The Orange Tip

mattcollinsgarden.co.uk

Category: Garden Museum

Ode to Echiums for the Guardian

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Two separate travel experiences during spring 2018 brought the Echium genus into focus for me. The first was a visit to Gran Canaria, and seeing so many varieties – some unique to the island – in flower along its ridges and ravines (pictured below). The second was a walk around the ‘desert’ landscape of Dungeness in the south east of England. Great drifts of viper’s bugloss (E. vulgare) were in flower all over the beach, and the colour was just spectacular (bottom image). Having grown tree echiums (E. pininana) at the Garden Museum for many years, and enjoyed their enormous bee-covered, monocarpic blooms, I suggested a piece for the Guardian covering the history and cultivation of the wider Echium genus (published 15.06.19 and can be read here).

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Echium decaisnei seen growing near Roque Nublo on Gran Canaria (April 2018)

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Echium vulgare (viper’s bugloss) growing wild in the grass scrub surrounding Dungeness (June 2018)

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Fledged Wren

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…fledged itself hard into the garden glass yesterday morning. I spent a few minutes cornering the little thing in the corridor, before releasing into the sky from the courtyard. Spring ain’t no picnic…

Evening gardening in Central London

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Early evening very much the best time of day – and the best kind of light – to enjoy the Museum’s front gardens. Particularly the woodland bed, designed by Dan Pearson Studio,  where in spring Narcissus runs alongside sulphuric epimedium and bright white Ipheion ‘Alberto Castillo’, borrowing the haze above the Thames for a backdrop.

Everything in its Right Place

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This morning was one of those Garden Museum mornings where, inside the small box of our courtyard garden, conditions felt warm, calm and bright; redolent of the coming season. Our central Melianthus major has so far pulled through the winter safely – covered until last week – and with any luck, flower buds will soon follow.