Friday 17 July 2015

Apricot Foxgloves

I have just picked the last of my apricot foxgloves for 2015 and, as always, they have been a much awaited lush and  dreamy bloom. I will miss them, but that’s the joy of immersing oneself in true seasonality - anticipation, abundance, then absence which mirrors life's lessons beautifully, with patience, joy and sometimes loss. For me, there is nothing more romantic, nostalgic and iconic in the flower garden than a foxglove. I have grown them every year that I have run my small flower business and I am always thrilled by them, as are the bees. Spotting foxgloves out in the wild holds an equal pleasure to growing my own.  They are wonderful biennials. I sow mine in trays in June/July, planting outside in early autumn in their final position in the garden. During the winter months they look a little ragged but the foliage will always perk up in spring. They start to flower their little hearts out the following year at the end of May until about mid July.  If you can resist not picking them all (always a difficulty with these beauties) they will self sow which is always a bonus in any cutting garden.

So to celebrate the beautiful apricot foxglove, here are a few photos of this year's harvest to share.

The flower heads just starting to surge skyward during the first week of May this year.

Showing colour.

Moving in closer to those beautiful bell shaped flowers.

Definitely worthy of the display cabinet.

And for filling a wooden crate.

And for large gatherings preparing for a wedding.

Choosing ribbon for a 'foxglove bride'.

I love anything to do with the anatomy of flowers: the language, beautiful words like, scrophulariaeace, didynamous, nectary and the anatomical drawings that I could look at for hours, like looking into a hidden world of details.

In certain lights you can see right through the foxglove like an xray.

Some individual plants decide to do their own thing and stray from the norm but are equally enchanting. This plant had stems like a wide strap of leather, the flowers slightly distorted and a truer pink than apricot.

Time to sit and stare.

A decision to move in.

So from seeds like specks of dust, to the overwintering green rosette of leaves, to flower spikes of lush saucy apricot that reach two metres high, to individual dry flowers, apricot foxgloves are a must every year and you're not too late to sow!

Sunday 28 June 2015

June Cabinet Reshuffle

In the last week of June I thought I would share a few sown, grown, picked and shuffled beauties from the walled garden that have been used for many a bouquet, dish and for confetti. Wondrous British floral June.


Friday 8 May 2015

Malvern RHS Spring Festival 2015

I love this RHS show it has a lovely low key feel with space to move around and of course that ever present superb back drop of the Malvern Hills.  The joy of any garden show, like a good farmers' market, is you get to talk to the growers and designers and benefit from sharing their wonderful experience and knowledge first hand. There is also so much inspiration in the show gardens they deserve time and space to mull over and absorb and at Malvern you can do this without having to dodge heads in the crowds as you would for other larger RHS shows.

The view from the car park!

Space to move.

Inspiration in the floral marquee and indoor arenas.

I'm not a great fan of indoor plants I just have a select few, but I couldn't stop staring at these fascinating 'beasts' from the gold medal winners Dibleys.

Move away from the tulips Anne-Marie!

To Mr Russell, thank you for your hand written labels for each of your lovely entries!

So sweet and worthy of first prize for the lily-of-the-valley entry. Mine in the walled garden are only just starting to turn from green to white.

The Auriculas are always irresistible in garden shows. This mustard one is a beaut.

The show gardens.

The Mad Hatter garden by Gary Bristow.

And the left hand side of the Mad Hatter garden.

Budding horticulturalists in the Out of Darkness garden with a beautiful Klimit inspired moss 'Tree of Life'.

Moss seats in Lisa Burchill and Robin Ideson's Out of Darkness garden.

Mindfulness garden.

The Bees Knees garden.

Constraining Nature garden by Kate Durr.

Just love taking time to absorb the dreamy planting combinations of all these wonderfully talented garden designers, inspiring!

The Adventures of Alice in Wonderland by Lorna Davis Designs.

All the gardens were so, so wonderful, but this garden, well, it stopped me in my tracks ... just wishing I could fill that empty bench.