Square In September: Last Hurrah

Rose with rounded shape and droplets of rain

Rosa ‘Olivia Austin’

This is my last week to share square pictures of pink roses and, to celebrate, this week’s roses come with extras for those who were part of the challenge, or kindly indulged my weakness, even though they are not quite as keen on roses. First, a pink rose named for a lovely lady. It ticks the strongly fragrant box and though I don’t know this variety quite as well as some of the others, with further acquaintance, I suspect it would be one of my favourites. Though I can’t claim this is a bud, it is only partly open and will eventually become a rosette.

Flowers in shades of pink with starry shapes

Pink astrantia

This celebration of a flower is for Becky, for hosting the challenge so gracefully, and for all those who took part, many of them sharing a square cropped picture with varying amounts of pink in it for the whole month. Well done! I’ve loved seeing them all appear in The Reader.

Paphiopedilum in shades of white, pink, crimson and cream

Paphiopedilum collection (Venus slipper orchids)

For orchid lovers, here’s a collection of them, In The Pink, and artfully arranged with moss, slate and logs.  Continue reading

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

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

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