in a greenhouse at Stourhead, with several unusual varieties. I suppose that lends it some aristocratic credentials, although the aptly named P. L’élégante would be graceful even if a cutting somehow found itself transferred to the sunny windowsill of a greasy spoon caff. (Please don’t look like that – I’m not one of those who smuggle the odd plant cutting, though I cannot vouch the same for all people of my acquaintance).

When the pelargonium and I were formally introduced (this was at Stourhead, remember), its pretty white flowers seemed almost inconsequential compared to the foliage: tumbling, ivy shaped leaves with creamy margins, suffused pink.

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