RHS Plant and Design Show. 19.02.13

The Royal Horticultural Society's Plant and Design Show is a great start to the season and a marvellous end to our gardening tour. It was one of those lovely spring days when the sun shines and Gloria has trouble with her camera. She says that she gets better pictures with diffuse light but I have always believed that she is afraid of fading.

This is the the Lawrence Hall looking marvellous. The society has recently leased it to Westminster School and the large white net suspended above our heads is a security measure. Most of the plants are here and most of the design is just around the corner in the Lindley Hall. As every good gardener knows, the two things should never be mixed together.

In recent years this show has become a focus for the exhibition of Snowdrops. This stand came from Avon Bulbs and showed some of the loveliest of them. The latest innovation has been twin scaling. Apparently it involves some clever trick of propagation though I am certain that as a child I watched our Scottish housekeeper doing it to a trout.

Avon Bulbs were also showing this marvellous purple leaved Lunaria called 'Chedglow'. I haven't seen it in flower but I'm sure it is very striking.

This lovely display of tulips and lilies came from H.W.Hyde. Gloria was running round and round the stand steaming with excitement as she tried to capture the light. You can probably see that bemused onlookers have left her a little path.

It seems so many years since I was at school but it is strange the things that trigger old memories. We had a jolly games mistress called Miss James who was a very practical person. Gloria had a terrible crush on her. This is Narcissus 'Crewenna' and I have wanted to see it in flower for years. I was looking for a lovely gentle flower for the early part of the year but I was disappoined. It has a robust and practical build.
For some reason Miss James came to mind. In our last year at school she applied for a job at an academy in Paris. She took the morning train to her interview in London and we hardly recognised her. She wore a long dress and a curious cerise hat. I had never seen her wear makeup before and it had not been applied with an experienced hand. She had cultivated an expression to match and when I saw 'Crewenna' I recalled the image of her faltering though the school gates in heels that had defeated her.
She didn't get the job; I won't be buying the bulbs.

In a show that is fragrant with the delight of snowdrops this display of succulents by Richard and Sheena Drane were basking in the sun and exuding the promise of summer to come.

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