My Chelsea list

While we’re all waiting for the Chelsea Flower Show to open next week and for pictures to emerge, here are a few things that I particularly liked when I visited the original Chelsea — the Chelsea Physic Garden — about a week and a half ago.

The four-acre London garden was founded in 1673 by the Worshipful Society of Apothecaries in order to grow medicinal plants and train their apprentices. It is the second oldest botanic garden in Britain, after the one at Oxford.

1. The Pond Rockery area (also shown at the top). The sides are planted in Mediterranean and alpine plants.

2. This giant fennel. It was a beacon in the Botanical Order Beds at about 8′ tall.

It did not have a label, but I have since looked it up — Ferula communes.

The species is part of the carrot family, Apiaceae. (Common fennel belongs to another genus, Foeniculum.)

This tamarix in the center of the beds was a star too.

3. The plant supports of bamboo, string, and shrub and vine cuttings.

4. This neat little kitchen garden arrangement and its beautiful cardoons.

And the nearby beehives.

5. This trunk of a Catalpa bignonioide, which is supporting a huge Rosa Brunoni or Himalayan musk rose.

The rest of the tree was cut off.  It may have died, but it may also have been too large for the space.

6. The greenhouse area.

Plants from the Canary Islands, Madeira, The Azores, and St. Helena.

7. This primrose display, which — with the giant fennel — made my “most desired” list that day (along with this).

8. My tea towel from the gift shop.

(And the café is excellent.)

August Spielhaus garden

I want to bring you a little late summer update on this garden.

1a Hohenheim garden, Aug 23, 2016, enclos*ure
The garden and a corner of the 18th century Spielhaus through Deschampsia cespitosa grass.

I started out in March meaning to track the flowers of the Spielhaus (playhouse) perennial garden at the University of Hohenheim for this year’s GB Bloom Days. However, travel, gloomy weather, and hurting feet have interfered, and I haven’t posted an update since May.

4a Hohenheim garden, Aug 23, 2016, enclos*ure
I did pay a visit this week, however, on Tuesday evening, and there was lots of color.

Above, American Rudbeckia hirta or Black-eyed Susans draw the eye, paired with a red cultivar of Ricinus communes, and Coreopsis on the other side of the path.

The obelisk in the background memorializes Duke Carl Eugen von Württemberg and Franziska von Hohenheim. They built Hohenheim Palace (now a  University building) and the English landscape-style garden/arboretum around it (now the University’s botanical garden).

Franziska was first the king’s mistress, then his morganatic wife.  The main palace building was barely finished when he died.  The family then pressured her into giving up Hohenheim for another estate.

26a Hohenheim garden, Aug 23, 2016, enclos*ure
Above: the Rudbeckia and white Oenothera lindheimeri (gaura).

29a Hohenheim garden, Aug 23, 2016, enclos*ure
This pink phlox has a beautiful scent, but it has grown up over its label, so I can’t tell you the variety.

32a Hohenheim garden, Aug 23, 2016, enclos*ure
Above: with the red caster bean plant behind it.

9a Hohenheim garden, Aug 23, 2016, enclos*ure
The garden is roughly a rectangle with a bit of slope, set in front of the Spielhaus terrace. Narrow stone paths run through it lengthwise.

I don’t have the name of the species of the Panicum grass on the left above. The smoke bush on the right of the path is Cotinus coggygria ‘Young Lady’.

7a Hohenheim garden, Aug 23, 2016, enclos*ure
Above: tree peonies on the left, Agapanthus on the right.

11a Hohenheim garden, Aug 23, 2016, enclos*ure

Above: the center area.

I particularly like the garden’s layout. And the display of plants is very popular with the neighborhood.  It’s rare that I get it almost to myself.

17a Hohenheim garden, Aug 23, 2016, enclos*ure
Above and below: heleniums in front of the terrace — unfortunately, the label was hidden.

16a Hohenheim garden, Aug 23, 2016, enclos*ure

22a Hohenheim garden, Aug 23, 2016, enclos*ure
Above and the two photos below: looking across the garden from the Spielhaus terrace — left to right. (That’s another — taller and fuller — pink phlox on the left.)

21a Hohenheim garden, Aug 23, 2016, enclos*ure

23a Hohenheim garden, Aug 23, 2016, enclos*ure

25a Hohenheim garden, Aug 23, 2016, enclos*ure
Above: Just beyond the Spielhaus area, the trees, pond (left), and lawn of Carl Eugen’s and Franziska’s landscape garden.

Throughout this summer, the University has opened one room inside the Speilhaus on weekend afternoons.  If you click on ‘Continue reading’ below and then on any of the thumbnail images, you can see some snapshots that I took in late July.  The room holds a scale model of the palace grounds in Carl Eugen’s time, when there were about 60 folly-type buildings.  Today, only the Spielhaus and one other remain.

Continue reading “August Spielhaus garden”

Vintage landscape: the glads

Gladiolus, 1944, Sweden, F. Bruno, Swedish National Heritage Board“Flower bed (blomsterrabatt) with gladiolus at Trädgårdsföreningen, The Garden Society of Gothenburg, founded in 1842,” Göteborg (Gothenburg), Sweden, 1944, a color slide by Fredrik Brunovia Swedish National Heritage Board Commons on flickr.

The glads offer no solution:
you mustn’t count the days—
livid, tattered, or beautiful.

— Gottfried Benn, from “Gladioli