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Welcome to this February edition of ‘Fun in the Garden’. The early signs of spring are appearing to cheer the heart and in this, the month of St. Valentine, we celebrate our love of nature and gardens.
Enjoy the beauty of plants both inside and out with our round-up of the sublime, the exotic, the rare and the awesome …
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Red roses? ‘Orchidding me!
Red roses are traditionally sent on Valentine’s Day but for something that lasts longer, consider an orchid. Flowers can last up to three months. Several orchids have symbols attached to them like beauty, love or strength and some are extremely rare. The Rothschild’s Slipper Orchid/Gold of Kinabalu Orchid fetches around £4,000. For your own, less expensive, Slipper Orchid, consider Paphiopedilum (pictured).

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A festival of Orchids

Step into a carnival of orchids at Kew Gardens: ‘Celebrate the colour of Colombia’ between 9 February – 10 March 2019. The accompanying display depicts toucans, butterflies, a hanging sloth and a turtle. Well worth a visit! Click here for details.  
And why not join orchid expert Manos Kanellos at a Squires Garden Centre to hear about how to look after these exotic blooms?
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Love is in the air

Over the years Polesden Lacey has been the backdrop to many romantic moments, including the honeymoon of our late Queen Mother and King George VI. Polesden is celebrating by revealing some of these love stories (and maybe a scandal or two!). Also visit to hang a note to your loved one on the Love Tree on the South Lawn. Details here.

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Half-term happiness

You may already have some growing in your garden but another reason to head to Polesden Lacey is to enjoy the snowdrop-lined Lime Walk, usually resplendent from late January to the end of February. More delightful snowdrop displays can be seen at Winkworth Arboretum.

Also at Winkworth is their outdoor children’s trail called ‘Shapes and Sizes’ – a good excuse for some fresh air!

Family Bushcraft: flipping pancakes around the Fire
On 22 February, Sir Harold Hillier Gardens near Romsey is starting Pancake Day early by inviting you to join them in cooking your own tasty treats over the campfire. See more here.

Bushy beverage of the month

A glass or two of pink bubbles always makes a welcome treat on 14 February – but did you know that it’s against regulations to make rosé using grapes from the Italian Prosecco region? You can’t use the word Prosecco on the label. Until the rules change we’ll have to make do with attractive-looking bottles of Freixenet-branded fizz, or perhaps the Bottega Rose Gold – or some pink champagne (oh, the hardship!).

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Enjoy the month and, if you think your garden needs more love and attention, we’re here to help!

Chris Stone
Head of Beautiful Gardens

Fun in the garden