My colleague, Brenda, and I were delighted to get a silver medal at the RHS Spring Plant and Design Show on 16th February. The feedback from visitors and the judges was really encouraging. Here are some pictures and plant notes. Read more about the brief for the design in the entry before this. A big thanks to friends, family and neighbours who helped get the show on the road, and very special thanks to Kate without whom it could not have happened (her garden features on this blog elsewhere).
The black strappy leaves are Ophiopogon planiscapus 'Nigrescens' which is seen a lot in garden centres, people's gardens and public planting because it is a real 'do-er'. The black straps turn blackest in full sun and contrast beautifully with the terracotta mulch (broken pots tumbled in a cement mixer to round the edges) and spring bulbs.
Snowdrops, Galanthus elwesii, and silverbush, Convulus cneorum, on the left, add to the 'ice' dimension of our scheme. Convolvulus loves the sun. The finely-felted silvery leaves reflect strong light and hold moisture close to the leaf surface. It is covered with a mass of white trumpet like flowers in early summer, with some repeat flowering through the year. It needs pruning after flowering to keep it compact, and this will encourage further flowering. The plant is NOT fully hardy, and lots of visitors to the show reported having lost plants in winter, probably due to the soil being too wet, rather than too cold. The plant would be fine on a London balcony. All our plants here like to have free drainage. The Belfast sinks they are in would have a gritty compost and a good layer of crocks in the bottom.