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July 2014

Plantpassion Flowers at Hampton Court Palace Flower show

I'm really excited about this coming week. My Flowers are taking part in a display in the Roses and Floral Pavilion at Hampton Court Flower show.

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I'm part of a Flowers from the farm team of Artisan growers who have put together a circus themed flower display using only seasonally grown British Flowers.

I was at Hampton Court Yesterday as the displays were finished off. I can look at the pictures and say - I grew that!

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(in this photo, that's the Red Sweet William, the Dianthus Green Trick and the Achillea Ptarmica the Pearl!)

Our display was very different to the others going up in the pavilion, - There are lots of Chrysanthemums, Succulents, and tropical flowers being used, so ours is on a different track completely.

If you are coming to Hampton Court this week, - do pop by and say Hello. - We are stand RF3 - it looks like this.

Fftf display (1 of 1)

I'll be there on Tuesday, Thursday and then on Saturday i've got a speaking gig.

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I'm going to be doing a talk and floral demonstration entitled - Your Garden in a vase. - Look, - it's really happening, that's my photo on the board outside the marquee, along with "Celebs" like Simon Lycett and Toby Buckland. My allotment neighbours have already told me they're going to come along and heckle!, - so if you are going to be at Hampton Court at 2.00pm on Saturday, please come and join them, so I have a couple of people watching me.

Scent in the garden and the vase

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When you see a picture of a red rose, - do you imagine it with scent?

The first reaction of about 95% of those receiveing bouquets from me is to stick their nose in it. - Scent is a very powerful sense, and our noses can identify about 50000 different smells.

Catching the scent of an object or flower can trigger memories. The smell of Jasmine for me brings back memories of a long ago Turkish holiday where we had breakfast in a shaded garden by a pool with a fountain.

Particularly in the summer garden, when we spend time outside, it's lovely to have perfume from plants as well as colour, and evening is a great time to make the most of it, - so here are my top performers to add to your garden, and your vase.

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Trachelospermum Jasminoides - (Common Name, Star Jasmine)

I walked into Squires Garden Centre the other day, and they had a wonderful plant of this at the entrance,- a great way to greet customers, and put me in a great buying mood for my visit.

Trachelospermum has made it's way into a lot of the planting plans that I do. - It's evergreen, - not too rampant, but will grow enough to cover an arch, and it has wonderful scented flowers in July and August.

I particularly like the variety "Wilsonii" which also has autumn foliage colours.

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Mint, - Corsican mint and Apple mint.

We use loads of mint in our bouquets, and it gives a fresh scent, that everyone can identify. If you use it in a garden, plant it by a path, so you can brush past it and let it release its aroma into the air. to keep it at it's scented best, - cut it back hard to the ground if it starts going rusty or getting eaten.

Sweet peas (1 of 1)

I'm just about to take the first batch of Sweet peas out of the polytunnel, - they've flowered for 6 weeks solidly, and now i'm on to plants that are outside and were Spring sown. The ones on my patio on a Huge tub are yet to flower, but hopefully they'll be giving me evening scent to accompany my evening glass of wine during the Summer holidays.

This has got to be one of the most scented flowers that I grow, and when I sell it at farmers markets, I often get asked for them "as Grandma used to grow them"

Even in these days of flower freighting, - they can't get Sweet peas to us from abroad with their perfume intact, so grow these Hardy Annuals in your own garden and you'll be rewarded with week after week of jam jars full of scent.

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My favourite scent from this season so far though, has to come from my Sweet Williams. - They are Biennials, so if you'd like them in your garden next year, - now is the time to sow seeds, - or buy plug plants this Autumn. In a range of colours from white, through the pinks to the reds and purples, - they make a great garden plant, and are wonderful in a vase.

Others that I suggest for trying round your patio are Stocks, Nicotiana, Lemon balm (like mint, best in a pot) Jasmine, and Dianthus. - And for larger spaces in your garden, - Choisya Ternata, Philadelphus Belle Etoile, Jasmine Officinale and  of course Roses. - The picture at the top is Munstead Wood.

Any i've summer ones i've missed? - What scent reminds you of memories from long ago?