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.

Flash Colchicum speciosum or Autumn Crocus

Colchicum speciosum produce autumn crocus flowers before any leaves. These plants were grown in a pot for display at alpine garden shows and competitions.

Autumn crocus

Photo Tips with Flash and Without

  • This photo was taken without a flash on the camera whilst the photo below had auto flash.
  • The colours appear more saturated if you can hold the camera still enough to avoid using a flash. Flash can burn out detail.
  • If information is available such as the variety name keep a record – I forgot
  • If the plant is in a competition or you know the name of the owner give them a credit. (West Yorkshire AGS group autumn show again I forgot the entrants name).
  • Use a plain back ground – I borrowed someones green card but I may carry a grey sheet for future.
  • Take care with framing, the plants are not going to move. My third mistake compounded by not cropping the resulting photo.

Autumn crocus

Colchicum speciosum is native to mountainous areas of northern Turkey. Do not collect wild specimens but acquire from cultivated stock or grow your own from specialist seed suppliers.
Other names for Colchicum speciosum include “Naked ladies” and “Meadow Saffron”.
Growing Colchium as Alpine Pot Plants – Colchium have 6 stamen crocus only 3.
True autumn crocus


Growing Calathea ‘Wavestar’

Calatheas are a group of plants native to the tropical Americas. They are popular as pot plants for the house or conservatory due to their decorative leaves that often react to touch or light.

Calathea 'Wavestar'

Calathea Wavestar

  • Calatheas are now being cross bred amongst their 50 or so species and Wavestar is one of the results.
  • The leaves are soft,ridged, purple underneath and green when open in full light. The leaves close up in the evening.
  • I was surprised to see the yellow flowers at the soil level last time I watered this plant see above.
  • This variety is said to originate from Bahia in Brazil but if so why has it been granted PBR status?
  • The plant breeders rights are owned by Decorum a Dutch company

Korbmaranthe, Calathea bachemiana

Decorum Plants Calathea Wavestar

  • ‘Decorum Plants’ are a brand name that claims to be a leading specialist in the trade sector for more than 10 years.
  • Decorum Plants represents a selection of 1200 decorative and flowering potted plants under the well-known (to some)‘Decorum flag’.
  • Supplies to the trade via a web link may provide more information

Calathea majestica 'Albolineata'

Growing Calathea

  • Calathea need good light but avoid direct sun as it will scorch or fade the leaf
  • Keep soil moist and humid throughout spring and summer with less watering in winter.
  • Keep your Calathea warm preferably 15-23ºC.
  • Feed with a dilute fertiliser weekly during summer.
  • Soil should be light and free draining.
  • Repot annually and propagate at that time by division. Repoting tips

Calathea makoyana

Calathea varieties for Growing Indoors

  • Calathea makoyana the Peacock plant, features purplish coloring on the undersides of leaves, with white and green on top. Known as the peacock plant.
  • Calathea zebrina the zebra plant, has green markings on the leaf top and purple leaf undersides.
  • Calathea insignis also called Rattlesnake plant, is a bushy species with narrow, tapering erect foliage.
  • Calathea crocata has plain leaves but displays of upright orange-red flowers.
  • Calathea ornata. Reddish marking on leaf tops with purple undersides.
  • Calathea louisae has leaves broadly ovate, dark green with light green splotches along the midrib.

Other Facts about Calathea

  • Calatheas are closely related to Maranta, and often confused with their species Ctenanthe and Stromanthe.
  • Calathea can thrive in bottle gardens and terrariums due to their liking of high humidity.
  • Calatheas are propagated by divisions or tip cuttings, with nodes to form the roots.
  • Mist and reduced light are important during the early stages of propagation.

Calathea zebrina (Sims) Lindl

Calathea Photo Credits
Korbmaranthe, Calathea bachemiana by Dandelion And Burdock, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
Calathea majestica ‘Albolineata’ by tuis CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Calathea makoyana by Bárbol,CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
Calathea zebrina (Sims) Lindl by adaduitokla CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 ‘Calathea zebrina (Sims) Lindl. Marantaceae. CN: Zebraplant. Native of southeastern Brazil. Ornamental. Low rosette herb with striped pattern on leaves; leaf texture velvety. Growth habit clumping up to 90 cm tall.’


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)?


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