In the Dry Garden at Hyde Hall

The flowers for today’s Flowers on Friday post were taken in the summer last year at the RHS garden in Essex. Usually I head there while MOH does a mad, hundred mile cycle around the Essex countryside, but I didn’t make it this year as after dropping him off, I headed out for lunch. So in a belated attempt to get my Hyde Hall fix, and to remember how warm the sun was on my visit, here’s a selection of photos from the Dry Garden, which shows how plants can cope, or adapt to cope, with less water.

allium flower heads

They can also look pretty too. The allium heads, which have gone to seed above echo the heads of the blue agapanthus below. Yes, more agapanthus, they’re taking over on my blog at least, as the replacements for hydrangeas, and they’re lovely too, but I have less opportunities to photograph them these days. Maybe it’s the gardens I’m visiting, or maybe there are fewer of them around following their peak as the plant trend a year or so ago. Who knows.

lining the pathway with agapanthus

The yellow fronds of the plants below reaching towards the blue skies make a great photo, but looking at the leaves, I’m pretty sure many of us would give them the weed treatment, I’m certain MOH would!

structural plants in the dry garden at hyde hall

The grasses which edged - and colour matched - the path which winds its way through this garden. They look, and were, sun baked - and so was I on this visit.

dry grasses at hyde hall

Did you know?

The smaller and thinner the leaves of the plant, the more likely your plant will cope with less water. Think heathers, rosemary, thyme and of course succulents which buck the small, thin leaf advice! Even cistus though are good in coastal and are also drought tolerant, their leaves adapt becoming smaller and more lustrous than they would be in the UK. The ones we saw in Portugal, in the Alentejo region were outstanding, and the fragrance was more concentrated too.

a path through the dry garden
blue skies at rhs hyde hall.jpg

The photo above is one of my all time favourite photos. To me, it just shrieks summer. When I first saw it I thought I could enter it into a photo competition, I forget which now, but in the end the deadline came and went. Maybe another time, or maybe I’ll just keep popping back to this post and “ahhing!”

Boxing hares

I've a bit of a thing for hares, what with our concrete versions in the garden and photos of this tambourine beating hare at Chatsworth, so when I spotted these Boxing Hares by Sue Lamb at RHS Hyde Hall in Essex on my recent visit, it was clear I was going to snap these.

Boxing Hares by Sue Lamb at RHS Hyde Hall

These are bronze resin and cost a little bit more than our concrete ones, but wouldn't they be great, and wouldn't they give the foxes a bit of a shock.

Delightful dahlias at RHS Hyde Hall

It was a couple of weeks ago now on another of those balmy days that I spent some time wandering around the RHS' garden Hyde Hall in Essex.  In the new vegetable garden I discovered a small patch of vibrantly colourful dahlias, which I may just have walked around (and around) to make sure I'd seen them all.  But when they looked like this, who could blame me?

flame coloured dahlias in essex at rhs hyde hall

Dahlias are one of those flowers that have had a bit of a bad press, but looking at them closely they are exquisite.  They have an almost 'mandala-like' quality to them, don't you think?

head on and gorgeous dahlias at rhs hyde hall

Having a patch of them about twice the size of a standard sized rug definitely maximised their impact, and goes to show you don't need a lot of space at all.

The raspberry ripple of the dahlia world?

These ones with the 'curled' petals reminded me that my dad used to grow these in our first house (well the first house I lived in) and I remember we used to get into trouble if our balls got in with the dahlias. I've still no idea how that happened...

petals curling and changing colour
A pink version of the vibrant dahlias at rhs hyde hall in essex

I imagine though the ones that dad grew would be pinker, like the one above, rather than any other colour.  I don't know for sure, but it's likely to be an educated guess.

dahlias have a mandala-like quality to them

I've no idea why dahlias have been out of favour, but I'm glad they seem to be enjoying a reprieve.  I used to have some of the burgundy Bishop of Llandaff, but somewhere along the way the tubers most likely rotted.

sunshine dahlias on stems at rhs hyde hall

I'm thinking perhaps I should try again, but with something more colourful.