Archive | photos and garden photography

Some of our favourite plant and garden photographs not featuring in other gardeners tips. tips for your own garden photography.

Parrot Flower or Bird of Paradise Flower Photos

I was convinced my latest photos were of Strelitzia or Bird of Paradise flowers – that was until the horticulturalists at Kew Gardens made me rethink.
I had never come across the Parrot flower until I saw the Kew photo below and now I realise how ornithologically challenged I am.

Parrot’s flower in the Palm House
I love going to the Palm house at Kew where this photo was taken by their staff.
The variety of plant life hints at what you could discover in better weather conditions than we experience in the UK.

Eden Project Strelitzia

These Cornish flowers were also under glass in the tropical dome at the Eden project.

Eden Project Strelitzia

Strelitzia – Bird of Paradise Species

Strelitzia alba White bird of paradise
Strelitzia caudata Mountain Strelitzia
Strelitzia nicolai White or Giant bird of paradise;
Wild banana or Blue and white Strelitzia
Strelitzia reginae Bird of paradise, or Crane lily
Strelitzia juncea African desert banana
S. × kewensis hybrid between S. reginae and S. augusta (alba)

Checking my old holiday photos I found this Strelitzia which threw my identification skills into question.

Eden Project Strelitzia
These leaves look like banana leaves but the flowers fall short of Paradise.

Eden Project Strelitzia
Insects are having a good lunch on this flower photo.

Photo Credits.
Parrot’s flower in the Palm House by Kew on Flickr CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 ‘This parrot’s flower, Heliconia psittacorum, was collected in Brazil in 1974. Find its striking orange flowers in the Palm House.’
Heliconia platystachys (multiple flowers) CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
Our photos from the Eden Project Cornwall

Heliconia platystachys (multiple flowers)
When you start looking there are Parrots everywhere!
There are over 100 species of Heliconia found in rainforests or tropical wet forests where they are sometimes referred too as False Bird of Paradise flowers.


Three Coloured Shrubs with Photos


Sorry if you feel badly done too by the head line. The shrubs in question major on one colour but as there are three shrubs I called them three coloured shrubs. It seemed logical at the time but I recognise you could have been expecting tri-coloured shrubs.

The red leaves of the Photinia fraseri is often called Robinia which is really best reserved for the False Acacia or Robinia psuedoacacia ‘Frisia. In the spring the new waxy leaves are a vibrant and shiny red only slowly aging to light green. This plant copes well in the shade in a clay soil. I give it no special treatment and it forms a key part of my low maintenance area.

Behind the Photinia fraseri is another garden stalwart the Lilac. This small tree is just coming into flower and with a bit of sun each blossom will open a lighter colour and almost match the sky behind. As with the other shrubs here the Lilac likes the clay soil.

The Berberis Julianae has been very good this year which I put down to the sunny dry March and the cooler climate since then.


The angle of this photograph has changed and emphasis is placed on a white Hebe still to flower and the conical evergreen Picea.
The shrubs at the front cover the trunk of the Lilac that can be a bit uninteresting other than when the Lilac is in blossom.

Do not forget the evergreen shrubs like Osmanthus which has red or white young shoots often with colour variations to go with the leathery green leaves.


A Plantsman Nursery – Holden Clough


A nursery should grow there own or at least a good proportion of the plants they sell. Well you can’t complain at the sight of these Heuchera growing in Holden a small hamlet near Bolton by Bowland in Lancashire.

Holden Clough nursery has a great reputation and tradition for alpines that survive the wet local conditions.

Unfortunately these glowing Auriculas were in a quarantine area having already been sold but awaiting collection. Still with an eagle eye I could look at the special varieties someone else had chosen and consider my needs for the next visit. (I got a 10% off voucher for registering for the newsletter that I can use with my next purchases.)


I was impressed with the amount of bark chippings used to mulch and trim the pots. At check out I was told is saved the staff weeding but that in this location watering was no real problem due to the amount of rain.
Thinking about grit or chippings I wondered if the former compacted the soil more than the chippings and I think I will run some tests when I get home.

Passion flower

For 85 years the nursery has nestled in a charming hillside spot growing alpines and it is still going strong! Now they not only grow alpines, but also a larger range of plants including many new and unusual perennials.
The one drawback was that the new young team are keen to show their plans for site development which include a tearoom. Welcome though tea may be they could leave that to the ubiquitous garden centres and keep the nursery focus.


Photo above is of Heucherella Tapestry a hybrid between Heucheras and Tiarellas with many of the best qualities of both parents. This and a limited display of plants in their own small garden area show how and where a good plant can grow.

Compare with my visit on the same day to a local Garden Centre


Senicio Daisies of the Pericallis Genus

Last year I looked at the naming for one of my good doers under the title ‘Senetti, Cineraria or Senicio? No Pericallis’. Pericallis is the small genus of Daisy like flowers and Senicio is the name I will use until I know better.
I updated the post with my growing and flowering experience.

Now I have some colourful photographs of related Daisy plants growing as indoor pot plants.

sennico 026

Daisies with salmon petals with white inner rings and yellow pollen are one of my favourites.

sennico 024

Senicio Daisies come in a variety of strong colours including deep pinks above, purples and electric blues.

sennico 021

Pericallis is not a common genus in horticultural use. These Daisy like plants have been bred of retail sale when in full flower so in those circumstances they need a trade name.

sennico 023

Whatever the name the inner disc displays the Compositae attributes of the daisy family.

sennico 018

Shocking Pink almost fluorescent pink on the plant below.



Daffodils in Flower


Daffodils in flower in Oxfordshire.

Helped by  good spring, daffodils have sprung into flower. These are some of our favourite daffodil pictures.


Daffodils by ruins of Bolton Abbey


Daffodils by River Cherwell, Oxford


Daffodil mixture


Daffodils in front garden


Daffodils against backdrop of Yorkshire Dales


A magical carpet of Daffodils


Naturalised daffodils


Daffodils close up



next to a see of bluebells.

Tips on Daffodils


Different Fruit Goji and Honey Berry

Goji berry seeds

If you are a gardener that likes to try something a bit different then there are two less common fruit that you can consider even in England.

Goji Berry was the health craze of last year and you can grow this ‘Superfruit’ in your own garden from seed or more rapidly from a 2 year old plant. Shrubs grow to 6 feet tall and have trumpet-shaped white or purple flowers in July August. They can be grown in a border and if pruned to 4 feet they create a thick bush with ample fruit. Coming from the Himalayas, once established, they are hardy and can take even poor soil conditions fruiting best in full sun. The berries will set in autumn and ripen to sweet, juicy, red fruit with a shiny in appearance. The flowers will continue to bloom until the first frosts.
Gemeiner Bocksdorn in German Lycium barbarum or the Goji berry is a memeber of the Solanaceae family the fruits of which are often poisonous eg Potato.

Honeyberry flowers 3
Lonicera Caerulea Honey Berry in Flower.

Honey Berry are varieties of edible Lonicera that produce sweet blueberry like fruit that have been eaten for ages in their native Siberia. Fruiting early in the year from June the plants are long lived. For good pollination it is worth planting varieties Lonicera Kamschatika and Lonicera Caerulea together. Not all Lonicera berries are edible so buy your stock from a reputable nursery.

Gemeiner Bocksdorn

Photo Credits
Honeyberry flowers 3 by Fluffymuppet CC BY-NC 2.0
Duke of Argyll’s Teaplant (Lycium barbarum) by Phil Sellens, CC BY 2.0
Gemeiner Bocksdorn by Gertrud K. CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Duke of Argyll's Teaplant  (Lycium barbarum)
Duke of Argyll’s Teaplant (Lycium barbarum)?


Garden Photos in the Morning


When thinking of when the garden is at its best, we often imagine the sun at its peak –  a hot summers day in the middle of June. However, for taking photos, this can be difficult.


As well as bright sun, there are also some magical moments at other times of the day and year. Early in the morning, the sun light is soft. It’s angle throws a fascinating light onto the garden. The whole garden can be transformed by the different light and angle. Even when the garden is at its quietest, there are still some fascinating and beautiful aspects.


Try setting the alarm and viewing the garden at a different time of the day, you may be surprised.


Early Morning mist highlights this spiders web amidst Verbena bonariensis

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Top Ten Snowdrop Gardens

Kew Snowdrops

  1. Waterperry Gardens Oxfordshire
  2. Chelsea Physic Garden London   Snowdrops have always provided one of the great delights of these openings 6th, 7th, 13th & 14th February 2010, 10am-4pm.
  3. RHS Wisley Surrey
  4. Hopton Hall Derbyshire
  5. Weeping Ash Garden Cheshire
  6. East Lambrook Garden Somerset
  7. Sherborne Garden Somerset Local gardens open for the National gardens Scheme
  8. Brandy Mount House Garden Hampshire National collection of snowdrops
  9. Easton Walled Garden & Little Ponton Hall Lincolnshire
  10. Bennington Lordship Hertfordshire

This is our selection unless you know better – if so let us know.
Snowdrop soldiers8

Check for open days in February and March for a day out to enjoy. You may also find snowdrops in unexpected locations. I snapped these pictures in Haworth church Bronte land.

Haworth snowdrops

Snowdrops in an alpine house at Harlow Carr.


Galanthophiles see beauty many varieties.


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