27Feb 2023

Kite flying or plant hunting here?

Many MPG members have an affinity with Greece because of its rich flora so it’s fun to see a local low-key sample of the traditional thing children and adults do on this day, Kathara Deftera (“Clean Monday” – the first day of the Eastern Orthodox version of Lent), though it has nothing to do with plants. This little girl was doing her best to get her kite high on Stoupa beach in the western Mani today. Families celebrate with delicious fasting foods. The significance of kite flying is its association with ascension of the soul, flying into the skies and getting closer to God.

20Jan 2023

Expansion for future security

Mona Abboud’s garden in north London, home to many unusual plants from Mediterranean climates and New Zealand and also the National Collection of Corokia, has been enlarged with the purchase of an overgrown derelict patch of land next door. Work started on it a year ago and it will open for visits in May. It retains some mature trees, an oak, a magnolia, a Ginkgo biloba and a fig tree. The house and garden will one day belong to Perennial, the charity which supports horticulturists, so Mona will build a propagation greenhouse. She is creating a raised exotic border and a prairie area. Felled wood has been used to delineate paths. Large amounts have been chipped to go towards compost.

3Jan 2023

Peter Watts bursary fund contribution

We are touched and very grateful for the kind contribution from Peter Watts’ family to MPG to support a full bursary. Melvyn Jope was instrumental in helping in the distribution of Peter’s extensive plant collection and also distribution and sale of books from his comprehensive library. Peter’s family were very supportive of the suggestion that from the proceeds an MPG bursary contribution might be a good way to honour Peter’s memory. Peter was a keen and very knowledgeable horticulturist with, among other plants, a special interest in cyclamen and bulbous plants. He was well known as the person that found Crocus wattiorum in its natural environment in Tahtali Dagi Turkey. The picture is a pale yellow form of Sternbergia lutea from his collection.

23Dec 2022

All found in one Mediterranean garden

This Christmas arrangement was created by Lindsay Blyth using plants from all over the world which she grows in her Andalusian garden. Before you read on, how many different plants can you  see are represented here? Well… The pale orange pencil-like sticks of Euphorbia tirucalli towards the bottom of the image combine with the brighter orange Nandina domestica berries and one of Lindsay’s favourites, Kniphofia rooperi, to give a warm festive feeling. Seed heads are from an aloe. There are a couple of bits of grey Echeveria, lots of nasturtium leaves, and a few autumn leaves of persimmons (Diospyros kaki) and flame vine (Pyrostegia venusta).

10Dec 2022

The Cactus and Succulent Review

This Agave parryi var. truncata in a garden in Essex, UK, is a stunner pictured originally in the December issue of the Cactus and Succulent Review. The quarterly magazine, issued in PDF format at the beginning of March, June, September and December, focuses mainly on what the title suggests and also includes information on plants which grow in similar habitats to cacti, growing succulents outdoors in the UK, and exotic gardening. Those interested can find more details on the website where they may subscribe free of charge.

1Dec 2022

Over the sea to Skye

Becky Cross has recently joined the horticultural team at Dunvegan Castle and Gardens on the Isle of Skye, after completing the Horticulture with Plantsmanship BSc course at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. Dunvegan has recently been voted Scotland’s RHS Partner Garden Winner 2022. The castle is the oldest continuously inhabited one in Scotland and has been the ancestral home of the Chiefs of clan MacLeod for 800 years. Its five acres of formal gardens have an eclectic mix of flowers, exotic plants, specimen trees and shimmering pools fed by waterfalls and streams. Becky (second from the right) is a former Secretary of MPG, having been on the management committee.

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