Members' Photos and News

Written by Peter Lyle. Posted in Plants

This page is for members to post garden related photos and a few words about the plants in their gardens looking good at the moment and any other gardening news they would like to share.

Snowdrops in John Metcalf and Richard Ball's garden. Photos taken by Richard Ball.
The snowdrop in the photos is named S.Arnot which has multiplied like mad in our garden and has often been sold at Norfolk and Suffolk group meetings for group funds - so many of your members will have their own.


Autumn colour in Linda Hall's garden

Betula eermanii 'Grayswood Hill'

Euonymus europaeus

Hyddrangea paniculata 'Bokraflame'

Nyssa sylvatica

Persicaria virginia var.filiformis 'Lance Corporal'

Symphyotrichum 'Vasterival'


Eloise Mcgregor's snapshots of a covid summer! Loads of walking, cooking and preserving.



Irises growing in Brian Ellis and David King's garden
Iris Dash Away
Iris Desert Orange
Iris Devil Baby
Iris Fires of Fiji
Iris Minidragon

Plants and views in Eloise McGregor's garden
Chris Davies writes "Below are two photos from my garden. The first one, of the conifer branches, taken on 22nd June, shows a small, dark shape, in the top left quarter, not far from the centre of the photo. It has a bright red and yellow beak, and it’s a moorhen, that probably has a nest up here, about 12’ from the ground. Very conspicuous by the noise it was making at the time - possibly due to me and one of our dogs standing at the foot of the tree."

"This photo is of my contribution to encouraging wildlife in the garden, which I built today, 29th June. It’s a set of steps to help the moorhen chicks get back into the pond. A couple of years ago, seeing them struggle to find a way up the wall - parents just jumped up - I made a makeshift set of steps with a stack of pamments. This year the foliage is obscuring their way, so I’ve made a permanent way for them. I’ll see how long it takes them to find it!"
Eloise McGregor writes "I have a titchy witchy garden so it's a question of always a quart in a pint pot. I have always overplanted and never leave any spaces, so I lose a lot of plants consequently."

Roy Mellor's Eucomis plants
When we went to the HPS meeting at Hethersett Village Hall, 12th October for 'Plants of the Moment' by Joe Whitehead, he gave away lots of cuttings.

Delighted that the Eucomis leaf sections that I had, have taken with 3 plants on one and 4 plants on the other, just have to see which ones they are when they, hopefully, flower.
Linda Hall's Westcountry Lupins
When our group visited Thornton Hall Gardens in June 2018 on our holiday to Northumberland I was smitten by the wonderful lupins in the garden.  I asked Sue Manners, the garden owner, where she got them and was told they were from Westcountry Nurseries and that they displayed their lupins at RHS Chelsea Flower Show.  The rest is history, I was hooked.
Westcountry lupin 'Gladiator'
Westcountry lupin 'King Canute'
Westcountry lupin 'Masterpiece'
Westcountry lupin 'Polar Princess'
Westcountry lupin 'Red Rum'
Westcountry lupin 'Terracotta'
Westcountry lupin 'Towering Inferno'
Westcountry lupin seedling
Westcountry lupin grown from seed
Irises growing in Brian Ellis and David King's garden
Iris Benton Cordelia
Iris Benton Deidre

Iris Benton Lorna
Iris Benton Nigel
Iris Benton Olive
Iris Benton Opal
Iris Benton Primrose
Iris Benton ex Dodo Rose
Iris Bumblebee Deelite
Iris Chelsea Blue
Iris Edward of Windsor
Iris Frost Flame
Iris Gingerbread Man
Iris Golden Splendour
Iris Jane Philips
Iris Petit Tiger
Iris Rip City
Iris Samurai Warrior
Iris sp.
Linda Hall's Peonies and Foxgloves
Paeonia Agida
Paeonia Ballerina
Paeonia 'Boule de Neige'

Paeonia 'Duchess de Nemours'
Paeonia 'Felix Crousse'
Paeonia 'Reine Hortense'
Paeonia 'Solange'

Paeonia Bowl of Beauty
Paeonia 'Coral Charm'
Paeonia 'Florence Nichols'
Paeonia 'Kansas'
Paeonia 'Reine Hortense'
Paeonia unknown sp.
Digitalis 'Pam's Choice'
I sowed the seeds of these foxgloves in trays in June 2019, potted them on and planted them out in September 2019. I was inspired to do this having seen the white foxgloves in the garden at Morton Hall during our N&S holiday visit there in June last year.

One of my favourite aspects of plants is their perfume, and so I will grow plants for this trait alone.  I have a beloved paperback, now held together by elastic bands, Scented Flora of the World: an Encyclopaedia by Roy Genders – if you come across it, do grab it with both hands.  It’s a repository of captivating facts and stories on aromatic and scented plants.

Sadly today, it seems people stop growing plants from seed as they become older, which I think is a shame, as some things just cannot be bought at the garden centre or nursery.

The following I sow direct into clay pots in a cold (very cold) greenhouse and bring them outside when the weather prescribes.  These pots gather on a table in our courtyard for my evening visits when their scent can be appreciated. 

Firstly Dianthus ‘Rainbow Loveliness’, a floppy-stemmed plant with a variety of heavily perfumed ‘lacey’ flowers.  Next sweet alyssum, Lobularia maritima, will self-seed in your paving stones given half a chance, losing their compact habit.  Night scented stock, Matthiola longipetala, is to my view the best ‘brassica’ around.  Zaluzianskyia capensis ‘Midnight Candy’, known as Zulu snowflake, was a selection made by a company I worked for years ago.  The smell is extremely sweet and distinct and different.  Candy, though an American word, somehow sums it up – probably because the stems are annoyingly sticky.

Not grown from seed, but rather a ‘bought-in’ plant was Dianthus ‘Old Fringed White’, a small-flowered ‘pink’, sort of a diminutive ‘Mrs Sinkins’, with powerfully perfumed flowers.  I had propagated plants for the June sale, so we will have to see if they survive when I run out of water this summer.

And finally, sweet peas.  This year, as most annoyingly, many of mine did not germinate so I’m enjoying fewer than normal, and the hot spring weather makes them go over very quickly!  But one whiff of that scent, and all is forgiven and forgotten!

Irene Tibbenham

Irises growing in Brian Ellis and David King's garden
Brian writes:
It is disappointing that we will not be able to visit the National Collection of Benton Irises held by Sarah Cooke this year because of restrictions, something I really enjoy. Fortunately I have been able to accumulate one or two so I thought you might like to see them. Still a few to come out and the unfurling buds cause a great deal of anticipation at this time of the year. I also enclose a picture of what must be herbicide drift causing peculiar things to happen to the buds of Iris ‘Storrington’. Finally an Iris from the Manor House at Upton Grey which was planted by Gertrude Jekyll, the owner said that it was one of the original planting but she didn’t know what it was and only had a few. I have passed some round but if anyone knows what it is I would be delighted to find out.
Iris Benton Ankaret
Iris Benton Blue John
Iris Benton Cordelia
Iris Benton Deidre
Iris Benton Lorna
Iris Benton Nigel
Iris Benton Nutkin
Iris Benton Nutkin group
Iris Benton Olive
Iris Benton Opal
Iris Benton Pearl
Iris Benton Primrose

Iris Benton Edward of Windsor
Iris herbicide damage
Iris JSI
The Iris path
Iris Storrington
Iris ex Dodo
Iris Benton Menace
Iris from the Manor House at Upton Grey

Irises growing in Linda Hall's garden
Spring in Eloise and Peter McGregor's garden in Diss
This is a tree peony of unknown variety, bought from the 'reduced' section at a garden centre a couple of years ago.
Jan Oakley

The dark Iris was obtained from the 'Dig it and bag it' session at Four Seasons. Iris 'Aegean Sea' was obtained the same day. I could have put any Iris next to the Wisteria that was already here in the garden but I was lucky with my choice.

Linda Hall



I took these pictures today and thought it might cheer up some of the group. I've had blue tits and great tits nest in the frogs in the past, but not at this house.  So I'm very pleased to see this year's residents. I believe that they're great tits this year.

Look who's nesting in our frogs this year:
Just dropped in with some food:
Look what I've got - a big fat spider:
Who wants spider for lunch?
Taking out the poop:
.... and just to make sure this is plant focussed, here's a Ranunculus that I picked as it became a little 'top heavy' in the garden:
 Jan Oakley

It is amazing how variable they are. 

Fritilaria meleagris

Peter George


Back in early 2007 our group was invited to the nursery and home of John Metcalf and Richard Ball to ‘Dig it and Bag it’.  John and Richard were retiring from running their Four Seasons Nursery so members were invited to dig up the iris beds – such a treat, we were like children let loose in a sweet shop.  I did make a note of the names of the ones I took home but over time I am ashamed to say I have lost the labels.  Three are flowering at the moment: Iris ‘Pale Shades’ and Iris ‘Red Zinger’ and one nameless!  Others are nearly ready to unfurl so more photos will follow.


You don’t need to have a large garden to grow a Wisteria.  Although I have one growing on the bungalow wall I had always wanted one in a container having read an article a good few years ago.  Voila, I now have my wish and this year it has really taken off now that it is established.

Group photo: Acer palmatum ‘Atropurpureum’ in the foreground with Geranium macrorrhizum  ‘Bevan’s Variety’ and Clematis var. rubens ‘Pink Perfection’ in the background.  This is how to use an overgrown  Lleylandii hedge to one’s advantage!

Magnolia liliflora ‘Nigra’ was bought in 2006 and has taken a while to get going but it has been worth waiting for.


Trillium grandiflorum – I did have two but seem to have lost the other one.


A beautiful pale subtle bi-tone Syringa – label lost before I knew better!

I have spent hours in the garden, which is really coming along and the glorious weather has been a bonus.

Linda Hall - 4th May 2020

Over the last few days Virburnum juddii stops me in my tracks as the scent just wafts across the garden, especially in the sunshine. Coming into its own at the moment is Brunnera macrophylla ‘Alexander's Great’. Akebia quinata over the pergola is just dripping with crimson flowers. I have to be careful not to pull Ipheion ‘Albert Castillo’ up before it flowers as it just looks like grass! In a couple of pots outside the back door Tulipa clusiana ‘Honky Tonk’ brings a smile in the sunshine. At the end of the day, after working in the garden weeding etc, I have been turning my attention to my ‘nursery’ area tidying up pots and just generally preparing them ready for when we can sell plants again.

Linda Hall - 18th April 2020


Virburnum juddii   

Brunnera macrophylla ‘Alexander's Great’


Akebia quinata

Ipheion ‘Albert Castillo’

Tulipa clusiana ‘Honky Tonk’ 

Nursery Area 


Chris Davies:

"As you are probably aware, I like Variegated plants - on the whole.

This is one that I have that frightens a lot of people. It’s a Variegated Photinia, (Photinia fraseri ‘Pink Marble’) and the new leaves are this bright pink."