Wednesday, 22 January 2014

The little things

Last Monday morning, a mad dash to Wisley where, in addition to charging up Battleston Hill for one final look at the Henry Moore sculpture before it departed, I was bound for the alpine area. An interest in alpines is something I’ve managed to avoid cultivating for many years but, with a creeping sense of inevitablity, it would appear to be taking hold. Is it age, I wonder? Surely not maturity – I do hope not. But perhaps there is some truth in the notion that while a person might be tempted into the garden by the big and the bright and the blousy, it takes time to develop even so much as an awareness of stuff you’d normally walk on, let alone to marvel at the tiny architectural perfection of these diminutive plants.

As with so much in horticulture, this is an area in which I’m almost entirely ignorant. Fortunately Wisley provides an ideal teaching resource so, macro lens at the ready and already anticipating a memory card full of wide-apertured, poorly focused shots, I set off to capture at least a few images that would be worthy of keeping; to examine, and prompt further research. Here they are.

Do please leave a comment below if you’ve any wisdom to offer on any of the plants in the pictures.

Saxifrage, I think. Possibly S. x petraschii

Um...I’m going for campanula

Look at this! Fab colour, well, beige I suppose! So tactile, I love it.


I’m a mug for an epimedium. I think I saw this at Chelsea in the pavillion last year.

I absolutely fell in love with this one...

...and here, a bit closer in. Look at that geometry! And the flowers...

At this point I was getting concerned that a saxifrage obsession could be in the offing

The Cretan Brake Fern, Pteris cretica 'Wimsettii'. Looks like bagged salad. I like it.

Look at those trumpets! PAAARRRPP!!

How perfect is this Oxalis palmifrons from South Africa?

Neat, tribble-like mounds of Acantholimon everywhere. Love the paper thin petals.


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