What a finish to three weeks of near-non stop travelling – a sunbaked visit to Gardening Scotland for some much needed plant therapy.
It really was a fabulous show. I’ve only been to Chelsea once, but I really do prefer Gardening Scotland. It has a terrific floral hall, lots of the exhibitors go to Chelsea too, but its scale and focus is more human and far more relevant to us mere mortals. Plus it is covered by the best gardening programme on TV – Beechgrove Garden. I attended a couple of really useful Q&A sessions in the Beechgrove Theatre tent, got to ask a question, and was reminded how knowledgable, down to earth and entertaining the Beechgrove bridage and experts from Edinburgh and St Andrews Botanic Garden are.
It was a baking hot day (when I returned to my car at 4pm, the temperature in Edinburgh was 28 degrees) and so the floral hall was not only a feast of flowers, but extremely heady with scent too. I wanted to channel my inner bee and curl up among the lillies.
Naturally there was a retail component to the visit, but I was pretty restrained and only spent the cash I had set aside. I even tried to set myself a wishlist in advance so as not to get tempted by pretty flowery things I don’t need.
The plant I was most hoping to buy was a new white anenome.
And by being super sharp through the gate when it opened at 10am, by 10.15am I was the proud owner of Anemone Wild Swan – the Chelsea Flower Show plant on the year. They soon sold out, so I was glad I was quick of the mark.
I was really hoping to get this particular plant as the anemones I planted from corms have done so well this year and I wanted to try a new variety. This one is beautifully white at the front, but with blue tints at the back.
At the gardening Q&A session I asked a question about growing anemones from seed (mine have great big seed heads just now and I have been very tempted to experiment with sowing them in trays). Apparently it is perfectly doable, but the plants take about three years to flower. When grown from seeds these plants can have all sorts of random variations, which is how something like Wild Swan comes about. That sounds like scope for fun!
So I shall definitely be experimenting with propogating anemones this year, just in case I manage to produce a show winner like Anemone Wild Swan.