This last week apart from a little walk around in the mornings and evenings I’ve hardly spent any time in my garden because every day after work I’ve been a ‘couch potato’ watching the Chelsea Flower Show. I wish someone would invent ‘Smell a Vision’ and add another dimension to watching the show. Just imagine the fragrance of those roses and lilies wafting through your telly. Pure heaven!
With the season being so late and light levels low it’s amazing how the plant growers managed to get so many different plants flowering together against nature, absolute dedication.
I get a lot of inspiration from seeing so many different planting ideas by the designers, one of which had similarities to my new area that I created last year. Walker’s Pine Cottage Garden, designed by Graham Bodle used small conifers with lots of pretty and colourful perennials growing between them. I’ve done that too but included a few low growing deciduous and evergreen shrubs like spiraeas, dwarf lavender and some ferns with various foliage shapes too. I also planted early spring flowering bulbs in the green including snow drops and winter aconites earlier this year so that there will be even more colour and interest early next year.
The show certainly gave a super preview of what’s to come this summer and one floral display that looked fabulous consisted of delphiniums and begonias by Blackmore and Langdon. Seeing how small the delphiniums are at the moment I was absolutely amazed to see how beautiful and mature they looked on that stand. Delphiniums are bold, wonderful statement plants for any sunny perennial border. I’m sure most of us are used to seeing the very tall varieties like the Pacific Hybrids, but for a few years a relatively new group of delphiniums have been available that are becoming increasingly popular. The Guardian Series are delphiniums that flower a little earlier than many others; they’re hardy with a fairly compact habit and will grow to about a metre tall. They produce strong erect flower spikes of white, lavender or blue and just like the others will need good rich fertile, well-drained soil in a sunny position. A well balanced, all round plant food every couple of weeks or so should keep them going through the summer. Just like many flowering plants the flowering time can be extended by cutting back the faded flower stems to a flowering side shoot. The bees will love them! They will also make excellent cut flowers too.