Steppe Planting

The Big Sky Meadow at RHS Hyde Hall is a 46 acre project to convert land to a perennial meadow. The plants are those common to the Eurasian steppes, North American prairies and African grasslands.

Blue Eryngium planum and yellow Galium verum. When dried, the yellow flowers smell of freshly mown hay. These were once used to stuff straw mattresses. A yellow dye was also made from these flowers.

Berkehya purpurea from South Africa is a drought tolerant plant, suited to areas with poor soils.

Red clover – in herbal medicine, was used to treat skin disorders.

Sissinghurst

Vita Sackville-West on Sissinghurst: ‘The heavy golden sunshine enriched the old brick with a kind of patina, and made the tower cast a long shadow across the grass, like the finger of a gigantic sundial veering slowly with the sun. Everything was hushed and drowsy and silent but for the coo of the white pigeons.’
Sunshine lighting up flowers.
Irises.
Chamomile flowers.
Delicate flowers.
Sunlight highlighting a flower in the shade.
Meadow flowers and grasses swaying in the wind, in the wilderness of the Orchard area.
Light and shadow.

The Golden Hour

Light. That crucial factor in photography. The golden hour is the period of time just after sunrise or before sunset, which gives a beautiful, golden hue to landscape and portrait pictures. The low angle of the sun makes the shadows softer and longer. The diffused light can emphasize textures and produce specific effects. There’s something magical about capturing pictures with that golden glow.

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Blossom backlit with a soft light.

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The long shadows from the light give an additional focus to the crocuses.

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The light appears gentler and diffused over the heather.

A carpet of snowdrops …

The snowdrops were out in force! Galanthus nivalis is one species which self-seeds and spreads quickly. Bees use snowdrops for nectar when not many other plants are flowering.

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