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!”

Cascades of colour

The flowers today are full of colour, and were a welcome burst of colour as we turned one of the corners on the second day of our Portuguese walk earlier in the summer. I didn’t know what they were at the time, but have since identified them as a Lantana.



The multi-coloured flower head is completely natural, they open yellow and mature to red. So the close up of the one above indicates it’s been flowering for a while, as there’s little yellow, much more of an orange. But it’s exquisite isn’t it?

Stepping back, the effect is stunning. Imagine facing that as you emerge from a cork forest, which was completely fascinating for other reasons, though obviously not as colourful.

a pretty portuguese corner

Definitely a welcome burst of colour.

A Portuguese planter

This rustic, but full of bright flowering lilies and other plants, was spotted on our second trip to Portugal some five years ago. It’s the sort of photo that you don’t always remember, but when you see it you’re immediately transported back to where it was taken. So much so that I can tell you it was which village it was taken in, Odeceixe, and why we were there, to see the windmill, and that we also managed to find a great cake shop. Well, when in Portugal.

I thought I’d test my theory, and looked up the Windmills in Odeceixe post which I posted here in 2015. And sure enough, I knew I was right before I spotted it. And then I did, I’d shared this photo back then and forgotten all about it. That isn’t going to stop me sharing it again though. As you can see.

A stone planter complete with brightly coloured flowers

The fruit trees too are set off by the whitewashed walls, and you can feel the heat can’t you?

Fruit trees in the Alentejo
lemons for your G&T

The trees aren’t technically flowers, but they must flower before they fruit so I’m counting them into this Flowers on Friday post. And who doesn’t need a lemon for their G&T on Friday?