Helenium “Chelsey”

When compared to more commonly offered varieties, such as ‘Moorheim Beauty’, ‘Chelsey’ distinguishes itself by having fuller flowers as the petals do not droop, and being more compact with very thick stems, making it a much sturdier plant. ‘Chelsey’ also provides extra intrigue, as its crimson petals are often flecked with bright yellow highlights, which vary in proportion according to how much sunlight each individual flower receives.

Helenium “Chelsey”

Romneya Coulteri

Tree Poppy, with crepe papery petals and egg yolk centre.

romeyna

romeyna

Commonly called matilija (ma-tila-huh) poppy, this California native wildflower is perfect for the dry, rocky, sun-baked west- or south-facing territory that is so difficult to make presentable.

Coneflower and bees

Today’s flower is obviously attractive to bees – this was taken in the beautiful double borders of Blickling Hall, Norfolk

echinacea

Echinacea purpurea (Eastern purple coneflower or Purple coneflower) is a species of flowering plant in the genus Echinacea. Its cone-shaped flowering heads are usually, but not always purple.

Echinacea comes from the Greek word for hedgehog ‘echinos’ which alludes to the prickly spines of the central cone.

Rose Portrait: Commandant Beaurepaire

Commandant Beaurepaire 2An old rose (Bourbons) with large double, fragrant light-pink flowers striped and flecked with deep-pink, purple and scarlet.

This Bourbon rose is named for Nicholas Joseph Beaurepaire, a retired colonel in the French army who, after the Revolution and on the invasion of France by Prussia and Austria, was called to defend the town of Verdun with a few hundred untrained conscripts against 60,000 Prussians. Refusing all calls to surrender, even from the town council and his own officers, the Commandant declared “I prefer death to life under despots” and promptly shot himself.

Verdun surrendered, but Beaurepaire became a national hero. This glorious striped rose was dedicated to him in 1874 after another war with Prussia left France in need of her heroes.

Rose Portrait: Complicata

This is one of the finest single roses. It is probably a hybrid of a Gallica Rose and R. canina, although it is very much a wild rose in character. R. ‘Complicata’ bears large, single flowers, about five inches across, of brilliant pure rose-pink, paling to white at the centre.

Rose Complicata watercolour