Recreating Rappaccini’s Garden: an Eden of Poisonous Flowers

Floral tapestry

Spotted foxglove

I’ve been looking for pictures of plants to bring to life the garden created by Rappaccini, the twisted plant breeder of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s fable, and ‘as true a man of science as ever distilled his own heart in an alembic’. Rappaccini, like Frankenstein, used science to create a monster: his beguiling, innocent, but deadly daughter Beatrice. He and his daughter tend a collection of poisonous plants with heady, intoxicating fragrances that can wither and kill.   Continue reading “Recreating Rappaccini’s Garden: an Eden of Poisonous Flowers”

Brent and Becky’s Bulbs: a private tour

Daffodil e

It may seem unseasonal to post pictures of daffodils in the autumn, but far from it: if you live in the northern hemisphere, this is a great time to plant bulbs for flowers next spring. Meanwhile, the gardens of my Australian blogging buddies seem to be full of life all of a sudden, so I imagine it’s daffodil season there.

Either way, I’d only need the flimsiest of excuses to belatedly share pictures from our visit to Brent and Becky Heath, including some taken in their private garden, trial grounds and growing fields. I’m not a daffodil expert so please don’t ask me for their names!

The Bulb Shoppe

Continue reading “Brent and Becky’s Bulbs: a private tour”

Goosebump roses: garden style beauties for floristry

Posy of apricot 'Juliet' cut garden roses

Imagine buying a bunch of roses. You’ve probably brought to mind a bouquet of classic hybrid tea roses – the ones with long, tapering buds and straight stems that are so widely available. I wonder if, like me, you’ve sometimes felt just a little disappointed when the buds fail to deliver their promise and fade away before they’ve really opened?

Behind the scenes, breeders have been developing a new type of cut rose, inspired by old garden roses. Often mistaken for peonies, these blowsy beauties are so far removed from what’s gone before that they’re almost like a new type of flower. Continue reading “Goosebump roses: garden style beauties for floristry”

Hellebore heaven: Sunshine Farm

Hellebore seedling with picotee edge and nectaries

It was in Philadelphia, at my first Garden Writer’s Symposium, during the lunch this bright, generous group of garden experts holds to welcome newcomers to their wonderful event, that I first met Barry Glick. I may be maligning him, but it’s my firm belief that he was just pretending to be a fresher so he wouldn’t miss out on any of the fun. I was prepared for a few surprises, but not quite this one. Continue reading “Hellebore heaven: Sunshine Farm”