Sunset view from the garden. Phew 30 degrees here for the last few days. Predicted temperature is 31 today. Grace cat flattens herself to the cool stone path. Hedgehogs drinking from saucers of water. Bats feasting on insects over the pond. Baby frogs swarming in the long grass of the orchard. It’s too hot for me.
It’s always a treat to get a behind-the-scenes tour. This week I was lucky enough to be invited to the preview of Gardeners’ World Live. So I found myself wandering around the show gardens, instead of pressed up against the boundary ropes and fences surrounding them. Here’s a few highlights from my special day out.
My favourite garden was a wildflower haven with climbing roses galore. Claudia de Yong won gold and best show garden for her Romance in the Ruins
Castles,with their history and romance, inspired the design. I loved the ruins with trickling waterfall, wild roses, foxgloves and ferns. The pink spires at the base of the waterfall are purple loosestrife, Lythrum salicaria.
A rustic pergola was swathed in Albertine and Mortimer Sackler roses. Walking through the garden, the scent was so delicious on a hot sunny day. Salvia Love and Wishes is the focal point plant in the old stone urn in the centre. CED Stone supplied the Golden Amber pathway material- a self-compacting gravel. It makes a beautiful and affordable surface for cut flower gardens and veg plots.
One stand-out feature for me was the white Desdemona rose. Bred by David Austin, it is exquisitely beautiful with peachy pink buds opening to pure white blooms. It has a strong perfume and flowers until November. Grows to about 4ft and is disease resistant, plus the flowers cope with rain. The designer has used it as a low hedge underplanted with Nepeta Six Hills Giant.
I spotted vetches, yellow rattle, clover and crested dog’s tail grass in the wild flower turf. The focal point tree is Malus Rubra- brilliant for spring blossom, autumn crab apples, and attractive plum-coloured leaves all summer. The multi-stem tree used in the garden looks like a river birch, with peeling bark blending in with the colour of the ruins alongside.
Winning my prize for the garden I’d most want to roll up and take home – and providing the garden bench I would most like to recline on, a show garden with many elements worth “borrowing.” A triumph of great design and plant knowledge.
Contractors: Twigs Landscapes Design, Big Fish Landscapes
Sponsor: Wyevale Garden Centres
Supporters: Parkers Building Supplies,CED Stone, Home and Garden Ironworks, Woody Fox Willow, Hilliers, Rolawn.
I hope you’ve enjoyed my behind-the-scenes tour. If you are going to Gardeners’ World Live, let me know which gardens you love this year, and which is your favourite feature. There’s plenty to see…. and I haven’t even mentioned the floral marquee. That’s a wonderful place worthy of a blog post all on its own. More to follow!
Peony Gay Paree. From Kath’s Garden Plants display at the GWL show. Sumptuous colour.
Of course, I ordered one from http://www.cathsgardenplants.co.uk. And brought home…. Peony Immaculee. Pure white double – and so scented. Dreamy. Photo tomorrow. No internet tonight. Who else is growing peonies?
This is what greets you as you enter the show grounds via the Palladian Bridge. Jonathan Moseley’s floral extravaganza is a foretaste of what’s to come. Rising from the River Derwent is the base of a willow snake, inspired by the Cavendish crest. It is covered in waxy-textured flowers and succulents to evoke the serpent’s scales. As soon as I saw it, I hoped the show would be as spectacular. And it is. I travelled a long way today to visit the show, and I’ve come home smiling-all the way down the M1.
Take a virtual peep over the garden fence and see what real gardeners are getting up to right now. Have a look at Michelle’s blog for more blog posts around the country.
Mum and I spent the weekend planting the cut flower garden and messing about with roses. Is there anything more glorious than a basket of scented roses at dusk.
My favourite rose is Madam Isaac Pereire, the deep pink rose on the right. Such a wonderful old-fashioned scent, and flowers on and off all summer. I’ve got it growing over a pergola walk from the back of the house right round to the front drive.
You can just see my wedding cake tree in the background, Cornus controversa variegata. It’s smothered in white flowers at the moment. A shrub that’s interesting all year round. Also spreading along the pergola is pale pink Constance Spry. A fleeting beauty- it only flowers once.
Regular readers will know that I take cut flowers to my MIL Joan who can’t visit my garden as often as she would like. If she can’t come to me, I take my garden to her. Flower arranging is something we both love. Joan was on the flower rota at Cosby Chapel for 65 years. So I never arrange the flowers I take to her. They are tied loosely with string. And she can spend an enjoyable time creating little posies and filling vases for every windowsill in the house. My cut flower patch this year contains sweetpeas, butterfly gladioli, cosmos,rudbeckia,sweet williams, love-in-a-mist, sunflowers, and pot marigolds.
I hope you’ve enjoyed a tour of my garden, as it is right now -on Sunday 4th June. Are there any roses you particularly love? Do you grow cut flowers for friends and family, like I do. Do get in touch and let me know.
For more information on this Chelsea Fringe event click on the highlighted words. It’s my first time joining in and it was fun to be part of the gardening community sharing photos of our gardens and what we are growing right now. You can also find more on instagram and twitter, searching for the hashtag #mygardenrightnow . I am @kgimson on twitter and karengimson1 on instagram. Not very exciting tag names, I know, but do come and say hello if you can.