RHS Spring Plant Fair

23 Feb

This was a treat! I’d only been to one (small) show before. On this occasion I managed to pick up some really charismatic plants, and for pocket money, namely Arisaema tortuosum, Gloriosa rothschildiana and Hedychium gardenerianum from Jacques Amand and a couple of species lilies, Lilium lancifolium and L. tenuifolium from H.W.Hyde. All bulbs rather than plants. I was travelling by coach and on a limited budget, so it made sense.

I went to university in London. Walking from Pall Mall to the RHS halls in Westminster, I passed one of my favourite views in London

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And I finally found out what this thing is, I always wondered.

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It’s known as Admiralty Citadel and was built in the war. There’s grass on the roof and Russian vine growing up the walls, which apparently are nine feet thick. Smartphones are handy. Online sources say something like “you might have missed this well-disguised building on the Mall.” Might have missed it? It’s a gigantic, sinister carbuncle. Speaking of sinister things on the Mall, this appeals to my sense of humour: one of these rooms in St. James’ Palace looks like it has something seedy going on in it. Can you guess which one?

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I love to wander the streets of SW1 and imagine what goes on. “I wandered the streets of Pimlico, mouth dumb with lipstick and eyes blind with mascara. It did not matter. There were others to look where I was going” -Quentin Crisp. Power seems to hang over things like a shroud-

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I liked that same street a lot. It has an aroid in it, which I took as a good sign of what was to come in the show, just around the corner.

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Queuing to get in

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Have a begonia covered in matted hairs-

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Miraculously, a heather that I might consider allowing into my garden. Then again maybe not.

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The rest of the Trewidden stall was rather exciting

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Then there’s Plantbase (I think) showing off the different leaf textures among agaves and acacias

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They had a few things, puya etc which looked to me like they had been punched out of sheet metal and assembled. Nature looking unnatural always holds appeal

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Then we get to Crug. I haven’t been to their nursery, nor had I seen their plants anywhere else, so this was a rare chance for me to see rare things. The best thing, about it, apart from the plants, was earwigging the high-minded and narrow-minded chatter of the majority of show-goers as they perused the wares. Boiled down, this chatter is “i know about this nursery because I am clever, but I don’t care too much for their adventurous spirit because it doesn’t help me to keep up appearances with my fellow upper-middle class gardeners.”

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As for what I think, well, i’d love to have a garden entirely planted with things that barely anyone can recognise, but i’m not made of money, so I just sit back and admire before finding cheaper ways of creating the garden I would like to have.

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