Just Perfect!

During the week Harold McBride, a gardening friend in Northern Ireland, forwarded a photograph taken at the recent Alpine Garden Society show at Cabinteely, Dublin. The photograph was taken by Paddy Smith of the A.G.S. and was of a plant displayed by Billy Moore, a long time AGS member and perennial exhibitor at the Cabinteely show.

SONY DSC
Trillium chloropetalum ‘Bob Gordon’ at the Alpine Garden Society’s show in Cabinteely, 2017. Exhibited by Billy Moore. Photographed by Paddy Smith

Billy’s plant this year was of one of those plants which would stop you in your tracks if you encountered it in a garden or on the show bench. It is, quite simply, both outstandingly beautiful and perfectly grown. Beyond that, it has connection and provenance which all who have seen it and know of it appreciate so very much.

This is Trillium chloropetalum ‘Bob Gordon’, named for Bob, who gardens in Northern Ireland, because it was among some self-sown seedlings in his garden that he gave to Billy. Bob has a form of Trillium chloropetalum in his garden which grows with unbounded vigour and which seeds with abundance in his garden. I have had such seedlings from Bob and they have continued to thrive here with me but I have not been as fortunate as Billy to have one which produced yellow flowers.

Naturally, as we all would be, Billy was thrilled with his new plant and gave it Bob’s name to remember Bob’s kindness and to attach Bob’s name to a truly special plant and that is what is so pleasing – the plant and the man are so well matched. Harold McBride commented, “This yellow form of T. Chloropetalum  is probably the best plant of Irish origin  to emerge for many years .  It also fittingly bears the name of one of Ireland’s most generous and talented  gardeners who was, of course, the raiser” while Margaret Young, of the Scottish Rock Garden Club, added:  “I could not agree more – a truly lovely plant, and it’s “friends and associates” are some of Ireland’s nicest and best- gardeners!”

Trillium 'Bob Gordon' photo Anne Repnow
Trillium chloropetalum ‘Bob Gordon’, photographed by Beryl McNaughton at the joint AGS/SCRC Northumberland Show at Hexham. 

I saw this plant at the 2016 Cabinteely Show and thought it was magnificent but, with Billy’s care, it looks even better this year. He exhibited it at the A.G.S./S.R.G.C Northumberland Show at Hexham where the plant was awarded a Certificate of Merit – a dress rehearsal for Dublin, Billy commented. When exhibited at Cabinteely it was awarded the Farrer Medal, the highest award from the Alpine Garden Society recognising an excellent plant, well grown!

Well done to Billy and to Bob!

 

Paddy Tobin

To find out more about the Irish Garden Plant Society visit our website or follow us on Facebook

Advertisements

Heritage Irish Plants – An Update!

Heritage Irish Plants Logo 1
Promotional material designed by Jane Stark 

Heritage Irish Plants – Plandai Oidhreachta is a collaborative project between the Irish Society of Botanical Artists and the Irish Garden Plant Society which will lead to an exhibition of the works of the artists and the publication of a soft-back book using the paintings to illustrate a collection of articles. The introduction will be by Dr. E. Charles Nelson, formerly the taxonomist at the National Botanical Gardens, Glasnevin, founder of the IGPS and author of A Heritage of Beauty the reference book on plants of Irish origin and connection.  The coming book, which is being published with the financial support of An Bord Bia, will be available to order in late spring/early summer for a pre-publication price of €25.

When there are over seventy artists and near a dozen contributors working on the project and when these are spread not only around the country but also abroad news of progress comes along in dribs and drabs – but it is always far from drab. Each new report, perhaps a photograph sent to show progress on a painting or a draft of an article, brings new excitement as each is another step along the way to what, I believe, will be one of the most beautiful and significant exhibitions in Irish botanical art and Irish horticulture.

Heritage Irish Plants Logo 2
Promotional material designed by Jane Stark 

Jane Stark, a founder member of the Irish Society of Botanical Artists and one of the contributing artists, has had an accomplished career as a graphic designer and, along with preparing the material for the book and designing its layout, has also designed the promotional material for the project which we will circulate to invite pre-publication subscriptions.

Heritae Irish Plants Publication Brochure 1
Lathyrus ‘Rowallane’ from botanical artist Susan Sex. Graphic design by Jane Stark 
Heritage Irish Plants Brochure 2
Artwork taken from Lathyrus ‘Rowallane’ and ‘Castlewellan’ by Susan Sex and Lathyrus ‘Mount Stewart’ by Grania Langrishe. Graphic design by Jane Stark 

 

By coincidence, The International Rock Gardener (ISSN 2053-7557), the online journal of the Scottish Rock Garden Club has published a description of Galanthus ‘Longraigue’, one of the snowdrops included among the paintings and has used a preliminary study by one of the artists, Shevaun Doherty, as an illustration.

Galanthus 'Longraigue' from Shevaun Doherty
A preparatory study of Galanthus ‘Longraigue’ by Shevaun Doherty

The story of the origins of the snowdrop is told by Alan Briggs and is reproduced here with the kind permission of the Scottish Rock Garden Club.

“Longraigue‟ – a new Irish snowdrop described by Alan Briggs, photographs by Paddy Tobin.

At the end of 2001 my wife and I were invited to spend the New Year with friends at their home in Co. Wexford, Ireland. Our room was decorated with a vase of flowers containing a sprig of witch hazel and some snowdrops. At that time I was just becoming interested in snowdrops and I was impressed to see them already in flower at the end of December. I found a scattering of these early snowdrops growing in a bed by the front of the house. I admired them and my friend, Carol Gibbon, immediately dug up a few bulbs for me. Back in England they did well, although flowering a little later in the first week or two of January. After a few years I had enough to repatriate some to Irish snowdrop enthusiast Paddy Tobin. They prospered for Paddy whilst mine suffered a setback, so he now has far more than I do. We both think this attractive snowdrop is worthy of a name and I have chosen “Longraigue‟, which is the name of the house where they originated.

Galanthus ex Longraigue.  (3)
Galanthus ‘Longraigue’ 

“Longraigue‟ is an early-flowering example of Galanthus plicatus. The inner petals have a mark which I feel, fancifully, resembles an oil lamp. This comprises a green u-shaped mark at the apex joined to an oval shape in the basal half of the petal which has a lighter part at the centre. The receptacle (“ovary‟) is olive green and slightly elongated; the pedicel is short. The plicate leaves are glaucous green and around 12cm long at the time of flowering, when the scapes are about 16cm. This snowdrop is already gaining admirers in Ireland and would be a welcome addition to any collection.

Galanthus ex Longraigue.  (1)
Galanthus ‘Longraigue’

A previous report on this project can be read here: Heritage Irish Plants – Plandaí Oidhreachta

Paddy Tobin

To find out more about the Irish Garden Plant Society visit our website or follow us on Facebook