Discovering the lost charms of diamond lilies

Standing tall, fresh and defiant amid the season’s death and decay, they thumb their noses at autumn’s dullness – exotic punks who remind us it’s not all doom and gloom. Nerines are my new favourite plant.

 

They’re kind of thing you see in catalogues or online gardening sites but never buy – but what a mistake! I guess they don’t exactly get off to a good start when you see the …Read More

Poinsettia Bakker-w850

Know your Christmas blooms!

Interesting facts about our two favourite Christmas beauties

Poinsettias are the UK’s number one Christmas plant, with the most being bought during the six weeks prior to the 25th of December each year.

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Amaryllis, means “to sparkle” in Greek.

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The coloured parts of Poinsettias are not actually flowers, but bracts (modified leaves).

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Amaryllis are considered an easy to grow bulb and can last for many years, if well cared for.

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Aztecs used Poinsettias for many …Read More

Split Corona Narcissus

360 extravagance!

On first inspection you may wonder why you have been gifted a box of tissues – for the packaging of these supersized bulbs is often akin to our nasal wiping friends’ holder. But fear not, for this parcel is Pandora at her brightest.

Amaryllis (or Hippeastrum to give them their correct botanical name) are the Cartier of the horticultural jewels. Rather like diamond from carbon, comes 360 extravagance from a dull …Read More

Better off Dead? – All about alliums

My cut flower patch has well and truly gone to seed. It has dried up, shriveled and in an unexpected way, it’s looking fantastic. Intricate golden seed heads glisten in the late summer sun and rustle in the breeze.
I grew three kinds of love-in-a-mist, which looked wonderful earlier in the summer and provided me with armfuls of cut flowers to give to friends. The real stars of the show, though, …Read More

Asiatic lily ‘Sugar Love’

Wonderful or What

Wonderful or What? I think that the Asiatic Lily ‘Sugar Love’ must be one of the prettiest of lilies. Look closely at the image, how perfect is the shape and the soft colouring of these beautiful pink tipped flowers?
The up facing flowers are making such a statement in my garden in an unassuming way. Thank goodness I grew them in a pot as I have been able to stand them in …Read More

Basil

Herbtastic!

There is something really satisfying about growing your own herbs. A cheeky snip of home grown basil, chives, mint or coriander into a lovingly prepared dish adds a level of completeness you just can’t achieve from a jar of dried stuff you bought a couple of years ago and found at the back of the cupboard.
Growing herbs is so simple, and the results are fantastically effortless. Who can resist a …Read More

Hyacinth Blue

Beating blues with blue

As soon as I opened the front door I knew. A long-lost scent hit my nostrils, richly fragrant and unashamedly old-school floral. The hyacinths had opened. I smiled and shut the door against the dank and rainy night.
At the risk of losing whatever horticultural ‘street cred’ I may (or may not) possess, I’m going to say it loud and proud. I love hyacinths! They are so proud, so unashamed, so …Read More

Cactus Dahlia

Happy 70th birthday Bakker Spalding!

So our lovely company reaches the grand old age of 70. Which got me thinking, what was the gardening world like in 1945 when the company was born?
As Europe rose from the ashes of war, destruction was apparent in every part of life, from ravaged cities to stately homes turned over to emergency military hospitals – not even plant nurseries escaped the carnage. The commercial cultivation of ornamental plants had …Read More

Bring on the Spring!

I love a crisp cold winter’s morning as much as the next person. But there really is something uplifting about seeing the first signs of spring! The mighty winter aconites are now out in force around the wooded areas of South Lincolnshire, kicking off the year in style with a flash of brilliant yellow and it shouldn’t be too long until the dots of white, orange and purple join them.

The cute …Read More