RHS Early Rhododendron & Camellia Flower Show

This year I went along to help with the set up of the RHS Early Rhododendron and Camellia show at Savill Garden.  Anyone can enter, the big gardens will have their many varieties on show, but if you have a camellia you are particularly pleased with, you can come along and display it too.High Beeches entered rhododendrons, having carefully transported them to Savill Garden, and came away with 'Best in Show' for Rhododendron Kesangiae, and a number of other prizes too 😊.  Although we didn't enter camellias, I always love looking at the beautiful arrangements of perfectly formed camellia flowers.  I hope you enjoy the photos below 😍.I am also particularly enjoying the cherry blossom at the moment, so 'Brayce Yourself' on Friday will be full on blossom 😘.Alice xxx 

The Bank Holiday

This bank holiday I was in the countryside and it was sunny ☺️.  We did countryside 🌳things such as walking to the pub and drinking pimms 🍹, eating lunch outside 🍴🍻, having tea outside ☕️🍰, going for another walk 🌲, losing the dog 🐶😳, finding the dog 🐶😃, having some more tea 🍰☕️.  It was a very good weekend.  On Monday I went to watch the polo 🐎at Guards Polo Club (thank you Alice and James 😃) and I wore my new Maruti ankle boots I am so pleased with 😘 (I found them in the Clapham Junction TK Maxx, last Thursday 😍).Alice xxxIMG_2550IMG_6640IMG_6963IMG_6972IMG_6999IMG_7080IMG_7022IMG_7020IMG_7026IMG_7030IMG_7044IMG_7064IMG_7070IMG_7053IMG_7074IMG_7052IMG_7082IMG_7083

A Riot of Rhododendrons

A quick interlude from my travels (there is lots more Spain to come!), but the rhododendrons are out and they are looking marvellous.High Beeches Garden has a huge array of Rhododendrons and what I love most is the contrast of colours - pinks, oranges,reds and yellows sit side by side - some with huge flowers, other absolutely tiny.Below are just some of the very many - they are all rhododendrons unless I have stated otherwise, and they are all in flower at the moment.Alice xxx Photo 15-05-2016-2Photo 15-05-2016-11 Photo 15-05-2016-6Photo 15-05-2016-8Photo 15-05-2016-10Photo 15-05-2016Pieris FormosaPhoto 15-05-2016-22Photo 15-05-2016-15Photo 15-05-2016-12Photo 15-05-2016-13  Photo 15-05-2016-17Photo 15-05-2016-19Photo 15-05-2016-20Photo 15-05-2016-23Davidia - The Handkerchief TreePhoto 15-05-2016-21

The Flower Show

The flower show -🌺 The Spring Ornamental Plant Competition 🌸- was a very early start - I met Mummy at 8am at Wisley on Saturday morning, to help with the final set up for the exhibs from High Beeches Garden.The set up had been going on the day before, so most rhododendrons 🌸 and camellias 🌺were already looking pretty good - there was some last minute cleaning of petals and leaves and general rearrangement going on.I have been to one of these before, quite some time ago - but was excited to go again.  It's a very friendly vibe, nothing like your village fair vegetable competition 🍆🍍🌽(not that I have ever been to one of these before) but I always imagine (mainly I think from Wallace and Gromit🐶) that the other competitive competitors are giving each others marrows 🍆 furtive glances over the garden wall in the week before the show, and that there is always the potential for night time sabotage - because, you know, it is important to win.However, the flower showing bunch are a friendly sort, and there was lots of chat about gardens, and the weather, and the early start and the weather.  It has been WET 💧💧💧 this year - you may have noticed, so this upsets the balance of the growing.  The magnolias are suffering big time, there were hardly any on show, and people have had to be a bit more inventive with what they are going to show.  The big gardens such as Exbury and Savill Gardens have lots of choice, it's trickier for us smaller gardens with less choice.  My favourite, possibly, are the small private gardens - the real plant enthusiasts who dearly love their plants, and are excited to get a chance to show against some of this big name competitors.So it was a nice morning, and we tidied up our rhododendrons 🌸, had a good peer at everyone else's exhibits, and chatted plants. We decided we had done the very best we could and went for breakfast altogether ☕️.Then after the judging 📝, we came back to the show and we hadn't done too badly at all - a number of first prizes for rhododendrons AND we came third in the big class.  Next was prize giving.  What I like about plant people 🌳👦👧 is you get the tidy tweed jacket wearers, and you get the 'I have come straight from my garden with mud everywhere' types.  But really all they care about are the plants.  The lady presenting the prizes was wearing a splendid jacket with large camellia flowers 🌺 printed all over it.I enjoyed myself immensely, and took A LOT of photos.  We weren't actually exhibiting camellias 🌺, but I got excited and photographed a lot of them, I just love how perfectly formed the flowers are, and they often have superb names ...... and of course I took photos of our rhododendrons too.I also took home a number of plants that didn't make it into the exhibit, and now our house looks like a small arboretum 🌳🍃🌿🌺... possibly my flatmates are becoming worried..... there is a story somewhere, I think by Gerald Durrell, one of his early memories of visiting an elderly lady, always in her bedroom, four poster bed and dressing table with mirror, and the curtains were always closed, and in the half light he could see the whole room was just filled with flowers and plants...  I haven't got to this stage, yet..Alice xxxIMG_4955IMG_4920IMG_5043IMG_4914IMG_4912IMG_4915IMG_4916IMG_4918IMG_4922IMG_4933IMG_4935IMG_4936IMG_4939IMG_4940IMG_4941IMG_4947IMG_4948IMG_4950IMG_4990IMG_4966IMG_4983IMG_4985IMG_4962IMG_4965IMG_4957IMG_4972IMG_4944IMG_4963IMG_4982IMG_4927

A Walk in the Garden

High Beeches Garden has just reopened after the winter, and we went for a walk round the garden to see what is in flower.  I am very good at mainly noticing Camellias 🌺 and Magnolias 🌸, somehow I always get drawn to them.  However, if you look past the flourishes of Camellia flowers there are rather a lot of other fun things to be found, in all sorts of colours.The Rhododendrons 🌺🌺are starting to flower and there are some magnificent ones - I always find it amazing the difference in size between these trees, there are absolutely tiny ones such as the Rhododendron racemosum, sitting right next to Rhododendron macabeanum, whose flowers I always think looks more like an animal than vegetable.I was particularly taken with the white star shaped flower on the Rhododendron quinquefolium ⭐️ and also the Grevillea 'Canberra Gem', which looks so pretty in flower, and seems so unexpected, the contrast of dark green and bright red ❤️💚.The cherry blossom 🌸🍒 is starting to appear and we found Prunus Sargentii, an excellent purply pink, and also the Montezuma Pine (such a good name) has cones on it 🌲😍.There is so much to see, and this is only the beginning - it will be in full bloom before too long 😊.If you want to read more about the garden in detail - the blog, written by Sarah Bray, has all sorts of details about the garden and the plants - High Beeches Garden blog.Alice xxxIMG_4715IMG_4735IMG_4645IMG_4627IMG_4658IMG_4701IMG_4709IMG_4697IMG_4718IMG_4726IMG_4738IMG_4686IMG_4746