One of my favourite plants of all time is the common Flag Iris or Pseudocorus. It has been growing in Britain since Anglo Saxon times. It has been the anglo saxon flag symbol too. It grows on the edges of ponds and lakes. I bought mine from Hampsons and grew it in a fake pond pot. A pot inside a water filled pot. It has grown beautifully after it was frozen solid in the winter. It got totally encased in ice. The ice melted, the temperatures rose, and it grew away.
I first saw these plants growing at Harlow Carr around the Queen Mothers Lake. I have subsequently seen them at Newmiller Dam here in Wakefield. They are very vigerous though and can elbow out other species of plants in the pond edge. They are good in water filled containers though like my plastic fatball container.
The flowers are six petaled with the pairs forming yellow flags. They have dark markings running up their throat. They are like liquid sunshine on the patio.
It was also a golden day at the RHS Chelsea flower show with the medals being handed out this morning to the expectant gardners. The rest of the day will have been euphoria or dissapointment, followed by relief that its all over. The RHS members have the next few days to admire all the gardens, and stands in the Great Pavillion, before the general public are let into Chelsea. 157,000 visitors will pass through the gates in five days.
Eight two gold medals were handed out this morning between the gardens and the exhibitors in the Grand Pavillion.
Andy Sturgeon won a Gold medal and coveted Best In Show garden for his Daily Telegraph garden. He was back presenting the BBC's coverage a few hours later alongside Nicky Chapman. He is such a down to earth guy with a really eye for planting and the balance between structure and plants.
James Wong also took a Gold medal for his Malaysian Garden. The presenter of BBC 2's Grow Your Own Drugs designed it with his partner David Cubana. He (David) was quite Shy hiding at the back of the garden clearing debris from a water feature, when the judges arrived to present the card with the medal embossed in it. James Wong said "excuse me" to Nicky Chapman and ran back to show his shy partner. They were both delighted with the Gold medal.
I have just had a look at the Gold Medal winners. One I liked was the Green And Blacks Rainforest Garden highlighting the plight of the peoples of Cameroon. They had made a complete rainforest surrounding a traditional banana leave constructed tent. The Ladys from Cameroon made the dwelling. Her Majesty the Queen loved this garden when she visited it on Monday and was asking lots of questions about it.
I loved the Yorkshire Rhubarb and Custard Garden, it received a Silver medal. The Thrive garden called The Unexpected Gardener is really good too and got a Gold medal. I will try to get some photos of the show gardens to show the ones that i liked.
The full list of awards is here: http://www.rhs.org.uk/Shows-Events/RHS-Chelsea-Flower-Show/2010/Awards
The new plant voted the best newcomer was a Streptocarpus called Harlequin Blue. It is a bi colour Streptocarpus with a yellow lip, and dark blue upper petal. I will see if i can buy it at the Autumn Flower Show or at Tatton Park in July.
Its been a day of gold then from my blooming Flag Iris, to the awards at the 2010 Chelsea flower show.
The two gardens I tipped the UK Skills Growing World Class Talent, and the Eden Projects Places Of Change got Silver medals. Well done those two teams of people.