It has been a month of garden tours and I am often asked what are my favourite plants in the garden. The stock answer is the same as with most things, ‘the ones that give me the least trouble’. However most things growing in the tropical bed have been propagated from plants that I have collected over the years some are pre-Reveley so they rate highly. The benefit of being in the garden every day is that I get to see an area or group of plants which may only be at its very best for a short time, maybe even when the sunlight catches the leaves or flowers for a few minutes. Anyway before I drift off into old hippy ness – favourites.

Tall Bearded Iris

We have a small collection beside the greenhouse, they fulfil my requirements of a large range of clashing colours, some ridiculous varietal names (Giggles and Grins, AsAp, Teapot Tempest). Short flowering time but certainly pack a punch, and I have just bought a new book on them which only lists the 150 you should grow so I can see an expansion coming on.


Again after a new book we have the beginnings of a collection of the shrubby sorts in pots in and around the conservatory. Not so many silly names, yet.


A new bed planted in the Mulberry garden, it’s a shame that there is no scent but we have a few single flowered varieties which the bees love. Lots of clashing colours, some within the same flower head and many mad names. Also as some trendy chefs are now cooking the tubers for their menus I can see the return of dahlias to the vegetable garden where there is much more space!

All the above favourites are summer flowering so in the autumn and spring my favourites will be different. Worryingly because of the huge range of colours and varieties available collecting these plants could easily become an obsession so watch with interest.

7 August 2014