Wednesday, 25 May 2011


One month old. They're all white and almost identical, but let's call these two Pepe and Eugene.

Saturday, 21 May 2011

visit to Ness Botanic Garden

Lovely garden in the Wirral, managed by the University of Liverpool. Ness was founded in 1898 by Arthur Bulley, plant collector and seed merchant - the man responisble for the 'penny packet' system, where packets of seeds were produced for the poorer classes.  ‘Why buy seeds in 3d packets when a penny packet will satisfy your needs?’

The beautiful water garden
Le bourdon
A classic combo: Iris sibirica and Alchemilla mollis. Love. It.
Persicaria bistorta, Magnolia spp. and Sandra spp.

Primula pulverulenta
A gorgeous little woodlander: Paris yunnanesis
Colleague and fellow botanical blogger Bertie Bainbridge
getting up close to some Meconopsis

Thursday, 19 May 2011

visit to Speke

Beautiful house and garden... right under the flightpath of John Lennon airport. The garden team are tenacious to say the least - there are six security cameras in the garden, phytophthora all over the place and way too many scallies desperate to do doughnuts all over the lawn on their quadbikes. Lovely place though.

Nice Holm Oak hanging over the moat

Monday, 16 May 2011

visit to Shugborough

Impassioned head gardener Joe Hawkins explaining the symbolism in the Shepherd's Monument. This guy knows his stuff. My mind is still spinning from all he had to say. I wrote a lot of it down, missed half, and didn't understand the rest. Apparently this monument is one of the world's top uncracked ciphertexts (google it). The Grail-esque mystery surrounding it could be what inspired a local nutjob to smash up one of Shugborough's more ordinary-looking urns, claiming, when the police came to take him away, that the urn was the key to the location of the Holy Grail, which he'd just written a book about and could he please have some publicity please. What a crackpot (heh).

The walled garden was lovely, and the lone gardener (Dan) did amazing things with zero budget and tools from the 1800s. Literally. He can't even use plastic netting, cos it isn't authentic, so they make these crazy anti-bird structures out of string. Prettier than netting, though...

Rosa 'Cantabrigienses'... Want!