Thursday, 13 June 2019

RHS Chatsworth 2019 (part two)

Here's the second post about our visit to RHS Chatsworth.  Inside the Floral Marquee are a plethora of stalls selling pretty much any plant you could want.  They are have beautiful displays, showing their plants to perfection.  I thought the Delphinium Peacock above was inspired.
I do like an allium - here they are in serried ranks with no plant out of place.
The peony balls looked so beautiful.
This display of woodland plants and trees stopped me in my tracks - it was the pink cornus in the centre which did it...
A pyramid of lilies and the scent was intoxicating.
A stand of hydrangeas looking so elegant.
Outside, I was very taken by these copper tree water features.
One day, perhaps I'll get one (but it would have to be a bonsai version!)
The exhibit 'The Power of Trees' was one of my favourite areas.  All the trees were in air pots and after the show, would either go back to the nursery or become part of the RHS Bridgewater Garden, their newest garden, currently being developed.
Inside the glade of trees were willow animals and birds and there was a great feeling of quiet and calm.  In fact, it was really noticeable that people were much quieter in here.
We also watched these craftspeople building a dry stone wall.  The precision in their work was incredible.  I liked the little niches they left and the steps they incorporated.
So, that's the photos from a lovely day out.  RHS Chatsworth seems to be improving every year and we're looking forward to the next one in 2020.  
So, what did I buy?
I managed to keep within budget and bought a Dryopteris Erythrosa (lovely hardy evergreen fern).
 Another deep red astrantia, but one which has deep red stems too, called Burgundy Manor.
 A lovely pinky/blue/lilac Magical Revolution Hydrangea.
Edited to add: I forgot to say that I also bought three Allium Globemaster bulbs too.
Originally, I had thought I would like some stained glass abstract flowers on stakes, but when I found the stall, they were just too expensive for me.  I noticed the metal sculpture stall early on, but didn't go back for the metal swirl until we were leaving and it was obviously meant to be because it was the last one!  I am thinking about the perfect place for it now.

Tuesday, 11 June 2019

RHS Chatsworth 2019 (part one)

 This is quite a photo heavy post, so sit back, have a cup of tea or coffee and share the show gardens at RHS Chatsworth 2019 with me.  The Wedgewood Garden was awarded best in show and was designed by the youngest designer, Jamie Butterworth.  It was beautiful.
 The colour themes of purple, white and green were featured in lots of the gardens.
 As you can see from the rain on the camera, it was a drizzly day on Saturday, but this didn't dampen our enthusiasm.  I thought the chunky bench and table looked really effective in the slightly sunken part of the garden.
This was the Elements of Sheffield garden by Emily Barnes.  The moss on the beautiful dry stone wall was part of the water feature.
 The Mandala Mindfulness garden by HeldQuin Design Partnership featured lots of patterns and more purple, white and green.
 The Eutierra garden by Neil Sutcliffe had a compressed earth wall which made a lovely backdrop to the planting.  I liked the big stones used as seating too - no worries about maintaining them!
 This was my favourite small Mindfulness garden - Thrive Reflective Mind Garden by Richard Rogers.  For a small space, it was a quiet and meditative space and the serene face added to the feeling of calm.
 The planting was purple, white and green again, with touches of peach.
 I liked the sculpture so much, I though it needed its own photo.
The Space Within garden by Rae Wilkinson won an award and featured a curtain of water coming from the second arch.  The first arch was covered with trachelospermum jasminoides which would have perfumed the air on a sunny day. 
For a complete contrast, there was the Tending the Mind garden by Brent Purtell.  I could imagine this as a roof garden in an urban area.  There were three water features in this garden.
 The Find Yourself...Lost in the Moment garden by Samantha Harvey focused on spirals and also included a touch of orange in the planting and with the seating.  Although the beanbag chairs looked comfy, I think I would have had trouble getting up out of them!
 From Darkness to Light by Lynn Heslop showed the journey through a traumatic experience, with dark planting at the back of the garden, gradually lightening as it opened out into the seating area.
 This was probably my favourite garden, the RHS Garden for Wildlife: Wild Woven garden by Sharon Hockenhull.  It was beautifully planted with insect and bird friendly plants and included a pond, bird tables and insect hotels.
 It was also lovely to look at and was one of the only gardens we could actually walk through.
Despite the rusty coloured water, I really liked the reflections of the planting in the bowl.  It was a really enjoyable show and was also really good to see so many female designers taking part.
Well done for making it through this post! Part two to follow, including the floral marquee, lots of trees and what I bought.
I will finish part one with some professional photos of the RHS Wildlife garden, showing more of it, taken from the RHS Chatsworth website here.



Just stunning!

Thursday, 6 June 2019

Early June - everything's blooming!

All of a sudden, the garden has gone into overdrive.  The roses are flowering and everything is looking lush and gorgeous.  However, there is mildew and rust and a huge number of greenfly about, just to temper my enthusiasm.  The alliums are looking lovely and attracting the bees.
 I like this mix of alliums with the white foxgloves in the background.
 Erigeron is looking lovely too.
As is this dark astrantia, shoved rather unceremoniously into a pot.
I have noticed lots of bees, which is a good thing.
But, the stars of the garden are the roses.  One minute they were all tightly in bud, the next, there is a profusion of blooms.  Above is Geoff Hamilton with a single raindrop on its petals.
 This rose is also blooming away happily.  I think it is 'Eyes for You', but should check!
As are these.
Top row left to right: New Dawn, Ferdinand Pichard, Constance Spry
Middle row left to right: Darcey Bussell, The Pilgrim, Gertrude Jekyll
Bottom row left to right: Cottage Rose, Charles de Mills, Winchester Cathedral
There are other roses not featured yet which I have managed to cram into the garden.  There is something very indulgent about being surrounded by roses and I love it!

Saturday, 1 June 2019

A quilt for Scruffy

As you know, Scruffy decided that my patchwork lap quilt would make a perfect bed for him.  As I was hoping to use the quilt, (after all, that's why I made it) I didn't really want him taking possession of it.  Chris said "You know you'll have to make him one now", so I did.
 I used pre-cut squares (although they weren't actually that accurately cut) from my rather large material stash and managed to make it over a weekend.  It would have been quicker except I originally used some of the backing fabric as part of the binding and it was too heavy and frayed too much, so it had to come off.  I then had to make more binding. 
Anyway, I think His Majesty likes the finished result.
Yes, he likes it!

Thursday, 23 May 2019

RHS Chelsea - on TV

I always enjoy the RHS Chelsea coverage on TV.  I have never been to the show and I think I would find it too claustrophobic.  However, as a TV viewer, you can see far more than if you were actually there.  As always, here is a (totally biased) view of my favourite gardens.  I think this year the gardens are all 'playing safe' - possibly to do with the unsettled political climate.  They are all very green in colour too and many feature woodland areas.
The photos are all from the RHS Chelsea site:  https://www.rhs.org.uk/shows-events/rhs-chelsea-flower-show/Gardens
 I like the wall with the circular window in it in the Harmonious Garden of Life.  The swing seat powers the water feature, there is clover instead of lawn and the planting is all about insects.
 The Family Monsters Garden is a lovely slice of woodland.
 This is probably my favourite garden - The Donkey Sanctuary Donkeys Matter garden.  I like the idea behind it, of celebrating the work donkeys do all over the world, often in harsh conditions.
 I really like the planting in this garden.
 Andy Sturgeon's garden for M & G won best in show and again feature woodland planting interspersed with blackened timber structures.  (Nice to think that my own black fence is still on trend!)
Chris Beardshaw's garden for Morgan Stanley  has some beautiful planting, as always.
Finally, the Miles Stone Kingston Maurward Garden has some lovely curves and a wide rusted bowl water feature.
There were elements of lots of the other gardens that I liked, but these were the gardens that appealed most to me from the TV coverage.
I am going to RHS Chatsworth in a couple of weeks and am really looking forward to that.
Edited to add:
The Back to Nature Garden designed in collaboration with the Duchess of Cambridge (but not judged) was a big success with the children allowed on it.  It is another woodland garden including a treehouse, rope swing, fire pit, running water and looks like the sort of garden we would have all loved as children.