Flowering Delights

First written and posted on 14th May, 2013. Please click here if you would like to read the original post on This and That.

I had a wander round the Eden Project’s nursery this evening to see what was in flower, as I hadn’t had a mooch around for a while, and I wasn’t disappointed! There were tropical delights of orchids, giant water lilies, sacred lotuses and vanilla as well as stunning architectural plants like the Bird of Paradise flower. Victoria amazonica

Being able to walk out of my front door and marvel at beautiful plants that most people have to travel for miles to see is what I love about living at Watering Lane Nursery. It may be in a remote location and I curse every time I have to drive six miles to the nearest shop when I’ve forgotten milk but the plants more than make up for that. Cattleya skinneri

I was like a kid in a sweet shop taking photos of everything, with the nursery’s tropical glasshouse supervisor, Neville, giving me a guided tour of the most amazing blooms. Acalypha hispida

Here are shots of my personal favourites, I’ve tagged the names in the photos but here they are anyway: Pelargonium

1. Acalypha hispida – the common name is Red Hot Cat’s Tails, because of its long, bristly flowers. Vanilla planifolia

2. Cattleya skinneri – a stunning, purple orchid, the first Cattleya hybrid was made in England in 1852.

3. Victoria amazonica – known as the giant waterlily, its genus (first name) was changed in the 1800s from Eurgale to Victoria in honour of Queen Victoria. Miltonia orchid

4. Nelumbo nucifera – the Sacred Lotus. The one pictured here isn’t in flower yet but when it is it will have exotic, red flowers. Bulbophyllum

5. Gypsophila – also known as Baby’s Breath. You can see why, it has lovely, delicate flowers. Strelitzia reginae

6. Vanilla planifolia – yes, ordinary vanilla! It’s an amazing plant with so many uses, including a flavouring agent, in perfume and in medicines.

7. Miltonia – commonly known as the Pansy Orchid, they are well known for their large, flat flowers and bold patterns. Nevilis Evanus, commonly known as Neville!

8. Bulbophyllum – Orchidaceae is the largest plant family in the world. There are 30,000 species!

9. Pelargonium – I don’t know the species of this particular pelargonium but how could I not take a shot of it? I can’t resist pink! Gypsophila

10. Lotus berthelotii – known as Parrot’s Beak because of the shape of the flowers. Nelumbo nucifera

11. Strelitzia reginae – also known as Bird of Paradise. It was first introduced into Britain in 1773 by a fellow ginger, Francis Masson, who was the first official plant hunter of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Lotus berthelotii

Let me know if you have or grow any unusual plants yourself, I’d love to hear about them. In the meantime I hope you enjoy these particular flowering delights 🙂

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