RHS Hampton Court’s Plant Marquee: Details

Viola perennis 'Elaine Quin'

Plant breeders are fascinated by details. Me too. At the recent RHS Hampton Court Flower Show, though time was tight, I spent a good hour checking out the displays and selling stands in the Plant Marquee. The ones that caught my eye did so because of the details. Did you notice that each flower of Viola ‘Elaine Quinn’ is a slightly different mix of violet and white with unique speckles and stripes?

Individually each is beautiful, together they give me pause: one minute I like the lighter ones best, the next the darkest ones. My eye alights on one flower then another like a human butterfly.  Continue reading

Viola Odorata: Sweet Violets

Violets

This picture of sweet violets was taken with my iPhone: it’s a blessing to be able to have it with me for moments like these. The heart shaped leaves are scrolled up, perhaps  to funnel rain water down to the roots and the scented flowers are tiny but radiant. This is a quintessential cottage garden flower for me and I love to see posies made with them. Continue reading

Wild violets

White violets

Perspective and a macro setting turns these small violets into giants, compared to the tiny chickweed flowers at their feet. I find it really hard to see violets as lawn weeds, even the more common purple ones. For me any patch of grass, natural or cultivated, is made more beautiful by wild violets.

I’m not usually quite so charitable about chickweed, though I can appreciate its delicate beauty in this setting. I know that’s unfair – after all:

A weed is any plant having to deal with an unhappy human.

J C Raulston