While walking around the garden today in the warm sunshine, I was totally taken aback with the incredible amount of insect life that has flocked to the profusion of garden flowers that are out at present. What really caught my eye was the beautiful Peacock Butterfly on one of the Verbena bonariensis. Her vibrant colours glistening in the sunshine and she did not even mind if I got up close to take a photo as she was too busy sucking the sweet nectar.
Unassuming, low-growing and evergreen but I can only describe this plant as enchanting. Cocooned in its spiders’ webs, it looks like a magic carpet of ancient, neglected rosettes. The plant that time forgot in Ms Havisham’s glasshouse. Now it has produced a delicate pink flower, bringing a dash of colour that seems to say “Don’t be fooled, I’m still growing” and living up to its name which means “always alive”.
Gabriella’s choice….Aeonium arboreum
In the first week of February I was travelling in the hilly northern part of Gran Canaria. There I saw a huge number of big plants with yellow flowers growing in the wild. It dawned on me that this was a plant I’d seen previously in the glasshouses in Fota. It was the Aeonium Arboreum, which had been presented to Fota’s Frameyard by Mrs Reiker.
Tina’s choice…Azara Microphylla ‘Variegata’
When you enter the green door into the Frameyard, you are immediately met with a wonderful smell of vanilla. Straight in front of you is a fabulous shrub/small tree and it’s called Azara Microphylla ‘Variegata’.
Ann’s choice – Euryops pectinatus, Erysimum “Bowles Mauve”, Coronilla valentina
If you are starting a new garden and need something to create impact quickly the following plants are wonderful. They make great fillers too for a newly planted shrub or mixed border.
Sally’s choice…. William Baylor Hartland and Árd Cairn Russet apple trees
I spent a very informative morning in the Fota Frameyard at a Pruning Workshop last week with the very knowledgeable Ian. After which we all went into the Orchard to assist him in pruning the old Fota apple trees back into a manageable shape. I went home inspired and determined to see if I couldn’t reinvigorate my own apple trees, one of which is an ‘Árd Cairn Russet’.
Arbutus unedo – Edwina’s choice...
Many of the beds and borders in the Fota Frameyard are planted in alphabetical order with plants beginning with ‘A’ grouped together, followed by those beginning with ‘B’ etc. The majority of the plants in our Frameyard come from warmer climes and far off places, with the exception of a few natives – Arbutus unedo being one of them.