For me, deliciously scented flowers are a delightfully uplifting feature of the garden. A beautiful moment spent enjoying garden flowers and their fragrances is utter bliss! Time spent with delectably fragrant flowers eases life’s worries and stresses, brings joy to our day and makes everything feel better. I have a particular fondness for scented daffodils or Narcissus. Narcissus is the botanical name for this genus, while daffodil is the common name we use, but both names refer to the same group of plants.
I have some wonderful news to share with you, the Heritage Open Days have been extended for 2018! This event will now create eight, very special days during September 2018, where you can experience local history, culture, and architecture. The Heritage Open Days provide a rather wonderful opportunity to both open, and visit interesting, historic, beautiful and important places, which are normally closed to the public; as well as giving you an opportunity to enjoy free entry to some lovely places that usually charge an admission fee.
I am sorry to say that 2018 was a terrible year for many of the daffodils grown in the UK. The daffodils that were grown for my 2018 Scented Daffodil Trial experienced snow at the end of March, at a time when many of my trialled daffodil cultivars were grown, some of my daffodils stood poised and ready, just thinking about blossoming and coming into flower.
A great many daffodil cultivars are listed as being scented, but daffodil flowers’ fragrances vary greatly, with some daffodil fragrances being more powerful than others, and some scents being more desirable and more pleasing.
Through my Daffodil Trials I have encountered a number of daffodils, which were listed as being fragrant, but when I grew the bulbs myself, I was disappointed to find that I was unable to detect any scent from their flowers however close I got to their blooms, and however many times I examined them.
Plant Heritage are a plant conservation charity, based in Guildford, that encourage horticulturists, botanists, and gardeners to grow, propagate, share, and conserve a wide range of plants to protect and safeguard the variety of plants we have available to grow and enjoy. This year, Plant Heritage are celebrating their 40th anniversary, so to mark the occasion they asked garden designer Jackie Currie to create an exhibit for the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2018, to publicise the value of Plant Heritage’s work.
The Butterfly Conservation Big Butterfly Count runs from the 20th July 2018, until the 12th August 2018. During this time, Butterfly Conservation – a registered charity who work to protect British butterflies and moths, are asking members of the public to take 15 minutes out of their day, to take note of the butterfly and moth species they see around them.
I don’t like slug pellets. Slug pellets have had a disastrous effect on the wild food chain – as well as killing slugs and snails, slug pellets harm hedgehogs, song thrushes, and other creatures. Slug pellets kill these dear animals in the most cruel, drawn out, and painful manner. Nothing could induce me to use slug pellets in my garden, allotment, or anywhere for that matter – however large the slug or snail population had become, and however many of my precious plants had been eaten.
I love to visit the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, for me this is the most prestigious and exciting event of the horticultural calendar! I enjoy seeing Chelsea’s show gardens of every size and style, I am always interested to discover the latest gardening products, and I really look forward to finding new favourite plants, whilst being reminded of old favourites. I so enjoy visiting Chelsea’s Grand Pavilion, which is filled with over one hundred exhibits created by expert growers, from nurseries that seem to specialise in growing almost every kind of plant.
What a joyful month June is! June’s warm sunshine seems to infuse every fibre of our beings, imbuing our souls with a feeling of uplifting bliss that can only be found outdoors. June also brings us the gift of sweet summer rain to refresh our plants, and with it the excitement of a great many wonderful growing opportunities in the garden; it’s hard to beat this time of year!
It’s so important to appreciate, look after and cherish every square inch of earth, every inch of our planet. For those living in town centres or cities, or areas where outdoor space is at a premium, it can sometimes be hard to find inspiration of how to green up and make the most of the limited areas of ground, roof, or wall space that are available.
Garden designer Dr Catherine MacDonald devised the Seedlip Garden as a celebration of the pea – Pisum sativum. The Seedlip Garden features peas and plants related to peas – plants from the pea plant family – Fabaceae. This Space to Grow Garden also honours the work of three men and their work in relation to peas. The first man that the Seedlip Garden commemorates is Gregor Mendel (1822-1824).
The highlight of the horticultural calendar, The Royal Horticultural Society’s Chelsea Flower Show is the world’s most prestigious flower show! Over the past three weeks, award winning garden designers from all over the world, together with their teams, made up of some of the best landscape architects, project managers, builders, technicians, horticulturalists, artists and crafts people, have been working solidly to transform the Royal Hospital’s grounds at Chelsea into an oasis of gardening ideas and inspiration!
I love to visit the Grand Pavilion at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show! This vast arena, which extends to almost three acres in size, is filled with super exhibits created by around one hundred specialist nurseries during the week of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. It’s such a joy to visit! If you’re looking for some new plants, and you don’t have a particular variety or species in mind, visiting specialist nurseries, or enjoying a day out at a specialist plant fair, or a flower show, such as the RHS Chelsea Flower Show or the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show, can help to connect you with your new favourite plant or plants!
Daisy Roots is a small, independent nursery, run by Anne Godfrey in Hertfordshire. Anne Godfrey specialises in growing drought tolerant, hardy perennials and ornamental grasses, which Anne propagates herself from seeds and cuttings, at her nursery in Hertford. All of the plants sold by Daisy Roots are hardy, healthy, and drought resistant.
Last year, I celebrated Daisy Roots Gold Medal win at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2017, where I loved the beautiful irises, Verbascums, Anthemis, Aquilegias, and ornamental grasses that made up the nursery’s Gold Medal winning display!
At the RHS Chelsea Flower Show every single show garden, in every category has the opportunity to win a Gold Medal. There are no limitations on the number of Gold, Silver-Gilt, Silver, or Bronze medals that the judges can award, nor is there a requirement for any medal to be awarded – if none of the gardens are of Gold Medal standard, then no Gold Medals will be presented.
I have been waiting for this moment for some time now! I spoke to David Neale in 2015 about his ambition and aspiration to design and build a show garden at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, so I was really excited when David told me that he would be building a show garden for the 2018 RHS Chelsea Flower Show! I have now visited David at the Chelsea Flower Show, I am so happy to tell you, that the Silent Pool Gin Garden was awarded a Silver-Gilt Medal by the RHS judges at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2018!
At this time of year, I love to see the new rose buds developing on my favourite roses, as they burst into life and produce the first flowers of the year. At the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, I am always filled with excitement as I meet the new introductions from David Austin Roses for the first time!
The Temperate House is the world’s largest surviving Victorian glasshouse! This substantial glasshouse is sited at the Royal Botanical Gardens Kew, which itself is a National Treasure and an UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Temperate House is a Grade I Listed Building. When this glasshouse’s refurbishment programme commenced work in 2013, the Temperate House was in a dilapidated condition, at this time the Temperate House was on English Heritage’s Buildings at Risk Register.
I visited the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew in August 2013, just before the planned Temperate House refurbishment programme began and this Victorian glasshouse, with its shabby chic but regal splendour was closed to the public. I watched nervously as Kew staff wheeled containers and decorative, heavy looking display items out of the glasshouse. Back in 2013, the planned reopening date seemed so far into the future, 2018 sounded somewhat space age then, but now, here I am delivered safely to this date, with the good fortune to be here at Kew to see the Temperate House on the day of its reopening!
I interviewed Surrey based Garden Designer David Neale, of NealeRichards Garden Design, for the November 2015 edition of Vantage Point Magazine. During this interview David Neale spoke about his hopes for the future, and his ambition to design and build a garden for the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. I caught up with David earlier this year, when I was thrilled to discover that David’s dreams have come true!