Posts tagged Bamboo

Garden Visits: Garden House

The ‘Season’ has started in Barbados, and that is good for me and for our house guests. Until the end of April, there is lots and lots to see and do in Barbados. Between horse racing, polo, concerts, plays, National Trust open houses, etc., etc., Ian and I shall be very busy. Even better, the Barbados Horticultural Society has started their ‘Open Garden’ for the next two months. These are small private gardens that the owners are graciously opening for a small fee allowing the BHS to raise money.

For the first open garden it was the home of Mrs. Jean Robinson, in Constant, St. George.  She is the past president of the BHS and the Co-ordinator of the Barbados exhibit at the Chelsea Flower Show from 1988, when the Society first began exhibiting, until her retirement last year. And we all know how Barbados cleans up at Chelsea,  15 Golds, 8 Silver-Gilt, and 1 Silver, quite the record. I got a chance to see a replica of their 2011 Gold winning exhibit when it was displayed at Limegrove Mall this summer.

The garden at Garden House, is over 2 acres of lawns divided by shrub borders. You enter via the poinsettia walk,

and through an opening in the wall.

A path takes you through the first garden room.

In the shrub borders that surround this first garden room there is a lovely combination of Dracaena marginata, Ixora and variegated Mahoe.

The variegated Mahoe up close and personal. We have this plant in my complex as well, and I love it.

The borders surround a beautiful 18th century Bajan house,

 and the vivid colours of the shrubs and trees, whether in flower or not, lend a sparkle to the garden



Bromeliad planter


Loved the Euphorbia lactea ‘White Ghost’, so striking against the dark  ivy backdrop. 

On one side of the house a lovely lily pool,

and a closeup of the dark tradescantia planted at the base.

Walking back towards the house, you pass this tree, wish I had been there when the orchids were in flower


I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that a lot of the material that is used at Chelsea came from this garden, there is so much beautiful foliage that would be perfect in a floral arrangement,

Variegated Heliconia


Red Leafed Banana


Variegated Banana

This is  a yellow leafed form of Crinium, love  it.

In the back 40, were a number of fruit trees and this huge bamboo.

a very handy plant for any floral designer, and you can cut your own canes for staking as well.

Although there is no formal design (and you know how I like that), I was amazed by the colour throughout the garden, and the huge number of plants that I had no idea what they were. (And some I recognized as house plants in Canada).

And how to end a perfect afternoon, but a lovely tea in the shade, how civilized...

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A Winning Combination

As a floral designer, I am always attracted to colour schemes that are a tiny bit ‘off’.

When I first started in the industry, almost 20 years ago, (OMG), pink and blue seemed to be the ‘colour de jour’. I very quickly got tired of that palette, and was quite happy when bolder and brighter colours became more popular.

But it became pink and blue all over again, when I started working at Kenneth Turner at Harrods.  The English garden look was his signature, and pink, blue and white were the predominate colours. We very rarely had yellow or orange in the display fridge, and once again, I grew very tired of that pastel colour scheme.

When it comes to my own garden though, I am a bit of a wimp.  I prefer more monochromatic schemes, and I always seem to be attracted to white and blue.  But I have been breaking out of that mould lately, and chartreuse and hot pink/red has become a new favourite.

I wish that I knew the variety of the chartreuse bamboo, I bought it at one of Marion Jarvies open gardens, and lost the tag years ago. My friend Janus, kept it in her garden for me while I was in England.  The Knockout rose was purchased this year, and I love the colour against the Royal Cloak berberis.  Although you can’t see her, there is an Angelina sedum  just down at the bottom.   A japanese anemone is in the upper right of the photograph, “Pamina” has just started blooming, adding more hot pink in the mix. There is also a ‘Plum Pudding’ heuchera, at the bottom right, with foxgloves scattered throughout.  Just behind the anemone is a ‘Goldheart’ Dicentra, adding to the chartreuse/pink combo.  I have been quite happy with this colour scheme, and it is certainly a long way away from blue and white. 

What has been your favourite colour combination this year?

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That magical hour, when everything  (including me) looks so much better in the garden, no harsh glare, just flattering shadows.

Compare these two pictures of the same spot in my garden,

this one was taken during the harsh light of the day,

And then the magic hour,

wait, do you need another look at it,

So far, I am pretty happy with the way this section of the garden has turned out, however there is always room for improvement.

So far, I have Hakonechloa macro ‘Albo striata’, Hosta ‘White Feather’, Berberis ‘Royal Cloak’, a mini variegated bamboo, name unknown (but planted in a pot, just in case), Regale lily, Sedum sieboldii,  self seeded foxglove and an Anchusa, also unknown variety.

What do you think it needs?

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