Posts Tagged ‘Plants’

Dream plant list – 1. Trees

Saturday, March 5th, 2011

Last week I wrote about Grevillea johnsonii, and it gave me an idea – what plants would I have in my dream garden?

This being a dream garden there would be no problems with climate, aspect or soil conditions, and of course the garden would be limitless in size.

Once I started thinking about my dream plants, I soon realised I would need to divide them up into groups. So here’s my first group.


The first three are warm climate trees and usually need some protection to cope in the UK although Albizia manages ok here.

Grevillea johnsonii – lovely delicate fern like foliage and beautiful green and pink flowers, reminicent of honeysuckle.

Bouganvillea – Always reminds me of holidays in Greece


Albizia julibrissin rosea



Liriodendron tulipifera – the tulip tree. Splendid and huge! it can be kept in a pot to keep it’s size down to normal garden size as opposed to park size but then it won’t flower which is it’s real beauty.


Laburnum – or rather an arched avenue of, underplanted with alliums. Perfect.


Acer palmatum ‘Sango  Kaku’. Japanese acers have beautiful autumn foliage and I love the red edged leaves. The stems are red too.

Cercidiphyllum japonicum –  Scented like burnt sugar in the autumn.

Betula albosinensis – the one with the peeling bark in different shades of pink.

Aesculus hippocastanum – For conkers in the autumn, and the lovely foxglove like flowers in early summer.

Sorbus hupehensis – Fern like foliage, with pink berries in the summer and then wonderful red autumn colour.

So, I’ll be needing a garden the size of a park to fit that lot in – maybe a rambling country estate somewhere…!

Ali xox


Photo credits: 1-4  Sweet Musings, 5 Unknown, 6

Early spring at Wisley

Friday, February 25th, 2011

It’s the spring half term holiday for us this week, so small girl and I have been visiting Grandma.  My Mum lives a shortish drive from the RHS garden at Wisley, and as there were activities for small girl, we paid a visit.

Spring is most definitely on it’s way at Wisley, and their Snowdrops were out, as were Irises and Hellebores, and also this superb display of naturalised Crocuses.


I particularly liked Crocus vernus ‘Pickwick’, and It’s delicate purple stripes. It’s on my list for next years’ bulbs.


Whilst in the glasshouse, I saw this lovely shrub, Grevillea johnsonii. It’s a native of Australia and needs to spend winter in a conservatory here, which I don’t have, so it will have to join the many others on my dream plant list…


I love the contrasting pinks and lime green of the flowers against the soft glaucous foliage.

Ali xox

A gentle reminder

Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

The Snowdrop – a simple and most welcome pleasure on a dull winter’s day.

During the bleakest,  most depressing depths of winter the gentle little snowdrop blooms, reassuring and reminding us of the promise of spring, when the fashion show of the more showy bulbs will launch into full swing.

Perhaps that is why the gentle Snowdrop blooms now, when we can fully appreciate it’s beauty rather than later when it would be ignored amongst the supermodel bulbs.

Ali xox

Autumn jewel box

Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010

Autumn’s fireworks are at their most beautiful right now, fabulous reds and oranges through to bright yellows are everywhere, making driving most distracting!

I love autumn’s rich colours, conkers and seed pods…

Ali xox

Plant Love: Alliums

Friday, September 10th, 2010

I love the Allium.  Tall and assertive,  rather like an upside down exclamation mark, it demands to be looked at. Like a butterfly, the Allium takes it’s time to emerge  from it’s papery case, but it is well and truly worth the wait.

My (current) top 3 are:

1. Allium atropurpureum – dark and delicious

2. Allium multibulbosum – makes a lovely contrast with the darker toned Alliums

3. Nectaroscordum siculum – not really an Allium but treated as one

They are always in my garden and I buy more each year – mostly because I either forget where I put them and end up spearing them when digging or, I forget to label the ones I have lifted, and then of course one Allium bulb does look pretty much like another…  Oh well, and that’s the other reason I always buy more, just because I love them so much and can always find another pot to fill…

I buy my bulbs from and

Ali xox

Photo credits:,,