Skip navigation.

Philippa Pearson

Behind the scenes diary for The Victorian Aviary Garden at Chelsea Flower Show and The Girlguiding UK Centenary Garden at Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2010

Recent Comments

Growing for Chelsea

Posted by Neil Lucas on 30 Apr 2008 at 12:28 PM

It may be cold and frosty at night outside on the nursery, but for the favoured few plants selected to be grown on for Chelsea it is warm and cosy inside our 'Chelsea' or 'Rubrum' houses.

The new stems on the mare's tail Equisetum hymenale are moving very quickly upwards now with the longer days and are very striking in both their form and upright habit.

This plant loves moist conditions and we sell quite a few for pots and containers especially for roof gardens. It is a spreader so is best planted in contained or watery places; it could outstay its welcome in the ordinary border!
More info on this and other plants for particular places see our specially prepared lists at; 

In the run up to Chelsea last year we kept the ‘Rubrum’ house very warm in order to help convince the Pennisetum Rubrums we were growing there to flower in time for the show. The ‘Rubrums’ turned out to be less than impressed with our hospitality and refused to flower in time; thanks no doubt, to the rather poor sunlight levels we had last spring. But nevertheless I ended up with a large heating bill and small plants with no flower.

This year I thought we would save on the heat and grow the pennisetums elsewhere, however too cold a temperature would have affected our Egyptian paper reeds Cyperus papyrus, which, understandably like some heat and moisture. So to try and get the best of both worlds we have put each papyrus in its own bowl of water complete with their own heating system in the shape of a heated base so they don’t get cold roots.


carolina said:

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


on 19 Feb 2009 at 11:40 AM