Kew Gardens Davies Alpine House & Waterlily House, 4th May 2014

Opened in 2006 the Davies Alpine House is a modern take on the glass houses that have been such a feature of the world famous gardens at Kew. In the state of the art ventilated and lit glasshouse it is possible to grow alpines in a way I, funnily enough, fail to do so. The primulas in particular caught my eye.

Completed in 1852, Richard Turner’s iron work is a feature of the Waterlily House and, for a time, both the images below adorned my computer as a background. Were it not for the heat and humidity inside I would suggest the water, flat lilies and reflected ironwork are very cool.

  

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Ipheion uniflorum ‘Charlotte Bishop’, first bloom of winter/spring, 30th October 2015

The first bloom of spring is always welcome particularly when it appears at the end of October. I have seven Ipheions or “spring starflowers” at the last count, “Charlotte Bishop” being the earliest flowering this year. She is grown outdoors on our south facing patio. I seem to recall “Wisley Blue” being first last year. 

Not to be isolated her neighbour is Cyclamen cilicium, a variety I find hard to distinguish from Cyclamen hederifolium, flowering at the same time. The cilicium is in the pot below, hederifolium below that and fighting for its life amongst the falling leaves.

A bit of a disappointment with my autumn flowering Crocus Speciosus Conqueror as the recent rains have crushed their resistance. I planted them too late. One or two are upright however.