Today was the start of 'the season' - the first of the RHS shows opening with the two day Plant and Design event. I went last year and was disappointed. I can't say why exactly. I don't think I was in the full throes of plant addiction then. I was the gardening equivalent of someone that smokes only socially whereas now I am like an alcoholic who says they only drink to relax. So it was only with half a heart that I set off, battling a tube full of children on half term. At Westminster, the sun shone through the thin light of winter, Big Ben silhouetted against a pale sky. As I walked into the Horticultural Halls, I was greeted by a sea of irises that bought tears to my eyes.
(Note to Helene from Graphicality - you NEED irises!)
Vast tables of spring bulbs lifted everyone's hearts out of the frosty morning.
Hellebores gave off a radiant but delicate glow.
I have to explain at this point that Le Photographe refused to come to this show as he is already 'garden showed-out.' This is worrying so early in the season. It must be something to do with the different approach the French have to gardening. They are all into order and topiary, chic and understated, less obsessed. Maybe other French people might think he is a paysan if he is seen at shows. I had to take photos with my mobile instead.
Slugs - or rather those who warrior against them were also represented. I bought three of these anti-slug rings.
There was also a kind of anti-slug magic carpet for sale.
In an act of heroism to spare my terrace the weight of yet more overcrowding, I managed to buy only one plant. Yes, just one. Just an iris. Iris reticulata 'baby blue.'
I decided today that anyone who is ill or upset should be able to have an iris prescribed for them. You can only feel better for having one. If you have had a bad day, I prescribe you one iris.