Purple Flowers and Foliage

Rosa Veilchenblau: purple rambling rose
Rosa ‘Veilchenblau’ is a purple rambling rose

If you’re looking for a purple rambling rose, there aren’t many to choose from. Rosa ‘Veilchenblau’ has its passionate fans and detractors, as do many roses. It only flowers once and is not resistant to blackspot: this plant has a freckling of it on the leaves. The spent flowers don’t drop cleanly, so the plant becomes scruffier towards the end of flowering. But what a rare beauty it is at its zenith, throwing out arching canes of flowers that become more purple with age. Continue reading “Purple Flowers and Foliage”

Woolly Cobweb Houseleek: Sempervivum arachnoideum ‘Clärchen’

Sempervivum arachnoideum 'Clärchen' has pink flowers and cobweb rosettes

You don’t need me to tell you how the cobweb houseleek (hen-and-chicks, or in botanical terms, Sempervivum arachnoideum subsp. tomentosum) got its folk name. Those with a fear or spiders or a compulsion to dust might find this plant unsettling. If it looks on the creepy side, try to imagine the leaves are playing cat’s cradle.

Delicate webbing covers each chick from infancy, stretching out as the evergreen rosette swells to maturity. Continue reading “Woolly Cobweb Houseleek: Sempervivum arachnoideum ‘Clärchen’”

Highlights of the RHS Chatsworth Flower Show 2019

RHS floral logo with Chatsworth House in the background
RHS green floral letters

The grounds of Chatsworth House make a wonderful setting for the youngest of the major UK flower shows. I hope you’ll find something of interest in my personal picks from the show.

1. Seasonal Cut Flowers

Freddie’s Flowers had packed a breathtaking array of seasonal cut flowers in shades of lavender, cream and pink in the back of a truck to advertise their bouquet by post service. Continue reading “Highlights of the RHS Chatsworth Flower Show 2019”