Botany Babes

The adventures of PlantWoman, Sundew Kid and Black Eyed Susan

Malvern Autumn Show September 30, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — sundewkid @ 8:46 am

This weekend I headed home to help out PlantWoman with the Old Court Nurseries display in the RHS part of the show. After having spent all of Thursday setting up her display, Dave and I were needed to help set up the sales tables, and help put the finishing touches to the display and attempt to sweep up the conifer from the carpet (it sticks like velcro and left the three of us crawling round on our hands and knees!!).

After we were happy the display looked as good as it could, we headed back to the nursery to have a look around the garden and to get more plants ready for the show whilst judging took place. Whilst there we got to meet Roy Lancaster as he was in Malvern the the Hardy Plant Socieites AGM. We went back tot he show, anxious to find out whether we got a medal – unfortunately there was nothing there, so we had to go home and wait until Saturday!

After an early start we headed down to the show ground and were chuffed to find that PlantWoman had won a Silver-Gilt medal for the display (not bad for a first attempt!!). In between selling and talking to people about asters, Plant Woman and I kept disappearing off and returning with plants, or lists of plants that we wanted (standing in a big hall full of interesting plants is a bit fatal!!). The weekend also proved a bit of a crash course in asters for Dave, who had a very steep learning curve!

Hopefully we’ll get to help out at future shows too!

Photos from the show


Garden Museum September 21, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — sundewkid @ 2:50 pm

Well, after several recent attempts to try and update this blog with anything of interest (or anything at all!!) I have finally found a bit of time to update….(perhaps with the other things I had intended to write I can do them in retrospect).

This weekend Plantwoman and I went to the Garden Museum in London where we spent our timetalking about and trying to sell Asters (or Michaelmas daisies).  Despite being long,  we had a good time, and had the oppurtunity to explore the museum, a place which, despite living near London, we have never heard about until recenty!

I will try and upload some of the photos of the museum (and asters) that I took over the weekend.

This was the start of a long week, as next weekend we will be at the Autumn show in Malvern, with an exhibit for Old Court nurseries (and the national collection of Autumn flowering asters)….I will hopefully find time to update on this next week.


Plantwoman and Sundewkid go to Exbury May 1, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — plantwoman @ 10:38 am

So yes I should have been revising for finals but the weather was beautiful and the timing was perfect so we decided a trip to Exbury would be the perfect way to spend a sunny April Sunday. Exbury is a Rothschild Estate near the town of Exbury in the New Forest and is home to the a massive collection of Rhododendrons and Azaleas.

The trip down took us about one and half hours…. slightly longer due to a mishap with the speedometer on the M3. Once there we spent a wonderful few hours wandering through the drifts of colour and under huge mature Rhododendrons in full flower. One of the most exceptional Rhododendrons that we saw was called ‘Fortune’ and is  R. falconeri × R. sinogrande. The plants were mainly in mature groups standing at more or less 15-20 ft (this is a bit of a guesstimate) and were stunning with their large dark leaves and clusters of cream flowers.

The state of flowering at Exbury was definitely at its peak last weekend and I would definitely recommend a visit to any one who fancies a nice walk in stunning surroundings. Visit Exbury’s website for more information.

R. fortunei x R. sieboldiani "Fortune"

R. falconeri_ × _R. sinogrande "Fortune"


The Harris Garden April 19, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — sundewkid @ 8:13 pm

Hi! Firstly I feel I should apologise for the lack of posts! I want to blame it on the winter and the lack of plant activity associated with it, but really I’ve just not got round to writing anything and I know that Plantwoman has been busy writing dissertations and doing vast amounts of coursework (something I most definitely do not miss!)

Considering I was a student at Reading for 4 years and have been staff there now for a fair while, I feel ashamed to say that I have rarely visited the Harris Garden on Reading’s campus, and when I have, its been badly timed (normally the middle of winter). As it was open today as part of the National Gardens Scheme (NGS), we decided that we would go and enjoy the wonderful weather we’ve been having recently and see what was out in the garden….

Firstly a little bit of background about the Harris Garden… it’s used for teaching and research by the School of Biological Sciences, and as a result the garden has a wide variety of plants, and includes the national collection of Digitalis (Foxgloves). The Friends of the Harris Garden help support the development of the Garden and it’s with their help that the garden is opened as part of the NGS.

Read more and photos of the garden


Green walls in London November 27, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — sundewkid @ 12:17 pm

I’ve just been reading the RHS website and in their news section found an article on the first green wall in the UK. The two pictures below have been taken from the RHS website, just as a way to illustrate it…

View across greenwall

View across greenwall

Close up of the green wall

Close up of the green wall

When I started reading this article I was thing that the wall would just consist of Sedums and similar species that are often found in green roofing, so I was quite surprised when I read that there was Buddleja, Iris and Burberis being used!

It’ll be interesting to see how it develops over  the next few years (I would have thought the Buddleja and Burberis would need pruning!)…


Battle of the bulbs!!!!

Filed under: Uncategorized — plantwoman @ 10:06 am

At the beginning of October I decided that it would be good to liven up my back garden with a couple of tubs, yes i know i’m not a normal student but hey normal’s boring, anyway i bullied Sundew Kid and her very patient boyfriend into coming to a garden centre with me. After much discussion we ended up group buying some daffodil bulbs, some tulips and some winter flowering violas. And so it came to be that I had two tubs of mixed bulbs for the spring and violas for the winter. However, one morning a couple of weeks after planting I looked out of the window and there was one half empty tub with the soil and violas strewn across the gravel. So i trekked out and replanted the bulbs, one of which was well chewed, and the violas. Two mornings later exactly the same thing had happened to exactly the same tub. After the tub had been emptied and replanted several more times I decided enough was enough, so that night i covered the tub with a bin bag. Next morning the tub was still intact. After a week i decided to leave the bag off and two weeks later the plants are still where they are meant to be…… I’ve won……atleast for now. Its still a mystery what beastie had taken a liking to my tub the only sensible theory we’ve come up with is a squirrel.


Not much happening… November 25, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — sundewkid @ 9:35 am

Well, I thought I had better try to post something as no one else has had anything to say! We haven’t forgotten about the blog…it’s just there doesn’t seem to be much going on in the Botanical/plant world at the moment. I guess Winter is typically thought of as a season when nothing happens, and I would like to try and show that it isn’t, but unfortunately I’m still waiting to find something of interest!!!

I’ll keep my eyes open and let you know as soon as I can find something that’s worth blogging about….