Time has flown by this Spring and the Chelsea Flower Show has been and gone! This year for the first time in ten years I haven’t visited the show.
When tickets went on sale late last year I decided to give it a miss for 2015 as I had started to feel that the Main Avenue show gardens, whilst beautiful and well executed, were “playing it safe” in order to win the coveted RHS medals.
To me in design terms, few gardens stood out as being different and challenging in recent years and the plants used seemed to be the same old favourites that everybody knows and loves. However I read a newspaper report this morning that said the show this year was less repetitive than in previous years and that the show gardens were more varied. I will be watching the recorded highlights of the show later to see what I missed…
As it turned out, for this years Chelsea week I had to travel to the South West to visit an ailing relative and so have missed most of the coverage in the press. I have also missed the crowds on Main Avenue, the scrum to see the Artisan Gardens and the squawking of the Parakeets accompanied by the bouts of sneezing from visitors brought on by the pollen from the London Plane trees!
So back home in rural Worcestershire after a tiring week, I decided to take a walk around my own modest garden to see what had grown whilst I was away…
My own tiny rural garden seen from above
White allium and lupins at their peak
Oriental poppies in bud
The fabulous long flowering and scented Eastgrove Blue Violas are looking stunning.
I first saw these lovely large flowered perennial violas at Eastgrove Cottage Garden, Worcestershire and bought a plant many years ago which has since died. Sadly, the garden no longer opens but I managed to source a replacement plant from Woottens of Wenhaston in Suffolk a couple of years ago since when it has thrived.
Anthriscus sylvestris “Ravenswing” a ubiquitous plant in Chelsea show gardens seems to have reverted more to green rather than black foliage in my garden!
I really like the leaves of Alchemilla mollis or Lady’s Mantle particularly after rain!
and on the giant leaves of the Hosta…before the slugs find them!
The wallflowers are coming to an end now which is a mixed blessing. Whilst they have been beautiful there will now be more room for other plants…did I mention that I garden with a shoe horn..?
Another Lupin, this one a tree lupin which I bought from Plant World in Devon some years ago…the flowers were described as chocolate coloured…more like lilac and lemon to me but it combines well with the dark purple Clematis recta “Purpurea”.
The eagle eyed reader may have spotted the deliberately planted “weed” in the foreground…White Rosebay Willowherb or Chamaenerion angustifolium ‘Album’ to give it is official name! It seeds freely but I like it!
Perennial stocks demand a place in my garden for their fragrance and the way in which the white blooms “sing out” when dusk falls
Luzula nivea or Snowy Woodrush is a great foil for other plants
Mespilus germanica or the Common Medlar is just beginning to flower. I have never managed to make Medlar Jelly which apparently is a good accompaniment to roast meat. The thing is you have to let the fruits “blet” i.e. go soft but not rotten…somehow I don’t fancy them then!
Purple alliums match the colours in the stained glass panel which I bought from Heyhoe Designs at their Chelsea stand a few years ago
Meanwhile in the greenhouse…
The Agaves are looking good and can soon be released from their winter quarters now all danger from frost is past
Likewise the Aeonium arboretum “Schwarzkopf” is ready for its summer season outdoors and one of them has a huge flower spike!
Iris “Black Knight” which I bought a couple of weeks ago is just coming in to flower
The Geums which have been in bud for weeks, have finally decided to flower
The boxwood hedging is growing fast and will soon need clipping!
Pots feature heavily in my garden too…
Many gardeners have a friendly robin sitting on the handle of their spade whilst working in the garden…I have a friendly feline chum who visits to make sure that I am not cutting his favourite plants down!
His favoured spot is a clump of Stipa grasses which I can’t possibly cut down in the spring as he has made a nest in them!
Keeping a watchful eye on his catnip plants!
The trouble with walking around the garden after a week away is that not only have the plants burgeoned, so have the weeds! So time to take up the trowel again and carry on gardening before I get back to the drawing board!
What a beautiful garden you have Anne. I would much rather spend an afternoon there with your feline friend (who is clearly very much at home there) than trying to fight the crowds at the Chelsea Flower Show. A lovely blog, full of wit, charm and stunning photos (as always) x
These glimpses of impeccable Springtime blossoms, along with intriguing juxtapositions of plant material, show how a garden with modest square footage can nevertheless look and feel magnificent. And now, to learn that Anne sometimes plants her garden vignettes with a Shoe Horn
( !!! ) : this is precision gardening, resulting in a grand effect.
Wow, your garden looks absutely amazing. If you think yours needs work then you should see my patio. It’s so neglected this year I feel slightly ashamed. Perdita still seems quite fond of it though.
What stunning photographs Anne. I never tire of looking round your garden at different times of the year. It really makes me feel good about life. Well done.
Your garden is lovely. The one thing I covet is your boxwoods. I have a lot but they take such a hit from being buried under 90+ inches of snow each winter that it takes most of the summer to bring them back to life and then we start over.
Your garden looks wonderful, Anne – I love the white/violet/blue theme that’s going on. I love the idea of white Rosebay Willowherb, and I admire your personal black panther 🙂
Your garden looks like a corner of paradise. Clearly much loved, with wonderful attention to detail. Just scrolling through the pictures and reading your gentle script gives us a lift and calms our day. Thank you.
Sally and Nick