Containers filled with your favourite coloured flowering plants can bring so much joy to you, and to the bees and butterflies in your garden.
Beautifully scented plants are always top of my list. The dwarf, compact, lavender cultivars, known as Lavandula angustifolia, are such lovely options for containers in a sunny spot, where their calming, soothing fragrance can be welcomed and enjoyed by all.
Whenever I visit the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, I always rush over to David Austin Roses stand, with a great sense of anticipation, hope, and excitement in my heart to see David Austin’s newly unveiled roses. I am always as keen as mustard to discover for myself the fragrances of David Austin’s latest rose releases, which are launched at this prestigious flower show each year.
Peat Free Compost
Last summer, I ran a Peat Free Compost Trial to compare the different peat free composts available, and find out how well each of the composts performed growing dwarf French beans under the same conditions. In my trial, Dalefoot Composts Wool Compost for Vegetables and Salads, and Dalefoot Double Strength Wool Compost were the clear winners producing healthy plants with a great harvest.
For me, sweet peas are one of the real joys of summer. The sweet pea’s frilly flowers have a powerful yet serene fragrance, which gently envelops the garden in its loveliness. The scent of sweet peas can fill your home too; they’re very floriferous plants that produce excellent cut flowers.
Sweet peas, also known by their botanical name of Lathyrus odoratus, are very accommodating – you can sow their seeds in September, though better still sow in late October, and at any time up until March, or even April at a push.
The Festival of Roses Marquee at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show
One of my favourite features of the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show, is The Festival of Roses Marquee. This marquee features the latest rose introductions, many of which are launched at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show, alongside modern roses, historic roses, and old, much loved favourite roses.
Every year, at The RHS Chelsea Flower Show, David Austin Roses unveil their newest rose introductions, launching them for sale in The Grand Pavilion at the world’s most prestigious horticultural Show. This is an event I look forward to each year with great anticipation – I love roses, I get so much pleasure from seeing the new rose varieties for the first time, and discovering their fragrances.
Most garden centres and nurseries have a section featuring some of the loveliest seasonal plants currently in flower or berry, potted up, ready to purchase and take home. These plants look at their best at the very moment you visit, and make a super gift, either for yourself or for a loved one.
If you’re looking to purchase a winter flowering plant and pot it up yourself to give as a Christmas present, maybe because you’re looking for a specific plant that’s a favourite of the recipient of your gift, or because you want to design and plant up your own container, it’s important to use a good quality growing media or compost.
For me, one of the loveliest features of the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show is The Festival Of Roses Marquee, where new roses are launched and displayed alongside historic roses and more modern favourites. The scent inside The Festival Of Roses Marquee is divine, it’s filled with the sweetest, most delicious, tea rose fragrance which surrounds each visitor to this very special marquee.
I met up with James Basson, to find out more about the Gold Medal winning garden, A Perfumer’s Garden in Grasse by L’Occitane, that James designed for the 2015 RHS Chelsea Flower Show.
Pumpkin Beth: What’s your favourite thing about your garden A Perfumer’s Garden in Grasse? What’s your favourite plant?
James Basson: The dead bits! I am very happy with the dead bits, that’s what made the garden feel authentic and without that it would have just been another pretty garden, and I didn’t want that.
If you have an abundance of slugs and snails in your garden and your favourite delphiniums are disappearing overnight, next time you’re visiting your favourite nursery or garden centre, stock up on plants that are less appealing to slugs and snails.
Hosta ‘Sum and Substance’ seen here on the Gold Medal Winning, Brookfield Plants display at RHS Chelsea Flower 2015
Hostas are often thought of as the number one dining choice for slugs and snails, but this isn’t the case for every Hosta.