Vases full of spring tulips and daffodils are frozen solid in the potting shed today. They will be fine when they thaw out. Hopefully. Meanwhile, I’ve run round the garden and collected some flower heads to float in water. All the window ledges in the house now shine with colour and cheer. I’m determined not to be downhearted by the big freeze. The Beast from the East- I’m not scared!
Inspiration for my flowers this week comes from John Massey’s garden at Ashwood Nurseries. I was incredibly lucky to be invited to a tour of John’s private garden. It’s three acres of sheer delight. A plantaholic’s paradise. I couldn’t stop looking at this gorgeous bowl of jewel-like flowers. John, who has a passion for hepaticas, says they last a week outdoors in a shallow stone trough. They have been frozen overnight several times, and still look fresh the next day. You learn something new every day!
I’ve seen hellebores floating in water before, but never hepaticas. And it’s useful to know they last so long. I’ve put a bowl by my front door as a welcome to visitors.
Some more photos from the garden, which is open on selected days for charity. There’s a link for more information on John’s Garden.
I came home and copied theses pink-themed hellebores. Such a simple idea for a spring display and so effective.
On a tour of the nursery, I fell in love with a deep red hellebores.
And this cream hellebore. In the sunshine the petals look like satin.
These are the new 2018 Evolution Hybrids; double and anemone centre golden forms. This is the first year they have gone on sale.
We learned how to grow hepaticas. They need really good drainage. Some of the pots had virtually no bottoms. That much drainage!
White flowers are always quite difficult to photograph, but I persevered with this one.
Here’s John explaining how to grow hepaticas from seed.
John’s garden is open on March 17, April 22, June 2, and other selected days through the year. See website for details. All entry fees will go to Wings, Wombourne special needs support group for children and young adults. Last year, the garden openings made almost £25,000 for the Beacon Centre for the Blind.
My behind the scenes tour was organised by the Garden Media Guild. I’m pleased to have been a member for about a year. Membership can be for full, probationary and associate membership. I’ve found the GMG networking and training events very useful and I’ve met a lot of new friends. A recent newsletter states: “The guild welcomes any new garden communicator who wishes to embrace professional standards and work towards earning an income from their work. ” Courses, trips and mentoring schemes all assist probationary members. A lot of people have helped me with my work over the years. I’m always thinking of ways to help others. This might be the incentive you need to go for it and join in. Let me know if you do. Find out more Here . www.gardenmediaguild.co.uk
Opening times and details for the nursery Here
Thank you to Cathy ramblinginthegarden for hosting this meme. Why not go over and see what everyone else is growing, and putting in their vases this week for IAVOM.
And feel free to share this blog on twitter, Facebook and Instagram (crediting me with the pics and words, thank you). This photo of hepaticas appeared on my twitter account this week @kgimson. And on Instagram at karengimson1. Do come over and say hello.