Shapes and textures matter to Beth Chatto

The gravel garden at Beth Chatto is inspired by a wadi or dry river bed.  I know this because Dan Pearson told us last week at Essex University where he delivered a lecture for the Beth Chatto Education Trust.  The reference is clearly drawn with  banks and eddies of planting, separated by a wide gravel…

Pennisetum Red Buttons runs away with me

I have been having a love-in with Fountain grasses for quite a while.   Pictured here is the one that I have run away with in my not so big garden.  It is Pennisetum massaicum ‘Red Buttons’. First eye-balled it at the Chelsea launch in 2010 on Neil Lucas’s Knoll stand.  Stalked after that,  including…

Plantaholic Post: A Sweet pea for Show and Tell

I have been badgering Tony for the name of this sweet pea all summer and now, October in, he tells me.  It is called April in Paris.  It is exquisite white with feint purple tracings.  It has flowered and flowered and not done the usual pea thing of shrinking in flower size and stem length…

Plantaholic Post

This is an eyeball view of Corylus avellana ‘Contorta’.  I visited two nurseries last week and at both it  threatened to jump off the shelves and run after me.  Waiting to see whether I still love it in high summer when it hides twisty gyrations behind large but oddly drab leaves.  A cracker of a…

Plantaholic POST

Eranthus hyemalis:   I would not be so in love with this little plant if the weather had sulked less this February.  By now a gasping need to look at colour is upon me.  The  winter aconites, oh so yellow with  shiny pierrot ruffs,   are  strewing themselves  round the moss mound under the oaks….

Plantaholic POST:

Rosa moyesii ‘Geranium’ is a brilliant rose for wild bits of the garden.  It is splays out like a fountain and needs space for this.  Say 2 and a half metres tall by nearly as wide.  It is the dog rose of the hedgerow with a heavy dose of cochineal.  The winter hips add gaudy…

A plant to drool over

Nigella damascena ‘ Miss Jekyll Alba’.   A real jewel of an annual.  Free seeding with filigree leaves and seed heads like pop eyes.

Plantaholic POST:

Salix ‘Erythroflexuosa’. Willow seen in stark nudity by water.  At its best in the low light of winter afternoon sun.

Plantaholic POST:

Look  up into the hoary upper reaches of Platanus orientalis var. insularis.  A doughty specimen from Crete.  Tall as a house in Edinburgh Botanic Gardens.