A walk around the garden, with camera in hand, is an excellent way to see and appreciate the plants which grow there. Oftentimes we can be so busy that we don’t take time to relax and simply enjoy what is growing well or in flower on any particular day. This is something I do at lunchtime if I have done a hard morning’s work or last thing in the evening as an opportunity to bring the gardening day to an end. It also often comes as a sort of catch-up activity for something may have caught my eye during the day and I may not have had the opportunity to stop and look at it more carefully – while riding on a lawnmower, for example. Yesterday, it was the first flowering of an iris I had received from a friend. I don’t recall its name so it goes by his name for the present until I talk to him again.
Of course, there are distractions along the way and before I could get to that iris my eye was caught by this little combination of flowers growing on steps leading down to the front lawn. What struck me was how we have plant from all a round the world in our gardens and how fortunate we are to have them. Here is (yellow flowers) from Chile with Oxalis valdiviensis , a thistle from Spain, and Galactites tomentosa which came from Lake Como in Italy. A little international gathering. Cyclamen purparascens
This is a close-up shot of very small plants. The lilac flower is from a miniature (less than 5cm) species of Solomon’s Seal, , and I love the fact that I planted it with this miniature hosta, Polygonatum hookeri – purely a happy accident of planting rather than any design on my part but I am so happy for such accidents. Hosta ‘Dawn’
has the peculiar common name of “mourning widow”, “black widow” or “dusky cranesbill” which give it a hint of something sinister but I think it is a very dainty flower and it holds itself in a very elegant manner. Geranium phaeum
Seedlings of can give rise to various colours and this more lightly coloured one has done very well here. Geranium phaeum
And a white-flowered cultivar is certainly less sinister and makes a very attractive garden plant.
We have a very large specimen of Horse Chestnut in the garden which must certainly be approaching a century in age and also several horse chestnut trees which we planted ourselves but this miniature is one which I like very much. It is . The photograph shows its size after twenty years, still a small, tidy and very ornamental plant. Aesculus mutabilis ‘Induta’
The attractively-coloured flowers of Aesculus mutabilis ‘Induta’
This has just begun to flower in the glasshouse – a kind gift from a friend. Plants are such good reminders of people and of their kindness. Brugmannsia
, again in the glasshouse, and, again, another kind gift from a friend. It makes a large shrub in the glasshouse and will soon have to be pruned to continue to allow it to fit there. Sparmannia africana
This might not be immediately recognisable for the plant is more appreciated for its attractive foliage and the flower is hidden underneath the large leaves. This is the flower of and it is a wonderfully rich red. Podophyllum versipelle ‘Spotty Dotty’
would very often be dismissed as a weedy plant for it has the ability to spread itself about very generously. However, this form has a darker flower than the normal species and I like it very much and I have it in a position where I am happy to leave it spread all it wishes. Geranium nodosum
Now, you couldn’t fail to see this one. That red simply screams at you. This is a perennial poppy. Here it is planted against a shrub, Papaver orientalis ‘Beauty of Livermere’, which tones down the vibrant colour a little. Physocarpus opulifolius ‘Lady in Red’
This is an iris which may have lost its name. I received it as It was given a cultivar name because it was considered different from the species – the six petals all falling rather than having three falls and three upright. Recent research seems to indicate that it should not have been given a cultivar name at all – but what will I do? Yes, I should discard the ‘Phylis Moore’ but names stick in one’s mind and it is hard to let go. Iris pallida ‘Phylis Moore’.
Finally – for I can’t show you every flower I photographed – I have arrived at the iris which caught my eye while on the lawnmower, the gift from my friend and I will have to ask him to remind me of its name when I meet him during this coming week. It certainly is an attractive one and a delight to have in the garden.